Category Archives: Are You Fit To Buy

Want to Know How to Get into the Real Estate Market?

How much would you need to come up with for a down payment these days?

In Canada, the minimum down payment  depends on the purchase price of the property your thinking about buying. You would need  a down payment of 5 percent of a home’s purchase price for a property worth $500,000 or less. When the purchase price is above $500,000 but under $1 million, the minimum down payment is 5 percent for the first $500,000 and 10 percent for the remaining balance and if the property is priced at over $1 million, you require a minimum 20 percent down payment, and the lender’s lending policies.

In addition to the down payment, you need to factor in the closing costs which include legal costs, taxes and land transfer fees — costs that can add another 1.5 percent to 4 percent of the purchase price to your up-front costs.

Right now its a great time to get into the market. Prices are stable, there are more homes to choose from and less buyers competing for the same home.

Wondering how much of a mortgage you can afford? Please call The Mash Team today for a no-obligation consultation! We will help you move!

7 Reasons Buying Beats Renting

Right now in the Durham Region, home buying is much better than renting. Discover the advantages home buyers have in today’s market that renters are missing out on.

Why Buying a Home Thru The Mash Team is Better than Renting
Conventional wisdom used to state that buying a home is always a great investment.

Now more than ever it has become easier for “First Time Buyers” as Prices Have Dropped since April. There are more homes to choose from and we are not experiencing as many Multiple Offers situations.  We seem to be in a more typical summer balanced market.

The good news is that Year to date stats show that the average selling price is higher today than from  a year ago.

Price Security in Home Buying
Historically, prices tend to rise over time. For example, a loaf of bread, a gallon of milk, and a semester of college tuition cost more today than they did in 1990.

Your mortgage payment, however, is one constant you can rely upon. If you hold a fixed-rate mortgage, your monthly principle and interest (P&I) payment remains the same, regardless of how prices are moving in other industries. (Your property taxes and homeowners insurance may rise.)

Price consistency offers the advantage of planning for the long-term future. As a homeowner, you can anticipate your monthly housing costs for 1, 3, or 5 years.

As a renter, you can’t lock in this type of security. As prices climb, landlords raise the rent to meet the current market.  The allowable rental increase for 2018 is 1.8%.

If you’re renting with a month-to-month lease in Ontario, your landlord can increase your rent with 90 days of written notice. This puts renters in the difficult position of needing to either find the additional funds or scramble to secure new housing with little advance warning.

Investment – Cash-on-Cash Return
As a home buyer, the outlay of a small down payment as low as 5% can give you the opportunity to make out sized gains.

Hypothetically, for example, imagine that you put a 20 percent down payment on a $100,000 house. The price rises 5 percent, to $105,000. You would earn $5,000 on your initial outlay of $20,000 – a return of 25 percent. This is known as cash-on-cash return, and homeownership can make this type of gain accessible to the average person.

Forced Savings
A home can be a type of “forced savings.” Each month, a portion of your mortgage payment is returned to you in the form of equity. The longer you own your home, the more equity you build – both via mortgage payments as well as in potential value increases.

Renters don’t have this luxury. Many of the pro-rental arguments hinge on the assumption that money “saved” (either via lower monthly payments or through alternate uses of the down payment) would be invested in the stock market.

Realistically, though, what’s the likelihood that a renter would invest that money, rather than spend it on a trip to the Bahamas? And if that money were invested, what’s the likelihood that a renter wouldn’t panic during the next crash and sell at the bottom of the market, turning paper losses into actual losses?

A home functions as ‘forced savings,’ helping you build equity. Like a personal trainer, it keeps you accountable.

Flexibility with Home Improvements
As a homeowner, you can have the freedom to upgrade your home to your heart’s content – without carrying risk or ongoing financial commitment.

If you get a bonus at work, you can celebrate by installing hardwood floors or renovating the bathroom. If you suffer a financial setback, you can defer your plans to remodel the kitchen.

Renters don’t hold this flexibility. The only way they can upgrade their living space is by moving, and this entails both hassle and commitment.

Homeowners, by contrast, can upgrade their home piecemeal as they accumulate cash over the years. Home improvements are a one-time expense that doesn’t require continuous commitment.

Pride of Home Ownership
You wouldn’t invest hundreds of hours or dollars cultivating an exquisite garden in a rental property. You wouldn’t paint, hang wallpaper or replace the light fixtures on a rental property.

As a homeowner, you can take pride in personalizing and perfecting your home. The space can truly morph into a reflection of you, in a way that a rental property never could.

Neighborhood Connection
As a homeowner, you’re more likely to become involved in your local community. There’s a stronger chance that you’ll join the neighborhood association if one was available, organize potlucks or block parties with your neighbors, coach a local sports league or volunteer at the local school.

While it’s possible that you’ll get involved with the community as a renter, you’ll also likely feel an emotional barrier that stems from knowing you might move in a year or two. Committing to an area for the long-term can inspire you to invest more time and energy into improving the neighborhood and connecting with the surrounding community.

For more information on how to buy a home, call us. We are here to help.  Real Estate is still a good investment.

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Fitting Into Today’s Housing Market

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Today’s ever-rising real estate prices often mean one of two things for buyers — they must either increase their budget, or downsize their housing expectations.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) reports that the construction of single-detached homes fell between 2012 and 2016. The lower inventory, coupled with increased demand, resulted in a rise in prices for this housing type. In many cases the result is that buyers who initially planned for a single-family house will be settling into condos, while some would-be condo buyers may have to reassess how to fit their lives into even more compact footage.

Looking at condo construction, the CMHC notes that although there might be a slight decline in condo starts this year, there will be a rebound in condo construction next year due to increased demand for more affordable housing.

In the meantime, residents moving into more “cozy” condos need to be creative about how they fit into their smaller spaces. Luckily, furniture manufacturers are responding to the demand for space-efficient solutions and designing options specifically for today’s condos. Furniture that flips up, slides out and folds down can now be cleverly concealed to fit into any space.

Don’t automatically dismiss a condo with great features, a reasonable price and other plusses because you think it’s too small. Today’s options make it easier than ever to complete your condo with clever space solutions that fit all your needs!

Call today to find out about the many condo configurations available in today’s market.

Can You See What Your REALTOR Sees in this Neighbourhood?

REALTORS® have their fingers on the pulse of the market. They know the questions to ask, the areas to probe and what to look for so that you get a complete picture of the property and community you’re considering. They can also identify the complex financial and legal issues involved in a real estate transaction.

Can you see what your REALTOR sees in the rural property?

REALTORS® have their fingers on the pulse of the market. They know the questions to ask, the areas to probe and what to look for so that you get a complete picture of the property. They can also identify the complex financial and legal issues involved in a real estate transaction.

Can You See What Your REALTOR sees in this Condo?

REALTORS® have their fingers on the pulse of the market. They know the questions to ask, the areas to probe and what to look for so that you get a complete picture of the property and community you’re considering. They can also identify the complex financial and legal issues involved in a real estate transaction.

Stressed About the Mortgage Changes?

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As you may have heard, Canada’s Finance Minister Bill Morneau unveiled a series of changes to the rules used to underwrite insured mortgages. Included in those changes, effective October 2016, was one termed a mortgage “stress test.”

The stress test is applicable to insured mortgage applications. It’s designed to ensure that borrowers are capable of paying their loans in the event interest rates rise, or their personal financial situation worsens. So now, no matter how low their actual mortgage rate, Canadian borrowers must show that they qualify for the Bank of Canada’s Mortgage Qualifying Rate, which, for example, was 4.64 percent when the new rule came into effect — about twice what a borrower might actually be paying.

Prior to the new changes, the historically low mortgage rates allowed even first-time home buyers with a modest income to qualify for a large loan. Now, buyers who previously qualified for a higher-priced home may experience a reduction in affordability.

If you’re considering a move, you’ll want to clarify if or how the new mortgage restrictions might apply to you, and if they do, what your best course of action is in today’s ever changing real estate environment.

Please call today for questions on this, and all your other real estate queries.

Clean Credit

PhotoPlanning on moving this year, or applying for a loan? You’ll want to check your credit report before contacting your lender. But what happens if, upon review of the document, you discover it contains information that will negatively impact your credit worthiness; what can you do to improve your standing in the eyes of creditors?

First, check your credit report for omissions and errors. If you notice any errors, write to your reporting agency, outlining the reasons for your disputes and requesting that they investigate your claims. Be sure to enclose copies of any supporting documentation. The credit bureau will investigate your claims by contacting your creditors to verify the information you’ve supplied.

As for negative entries in your report that are accurate, know that bankruptcies and other entries such as late payments will remain on your report for a number of years. For accounts that have previously been past due, but which you’ve since paid off and maintained — they might comply if they see you’ve been handling the account positively.

Be persistent with both the creditors and your credit bureau in finding the source of any incorrect information and getting it rectified. If a correction can’t be made, you can request that the credit bureau include a brief explanation of your version of events next to the entry in question. Make sure the reporting agency sends you an updated report to confirm all the changes.

Can you see what REALTOR see inside this home?

REALTORS® have their fingers on the pulse of the market. They know the questions to ask, the areas to probe and what to look for so that you get a complete picture of the property and community you’re considering. They can also identify the complex financial and legal issues involved in a real estate transaction.