September 7, 2011 -- Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported 7,542 sales through the TorontoMLS® system in August - a 24 per cent increase over 6,083 sales in August 2010. New listings, at 12,509, were up by 20 per cent compared to August 2010. Market conditions remained tight as sales growth outstripped growth in new listings.
"Home sales in the GTA have stood up well despite a less certain economic outlook," said Toronto Real Estate Board President Richard Silver. "Home sales will be bolstered by low mortgage rates moving forward. The Bank of Canada is expected to be on the sidelines until the second half of 2012 or even into 2013. However, home ownership affordability in the City of Toronto could be further improved with the removal of the City's land transfer tax. This tax currently represents a substantial upfront cost for home buyers."
With market conditions remaining tight in the GTA, the average selling price continued to grow strongly in August – up by more than 10 per cent year-over-year to $451,663.
"We remain on pace for the second best year on record for sales. Approximately 90,000 transactions are expected by the end of December," said TREB's Senior Manager of Market Analysis Jason Mercer. "Major home ownership costs, including the average monthly mortgage payment, remain affordable despite the strong price growth experienced so far this year."
A year ago I wrote the most common mistake home buyers make is buying with their heart instead of their head — usually because they panic while involved in a stressful negotiation for which they are unprepared.
The result is that buyers pay more than they should, or are disappointed later when they find defects in the home or discover the neighbourhood isn’t quite what they thought.
So, here’s an updated list of six ways to prepare yourself:
1. Sell or buy first?
We are still in a seller’s market in the GTA, with the number of buyers exceeding the number of available homes. In this type of market, you should buy your new home first and then sell your existing home. If you sell first, you may find yourself running out of time, with no home to move into, as the closing date nears. This leads to panic buying.
In a buyer’s market, sell your home first as you won’t have as much trouble finding a new one.
2. Research, research, research
Check police websites for neighbourhood crime statistics. Ask at City Hall if new developments are planned or whether a new large employer is relocating to the area. Jobs mean demand.
Walk any neighbourhood you are interested in and talk to people. You will learn the demographics of the area and its facilities. What schools are in the area and is there a waiting list to get in? Are there activities nearby for children, including parks, libraries and community centres? You also get a sense of the friendliness of the community and whether there are surprises that no one is going to advertise — vandalism, former grow houses, or the neighbour from hell.
3. Find the right agent
Do not go into an open house alone, thinking you can save commission. The agent is working for the seller and their job is to get the seller the most money possible. While focusing on saving a few dollars negotiating commission, you will invariably give away important information about yourself, which will hurt you later.
Start by asking family and friends for a buyer agent referral. Then study the agent’s own website. Do they offer information that will assist you with your search? Do they have a team of professionals they can share with you? When you interview them, ask them about their knowledge of the area; in particular, is it known for sewage backups, termites, flooding or mould. Ask for their own success rate when working with buyers, especially in bidding wars, and then call those buyers yourself.
4. How much can you afford?
You should never live just to pay your mortgage, or else the rest of your life will suffer. Meet with a mortgage broker in advance to determine how much you can safely borrow, based on your income and family needs. Buyers should also realize the lender will do an appraisal and if the lender believes you paid more than the house is worth, they will not give you the full amount of the loan you expect. So, be very careful about stretching yourself to the limit when you make an offer.
5. Choose a home inspector carefully
The home inspection is becoming even more important, as it is one of the only ways for a buyer to check against unwanted surprises after closing.
Ask for references and call these references yourself, especially the ones who bought older homes, where problems are more likely to occur later. There are now additional inspections that test specifically for mould or termites. There are video cameras that can tell you the condition of your sewage system and scanners that can look behind walls. If it is an older home, it is worth this extra investment.
Remember, most inspection firms have a limitation of liability clause, which states that if they miss something that costs you money, they are not responsible. Ask the company if they have ever been sued by a buyer.
6. Title insurance is a must
Title insurance can be arranged through your lawyer. You will be protected against unpaid taxes or water bills by the seller, as well as problems that are not known at closing. This includes problems where part of the home or swimming pool is in fact on your neighbour’s property.
However, it is a mistake to believe title insurance will protect you against everything. For example, it won’t compensate you if you thought your lot was 50 feet and a later survey showed it was only 48 feet. That is why you should always ask for an up-to-date survey on the property.
NEW Blog - Covering GTA West
GTA West is a blog that covers market updates, new developments and many other interesting topics. My goal is to provide interesting and insightful information for anyone who is interested in the Real Estate market and the opportunities within it.
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One Sherway has been one of Etobicoke's hottest condo community.
Menkes and Great Gulf and Homes have teamed up to bring Towers 1 and 2, now they are bringing us Tower 4. Each unit at One Sherway will consist of: 8 or 9 foot ceilings, Engineered wood flooring in living room, dining room, and den (if applicable). Residences will have choices of porcelain or ceramic tiles in the entry foyer, kitchen, ensuite, main bathroom, and hallway. Brand name stainless steel appliances including 18 cu.ft., frost free refrigerator, self cleaning slide in range with ceran cooktop, built-in dishwasher, and over the range built-in microwave. Stacked brand name washer/dryer. The suite features that One Sherway provides for their residents are considered upgrades or incentives from other developers, but One Sherway considers them to be standard.
Address: Evans Avenue
Builder Name: Menkes and Great Gulf Homes
Prices: $232,990 - $242,990
Occupancy: December 2013
Maintenance Fees: $0.48/sf
Park Residences - Parkside Village
Located in the heart of Mississauga's City Centre, Parkside Village will redefine the way you live, work and play. With all the conveniences, you'll discover the wonderful lifestyle that a true urban village has to offer. Inviting cafés, shops, restaurants and services are plentiful and are just steps away. You'll also find vibrant street life, parks, landscaped promenades, arts and culture - truly a new standard for Downtown Mississauga.
Address: north of Burnhamthorpe Road West, east of Mavis Road
Builder Name: Amacon Developments
Price : $243,900 - $295,900 (1 bedroom)
Occupancy: December 2013
Maintenance Fees: $0.50/sf
Top 10 Interior Design Tips to Make A Small Room Seem Bigger
1. De clutter - Storage, storage, storage
2. Choose Appropriate size Furniture
3. Use Mirrors
4. Lighting - utilise all the natural light you can.
6. Wall Art - dramatic wall art can give the impact and individuality
1. Brush both side of bread with olive oil, and either grill them on both sides or toast them until they are golden brown. Toasting them is easier, but grilling them gives them an out of this world grilled taste.
2. Mash avocado with a few squeezes of lime juice. Set aside.
3. Beat the eggs and then scramble them in a skillet over medium heat until they are just set.
4. Assemble sandwiches as follows: spread avocado over each slice of bread, top with eggs and a strip or two of salmon, and grind a little black pepper over all
New Search Feature
New search feature is now available on my website, you can now browse the MLS system straight from my website. It is simple and easy! Click HERE to try it today!