Posts tagged with: real estate

How Does Ontario’s Housing Reform Plan Affect Mississauga’s Real Estate Market?

July 4, 2017 - Updated: July 4, 2017Real Estate Market

 

Earlier this year the Ontario government made an announcement of their fair housing plan.  They were going to address sky rocking rental rates, curb foreign speculation in Ontario, and tackle the problem of “property scalpers”.  It’s been about couple months since the announcement, but how has Mississauga real estate been impacted?  Let’s look at each situation separately.

 

Affordable rent in Mississauga:  Year over year severing both landlords and tenants in Mississauga I can tell you from experience that the rates for rent are going up with little to no end in sight.  A two bedroom condo for example may only be $1,700 to $1,900 per month to rent just a couple years ago.  Today I can safely say the majority of new listings for rent are now over $2,000 per month for a 2 bed condo.

 

The new reform extends the rent controls on all buildings made before 1991 to all current properties and any built in the future.  This should limit massive price increases year over year for existing tenants.  However, if the existing tenant vacates the property, the landlord can still choose whatever price to ask for from the next tenant. In Mississauga condos rarely go un-rented even the trashiest of properties eventually get leased.  Simply put there is more demand than supply.  This leads to sometimes bidding wars for rent and while not common, some landlords turn away perfectly good tenants for better ones they hope will come along. 

 

Deterrents for foreign buyers and speculators. Made famous out west where foreign investors would treat the Vancouver real estate market like short term stocks, these reforms aim to stop any speculation here.  I’m not going to say it doesn’t happen at all, but I have yet to see it for myself.  The government will add a 15% tax on foreign buyers in the attempt to discourage them.  I am sceptical that the problem in Mississauga is the same as Vancouver, but there is no denying there is huge amount of Chinese money in certain areas of Ontario.

 

There are reports from out west that after the foreign buyer tax was installed sales dropped.  Then recently spiked again indicating maybe foreign buyers were just waiting to see what would happen then jumped right back into the market.  As most of my buyers are not foreign investors I haven’t seen this impact first hand.

 

In addition to the “speculation tax” the Provincial government will team with the Canada Revenue Agency to make sure tax is paid properly from the buying and selling of real estate.  This is huge as many local investors have been getting away without paying taxes on investment real estate mainly due to the lack of resources the CRA has.  Having recognized the obvious potential for revenue the Government has targeted real estate investors with audits to collect on taxes never paid.

 

To date there seems to be a slowdown in the Mississauga real estate market, where once there was bidding wars everywhere…now it does seem like negotiations have normailized. Detached homes are selling, but other homes are sitting on the market for over a month and seem to be on the market a very long time when compared to the first three months of the year.  These homes probably are not the target of foreign investors so I can only speculate there is a psychological block amongst Mississauga buyers at least for these more affordable homes.

 

The early result of the fair housing plan is that the Mississauga real estate market has felt its impact.  In terms of the stated goal of cutting back scalpers and controlling rent I don’t think the plan has fully hit its mark in the case of the latter.  As for the former I would say it’s probably over stepped the intended objective and put plenty of would be sellers in jeopardy of not selling in time for their goals or worse, not meeting their commitments if they purchased a bigger house first.  If there is some conclusion I can find it is this…Buyers, this is a great time to buy a house and Governments need to stay away from messing with the natural course of real estate markets for political points.

Tagged with: condos houses buying selling mississauga real estate market rent todd lee

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

Semi Detached Homes, Townhomes and Condominiums – Real Estate 101

September 27, 2012 - Updated: April 18, 2014Real Estate

    In this second installment in the series of Real Estate 101 blogs I will examine the residential structures that share multiple single family dwellings.  To keep in line with the previous blog I will be answering the questions regarding: What are the different types of residential property?  What are the advantages or disadvantages? What is a Condominium?  What is the difference between a Row house and a Town house?

    If you missed the First blog, I discussed questions around detached homes and you can read it here

    Opposed to detached homes which are considered a single family dwelling that is on one plot of land, there are other types of residential property that can have multiple dwellings on one plot of land.  While there are technically many varieties available I will choose to focus my efforts on the 3 most common we would find in Mississauga:  Semi Detached Homes, Town Homes and Town Home Condominiums.

    The Semi Detached home is defined as two attached dwellings that are divided by a common vertical common wall above grade.  The semi-detached house has many advantages including separate floors for sleeping on the top floor, living on the main floor and storage in the basement.  The economic advantage to semi-detached homes lies in the fact the two dwellings share a common structural wall, meaning the builder can fit two homes on a smaller plot realizing a savings in the cost of land.  This savings is passed down to the buyer who may desire the advantages of a detached home but cannot afford one. 

    Disadvantages to the Semi detached house include lots of stairs between levels; less privacy as sounds can pass through the common wall if not properly insulated; higher risk of damage if the adjoining unit catches fire or suffers from some other disaster and less potential to modify the building because of the shared structure.

    Townhomes or Town Homes or Row Houses are all the same thing.  Defined; they are more than two attached dwellings (typically three or four) that are separated by a vertical party wall above grade.  In Mississauga you will find Townhomes having three or four floors.  Sometimes they will have a basement with two or more floors above grade, while others may have the main entrance on the second floor and a garage entrance on the first level with a walkout to the backyard.  As land became more scares in Mississauga we see more development of this style of residential structures as the use of land is more efficient.  Just like the semi detached home, the advantage of putting more living units on piece of land results in a cost savings to the builder, which in turn is realized as more affordable housing for the buyer. The most desirable units in a town house are always the end units as they resemble semi detached homes.

    Disadvantages to the Town house include:  Typically smaller sized units 900 to 1600 square feet (though some go higher than 2000 Square feet), lots of stairs between levels and lots of levels; less privacy as sounds can pass through the common wall if not properly insulated and in the case of the middle units from both sides; higher risk of damage if the adjoining units catches fire or suffers from some other disaster and less potential to modify the building because of the shared structure.  As builders can fit more units in a space vs. if they had developed only detached home, you can expect higher concentration of people, traffic, noise etc.

    There are several types of condominiums available, but for the purposes of this blog, I have chosen to focus on the most typical forms people are aware of; Condominium Townhomes and Condominium Apartments.  Before I get into the definition of a condominium I would like to address the advantages/disadvantages of apartment buildings.

    They can be built as low rise, mid rise or high rise.  This means the builder can have even more efficiency of the plot of land by having much more units to sell.  As most apartments are only one level, like the bungalow, this makes the flow through the unit very easy.  As this is the most efficient use of space, typically this structure is the most affordable for first time buyers or people without the income for a townhouse. The drawbacks to apartments are; lack of privacy as units can leak noise from neighbors above their unit, or to either side or from below.  There are usually rules for use of the common elements and even for modifying plumbing, electrical wiring and window and floor surfaces.  By laws can effect even what pets can be in the building.

    Physically the condominium townhome or condominium apartment is no different to a regular townhome or apartment buiilding.  The key to understanding condominiums is to know that it’s a legal entity (Corporation) that has a Declaration (Constitution) which contains required and optional information set out by the Condominium Act.  It also has a Description that contains plans, surveys and specifications describing the property.  The Condominium defines what a unit of the condominium is and what the common elements are via the Description.  Units can be owned exclusively, while the common elements are owned by all the unit owners as tenants in common.  Unit holders have to pay a maintenance fee or condo fee which goes to pay for the expenses of the condominium.  Click here for more about condo fees.

    Condominiums are governed by a board of directors.  They are elected by the unit holders with the exception of the first board who are appointed by the Declarant, who is usually the individual who created the Condominium.  The board has power to make, amend and repeal by-laws, which establish the condominiums internal operation and rules, which promote safety, security, welfare of the owners and the condominium property and assets and the common elements.

    An excellent example of how a condominium is better than a free hold situation can be seen in maintenance.  The average person in Canada does not put aside money for a “rainy day” should their roof leak or if the basement gets flooded.  The Condominium is required by law to calculate predicted maintenance expenses and have a reserve fund should the condominium need repairs which would be tapped into.  Furthermore, condominiums usually take care of all the landscaping, snow removal and salting of walkways, painting and maintenance of the common elements (gym rooms, pools, party rooms etc.) and cleaning of the exterior windows.  In a freehold situation, the home owner has to take care of all of those things and still may not have all the amenities to enjoy that can be found at a condominium town home or apartment.

    I hope you found this blog educational and useful.  Thank you for reading it and for more information please contact me at info@toddlee.ca. Should you need professional real estate representation I sincerely welcome your business.

By Todd Lee

Tagged with: blog real estate mississauga todd lee semi semi detached town home townhome town house townhouse condo condominium apartment definition of questions house home

Detached Homes – Real Estate 101

September 25, 2012 - Updated: April 18, 2014Real Estate

    I am frequently asked questions by clients about the differences, advantages and disadvantages of the different classes of real estate people live in.  I often give really simple answers like a town home is the same thing as a row home or a detached home is the most desirable style of home because there is no sharing of a common wall. In truth there is a little bit more I should say and I think this is a better forum to educate.  This first part of Real Estate 101 I will delve into the topic of Detached Homes and answer the questions...What is a Detached Home?  What are the different types of Detached Homes?  What are the strengths and weakness of Detached Homes?

    A Detached Home is defined as being a single family dwelling on a plot of land. In Ontario we are accustomed to seeing this type of residential structure everywhere and in many different styles.
 
    The Bungalow is characterized as having all the main living quarters on one floor ex. bedroom(s), kitchen, family room, dining room etc.  Historically this style was popular in the 1900’s to the 1940’s.  These days the popularity of the bungalow stems from not having any stairs in the main living area, thus making it a dwelling sought after by empty nesters. These homes were typically small and did not have a garage.  Typically in Canada, these types of homes would have a basement because of the frost line, but overall this was not a good design as the building foot print required lots of land. 
 
    Ranch Style Bungalows were big during the 1970’s to 1980’s adding to the attributes of the basic bungalow.  These included an extended size to about 2000 feet and a double garage that was attached to the main structure. Like the basic Bungalow, these homes were not efficient with the use of land.
 
    Another variation of the Bungalow is the Bi-Level Style or Split Entrance.  In this formation, the main entrance is located below the main level where all the living quarters were and above the basement.  This created more useable space in the basement for larger windows, which in turn gaves more ventilation and sunlight.  The efficiency of the use of land was increased by using this style versus the Ranch and basic Bungalows.
 
    The One and One Half Storey Home differs from the Bungalow as it has about 60% of the living space on the main floor. Because the roof slope was steep the “half” was space created in the roof often used for living space ala a bedroom. This was a more economical use of land and became popular in the 1950’s.  The Cape Cod Style is the One and One Half Storey home with dormers which added more ventilation and sunlight to the upper living space.  The drawback to the One and One Half Storey home was the ceiling angles limited the living space caused by the slope of the roof. 
 
Detached Home Sample    The Two Storey is the most popular style of detached home since the 1980’s.  Advantages of this style is, a combination of large living space, upper levels don’t have angled ceilings and there is a distinct level for sleeping in the upper level, living on the main level and storage in the basement.  While this choice offers many advantages, its drawback is many stairs to traverse between levels.
 
    First built in the 1960’s the Split Level Home is a style that attempts to combine the strengths of the Bungalow, Split Entrance Bungalow and the Two Storey home.  The idea is to provide easy moving from one floor to another by having shorter stairways in between levels.  The main entrance would be below the living area and above the basement just like the Split Entrance Bungalow.  The living area will move up a half a flight of stairs from the main entrance.  The top level would be another half flight of stairs above the living area.    Split Level homes could be constructed as either a Back Split or a Side Split.  Because of the many small stairways inherent to this design, detractors will point out that feature does not help flow, but instead hinders it.
 
    As a final commentary of Detached homes, I specifically would like to turn the focus to the area I work the most, Mississauga.  Typically if you are shopping for detached homes of the bungalow, split level or one and one half storey styles you would need to search the older areas of Mississauga. Generally in the east close to Etobicoke such as Applewood, Lakeview, in the South Central like Mississauga Valleys, Cooksville, Mineola, Port Credit and in the west like Lorne Park, Clarkson, Erin Mills and Sheridan and to the north like Streetsville.
 
    Two storey homes will be found everywhere in Mississauga, but are generally newer built in central Mississauga like Fairview and Erindale and west and north such as Central Erin Mills, Hurontario, East Credit, Meadowvale Village, Churchill Meadows, Meadowvale and Lisgar. For current listings of detached homes in Mississauga please go to my Detached Homes For Sale webpage.
 
    Thank you once again for reading my blog.  I hope you found it to be informative and generally helpful.  If you have any questions regarding real estate in Mississauga please contact me at info@toddlee.ca
 
By Todd Lee
Tagged with: detached homes mississauga bungalow split one and one half two storey house houses definition todd lee advantages disadvantages questions real estate

Condo Fees

July 31, 2012 - Updated: April 18, 2014Condos

 

    While working with clients to find real estate I am often asked questions about condominium fees.  There seem to be a little bit of pessimism probably due to a lack of knowledge about condos.

Let me address the first question, what are condo fees?

    A condominium owner owns an equal share of the common elements ie. The building facade, windows, landscaping, amenities etc… The unit owner also has an equal responsibility to pay for the “maintenance” of these elements.  The condo fee is simply the dollar amount that has been calculated by the condo management and billed to the unit owner every month.

How much are condo fees?

    In Mississauga where I predominantly sell real estate, the condo fees are all over the place.  There is a good reason for this too. It depends on many factors including how well maintained the building is; the size of the unit; the floor the unit is on etc.   In general, I try to see the value that comes with the condo fee in comparison to like condos.  For instance, if condo “A” is 3 bedrooms on the 22nd floor, has an area of 1600 sq. ft., has 24 hr. security, hydro, heat and water are also all included vs. condo “B” is 3 bedrooms on the 1st floor, has an area of 1100 sq. ft., has no security and no utilities are covered by the condo fee.  Then I would expect unit “A” to have a much higher condo fee vs. unit “B”.  If this is not the case then unit “B” would be considered to have an expensive condo fee in comparison.  To generally answer the original question I would estimate for a 1 bedroom unit the condo fee would be between $400-$500 on average, 2 bedrooms unit would be around $500-$600 on average and 3 bedroom unit will be in the neighbourhood of $600-$700 on average as of summer 2012.

What utilities do the condo fees cover?

    In the past many condos had all inclusive condo fees where the unit holder did not have to worry about paying anything extra.  In the past 5 years the government has given the condos incentives to go with metered hydro billing in a quest to reduce the demand for hydro.  As a result many condo fees will only cover heat and water these days.  Hydro is usually billed separately.  This may not be such a bad thing however.  The unit holder can now control their hydro costs directly often leading to a savings.  For others who still use hydro unwisely, have probably seen their cost go up.

Why would I buy a condo when the fees to live there are so expensive?

    This question is ultimately one of personal life style choice.  Consider how much it would cost to own a freehold home but adding all of these amenities:  Having a 30000 sq ft recreation centre with state of the art equipment, personal trainers, yoga classes, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, party room with kitchen, movie theatre, bowling alley, putting greens, virtual golf, lounge, barbecue area with plasma TV’s, courts for basketball, tennis, squash and landscaped terraces.  All of these amenities have a maintenance cost that is covered by the condo fee.  In addition the fee also covers cost to maintain the building, pay for security guards, removal of snow, landscaping, having an onsite superintendent, some funds are put a side for major repairs or renovations, insurance, paying for the management company to oversee the general operations and even the heat, water and hydro used by everyone in the common areas.

    If you prefer not to have all of those benefits in favor of doing it yourself that’s perfectly fine.  You will probably save lots of money.  For those who see the value in not having to cut and water the grass and living in a state of the art building with a modern recreational facility will save time from going to the local fitness club.  The management company looks after the up keep of the building and puts away money for a rainy day, whereas most individuals are not that prudent.

    Where some people see expense I can see value.  As always the choice is yours.  When shopping for a property it is very important to work with a knowledgeable real estate professional who knows the area.  Every ones situation is different and my stated points of view are for general knowledge.   

See a comparison of all fee's for Mississauga condos.

Thank you for reading my blog and as always please contact me at info@toddlee.ca if you have any questions. 

By Todd Lee

Tagged with: condo fees real estate todd lee mississauga 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

Introducing www.toddlee.ca

May 2, 2012 - Updated: April 18, 2014Real Estate

    Welcome!  Thank you for visiting www.toddlee.ca and reading my first blog.  For the first time around I wanted to introduce my revamped webpage which I’m really proud of.  The concept is to have the premium webpage for buyers and sellers in the GTA to find listings, read articles on the current real estate market and trends and provided useful tools to help them with their real estate needs.

    My Blog will be used to make announcements, educate about the real estate market in the GTA, provide commentaries and even interact with followers.   I will try to keep this frequent and with useful information for both the first time buyer and for the seasoned house hunter!

    Users of my MLS search can easily find a property they are looking for.  Once a desired property is found the user may look up details of the property, see what restaurants, schools, and transit are close by and also see its walkscore which tells them how close it is to walk to various places of interest.  Buyers can contact me directly from the listing they are viewing and I will be notified within seconds.

    In the near future sellers will be able to market their property like never before with my ToddLeeTV.  This service I provide to my clients is at the cutting edge of real estate marketing.  My sellers will be able to feature their listings to buyers potentially around the world in a TV commercial format.   Stay tuned!

    The neighbourhood section is where buyers can research useful information of where they want to live.  Included you will find a summary describing the city or town and I will feature  pictures that I’ve photo graphed, write ups about local restaurants, festivals, parks, public transit, schools etc.   I have started with Brampton and Mississauga, but will expand soon to Milton and Oakville and to the rest of the GTA in time.

    If you have questions about how much your mortgage will cost you per month or what are closing costs or land transfer tax.  I have already included many links and calculators to help you with these answers and more.

    And finally www.toddtee.ca  is a place to learn a little bit about me and the services that I provide to my buying and selling clients.

By Todd Lee

Tagged with: toddleetv selling buying mls milton oakville toronto mississauga brampton todd lee real estate

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