Are you Ready to Invest in Real Estate?


When it comes to property investment, timing is everything. Ultimately, choosing the right time to enter the market will have a significant impact on the long-term success of your investment.

This is a great list of five things you will need to be truly ready to make the plunge.

  1. You are financially ready. You have saved enough for the downpayment and you have also established your emergency fund. Your credit history is good and you are able to meet all the financial obligations.
  2. You Understand the carrying cost of owning a home. You have a clear picture in your mind of the the monthly costs associated with owning this home including dollars for ongoing maintenance and it fits within your budget.
  3. You have done your research. You know the neighbourhood of your future property or have consulted a good real estate agent that knows that area that you are thinking of investing in.
  4. You have chosen a good agent to help you with your search. Buying in the Toronto market is not easy.  A good real estate agent will guide you to properties that represent good value in current market conditions and help you get hte property at market prices.
  5. You have a time horizon of at least 5 years. No one can predict where the market is heading.  You want to make sure that you are not going to need the money that you are investing in this home in the short term.  Like all investments, you want to be in a position where you can sell market when your investment has appreciated not being forced because you need the cash.

If you can check “yes” to this list – go wild and have fun with your investment opportunity.




10 tips for first-time homebuyers

first time home buyersThe real estate market can be tough to navigate for first-time homebuyers.
Here are 10 tips for first-time homebuyers:
1. Determine what you can afford. The first step is to meet with a lender, review your finances and find out how much you can afford to spend on a home and how much you have for your down payment. Experts warn also not to shop for the most expensive home you qualify for, unless you truly can live with the payment that comes with it.

2. Make a list of your criteria and priorities for your first home. Purchasing your home will require compromise and its important that you have thought through what you are prepared to give up to get into the market.

3. Shop for a mortgage. Don’t use whatever lender your agent recommends without doing some independent shopping. Another classic mistake: calling 10 lenders and asking for their interest rates. A lender can’t be held to those quotes. It’s better to look up mortgage rates online, then call three or four lenders and mortgage brokers and ask them for a written list showing their fees.
4. Get pre-approved. Getting a lender to pre-approve a loan before you shop can make your offers more attractive, while avoiding deals falling apart because loans don’t get approved during escrow.
Get all the documentation you’ll need for the loan process –  tax returns, pay stubs, bank account statements. Find out from your lender exactly what you’ll need.
5. Pick an agent who’s right for you. Get referrals for agents from friends and family, then talk to each one. Look for someone with whom you can communicate. Actually interview them as if they were job applicants since, after all, they do work for you.

6. Find a home you can afford. Make a wish list of where you want to live and what you want to have in your home. But don’t fall so in love with a particular home that you don’t see its flaws. Move on if the asking price is unrealistic or the seller is unreasonable. Or if the bidding rises beyond your budget.

7. Scope out the neighbourhood. Your agent likely can provide local school ratings and area demographics. You can get crime reports from local police departments or their websites. Then walk and drive the neighbourhood, returning at different times of the day and different days of the week. Visit local supermarkets to see who goes there.
And talk to the neighbours. That’s the only way to learn about the neighbour from hell, the incessantly barking dog or whether trains blow their whistles nearby.

8. Make a realistic offer. First-time buyers should find out what comparable homes sold for, learn the true value of the property and make a realistic offer. A good agent will be diplomatic, but honest if your offer is too low. If the home is priced right, bid the asking price or a little over. You might, however, run into trouble getting a loan if your offer is higher than the lender’s appraised value of the home. Lenders won’t approve the loan if the appraisal is less than the loan amount.

9. Find a good home inspector. Talk to two or three inspectors rather than blindly accepting one your agent recommends. Get referrals from family and trusted friends to make sure you find someone working for your best interest and who isn’t trying to help his or her friend, the agent, close the deal. Be aware of deadlines during escrow. And respond in a timely manner to the home and termite inspections, seller disclosures and the preliminary title report so you don’t miss your chance to opt out if a problem arises.
10.  Be patient.  Finding a home in the Toronto market is not easy, it takes work, perseverance and patience.  If you stick to the plan, I am confident that you will find that home.  And of course, if you need help with the process, I would be happy to help.

Thinking of Buying a Condo?

How to be prepared when buying a condo

Condo Living -Being well informed can make it a great experience

Condo Living -Being well informed can make it a great experience

If you are thinking of buying a condo this is a great read – published by the Ontario Gov’t and answers many questions that may be on your mind when assessing condo life. Understand what’s involved in buying a condo, and your rights and responsibilities as a condo owner.  A few of questions you want to answer before you buy

  1. Do I know what the condo fees are, and how are they determined?
  2. What are my repair and maintenance responsibilities, & what do the condo fees cover?
  3. What does the corporation insurance cover and do I need extra insurance?
  4. How much is in the reserve fund and is it sufficient?
  5. Who is living in the building? Owners or renters – what is the mix?

Find answers to these questions and more in this guide.

Helpful Guide to Buying a Condo

What are the signs of a up and coming neighbourhood?

up and coming neighbourhood
We all know have expensive the Toronto Real Estate market is to enter.  Many first time buyers are looking for an area that may be still under valued, a diamond in the rough, but changing quickly.  Here area a few tips to find that area:

  1.  New Large Businesses Moving in.  Most larger businesses do a fair amount of economic research and projections on the neighbourhood before moving in. Watching big industry and business moves can be a great way to spot emerging areas with strong fundamentals way before you might otherwise be able to see them yourself.
  2.  Convenient location in a land-impacted metro. In an area close to downtown Toronto like Mimico, demand for homes will continue to grow as population grows and as buyers are looking for close proximity to the city, for that easier commute. Supply of homes has not kept pace with the demand which has lead to a continual increase in prices.
  3.  Downsides have an expiration date. If there’s one major issue that has caused an area to be less desirable for decades, and that issue is being eliminated or ameliorated, it could set the neighborhood up for a turnaround. For example, an undesirable plant is located in the area but planned to be shut down.
  4. At least one major economic development is brewing. Never underestimate the power of a major economic development to overhaul a neighborhood’s fate. From Google and Microsoft building cloud storage data centers in Barrie, one large-scale employer or infrastructure development can be a very early, very strong sign that an area will see it’s real estate fortunes rise.
  5. Fixing is in the air. When you see that an area long known for its rundown homes has a number of homes being renovated and rehabbed from the inside out, this can be a sign of fledgling neighborhood turnaround. If you spot these sorts of projects visually, it might be worth taking a trip down to the City Building Permit counter to see whether the staff has seen the same uptick in individual owners’ investment in the area, and if so, what they think the story of the neighborhood might be – or might become. City staffers often have a wealth of information at the ready, everything from pending commercial development applications that could change the whole landscape of an area to projects the city itself has funded or will prioritize due to its own development initiatives.

If you are looking to find, relocate to one of these areas, please let me help. You can connect with me Here

Priceless Advice for Home Buyers

Happy Home Buyers
Finding the perfect home doesn’t happen in one day. It takes careful planning and lots of work. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to simplify the process.  This is really priceless advice for anyone looking to buy.

 Best Advice for Home Buyers

What Features Do You Need?

Do you need an extra bathroom, a garage, a fenced backyard, or lower utility bills? Do you want a fireplace, a short drive to work, or maybe minimal yard work? Once your list is complete, decide what’s most important to you.

What’s the Ideal Location?

Where you live obviously affects your lifestyle; it’s also one of the most significant influences on the value of your home. Your choice of location may be somewhat limited by the price you can afford. Even so, make sure to consider such things as distance to work, schools, shopping and entertainment.

What Kind of Home?

What type of property do you want? A single-family detached home is attractive to many people because it typically provides more living space and land. On the other hand, a condominium may be a more appropriate choice for you, with an emphasis on maintenance-free living. Determine what type of home best suits your desired lifestyle and budget.

What’s Your Budget based on money down and approved mortgage  ?

How much do you want to spend? Just as importantly, how much do you have to spend? How much is dependent on how much you have for a down payment, and how much you have been approved for with a mortgage.  The combination of the two is your maximum spend.  It is the maximum because only you can decide how much you want to spend.

2. Choosing a REALTOR®

A REALTOR® can help you answer all of these questions and help you navigate through what can be a complicated business transaction. Start by finding REALTORS® that are focused in your buying area. Then, talk to some of them and compare their services. It’s important that you’re comfortable and confident with the agent you choose.

3. Searching For a Home

A REALTOR® will use various tools to try and find properties that meet your specifications in your prefered neighbourhood and price point.  Avoid looking at homes that are outside of your budget.  There is no point falling in love with a home that you just cannot afford.

Buyer criteria for your home search

In a city as big as GTA, how do you possibly narrow in on a location for your first home that is right for you? In this video Amy takes a look at some criteria that may help you with your home search.