Posts filed under: Buying Real Estate

Get Special Access To Pinnacle’s New Amber Condo Before It’s Open To The General Public!

June 10, 2015 - Updated: June 10, 2015Buying Real Estate

Amber Pinnacle Uptown New Mississauga Condo Todd Lee

Amber condo is the next phase of Pinnacles Uptown project to be built located steps from Eglinton Ave. W.  And Hurontario St. in Mississauga.  PInnacle International is one of Canada's Leading builders of Luxury condominium residences.

 

ToddLee.ca has arranged with the builder Pinnacle to have V.I.P. access for our clients before the initial release to the general public.  You heard that right.  You can get the best available condo units in this very popular condo project before anyone else.

 

Uptown by Pinnacle is a widely successful condo apartment and townhouse development.  Current phases completed or under construction are Crystal condos and The Marquee Towhomes On The Park.  Often time’s investors and condo shoppers want to buy a preconstruction condo but find the best units have already been snapped up.  To avoid missing out, call Todd Lee right away to get the best one, one plus one and two bedroom condos before their all gone!

 

CONTACT: 

Email:  ambercondo@toddlee.ca

Cell:  416-993-8533

By Todd Lee.

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Tagged with: pinnacle uptown amber condo buy invest mississauga todd lee

Happy Mother's Day

May 10, 2015 - Updated: May 10, 2015Buying Real Estate

Mississauga Real Estate Agent Celebrates Mothers

 

An original poem for Mom.

 

You cared for me with love when I was a baby,

When I was sick or hurt, you tended to me so gently,

 

You held and protected me because things got scary,

When I did something wrong you corrected me calmly,

 

You always had food ready for me because I was hungry,

When it was Christmas I opened your gifts (though you said they were from Santa) eagerly,

 

You were my guide in life when things went imperfectly,

When I did well you embraced me joyfully,

 

You settled me down with your calming nature when I got so angry,

When I felt wronged by somebody you fought for me fiercely,

 

You were taken from this world way too early,

When you went to God it was peacefully,

 

You are my role model in life and I like to think of you fondly,

When I finish this poem I want everyone to know that I love you too infinity!

 

Thank you for everything and I love you Mom.

 

Mississauga Real Estate Agent Todd Lee Celebrates Mother's Day

 
 
Too my mom, my wife and all the mom's out there,
have a Happy Mother's Day!
 
By Todd Lee.  
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What are the current prices for Mississauga houses or condos?

May 3, 2015 - Updated: May 3, 2015Buying Real Estate

Mississauga house or condo prices

 

When buying a Mississauga condo or house it is important for buyer’s expectations to be realistic.  Especially in a climate where inventory may be lower and demand is high.  According to the Toronto Real Estate Board, sales for Mississauga from January to March have had an average selling price to listing price of 99% and be on the market for an average of 25 days.  Buyers should expect to be in a best case situation to pay closer to asking price and in a worst case scenario be in a bidding war and pay over asking.

 

How to be prepared to buy a condo or house in such conditions?  Buyers need to be prepared as much as possible.  I recommend having a preapproved mortgage already set by the time buyers start their search.  Taking into consideration buyers will probably like a property other buyers will like. It’s smart then to look for houses 10 to20 thousand below their maximum preapproved amount in case they have to go over asking price.  With condos as there is more inventory I would say it’s safer to go to maximum, but don’t be surprised to get into a bidding war for the pretty ones.

 

Recently I showed a property to a first time home buyer.  This was a detached house which needed lots of TLC and money to make respectable.  At the time of showing I counted no less than 6 agents showing this property at about 6 pm on a Friday evening.  The average selling detached house price in this area is around 800 thousand dollars.  The asking price for this house was 450 thousand dollars.  My client wanted it at 350 thousand dollars because of all the work he would have to put into it but he didn’t like it enough to put in an offer.  The next day this detached house had fetched 24 offers to buy by time I checked at 6 pm.  It ended up selling for close to 100 thousand above asking.

 

Lately listing agents have started to ask all buyers to have certified cheques with a specific dollar amount to be included at the same time as the offer is made and accepted.  I know of situations where buyers with higher offers have lost in a bidding war to lower offers just because they were not prepared to give the deposit as per seller’s request.  Buyers must have deposit money liquid meaning the monies are not tied up in RRSP’s, GIC’s, stuck overseas etc…and be available immediately.  Take note of special instructions like having deposits ready upon acceptance.

 

Buyers who don’t put in the effort to find out if they qualify for a mortgage and shop within their means will find it very hard to be a winner in this game and only have frustration.  The Mississauga real estate market is fast paced and only the strongest, realistic and most prepared buyers come out on top.

 

By Todd Lee

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Tagged with: mississauga condos mississauga houses buying how much to pay prices

So You Want To Buy An Investment Property. But Are You Ready To Be A Landlord?

May 23, 2014 - Updated: May 23, 2014Buying Real Estate

buy investment property

Why do you want an investment property?  To make easy money right!  Here are some things to consider when you are buying an investment proeprty.

 

Positive cash flow

How profitable will being a landlord really be?  The landlord has to ask themselves if they want positive cash flow and figure out if the money earned will exceed the money spent on being a landlord.  Consideration to the local rental rates especially to similar properties is required to properly ascertain potential gross income.

 

Will a reasonable rate minus the cost of leasing the unit be worth the while?  Costs can include regular maintenance costs, condo fees, insurance, property taxes, mortgage payments cost of gas travelling to and from the leased unit and realtor fees. If after all this accounting is done for all the potential and likely cost and the numbers are in the black then you will have positive cash flow.

 

If the landlord is buying an investment property they must consider the consequences to personal income tax; if it’s a condo apartment, what rules may not allow for the rental of the unit or make living there more difficult for potential tenants (i.e. not pets allowed); if the landlord is a new home buyer, are they aware they will lose first home buyers benefits when buying their first home to live in; if buying a house to rent out, does the house meet zoning rules, municipal bylaws and health, fire and safety codes.

 

When buying an investment property the landlord needs to consider what tenants are looking for and what they will pay higher rents for.  Do you buy a turnkey situation where the condo or house is already updated or do you get affixer-upper and do renovations which will save you money on the sticker price but will cost thousands to bring to standards?  Depending on the landlords ability to do construction themselves or to get it cheaply done perhaps buying the turnkey property is more appealing.

 

How will you go about in getting a tenant?  The landlord has to consider trying to find a tenant by themselves or through the use of a real estate sales person.   If the landlord tries to rent for themselves they have to find ways of marketing their property so potential renters will find them.  The landlord will have to qualify potential tenants, do negotiations and right legal documents by themselves.  If the landlord is inexperienced they might make critical mistakes which can lead to big headaches, legal cost, time spent away from work etc…

 

 Using a realtor does cost money for their service, but on the other hand they qualify potential tenants, market the property through the realtor network by using the MLS and at the local brokerage.  They make arrangement for other realtors to show the unit to renters in the form of showings.  And finally they help the landlord with the legal paper work and negotiations.

 

Tenancy agreement

But wait! Do you need a written tenancy agreement?   The quick answer is “no”. However, the proper answer should be “yes”.  Look at it in this way.  If a problem arises which leads to having to go to court, not having a written agreement becomes harder to prove who’s right and wrong.  With a written lease clearly laid out, it should be very clear to all parties what their obligations were.

 

The tenancy agreement is therefore very important and hiring a realtor will aid in making an iron clad agreement as they would have the expertise to know what “rules” are allowed and which are not.

 

Landlord’s responsibilities

Who is responsible to maintain the unit?  The landlord is responsible to maintain the unit and ensure it’s in a good state.  This is true even if the tenant was aware of problems before they rented the unit.

 

To try and get around this some landlords put a clause stating it’s the tenant’s responsibility but the law does not see it that way.  It’s still the landlord’s obligation.

 

But, the tenant is obliged to keep the unit clean and to a standard that most people consider ordinary cleanliness.  Also, the tenant must pay for or repair damages to the unit caused by the tenant or their guests/other people living in the unit.

 

What about snow removal?   The Act generally states the property must be kept such that it can be safely entered and exited.  Failure to keep the property clear of snow might be a breach of the Act.

 

Garbage removal is a point of negotiation between the landlord and tenant.  Once an agreement is reached it cannot be changed without the consent of both parties and if the change results in less service for the tenant than a rent reduction can happen.

 

Does the landlord have to renovate the unit?  The answer is no.  The law does not force the landlord to “update” living conditions such as replacing carpet or freshly painting the walls.  The landlord is however responsible for keeping the unit safe and habitable therefore in certain circumstances, renovations might be necessary for safety reasons.

 

Entering the tenant’s unit

When can the landlord enter the tenant’s unit?  The landlord may only enter the tenant’s unit under specific circumstances.  Mostly the landlord will give the tenant 24 hours written notice, which will state the when and why they will enter.  Exceptions to giving notice are in an emergency or if the tenant agrees to allow the landlord to enter the unit.

 

Can the tenant refuse to let the landlord in after giving notice?  The Act allows the landlord this lawful right thus a refusal by the tenant can lead to the landlord giving them notice of termination and lead to the eventual eviction of the tenant.

 

If you can read through all of these questions and after answering them for yourself you are still positive about being a landlord then go for it.  If you come away y thinking that seems like too much work which you might not be willing to commit to then there are other ways to making money in real estate which might be for you.

 

Getting rid of bad tenants

What happens if you lease to a bad tenant?  There are rules to be followed and every circumstance is treated individually.  If after trying to work with your tenants to correct the “bad” situation and the circumstance continues I would recommend that you contact the Landlords and Tenants board for advice on how to deal with the situation.

 

Conclusion

Buying an investment property can at times be very profitable and very easy if the right tenant is found. A real estate agent can help you to find the investment property (for free as the seller pays the agents), place an offer for it, negotiate and prepare all necessary paperwork and walk with you through the whole process.  Realtors will also be able to help you to get qualified tenants reducing the risks of getting a bad apple, do the paper work and negotiate for a small but reasonable fee usually one half months’ rent.

 

Being a good landlord can also help you keep good tenants which means less headaches, less turnover and less time and money wasted.  Remember if you treat people with well they probably will treat you the same way back.

 

By Todd Lee

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Tagged with: investment landlord rent tenant condo house

Should You Compete In A Bidding War?

May 10, 2014 - Updated: May 10, 2014Buying Real Estate

Decisions

Some of the most dread words for a home or condo shopper to hear are: “multiple offers”.  The first thing my buyers think is… “I am not going to compete in a bidding war because I don’t want to over pay”.  That logic is pretty standard as I don’t know anyone one who willingly wants to over pay for anything.

 

Obviously people still engage in this seemingly cavalier behavior and end up winning the bidding wars despite this.  Do they have regrets?  I’m sure some do.  I’ve heard from people who felt the agent involved gave them the wrong advice and made them offer way too much money and in retrospect they could have offered less to win.

 

On the other hand perhaps some people may have the opposite feeling, one of happiness because they were the victor.  In this scenario the asking price may have been priced low and therefore the well informed buyer makes a conscious decision to give an offer higher than asking price but in reality they are still paying market value.

 

A third scenario can also be true.  Sometimes there are extraneous circumstances which prevail and the buyer has no choice.  I had a client some time ago who needed to buy an apartment next door to their own so their family can be close by for medical /safety concerns.  So they waited and waited until the neighbor finally decided to sell.  These buyers would have to decide on how important it was to own the unit next door vs. if they would have to compete in a bidding war.

 

The condo or home shopper really has to consider several things when shopping these days.  Does there budget meet the asking price of what they want or is it more realistic to find something cheaper.  How do they know their budget?  Did they get a real pre-approved mortgage or did someone ask them 3 or 4 basic questions and gave them a rough idea?  Confidence plays a huge role in a buyer’s strategy in multiple offer scenarios.

 

Many of my clients lately have been shopping at the top end of their budget.  They find homes they like but guess what other parties like the same homes too.  The thing is these clients are stretching to make an offer and are relying on negotiating the price down to be able to buy.  With all these multiple offers out there they will almost surely not be able to compete should the bidding war happen.  Now they have to look at a condo or home maybe in a different area to get the price to match or sacrifice something else.

 

Should the buyer wait until something else comes onto the market?  Maybe it does maybe it doesn’t.  I recall one time a client of mine found THE perfect condo.  They waited to see if the owner would reduce the price and before they made an offer someone else did.  They didn’t want to engage in a bidding war and lost their chance.  It’s been 3 years and they still haven’t found anything like the one they lost.  And the kicker is prices have gone up so much since then it would have been better to have at least tried to win a bidding war.

 

The usual manner for which a multiple offer is conducted is as follows.  The seller agent will inform the agents representing the buyers there is indeed multiple offers for the property.  The buyer agents are usually invited to meet at the seller agent’s office to make finally offers to the seller(s).  This is done for transparency.  The buyer agents can feel confident they are not being played because they are able to see all the agents present to make offers.  But, no one knows what the other’s offer is so the buyer is asked to bring their best offer forward.

 

After the seller is presented the offers they will discuss with their representation the merits of each offer and reach a conclusion as to which is the best offer.  The best offer is not always the one with the most money offered.  Other variables are at play such as the deposit amount which too low could mean the buyer is not as serious, the closing date may or may not be good for the seller and the clauses for finance and inspection may be waived making the deal more “firm”.

 

If you are an informed buyer and can understand you budget, need and your timetable requirements are tight then go for it.  You probably won’t have regrets afterwards.  For those who know you don’t have the budget then don’t bother wasting people’s time and energy and move on to something more realistic.  For those buyers who can “wait” years just understand prices are only going up and if you factor in the price increase over years you might be wiser to buy now.  In the end you win some and you can lose some.  But if you want to be the last man or woman standing you have to at least try.

 

By Todd Lee.  Be social and share Google+

Tagged with: bidding war buying multiple offers mississauga real estate blog condo condos houses homes

Buying Real Estate Can Save You Some Tax Money

March 22, 2014 - Updated: April 22, 2014Buying Real Estate

 

So it’s been some time since I last wrote to this blog and for that my apologies.  Here’s to a happy belated new year everyone.  It’s March and many people are happily thinking of their taxes right about now.  Ok that could be an exaggeration, but I’m sure no one is appreciating the winter we are still going through here in Mississauga, Ontario.  On the brighter side for all you home owners or people who will be soon home owners, I know several ways for you to either save on taxes or get money back from the government.

Home Buyers' Plan (HBP)

The Government encourages people to save for buying homes. The Home Buyers Plan allows you to withdraw (as a loan) up to $25,000 from your registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) to help with the purchase or construction of a home. Certain conditions apply. You are required to submit a request by completing the T1036 tax form that is available. You must then repay the loan, without interest, over a period not to exceed 15 years. 

First-Time Home Buyers' (FTHB) Tax Credit

Buying a home for the first time can seem to be a very complicated and expensive process.  The Federal government wants to encourage people to own homes. The First Time Home Buyers Tax Credit was created to help with this financial burden.  For 2009 and subsequent years, the FTHB is a new non-refundable tax credit of $750  based on 15% of amounts up to $5,000, for first-time home buyers after January 27, 2009.

Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit (Ontario Trillium Benefit)

This is a tax credit for low to medium income home residence or renters to help pay for energy costs and relief for sales and property tax.  For the year 2014 you can get up to $973 if you are a not senior citizen and up to $1108 if you are a senior.

Ontario Senior Homeowners' Property Tax Grant

This grant helps qualified persons to get up to $500 each year to help with the costs of property taxes.

Rental income deductions

Revenues earned are included on an accrual basis. Expenses incurred in earning rental income must be reasonable. These would include advertising, insurance costs, interest and fees related to borrowing, legal fees preparation of lease documents or collection of overdue rents, maintenance and repairs, management fees and fees to rental agents to manage the property, office expenses, property taxes, travel and utilities.

Business use of home expenses

If as part of your employment you are required by your employer to work from home and you qualify, you can deduct expenses you have paid that are business related so long as you employer does not reimburse you.

If as a part of your self-employment business you use work space in your home as your principal place of business or you use that space only to earn your business income you qualify to deduct a portion of expenses incurred.  These include utility costs, maintenance of your home, telephone, supplies, property taxes, mortgage interest and home insurance. 

GST/HST New Housing Rebate (Seek advice directly from CRA authorities)

Buying a newly constructed or substantially (90%) renovated house used as the primary place of residence, enables the purchaser to be rebated part of the GST or HST paid in most circumstances.

I always recommend when it comes to paying taxes you should consult the CRA and a qualified tax consultant as I do not intend to represent this article as giving financial or tax advice.  By all means contact a CPA, CMA or CGA or the person working at the local mall helping to file tax returns. Base your decision on how complex your needs are.  If you don’t have someone currently doing your taxes you may want to contact a very experienced tax professional.

By Todd Lee

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References:

Expenses you can deduct http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/bsnss/tpcs/rntl/bt/rprt/xpns/menu-eng.html

Work space in the home expenses http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/ndvdls/tpcs/ncm-tx/rtrn/cmpltng/ddctns/lns206-236/229/slry/wrkspc-eng.html

Business use of home expenses  http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/bsnss/tpcs/slprtnr/rprtng/t2125/ln9945-eng.html

First Time Home Buyers Tax Credit  http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/gncy/bdgt/2009/fqhbtc-eng.html#q1

Building, Purchasing and Selling new Houses Building, purchasing and selling new houses http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/bsnss/tpcs/gst-tps/cnstrctn/bldngsllnghms-eng.html

Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit  http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/credit/oeptc/index.html

Ontario Trillium Benefit  http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/credit/otb/index.html

Healthy Homes Renovation Tax Credit  https://www.ontario.ca/taxes-and-benefits/healthy-homes-renovation-tax-credit

GST/HST New Housing Rebate (Seek advice directly from CRA authorities)GST/HST New Housing Rebate http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/goc/gst_new_housing.shtml

Tagged with: tax buying ownership rebates home save money

First Time Home Buyer Benefits

October 28, 2013 - Updated: October 28, 2013Buying Real Estate

There are two benefits that you can take advantage of as a first time home buyer in the GTA.

First off, the true definition of a first time homebuyer is someone who has never been on title of a residential property or someone who has not been on title in the last four years.

1.     The first benefit is the ability to use your hard earned RRSP savings as down payment towards your home.  You can use up to $25,000 max per person or up to $50,000 maximum for a couple from your RRSP as down payment toward your first home tax free.  You do however have to put it back into your RRSP or else you will have to pay tax.  The government gives you two years grace and then you have 15 years to put the money back into your RRSP savings.

As an example – let’s say you withdraw $20,000 from your RRSP savings for your first home in the middle of the year.  For the next two tax years – the current one and the year after, you would have nothing to do.  The year after that however, you would have to put back at least 1/15 of what your took out so in this case $1,333.33 would be your minimum put back or else you will owe taxes on that amount.

An excellent tax strategy that I recommend to my clients is to take the down payment money that is just in a savings account – put this money into an RRSP (provided they have the contribution room) at least 90 days before their purchase – that way they will get a large return come tax time that can be used to pay off their mortgage faster!

2.    As a first time home buyer you will avoid the double land transfer tax.  If you are a first time homebuyer and you really want to live in Metropolitan Toronto – a big benefit as a first time homebuyer is that you will avoid virtually all of the municipal land transfer tax.  A good strategy is to first buy in the city of Toronto and then for the next home you purchase buy somewhere outside of Toronto to avoid this costly tax.  There is talk at this point for other municipalities such as the city of Mississauga to implement this double land transfer tax – but at this point only Toronto has brought in this extra cost to home ownership.

By Dion Mahadeo – Mortgage Specialist at RBC Royal Bank

Tagged with: first time buyer real estsate

What Are The Closing Costs For Buying a Mississauga Condo or House?

October 17, 2013 - Updated: April 22, 2014Buying Real Estate

     Buyers often don’t realize the cost of buying any residential property in Mississauga is more than the down payment and mortgage.  Closing costs can be very significant adding thousands of dollars to the purchase of a condo or house.  If these closing costs are not taken into consideration by the buyer it will be a shocking surprise when they learn about it.  Generally speaking closing costs are made up of various fees and taxes which are incurred because of the purchase of the property.  These costs are variable meaning every situation is different, and are usually explained by the lawyer at the time of closing.  Below is a list of closing costs:

 

Land Transfer Tax - In Mississauga the buyer of a condo or house has to pay the Ontario Land Transfer Tax with the exception of qualifying first time buyers who would receive up to $2000 credit.

0.5% - on the first $55,000

1.0% - on the portion between $55,000 to $250,000

1.5% - on the balance over $250,000

2.0% on anything over $400,000

For quick calculations of land transfer tax please go to my webpage for Land Transfer Tax Calculator.

 

CMHC Insurance Premium – If the down payment is less than 20% of the purchase price the lender will require this coverage.   Mortgage insurance helps to protect lenders against mortgage default and helps consumers purchase a home with a minimum of 5%.  The premium can be paid in a single lump sum or it can be added to the mortgage.   The premium payable is based on a percentage of the home’s purchase price that is financed by a mortgage.  PST must be paid at the time of closing.  To estimate the Mortgage Insurance cost I have a calculator you can use.

 

Legal Fees and Disbursements - The buyer will require a lawyer’s services to purchase a house or condo in Mississauga.  The lawyer will be responsible for payment of all related fees and disbursements.  As every situation is different I suggest shopping around to find the best price and services covered, but I usually see clients paying around $1600 which also include things like registration of charge “mortgage”, transfer of deed and Title search of the property.

 

Title Insurance Premium – This is a type of policy which is designed to protect the home owner from challenges to the ownership of their home or from problems related to the title of the property.  A conversation with the lawyer should happen to find out if Title Insurance would be useful.  This could be around $200 plus.

 

Property Tax / Utility Bill Adjustments – In the agreement for sale of a condo or house the purchase price of a resale home is always subject to the usual adjustments at closing.  This means the seller has already prepaid for taxes or utilities and any excess amount would be adjusted back to the seller.

By Todd Lee

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Tagged with: closing costs buying condos houses mississauga

Some things home buyers should do

June 5, 2013 - Updated: April 22, 2014Buying Real Estate

Buying real estate list

    Some home buyers have been sitting on the fence waiting to see what will happen to the Mississauga real estate market ever since the Federal government implemented tighter lending rules.  It’s been about a year now and what we have seen are buyers who took the plunge were rewarded with year over year growth in their property values.  For those who waited now have to pay more as opposed to paying less like they were hoping for.  That said it’s still a good time to buy real estate in Mississauga as interest rates remain historically low and there are plenty of options to choose from including condos, town’s, semi’s and detached houses. 

Consult a real estate agent for advice regarding home ownership. 

Buying a new home especially for a first time home buyer can be challenging.  A realtor or real estate agent can make the process easier as that is what they are trained to do.  The buyer should certainly seek a professional with experience helping buyers find real estate in the area and neighborhood’s they are looking to live in.

Get pre-approved for a mortgage.

    Being pre-approved for a mortgage means the buyer is more serious and really able to make a serious financial commitment.  Many deals fall apart when the client was not pre-approved, but still made an offer and later finds out they really couldn’t get a mortgage in the first place.  Believe me, save yourself, your realtor and the seller and their agent from wasting their time, energy and money by making sure you are financially ready first.

Think about LOCATION!

    There’s an old saying that goes…Location, location, location.  Where your home is located will affect many aspect of your life including your commute to work and the school your children will attend.  Think about if you want a city lifestyle or a country one.  If you are probably going to sell this property sometime in the future, how desirable is the location to others?

What type of home do you want?

    Think about the type of home you can afford and try to buy the best possible for your situation.  Condo vs. town homes or semi vs. detached?  Do you desire a breath taking view or maybe a big backyard?  Can you buy a fixer-upper and do renovations or do you want a home that is ready to live in just the way you want it.  Make a list of must haves and order them by importance.  Your real estate agent will help you find a desirable house meeting most if not all of your requirements assuming you’ve been realistic.

Go on showings.

    The internet is the biggest revolution to the real estate market.  It’s so easy for anyone to simply go online and start to window shop for that perfect next home to buy.  But, remember people spend lots of money on having professional pictures to make their homes look better than what they are.  Always go see the houses for yourself.  Your realtor will assist you to see the one’s you want to see as well can also show you ones you may not have thought of.  If you go to an open house or to a pre-construction condo sales room, remember to always say you have official representation as its important the selling party knows you have a realtor.

Have an open mind.

    Often really good real estate is passed up on because the home owners may not have chosen the right décor and colour of paint.  It’s a fact that some people have a hard time seeing passed the superficial and understanding the house has “good bones”.  Try to see the space and the potential every house has.  Once you move in you can change anything you want and make it yours.

Plan B

    If you like a condo or a house enough to want to put in an offer, there might be someone else who thinks the same.  There is no guarantee your offer is accepted based on price, terms or issues that may come up during a inspection or status certificate review.  Have a backup plan as an alternative so you are not 100% emotionally dependent on plan A.

Get informed.

    Your agent can help you know about how your targeted house compares to previously sold homes and other homes which are currently for sale.  Having a CMA or a Comparative Market Analysis done by your real estate agent will help you understand the relative value of the properties, thus preparing you for making an offer to buy and also setting up how negotiations can play out.

It can help to do some research.

    Take some time to research at city hall about permits that may or may not exist especially if there were big renovations done to any of the critical systems or structure of the house.   If you are planning to do changes to grading or making any significant alterations after purchasing the home, maybe check with the city before you buy to see if what you are trying to is permissible.

Building inspection uncovered a list of problems…don’t panic.

    The job of the inspector is to find everything they can that is wrong with the property.  Usually there are lots of minor issues that are things you would probably overlook.  Even more major things are found that require a fix, find out from an expert an estimate and either negotiate a price reduction or have the seller fix it.  Your real estate agent will help you with any potential amendments to the agreement that needs to be put into place to protect your interests.  But remember this…there is no problem too big or small that money can fix.

By Todd Lee

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Tagged with: buying real estate mississauga real estate agent first time home buyers

Pinnacle Grand Park 2 – Available NOW!

October 14, 2012 - Updated: April 18, 2014Buying Real Estate

 

 

    I have great news for all you out there looking to buy into the Pinnacle Grand Park 2, one of Mississauga’s hottest new condo developments.  I attended the VIP Sales Event Yesterday and I’m able to afford any of my clients the opportunity not only buy into this fabulous condo development, but also the best suites that are available.  Understand that the first phase, Pinnacle Grand Park 1 is almost SOLD OUT with only a small selection of suites available.  Now is the best time to get ownership of this first class condo development, The Pinnacle Grand Park 2!

 
“The lowest pre-construction condo fee in the Square One area.”
Eric Skicki, Realtor.

 

    For those who do not yet know about Pinnacle Grand Park, I will give you a heads up.  This project is being developed by Pinnacle International which is considered to be a leader in Canadian luxury condominiums, hotels and commercial developments.  This is the second phase being constructed in PRIME Mississauga real estate.  The construction site is located near the cross section of Burnhamthorpe Road and Grand Park Drive (between Mavis Road and Confederation Parkway).  The pre-construction advertised condo fee is $0.43, per square foot!  This is considered to be the lowest pre-construction condo fee available today.

    Through me you will get access to the best and most desirable buys for one bedroom, 1 bedroom plus a den and 2 bedroom condo units.  Remember that quantities of the best suites can and will go fast, just like in the first phase.

Contact Todd Lee, Mississauga Real Estate Agent today at:

Email:  info@toddlee.ca

Cell:  416-993-8533

By Todd Lee

Tagged with: pinnacle grand park pinnacle grand park 2 pre construction condos condo mississauga todd lee real estate agent vip

Property Search - Were Making It Easier To Find Mississauga Real Estate

October 4, 2012 - Updated: April 18, 2014Buying Real Estate


   

    These days, people might say they start doing a property search by going to realtor.ca.  This was indeed advancement from finding real estate for sale in the Mississauga News Paper or other printed media.  There are some problems as pointed out by my clients with using the current property search engine of choice…it can be tricky to get the Mississauga real estate they are looking for.  Some other comments I’m hearing are:  “it’s confusing” and “frustrating to use”. If you haven’t used Realtor.ca, it allows the user to search by map, and by selecting criteria.  Unless the user knows very specific information about what they are looking for searches become very general and results may not be pertinent or not even informative enough.  Property search at www.toddlee.ca was designed to address the needs of real estate shoppers, organizing Mississauga real estate by groups, by using graphics in a unique way and providing Mississauga condos comparative data.

    The first three problems identified with property search by realtor.ca are: they ask you to write in the City Name or Neighborhood or MLS zone.  Firstly, entering the City name “Mississauga” will return this response “Your search returned too many results. Please refine your search and try again” simply because of the share volume of real estate on the market. Then, Realtor.ca will present another message saying this “More than one location was returned. Please select the location you were looking for” in attempt to narrow the criteria.  Realtor.ca will list off districts that probably won’t make any sense to most people.  The second problem is, the average person does not know many of the neighborhood names in Mississauga.  Therefore, that question in very limiting based on the persons knowledge.  Thirdly, almost no one knows what the MLS zones are.  All the property search effort thus far has been a waste of time going this first route.

Picture of MLS search

Picture of MLS results 

    The first way www.toddlee.ca has improved the property search experience is by eliminating wasted time for the person doing a property search.  This was achieved by committing considerable time and effort into grouping all residential real estate by classification: condo apartment or house and then sorting them by neighborhood. This is really significant and different than the alternative property search engines.  Houses are further grouped into sub categories, detached houses for sale, semi-detached houses for sale, townhouses for sale and condo townhouses for sale. The benefit to the person doing the property search is straight forward; there are absolutely no fields to fill out and no typing whatsoever.  All that needs to be done is selecting a choice either using a mouse or a finger in the case of a touch screen.  You will never see a response that you’ve returned too many results and to refine your search!

Picture of Condos For Sale and Houses For Sale

    Map based property search web pages are more useful to show a very general area of real estate.  However, they can have the same problems of returning the same error messages.  Then, once the map is zoomed in enough to show results it can be daunting to search through all the information that is presented. Maps are a great way to find neighborhoods as streets and monuments can be referenced to help the person doing a property search determine where they want to live.  Yet, people find these maps to be too cluttered where the useful information can be hidden amongst the less relevant information.   Finally, some people just don’t understand maps and can’t visualize where they might have seen a particular condo for example.  This leads to frustration as they randomly search for what they were looking for.

Picture of MLS non specific search results

    The second way www.toddlee.ca has made a property search online easier, was to replace the process of zooming in and out of maps and selecting criteria with a simple to understand graphical system.  Neighborhoods are clearly indicated on a master map which shows enough highway and road information to be useful.  Once, a neighborhood is identified as being where the person wants to live, they need only “click” or “tap” the corresponding Icon.  In the case of houses, a list of currently available inventory will appear priced from highest to lowest.  In the case of a condo property search, every condo will have its own icon.  When the particular Mississauga condo is selected a list of real estate inventory is listed also priced from highest to lowest.  The advantage in particular for condo shoppers is the ability to focus on a particular building without ever having to know the buildings address or name.

Picture of the neighborhood map

Picture of neighborhood Icons

Picture of house search results

The Icon, which is designed to be a visual representation of neighborhoods and condos, is key for people being able to use their visual memory in the selection process.  It’s common for customers to ask me to show them the “Marilyn Monroe Condos” (which is not the condos real name).  They know it’s opposite to Square One and that’s usually all they know about these condos geographically speaking.  If they were to look it up on realtor.ca, they might have a hard time finding it using the criteria method as they don’t know the address or maybe even the neighborhood (No, Square One is not a neighborhood).  If they used the map method, they would have to spend time zooming into the Square One area until listings started to show.  Then, they have to somehow find the Marilyn Monroe Condos from all the other condos that are next to them.

    If the Marilyn Monroe Condos were searched using www.toddlee.ca, all they would have to do is look at the map to see that Square One is in the City Centre neighborhood.  Then select the City Centre Icon, which happens to show several buildings including the Marilyn!  Then, all City Centre condos will be shown by their represented Icons.  The Marilyn Monroe Condos would be easily identifiable and selected literally with three clicks or taps…one for Mississauga condos for sale, one for City Centre condos and one for the Marilyn Monroe condos for sale.  What’s the saying? As easy as 1,2,3!

Picture of condo search

Picture of the City Centre Icon

Picture of City Centre Condo Icons

    The final reason that people are disappointed with doing a property search online is the lack of comparative data.  Especially in the Mississauga condo market as there are many units in the same building that are identical.  It can help the buyer to know not only the current asking prices, but to know how much previous condos sold for.  This data requires computation and at www.toddlee.ca we have done that for all Mississauga condo real estate.  Our condo comparison chart called the Matrix, you will find calculated are the average two bedroom condo sold price, two bedroom condo fee, two bedroom square footage and 2 bedroom condo fee cost per square foot. In addition to being able to compare condo data, there are also Mississauga condo reviews.

Picture of Marilyn Monroe Condos For Sale

Picture of Marilyn Monroe Condo Review

Picture of the Condo Matrix

    We understand here at www.toddlee.ca that there are many people wanting to buy real estate, and we strive to make doing a property search online easier. We are continually trying to stretch the boundaries to improve customer service and soon we hope to add pre-construction condos to the mix.  Also look out for some really cool videos soon.  Thank you once again for reading Todd’s Real Estate Blog, and we hope you visit again to keep up with real estate news, tips and commentary’s.

Todd Lee is a real estate agent serving the Mississauga and surrounding communities.  If you have any comments or questions please contact us at info@toddlee.ca.

By Todd Lee

Tagged with: property search real estate realtor.ca todd lee www.toddlee.ca mississauga real estate detached house property search semi detached house property search townhouse property search mls marilyn monroe condos city centre

The secret to getting the best deal from new construction builders

June 23, 2012 - Updated: January 23, 2013Buying Real Estate

    If you’ve purchased from a new home or condo builder before, perhaps your experience went a little bit like this.  Some need arose from a change in life.  Maybe you graduated school and wanted to live near work, or you wanted to build that nest for the family you were planning for.  You saw a new construction sales centre or the giant sign while you were driving and decided to drop in to see what the prices were like.  As you walk into the grand entrance you were greeted by a receptionist.  She asked you if you have ever been to the sales office before and you replied no.  You’re given a form to fill out your name and contact information.  At this point you’ve already passed the point of no return and you will not get the best deal.  That’s right, filling out that information card cost you thousands of dollars because you just became the builder’s client.

    That story is played out every day of the week.  People are not just losing money, they missing out on the best floor plans and certainly are not working with sales people who have the best interest in mind for you the buyer.  What you are about to read is not really earth quaking news.  But, it’s something so simple people just don’t think about it.  Before you decide to visit a new home or condo construction sales office or fill out a registrant’s form online, you should enlist the service of a Real Estate Representative.

    This is the first and most important point.  The pre-construction sales staffs are trying to meet quotas and their loyalties lie with the builder, their employer. The Real Estate Representative you hire will work for you and have your best interests in mind. If there is a better situation for you elsewhere your representative has no problems showing you alternatives.  Also, if you have any questions about the project or status of the build you will have the Representatives direct phone number to contact any time.  If you want to contact the pre-construction sales office you will have to call during the office hours of operation which can be limiting.  In the end Ontario Real Estate Representatives follow a code and answer to the governing body called RECO should there be any violations.  You the client are always the number one priority.

    The pre-construction salespersons are focused on selling only what that builder trains them for.  When you hire a Real Estate Representative you have the advantage of that person’s real estate education, expertise and experience.   Because Real Estate Sales Representatives use MLS system every day they know the real estate market and can show you similar properties for comparison purposes.  Using their understanding of pre-construction the representative will help you understand the purchase agreements and can ask pertinent questions such as assignments, construction financing and occupancy.  If you are going to sell the property before you take possession, your Representative can help you find a buyer as the builder limits the ways you might advertise. 

    Real Estate Representatives are invited to VIP sales events by the builder because of their reputation.  At these events your Representative will have access to the best floor plans, discounts and special deals that WILL NOT BE OFFERED later on when the builder releases to the general public.  This can save the buyer thousands of dollars and allow them the advantage of picking the best property before anyone else can.  During the general release, prices are not negotiable. However, your Representative knows the fees that can be waived and negotiate on your behalf.  The final way you save money is simple…for all the great things a Real Estate Representative gives to you the buyer, you don’t pay them a single cent!  That’s right.  The Representative gets compensated by the builder and not by you the buyer.

    In summary, never go to the sales office without representation or register online.  If you do this your Real Estate Representative cannot help you. Having the assistance of the Real Estate Professional gives you the advantage of having someone in your corner when dealing with the builder and also helping you find the right property while educating you about your options in the market.  Finally, your Representative can help you get the best deals through special promotions and knowing what to negotiate out of the purchase price.  Should you be actively looking to buy Pre-Construction homes or condos in Mississauga or Brampton please contact me at info@toddlee.ca, and I will be happy to assist you.

Written by Todd Lee

Posted on 23/06/2012

Tagged with: mississauga condo todd lee buy pre-construction mississauga brampton condo best deal buyers

Posh Style Vibe 2 Condo VIP Sale

June 15, 2012 - Updated: April 18, 2014Buying Real Estate

 

The PSV 2 VIP Sale is almost over.  Units available with the PSV 2 VIP sale are one bedroom, 2 bedrooms or 2 bedrooms with den. This deal won’t be offered to the general public after the VIP sale ends.  Sale includes $5000 cash back, FREE assignment ($5000 value), Stainless Steel Appliances, Free Window Coverings and Easy downpayment structure with only 15%..  Call me and I can arrange for you to take advantage of this great deal. 

My  Phone:  416-993-TLEE or 416-993-8533. 

For those who didn't know PSV was released a few months back and had outstanding success selling out a reported 75% in 3 months, making it one of the hottest condo projects going in Mississauga.  The Follow up PSV 2 has not been released yet, but insiders have a chance to participate in VIP Sales Events, getting the first shot at picking units and also getting exclusive deals.  This VIP Sales event is an opportunity to buy or invest in a condo property considered by many as the place to live in Mississauga!

"Amacon has unveiled its latest and most anticipated project: PSV at Parkside Village. PSV stands for POSH STYLE VIBE. This is a new kind of condo for a new era of Mississauga. We are making our mark. PSV is a reflection of a style, personality, and attitude to call our own. A fun, vibrant place for family and friends where you can step outside to eclectic cafes and restaurants, chic shops and boutiques, green spaces, parks and trails. PSV at Parkside Village redefines neighbourhood and will completely redefine the way you live."

- Source http://www.lifeatparkside.com/psv-%E2%80%93-posh-style-vibe/

By Todd Lee

Tagged with: mississauga condo todd lee square one condo psv 2 posh style living 2 vip sales event condos

The Only Place You Need To Look For Mississauga Condos

June 8, 2012 - Updated: April 18, 2014Buying Real Estate

    If you want to buy a condo in Mississauga for personal or investment purposes and need a comprehensive source of information, then look no further.  Currently I have catalogued and reviewed all condominiums in west Mississauga from the 401 to Lakeshore Rd, from Winston Churchill Blvd to Erin Mills Parkway.  All Square One condo reviews should be completed in two weeks with a few being posted daily.  The remaining condos in the east and south will be finished shortly afterwards.

Features of the Mississauga Condo website are:

  • Complete catalogue of every condo in Mississauga
  • Full reviews of every condo
  • Currently offered condo units for sale
  • High resolution pictures
  • Amenities map for every condo

Here is the direct link to the Mississauga Condo website.

By Todd Lee

Tagged with: todd lee mississauga condo condo website complete list of mississauga condos mississauga condo reviews square one condos condos

Are you a first time home buyer? Here is what you need to know.

May 18, 2012 - Updated: January 23, 2013Buying Real Estate

   

    I was once a first time home buyer and I can recall my experience to be a little overwhelming even with the help of an experienced real estate agent and mortgage specialist.  So if you feel the same way that’s perfectly normal and don’t worry, you will get through it.

    First you would want to find out what you can afford.  You need to contact your financial institution and find out how much they will lend to you as a mortgage.  Be careful not to let them pull your credit report as the more times they do, it can hurt your credit score.  I suggest acquiring your credit report yourself, it cost around 45 dollars and it does not affect your score.  Bring it with you to the meeting and they will have no reason to pull your report.  It is also important to discuss how interest rates will affect how much you will pay to the bank over time and what options you can get to pay down your mortgage faster.

    Now you have a number in mind as to how much you should be looking for. Should you buy new or pre owned?  There are good reasons to buy either way and I will summarize.  Buying new is really about being able to pick and choose how your property will look and feel like.  New home sellers usually offer a variation of styles and sizes to choose from usually in a subdivision or condo.  Then you can customize your property at a design centre usually at great cost.   New homes usually means newer and better technology and materials and more modern designs.  The potential draw backs are you don’t know your community. 

    As its new there is nowhere to drive or walk around to see your neighbours or schools etc…to get a feel of where you are living. Even after you have moved into your new home, there could still be construction going on for years, and the new home owner has to deal with dust, noise and the settleing of the new home.  There is a Tarion warrantee that helps protect the new homer for defects of the new home.  The home owner still has to take time off from work to be around for the home builder to come by and fix what is broken which may not be too convenient.  Renovations to the property usually have to wait for the home to settle or you may risk voiding warrantee.

    Resale homes offer the new home buyer many more advantages than new home sale.  Firstly the buyer can physically research the neighbourhood they are looking to buy into.  They can walk the parks; visit the schools, shopping malls and hospitals.  There is a saying in the business, location, location, location.  It’s a fact that all the most desirable places to live have already been developed.  Perhaps the new home owner prefers to live close to the city centre or to the lakeshore.  Or maybe they need to be close to the subway or GO station.  My point is buying resale can get you into a neighbourhood that is more convenient to live in and is probably a better investment for when the home owner would like to move on and want to sell.

    Outdated exteriors and interiors can be spruced up and even renovated to reflect the home owners styles and tastes…and usually cheaper than if they were to have bought a new home and customized it at the design center.  If the home owner does not like the layout, walls can be removed to create an open concept feel so long as structural elements are not ignored.  Older properties are usually larger so back yards can be used for greater entertaining or putting in a pool or deck.

    Buying resale has its draw backs too.  Dealing with renovators is not always easy. Monetary and time cost of retrofitting outdated roofs, windows, electrical, plumbing and HVAC can be expensive to make the property more efficient and able to handle new appliances etc…  But consider the purchase price of a resale home in Toronto can be easily $700,000 and the cost of retrofitting it might only be $30,000 which is only just a small fraction of the purchase price.  After the retrofit is done, think about the increase in the value of the home because of it and one can see it might not be as bad as it seems.

    Making a list of needs and prioritizing them is very important and often over looked by the first time home buyer.  I can’t stress enough how making a list can help in keeping the search for a property on track as shopping for a property can be daunting.  The first time property buyer also has many styles of homes(Detached, semi-detached, Town home, condo, bungalow and side split etc…) to choose from and from many different communities.

    I highly recommend enlisting my services because as a real estate agent it is my business to know things that the everyday person would not know about real estate.  Regardless if I’m chosen or not the agent’s job is to understand the buyer’s needs, show them appropriate listings, help the buyer to negotiate the purchase price, act as an advisor regarding any questions the buyer might have, be able to refer the buyer to lawyers and home inspectors and pretty much look after the buyers best interests.

    When viewing potential properties it is my advice to view only during the day where potential defects or problems might be more visible.  Take your time when browsing the property and follow a pattern for which to keep track of what may need to be fixed or what features might be of interest. I generally start looking at the ceiling, then move down ending at the floors.   You might do the reverse, but the point is having a system of inspection keeps things more organized and you’re less likely to miss things.

    Once the buyer has found that just right property they want to own, then preparing the offer to purchase comes next.  The realtor will provide options as to how much to offer based on their knowledge of comparable properties that have sold and which might be currently on the market.  Ultimately it’s the buyers choice as to how much to offer, but they should consider any counsel from their representative.  

    A clause is inserted to the offer of purchase that allows for an inspection to be conducted of the property before closing.  This clause may or may not be negotiated in or out but I always put it in the contract for the client’s best interest.   At the same time there might also be another clause allowing the buyer to first find suitable financing and if the buyer is not able to they can get out of the deal.  These offers can get quite complicated so I won’t get into every situation, but once again the buyer should rely on their representation for advice and clarification.  Be prepared for negotiations to go back and for several times before the acceptance of the offer to buy in accepted.  A deposit which is negotiable is required at acceptance and commonly its $5000 - $15000 where the higher the deposit is the more serious the offer.

    During the time after acceptance of the offer and the closing date, the buyer and seller has specified times to complete the clauses.  This also is a time for the buyer to meet with their lawyer who will check for any outstanding liens and verify ownership and other legal concerns are in order.  They do this at a fee for which the buyer will have to pay as part of what is known as the closing costs.  Other closing costs can be surveying cost, Title Insurance, Land Transfer Tax, Disbursements, Statement of Adjustments, Home Insurance, Mortgage application and appraisal fees and CMHC insurance premiums.

    All that’s left is to take possession at closing.  Make sure to do a final inspection of all appliances as this is the last time you will have any recourse at the vendor as the warrantee ends that day.  I hope this summary helps any of you first time home buyers and if you would like to discuss how I might be able to assist you please don’t hesitate to contact me at info@toddlee.ca or call 416-993-TLEE.

Tagged with: real estate advice new home buyers first time new resale todd lee real estate agent house condo

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