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Kitchen Renovations

Monday Sep 13th, 2021

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You may have heard that kitchens and bathrooms get the most return on your investment. Is this true? Kitchen renovations, if done properly, can add to the value of the home. Kitchens are where a lot of people spend time in the home and they are one of the most expensive areas of the home in terms of construction cost. Here are some things to consider if doing a kitchen renovation. If you don’t plan on selling your home soon your, kitchen renovation really may not add much value at... [read more]

Closing Costs

Monday Sep 13th, 2021

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When purchasing a home there are costs associated with buying that are above and beyond a down payment.  These can include: Lawyer’s Fee: Approximately $1,500 to $3,000.  There is usually HST added to the fee quoted by lawyers for the service. HST on Mortgage Default Insurance: The cost of the mortgage default insurance will be tied into the mortgage payments.  Appraisal: Approximately $400.  Maybe substantially more for custom or rural homes.  Title... [read more]

Market Update for Toronto and the GTA for August 2021

Thursday Sep 9th, 2021

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It is already that time again for me to connect with you for a quick Residential Market Update.  With the end of summer already fast approaching and the fall season upon us, the demand for real estate in this amazing city continues at a pace that could set records by year's end.  Sales of all home types for the year are up 52% and prices up almost 18%.  The main driving force behind these numbers is the limited number of homes available for sale.  The number of... [read more]

Sources of Mortgage Down Payment

Tuesday Sep 7th, 2021

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The down payment is the amount you pay out of pocket to obtain a mortgage. As of today,  the minimum down payment required in Canada for an owner-occupied property is 5% for purchases under $500,000 and 10% for the portion of a purchase above $500,000.  Usually, the minimum down payment for a rental property is 20%. Banks no longer offer 0% down mortgages or 100% financing.  In an effort to curb mortgage fraud and prevent a meltdown that occurred with subprime mortgages... [read more]

Making an Offer - What elements to consider?

Thursday Aug 26th, 2021

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An offer is a written agreement of purchase and sale with the specifics of what you are offering the seller to purchase their home. Your sales representative will explain the finer details of the offer but the most important elements are: Purchase Price Deposit Amount Closing Date Irrevocable Time Chattels Conditions  The Purchase Price is the amount you are offering to pay for the home.  Your sales representative should provide you with historical data and comparable... [read more]

Home Inspector - What do they do?

Thursday Aug 26th, 2021

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A home inspector is usually licensed or highly experienced at inspecting homes for defects in major systems in the home such the electrical, roofing, plumbing, heating and air conditioning, foundation and sometimes septic system if applicable. Home inspectors cannot see what is behind the walls. (Of course, they are not mutants) They can make a visual assessment of the house to give ideas and timeframes for upcoming repairs that may be necessary, check major items like the structure, roof,... [read more]

Can't afford a home, get richer parents (Options to Afford a Home)

Thursday Aug 26th, 2021

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Are home prices getting ridiculous? Are you afraid you will never be able to own a home? Maybe it is time to find richer parents?  Just kidding.,.   One of the biggest hurdles to homeownership is affording the down payment required.  On average you can expect to need 10% at a minimum of the purchase price of a home. On a $700,000 property that is $70,000. In addition to closing costs which could be another 2-3% so another $14,000-$21,000, that is a lot of... [read more]

Why do you need a Lawyer in buying a Home?

Thursday Aug 5th, 2021

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In Ontario, all closings must be done by a lawyer. I highly recommend a real estate lawyer for handling your purchase. I have seen too many transactions go awry when clients used lawyers not familiar with real estate transactions such as immigration lawyers or family lawyers.  It would be like going to an ear nose and throat doctor for open heart surgery. The lawyer is responsible for so many behind the scenes pieces of making sure your purchase goes smoothly that saving a few hundred... [read more]

Shopping for a Mortgage

Wednesday Aug 4th, 2021

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Before you start looking for a home, the first step is to find out how much of a mortgage you qualify for and also to get a handle on your finances, down payment source and amount available for deposit.  I will not  show anyone a home until I know that they are well on their way to getting approved financing and with my clients’ permission, have spoken to their mortgage agent. You can find many online calculators that ask you to input your salary, debts and liabilities,... [read more]

Why is the Market So Crazy?

Monday Jul 26th, 2021

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We say the market is crazy when homes are selling for way over asking price and there are multiple bidders or buyers on homes otherwise referred to as a bidding war.  The housing prices have skyrocketed.  In order not to date this video, listing the average home sale price does not make sense because it is changing monthly. Check out my monthly market update for an idea of current prices. You can also email me to receive in-depth monthly market reports at... [read more]

Foreclosed Properties and Power of Sale

Monday Jul 19th, 2021

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It never fails. When I start working with buyer clients, they always ask me about purchasing a foreclosed property or a power of sale property.  The reason they ask me this is because they believe they are going to get a really good deal and pay less for a home.  If you watch a lot of HGTV or TLC home buying shows, people buying homes south of the border may find it a great way to get a good deal but here in Ontario it may not necessarily be the case.   Disclaimer I'm... [read more]

Why it isn’t a bad time to buy a home?

Wednesday Jul 14th, 2021

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If you are thinking about buying a home but may be a little scared about the market because of the news headlines, this video is for you. I just want to put the market in perspective.  Let’s assume for these scenarios, that you have a 5 year mortgage with 25 year amortization. If you bought a home 2 years ago and paid $800,000, put $100,000 down, your interest rate would have been 3.9% and your monthly payment would be $3,600.  $3600 a month in the first year x 12... [read more]

New Mortgage Rules - June 2021

Tuesday Jul 13th, 2021

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As of June 1st, the Bank of Canada changed the stress test rules. With this change, now both insured and uninsured mortgage borrowers will be subject to a stricter stress test when qualifying for their mortgage. Even if your down payment is 20% or more, the qualifying rate is now the contracted rate plus two percentage points or 5.25%, whichever is higher. This means that any with an uninsured mortgage must show they can afford the mortgage payments if the interest rate was two percentage... [read more]

Home Tip # 1 - Change Furnace Filters

Wednesday Oct 30th, 2019

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How to keep your furnace really happy The best way to do that is to replace your furnace filter on a quarterly basis. The reason we do that is to make sure your furnace or AC (HVAC) system works more efficiently with cleaner air. This is also really important for allergy and asthma suffers as well because the air is lest dusty. It also prevents dust from building up on furniture as fast.  You can buy a multipack of filters from your local hardware store.  Your HVAC system will run... [read more]

Some Advantages to Buying Pre-Construction Home

Wednesday Sep 12th, 2018

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Some of the Advantages to buying pre-construction homes are:   Time to come up with a downpayment.  You may have 1-3 years to come up with the funds for the downpayment because they will ask for it in installment payments.  This may be helpful if you haven’t saved enough for the downpayment. You can buy something at today’s prices that hopefully will appreciate by the time it is built.  This means you are actually making money while the home/condo by... [read more]

HOT SPOT : Chip + Malt in Newmarket

Monday Sep 10th, 2018

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Chip + Malt

BEST FISH AND CHIPS by FAR!!! Chip and Malt makes the 30 min drive north of Toronto worth it. So much better than the usual Don Mills Favourites! Shocking, I know!!! Local Fresh Ingredients.  Crispy non- greasy Fish and Chips. Homemade Ice Cream and the best Sticky Toffee on the planet. LOCATION: 201 Main St, Newmarket, Ontario Tues - Thurs  11:30am–8pm, Fri - Sat  11:30am–9pm, Sun - Mon  Gone Fishing… Their Website CLICK... [read more]

Looking at Homes - Use Google Maps!

Friday Aug 31st, 2018

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If you're looking online for homes one of the best tools you can use is Google Maps. With Google Maps, you can look at the address and if you haven’t been to see the home in person, you can do an aerial view, a satellite view and neighborhood view and see things around it that you may not be aware of and save time in your carbon footprint.  With Google Maps, you won’t have to drive out to see your prospective home and notice that there's a huge transmission line in... [read more]

Power of Sale or Foreclosed Property - Good Value?

Friday Aug 31st, 2018

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It never fails. When I start working with buyer clients, they always ask me about purchasing a foreclosed property or a power of sale property.  The reason they ask me this is because they believe they are going to get a really good deal and pay less for a home.  If you watch a lot of HGTV or TLC shows, buying shows people buying homes in the United States, it may be a great way to get a good deal but here in Ontario may not necessarily be the case.  Disclaimer I'm not a... [read more]

Moving, Decluttering. Sell Your Stuff to the Swap Shop!

Friday Aug 31st, 2018

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If you are looking to get rid of some junk, I have a great new tip for you. The Swap Shop in Toronto is a great little find at the corner of Victoria Park and Lawrence.  They will take your used electronics, instruments, small appliances bicycles and they will actually PAY you for it. This is a great way to de-clutter in the summer or as you are getting ready for a move.  The link to their telephone number is below give them a call,  see if they will accept your stuff. If you are... [read more]

Leased land : Good Steal or Bad Deal

Sunday Jun 17th, 2018

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I recently had some first-time home buyers looking for affordable homes in the Greater Toronto Area.  While they were on Realtor.CA, they started looking  on the outskirts of Toronto and found some great deals in Simcoe County.  They found homes that were priced $100,000 to $300,000 for a detached home which seemed like a great deal until we realized the homes were on leased land. What is leased land? It means that you don't own the land on which the home is situated. The... [read more]

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