Toronto Home Buying Info:
October 24th, 2010
It is easy to see why many Canadians, as well as people from other parts of the world, are interested in purchasing Toronto Homes. Toronto is not just the #1 city in Canada. It is a world class city that is often mentioned in the same breath of cities like Paris, New York, and Rome. Not only is it a great place to visit, it is also an amazing city to call your home. With a diverse culture and mixture of different people hailing from different parts of the globe, a beautiful landscape, and a ton of exciting and enriching things to do, Toronto has so much to offer its inhabitants. This makes it a great place, and time, to purchase a Toronto home.
You could be a first time homebuyer or looking to upgrade into something larger, there are enough Toronto homes for sale to choose from at the moment. Of course you will need to decide on whether you are looking for a traditional home or some type of condominium before beginning your search for that perfect Toronto home.
And it appears that Toronto homes are definitely not in short supply. According to the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB), the gap between listed homes and those being sold is larger. This news is something to smile about for anyone who is in the market for a new home. As you can imagine, when inventory is higher, buyers have more options of Toronto homes for sale to choose from. They also have more bargaining power when it comes to negotiating.
Those owners of Toronto homes for sale should not be discouraged by this news. Homes are now sitting on the market for a lot less time than they were last year. So even though the inventory is there, the turnover of that inventory is high. Last year TREB is reporting that the average number of days a home sat on the market was around 35 days, this year that number is all the way down to 22 days.
And there may be certain government programs that Canadians can take advantage of to help with the financing of their new Toronto homes. First time buyers can receive certain assistance if they qualify. For example, a buyer may only have to put down a 5% down payment. Also, once you are in the new home, you may possibly qualify for certain grants available for homeowners who are willing to make energy efficient improvements to their home. The goal should be to do the proper research so that you stay abreast of all the possible assistance options the Canadian government is offering citizens looking to buy Toronto homes or are who are already homeowners.
So it may be true the global real estate market has taken a beating in recent years. And Toronto may have had its share of some of those problems in the past, but it does appear that all is clear on the horizon now.
August 5th, 2010
National Post – Ashley Csanady August 5, 2010 – 12:35 pm
Housing sales in the GTA fell by 34% in July compared to the same month last year, the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) reported today.
There were 6,564 sales last month, down from a record 9,967 sales in July 2009. New listings also took a hit, dropping to 10,825 — the lowest level for July since 2002.
Despite the lag, total sales for 2010 are still up 12 per cent from last year. A combination of factors played into the sudden dip, according to Jason Mercer, senior manager of market analysis for TREB.
“There’s been a lot of talk about the HST, but I think on balance, in the real estate market you’re seeing more of an impact from interest rates,” Mr. Mercer said. He explained many Ontarions were concerned about the additional cost of the harmonized sales tax on their real estate transactions, but two other monetary policies fueled the buying frenzy in the first half of the year.
For much of the year, the federal government was warning Canadians that interest rates would start rising in the late spring or early summer, which, Mr. Mercer explained, spurred a lot of people into signing fixed-rate mortgages. The government’s new mortgage lending policies, which require all mortgage recipients to qualify for a five-year fixed rate loan even if they opt for a variable rate, also pushed many buyers into the market in the first quart of 2010.
The average price of a house rose 6% from July last year to $420,482, a number that’s down from the average selling price so far this year. Since January, prices have jumped 12% annually to $432,253.
For Mr. Mercer, the decline is no a cause for panic but a sign the market is stabilizing.
“We were starting to see pretty big increases [in sales] as we moved into a recovery period, and now we’re starting to see them balancing out.”
The drop in prices has little to do with a glut in the market, as listing rates slipped as well.
“It took a while for listings to turn around after sales have recovered [from the recession],” Mr. Mercer said. “If you’re looking at new listings, in response to [the perception of sales dropping], seem to have dipped.”
“There’s been a lot of coverage over the past few months that sales haven’t been as strong so that might have influence people’s decision as well,” he added.
Some may fear a return to an abysmal 1990s-style housing market, Mr. Mercer said, but the overall housing climate is much stronger than two decades ago. In the 1990s, the affordability rate — the percentage of one’s income allocated to mortgages, property taxes and other maintenance expenses — soared above fifty per cent, which caused the downturn in the real estate market. Today’s rate remains between 30% and 35%, according to Mr. Mercer it’s a sign that the market will remain stable one it settles from the economic tumult of the past two years.
“[The high number of sales in the early part of the year] was sort of a recovery from very low sales in the second half of 2008 and the first bit of 2009,” he said. “There’s been sort of this volatility as we’ve gone through this stage of the economical cycle.”
July 15th, 2010
If you are at a point where you are ready to purchase a piece of property in the wonderful city of Toronto, there are some things you should consider first. Location is one of the most important aspects to consider when searching the available Toronto Homes for Sale. The idea is to first make sure that you choose a good area to live in and then select the perfect home within that area.
These are 5 items to think about before you settle on a location for your new Toronto home:
- Schools – this will be a very critical point of contention if you have school aged children at the time you begin searching for Toronto homes. You want to be in area where the schools are high performing and will provide a solid education for your children. Even if you don’t have children but plan on having them in the future, you will still want to check out the schools in the area.
- Safety – because Toronto is a major city it is bound to have its less desirable areas. Your job as a potential homeowner is to stay away from purchasing in these areas if you can help it. Check out the crime rate in the area of Toronto homes that interest you. Of course you can’t guarantee that any area will be absolutely crime free, but you should try and do everything to make sure you purchase a home in an area where you feel comfortable and relatively safe.
- Restaurants & Entertainment – it never hurts to be in an area where there are plenty of things to do. Toronto is a city with several enclaves that offer different restaurants and cultural attractions. As a buyer it will be up to you in deciding which area works best with your particular lifestyle. Toronto homes reflect the personality of its residents, so do the neighborhoods they choose to live in.
- Parks & Recreation – many Torontonians love being outdoors and enjoying the beauty of their city in a very up close and personal way. When you have the activities that you love to do within a short distance from your home it makes the Toronto home you chose that much more enjoyable. Having access to nearby parks becomes particularly desirable if you have children or dogs in the home.
- Shopping – Toronto homes for sale in areas where there is great shopping within walking distance often come at a premium price. The reason is because these areas tend to be more hip and chic. It’s so much cooler to be able to walk into quaint boutiques and shops to pick out one-of-a-kind pieces rather than shopping at a traditional mall or department store.
Think about these items as you are searching Toronto homes for sale attempting to locate the one that is perfect for you. It’s more than just finding a home with a certain number of bedrooms and baths, it’s also about the scene surrounding the home which can make it the perfect home!
July 7th, 2010
A Toronto home purchase is a big deal. It is likely to be one of the biggest financial transactions you will ever make. In light of this, it is important to make sure that you have taken the proper steps to make sure your Toronto home buying experience is successful.
Follow these simple steps below and you will be on the right track to moving into the perfect Toronto home of your dreams.
- Financing – a buyer would be wise to get their financing lined up before they begin navigating through the Toronto homes for sale. This way you’ll know what you can afford and this will help narrow your search. You don’t want to start looking for Toronto homes and not know whether or not you can get approved for the home you decide you want to purchase. Doing this step first will ensure that you are looking for homes that you will actually be able to afford.
- Real Estate Agent – if you want to simplify your search and make certain that the home buying process goes smoothly you should work with a realtor. Many who forego this step in the beginning ultimately end up choosing to work with a real estate agent in the end. A realtor will have access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) that shows all the Toronto homes for sale by other realtors in the city. When you have an agent who is able to listen to your wants and put together a listing of homes based on those wants, you will find the search process much less tedious.
- Location, Location, Location – when looking for Toronto Homes, the most important thing is to get the best possible home for the money you have to spend. This starts with location. If you pick a home in an area where the school system is tops, crime is low, and the overall scenery is inviting, odds are this will be reflected in the price. It’s the same thing if there are restaurants and entertainment nearby. You want to be thinking long-term and about what this property will be worth if you decide to sell in the future. In the end you’d be better buying a mediocre home in an upscale neighborhood than an upscale home in a mediocre neighborhood.
- Type of Home – once you have settled on neighborhood or area to purchase a Toronto home you must then actually pick out a home. Are you getting a single family home for your expanding family? Will you be purchasing a new condo as your first bachelor pad? Or will you be purchasing a townhouse to get a little bit of the best of both worlds? It will depend on what your needs are that determines what particular type or style of Toronto home you ultimately choose.
Follow these simple steps and you will be well on your way to finding the perfect place to settle down and make a life out of all the great Toronto homes for sale.
June 29th, 2010
Looking for a piece of real estate in Toronto to call your own? Well there couldn’t be a better time to purchase a Toronto home. You could be looking for a single family home, a townhome, or an apartment styled condominium. There are certain to be Toronto homes for sale to fit everyone’s desire in a city whose property types are just as diverse as its people. But let’s face it – it’s always a great time to purchase Toronto homes.
Keep in mind, Toronto is the #1 city in Canada. The brightest jewel is always certain to shine, Toronto is no different. Similarly, Toronto homes are always going to be some of the most sought after places to live anywhere. This is a world class city ranked among the likes of New York, Paris, and Rome. Vacationers, Canadians, and particularly Torontonians all have an appreciation for a city as fabulous as Toronto. The culture is rich, the landscape is magnificent, the entertainment is lively, and the people are fantastic. No wonder so many dream of purchasing a Toronto home!
And according to the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB), Toronto homes are in good supply for those looking to purchase. This means that the selection is plentiful and the likelihood of finding that perfect Toronto home is higher than normal. As we all know, when home inventory is high, the buyer not only has more choices to choose from, they also have a little bit better room to negotiate.
This, however, doesn’t mean that you can afford to sit on your laurels if you are looking at Toronto homes for sale and find one you like. This could be a big mistake since Toronto homes are sitting on the market for about 22 days, which is down from 35 days this same time last year. With a high turnover of inventory it means that if you find something you like you should be prepared to move forward quickly or you just might lose out.
If financing is something you are concerned about, thankfully there are plenty of government programs that may be of some help to you. For example, a first time homebuyer may only need to put down 5% as a down payment on their Toronto home. And when you do make that purchase there are other special grants that you may qualify for as well. You could even get a grant that would allow you make your home more energy efficient. The main thing is to do all of your research and make sure than you know what is available to you in the way of government programs when it comes to moving into the perfect Toronto home and making it fit your needs.
So even though the global real estate market has taken a pounding in recent years this doesn’t mean that you should be apprehensive about moving forward with your plans to buy a new home. Toronto is a vibrant city that is alive with energy, which means it will always remain attractive as a place to visit as well as live.
June 22nd, 2010
As of May 2010 it looks like homebuyers have slowed down last year this time in purchasing new Toronto homes. But it appears this isn’t bad news at all. On the contrary, what has actually happened – according to the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) – is that buyers actually got started earlier in the year buying homes. The evidence lies in the fact that February, March, and April posted higher than usual sales of Toronto homes. And even though the numbers of homes being sold was down about 1% this May compared to 2009, it was still a record month when compared to years past. All of this is good news for all those Toronto homes for sale in the market currently.
So if you happen to be searching for a new home in Toronto at the moment, you are definitely not alone. The market is primed and ready. This is especially true when you consider that new listings are up nearly 40%. Also, TREB is showing in their most recent market analysis that there has been a widening of the gap between Toronto homes listed and those being sold. This means more purchasing power for those buyers out looking now. The more homes to choose from, the more control the buyer yields. This leads to not only being able to up the chances of finding the perfect home, but also being able to negotiate a better price during these instances when inventory is higher.
But this news shouldn’t discourage those who are looking to sell a Toronto home now though. When compared to last year, the number of days a home is sitting on the market before it is sold has actually dropped. As of May 2009 a home in Toronto sat on the market for approximately 35 days prior to being sold; that number is down to 22 as of May 2010 (for single family homes). This is a positive sign that shows a Toronto home will likely be sold in less than a month when it is on the market. This can likely be attributed to the fact that Toronto is always going to be a sought after city to live in and own property no matter struggles its housing market goes through.
In case you were wondering, close to 50% of the Toronto homes being sold are single family detached homes. Apartment styles condominiums are a distant 2nd with about 20% of the sales. It is also important to point out that the average price of Toronto homes for sale has gone up about 13% within the last year.
It seems that all the data shows that homebuyers as well as home sellers have something to be excited about. Whether you are looking to buy or sell a Toronto home, it appears that you can look forward to having your needs met. The Toronto housing bubble looks like it going to continue its growth with no signs of popping – this is Toronto we’re talking about after all!
May 21st, 2010
It is an exciting experience to find your dream Toronto home and start the process to make this Toronto house your own. You make an offer to the seller, negotiate for a lower price and finally settle on an amount with which both parties are satisfied. Without having a home inspection done on the home, you are running the risk that after you move in you may discover that there are problems requiring costly repairs. When you have a Toronto home inspection, the inspector will check out important aspects of the home that could save you money at a later date. When you view the Toronto home, you are mainly looking at the cosmetics and in most cases the home owner has staged the home to make it look as attractive as possible. You will not have the chance to inspect all the areas where problems could exist. This is why you should always make a home inspection a condition of sale for all Toronto Homes, whether you have one yourself or ask the seller to provide one.
A home inspection is not a pest inspection and many Toronto home buyers do confuse the two inspections. Many lenders will require a pest inspection before proceeding with processing the mortgage documents. However, a pest inspector will check for the presence of pests only. There are home inspection companies that also do pest inspections, which is why you should look for one that does both. Along with looking for the presence of pests, a home inspector will look for structural damage, the condition of the roof, the condition of the electrical and heating systems and for the presence of mold. This inspection will give you peace of mind that there are no electrical hazards that would develop into safety issues. The inspector will also check out the roof to make sure it is in good condition and that there are no leaks.
Checking out the plumbing is one of the duties of a home inspector. This involves checking the pipes that are visible in the home and making sure that the water flows properly. Although the inspector will not be able to check any underground pipes, the functioning of the septic system will be one area of focus in the inspection. Through a home inspection, you will be aware of any potential problems before you move into the home. Such problems will not be readily apparent to you even on your final walk through and could result in very expensive trouble in the future. You may not even know that you have a safety issue until a fire or an injury occurs. When you know about these before you buy, you can take the steps necessary to have them repaired.
As a conditional clause in the purchase offer, you can make sure that closing the deal is contingent on receiving a satisfactory home inspection report. Then, if any problems are detected you can back out of the deal. You also have the option of negotiating with the seller to reduce the price if you are willing to undertake the necessary repairs before you move in. If you choose not to have a home inspection carried out, you may end up buying a home that needs a lot of repairs. It pays to know what you are getting into since buying a home is a large investment. You can save yourself a lot of money with a home inspection, which will make buying your home an even more enjoyable experience.
May 13th, 2010
When you decide that the time is right to purchase a home, there is a lot more to the process than simply choosing one home from thousands of Toronto homes on the market and signing the loan documents. First you must know how much you can afford in a mortgage and gain pre-approval from a lender. This will give you an upper limit for a price range and give you the category of Toronto homes you can consider when shopping around.
Your real estate agent will come up with a list of available properties within this price range and will make arrangements for you to inspect the homes. Then you must narrow down the choices to one or more Toronto homes that appeal to you and meet your needs. Then you decide on an opening offer and present it to the seller to start the price negotiation process. Once a price is agreed upon, you proceed with the rest of the mortgage process.
One of the first questions a lender will ask is whether you want a fixed or adjustable rate mortgage. Chances are, if you are a first time Toronto homebuyer, you may not understand what the difference is between these two terms. It is important that you do have an understanding of the terms because it will affect the amount of your monthly payment.
A fixed rate mortgage has a set interest rate that will remain the same over the term of the loan. Your payment will remain the same as long as you are repaying the balance of the mortgage. It makes it a lot easier to plan a monthly budget when you know exactly how much your payment will be from month to month and year to year.
There is a disadvantage to choosing this type of interest rate on your mortgage. If you take out a mortgage when interest rates are high, you are locked into the mortgage at this rate no matter how low the interest rates may go in the future. In order to have the interest rates lowered, you will have to refinance the mortgage, which involves closing costs and perhaps penalties for repaying the loan before the term has expired.
Adjustable rate mortgages are, as the name suggests, mortgages in which the interest rates change according to market conditions. Also known as ARM’s, the interest rates on such a mortgage usually starts out low and then adjusts to the current rate after a specified period of time. The initial period of time for this low rate depends on the lender and the rate at which the interest will fluctuate will be spelled out in the terms of the mortgage. Thus, you will not be taken off guard when you find that the rate has increased.
The initially low rate is a large advantage for home buyers opting for an adjustable rate mortgage. This will give you the advantage of being able to afford to borrow a higher amount of money. This choice is also beneficial if you buy a home in Toronto at a time when interest rates are high because you will naturally be able to take advantage of falling interest rates.
One of the main disadvantages of taking out an ARM is that your monthly payments may not be the same every month, due to the differences in the amount of interest you pay on the unpaid balance. This makes it difficult to budget for your payment. When you start off with a low interest rate that rises after a year or two, the result could be that your mortgage payment could actually be double what it was in the beginning.
Your individual financial situation will determine whether you choose a fixed rate or adjustable rate mortgage. Most Toronto home buyers take a good look at the interest rates at the time of taking out the mortgage. In times when interest rates are high, it is best to choose an ARM and then when you feel that the rates are at their lowest, you can switch the mortgage to one that has a fixed rate. An ARM also works to your advantage when interest rates are low because you get an even lower initial rate, this saving you even more money.
May 10th, 2010
Many millionaires have been made investing in Toronto homes; but have been just as many millions have been lost by those getting into this very risky business. While Toronto real estate investment can be a very lucrative business, the risks are still inherently high. Because the stakes are almost always high when it comes to investing in Toronto Homes, the potential losses can be great when compared to other types of investment opportunities.
If you are considering flipping homes – there are several risks that must be considered before jumping into this arena:
• Fickle market – With a myriad of things that can impact your investment positively or negatively you must be prepared for these ups and downs. There is much that can have a huge impact on whether or not your investment will sell fast or end up sitting for months on end with no potential buyers. Some of those things are even beyond your control, like natural disasters or even drastic changes in the economy. All of these things could potentially impact your Toronto home investment, positively or negatively.
• Knowledge of neighborhood – Take special care to get to know everything about the Toronto neighborhood you are thinking of buying in. If you are planning a successful flip of a Toronto home that would be lovely for a nice family, you might want to know what the public school system is like in the area. What about crime rate? Who will be your potential buyer? The point is to consider the details and make sure your visions for the flip are realistic to the area you have selected for purchase.
• Bursting bubbles – Who hasn’t heard talk of a Toronto housing bubble at some time or another; most of the time the reference is being made that bubble bursting. Not that I put a lot of faith in all this talk, I will say that heavy taxes, new taxes, and rising crime areas might give you low prices in an area at first; But be advised that when it’s all said and done, you may end up sitting on a home that will not sell.
• Underestimating your limitations – You must know your limitations when it comes to the home flipping business. Considering the risk involved, one must be realistic in setting a plan for your flip. What is your budget? How much of the work can you do on the home? If you don’t’ have a plan (which includes a detailed budget) to work from, you have basically handicapped yourself before the process even begins. All of this will have a tremendous effect on the final result and must be thought of ahead of time.
• Underestimating home prices – Having a budget for your home is important, but what may be more important is being as accurate as possible when it comes to projecting the price of the work that needs to be done. Tools, supplies, labor costs, etc. must all be projected ahead of time. Without having a tight hold on the costs of these areas, you may be crushed to find how quickly profits can be eaten into by a poorly planned budget
• Great profits – Initially one might not see any problems that could arise from raking in huge profits; but excessive profits can work against you when it comes to obtaining financing through a lender. There could even be tax ramifications that would further eat away at profits. Make sure to plan so that you will not be caught with unexpected profits that end up being taken away.
Keep in mind that you can do nothing to eliminate the risk when it comes to flipping homes in Toronto, however, you can take steps to plan for and reduce the amount of risk you acquire. With a good plan and the discipline to stick to it, you can realize all of your financial dreams through Toronto real estate and home investing.
April 27th, 2010
Talk to anyone in Toronto and you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who hasn’t tried or thought of getting into flipping Toronto Homes and houses. Bookstores and televisions have been flooded with stories on how average people can strike it big in this Toronto real estate business. The reality is that flipping Toronto homes is not only a risky business, but the growing popularity of this trend has created a ton of competition for those thinking of entering this arena. With so much competition amongst buyers in Toronto looking for homes to purchase and fix up, costs of these homes are being driven up. Paying more for a home has the effect of creating less room for profitability when the project is completed.
If you do find the perfect property at just the right price, there are some questions you need to be asking yourself up front to determine whether or not this is truly the right property.
1) Have you gotten the proper Toronto home inspection? Having a qualified person who can come in and let you know whether or not the property you are thinking of buying is in good condition is invaluable. You should make sure that there are no hidden problems and that you are buying a home which needs minor (as opposed to major) repairs. The inspection is critical for you to make sure that the repairs needed do not exceed what you’ve budgeting for fixing up the property. The goal with a home flip is to always invest as little money as possible while obtaining the largest return on your investment.
2) Does the home suit the neighborhood? This is important to consider because the last thing you want is to buy a three-bedroom home that would be a nice starter home for a family in the middle of a retirement community. At the same time you don’t want to purchase a one-bedroom home on a block filled with nothing but family homes. The point is that you want to avoid buying a home that sticks out in the neighborhood; this may leave you with problems when it comes time to sell.
3) Will the Toronto neighborhood support the asking price you plan to set for your home when it’s complete? Don’t make the mistake of providing an upscale Toronto home inside a neighborhood of working class families. The home should fit in with its surroundings and not stick out like a sore thumb; do this and you are setting yourself up for a home that will not be sold. The goal should be to find a Toronto home which needs repairs and is selling for a reasonable price in a neighborhood where the homes are better. Once your improvements are complete, your home should fit nicely into the landscape of the entire neighborhood.
4) Can you make the necessary changes to the home without making any structural changes to the property? This is a very important detail that is often overlooked; you don’t want to begin tearing down walls and doing additions on a home flip if you can avoid it. Make only the changes necessary to increase the value of the property.
5) Can work on the home be done by you or will you need to hire contractors? Even though it is important to do as much work yourself as you can, be honest about what you can handle when it comes to repairing the home. If you don’t know how to lay down tile, then you should hire a contractor or else you’ll end up wasting money in the long run when you have to pay someone to fix up what you messed up.
Answering these questions up front will help you in determining whether or not you have found the proper Torono home to flip. Follow the advice listed and you’ll be on your way to complete your first successful real estate flip.