GTA Condos Real Estate and Community News

July 13, 2022

Mortgage Rates Hike Once Again

The Bank of Canada has increased rates again to 2.5%. This is the highest level since 1998 and it is a sign that the inflation is being tackled at the cost of home equity but giving new buyers a chance to compete with lower down payments. Now, we’ve heard what everyone is saying on social media – it’s just going to cost more to carry the home! Yes, your carrying cost on a home priced significantly lower may be equal to or higher than one that was more expensive 6 months ago, however, this also means that those down payments that were taking so long to save up can now be used, beyond that, the gamble of taking either a variable or fixed rate is on the borrower. When you calculate the present value of money (in this economy), along with home prices decreasing, the value of a down payment sitting in an account is also going down. 

Even though rates will increase (most likely) by the end of the year, the renewed real estate cycle is statistically bound to go up. The same principle does not (unfortunately) apply to your down payment if it’s sitting dormant. 

The current payment increase in a mortgage for a condo around 700k is going to be around $350 a month versus what the payment would have been in January of this year. A $4’000 payment increase a year now will be pay over the life cycle of your home as it grows year-over-year. 

Is it our job to tell you real estate is a good buy, kind of, but this isn’t us saying real estate is a good buy just because we think it is, this is us saying that real estate is an opportunity right now for those who have the down payment for it. 

 

Until then, happy searching!🤓

Posted in Market Updates
July 7, 2022

Do You Need a Home Inspector for Your Condo Purchase?

Home inspectors are amazing – however a lot of their work is done behind the walls and under the floors, which doesn’t fit the mould for condos. The reason for that is that when you buy ownership into a condo, you’re buying everything that is insidethe walls; behind the walls and below the floors are the condo corporation’s responsibility. Any major or structural repairs that are done (roof, plumbing, electrical, etc.) are approved by management if they’re done on an individual basis or are disclosed in the status certificate if they are done on a building/complex wide basis. 

 

Typically, a thorough inspection is done while you are viewing the home (we get clients in there for an hour!) and during this inspection clients are urged to look at any shortcomings inside the unit. This could include warped floors, wall damage or water damage, anything that would be caused by the current occupant in some form. 

 

We’ve used home inspector services many times for our clients who buy free hold homes because they’re able to dissect the property beyond the naked eye and any of those bills would be rolled back to the new owner of the home. 

 

Condos simply don’t require those services.

 

Until then, 

Happy Searching! 🤓

Posted in Buying a Home
July 7, 2022

Should I talk to a Lender or a Realtor First?

This question doesn’t come up enough and we have a straight answer; consult your friends with the money first! It’s like going shopping for a car without knowing what your budget is – there are always amazing products on the market that aren’t always affordable which sets expectations for the rest of the search. (I know, it’s a little harsh, but it will save you the heartache when you’re in the market!)

 

Home buying requires time and a calculated approach. Not only do we value our time when it comes to showing homes, we also value the time spent in the market where opportunities come and go within days and if you’re not ready with a budget, you’ll get beat by the market. 

 

Mortgage brokers can secure a rate and an amount for you, for 90-120 days which gives you enough time find a home. Mortgage brokers are also able to narrow down to how much your maintenance fee should be which gives us (as your realtors) a very specific filter of what you should be looking at. This makes the process a lot easier on you as the buyer because you’re actually able to narrow down properties to what you can actually afford and then assess the bells and whistles from that list! 

 

Our opinion, get your pre-approval in place first! 

 

Until then,

Happy Shopping! 🤓

Posted in Buying a Home
July 7, 2022

Should I Buy or Sell First?

 

Our take on this is simple… it depends. 

Hear us out!

 

We need to understand what your current position is and what your goals are to appropriately answer this question. There are a few scenarios in both cases, and we’ll break them down for you. 

 

Buy First Only If:

1.    You have enough liquid capital to pay the deposit, down payment and closing costs. (So yes, are you able to sustain 2 properties if it comes down to it?) 

2.    Your house is on the market with a foreseeable sale (this depends on the selling strategy your agent is coming in with) 

3.    Your lender has committing to giving you a bridge loan (in WRITING!)

 

Sell First Only If:

1.    You have somewhere to live in the event you don’t find what you like

2.    If the market allows for you to put in a “closing date adjustment” clause in it

3.    If you need the cash to manage debt to secure a better mortgage product

 

These are some of the few situations that can influence your decision, but everyone has a unique situation! Let us know what your situation is, so we can give you the advice that fits your situation.

 

Until then,

Happy Searching! 🤓

July 2, 2022

The Buyer Series - SHOWINGS

 

So your pre-approval’s in place, you know where you want to be and now it’s time to see some condos! How many should you see? 🤔

 

I’ve noticed that buyers usually want to see as many properties as they can – now there’s pros and cons to this strategy, and not worth the time – LET ME EXPLAIN! 

 

In real estate, time is literally of the essence, or time is money, however you want to put it, time is the most important factor in real estate because it’s opportunity. The more time you spend looking at condo units, the more you’re going to miss out on and the more you’ll end up paying – even in a correction market this holds true due to the concept of inflation and time-value of money.

 

First, establish your must have list in terms of space (bedrooms, bathrooms, sq ft, etc.). This will let you establish a price point as well. There should be a sweet spot between your must haves, nice to haves, and absolute highest price you’re willing to pay.

 

Then to save time, we recommend that you nail down the area you want to be in, and nail down the building you want to live in. Clients have literally called us to see just the buildings they have in mind, and this could be arranged. Check out the lobby, the amenities, the parking spot, all the things you think you’ll be using day in and day out. You’ll also be able to mathematically establish how much space you’ll get in which building given the price per square foot analysis. A bigger unit might be available in a building you may not have had on your radar, or a smaller unit may be available in a building that is super modern, all for the same price!

 

Now that you really know what you’re looking for, you should start going on showings. Shopping for real estate shouldn’t be a guessing game, it’s all calculated and you’ll be ahead of the curve if you do your part in doing research. 

 

Here’s our professional take on condos – layouts don’t change. Once you know your minimum requirement and maximum price point, you’ll be able to establish if you want a one bedroom or two bedroom. Since layouts don’t change, you can only see so many units until they start repeating themselves. Use the pictures and get to know what kind of finishes you like, if you like carpets or hardwood, and anything else you might spend more than $5000 on to change. 

 

I know the realtor should be doing their part too, however, we tell clients, you know what you like and you’re going to be the one living in it! So make sure you’re as well informed as your realtor, because they are your partner in this search! 

 

 

So now you’re wondering, how many showings should I go on as a buyer? Our sweet spot is, 7. After we go on 7 showings together, there may be something that needs to change in the search. At this point, really communicate to your agent why you don’t like what you see – if your agent knows what you’re looking for and you’ve done your research, you should be able to lock it down within 7 units! 

 

Until then,

Happy searching! 🤓

Posted in Buying a Home
July 1, 2022

The Buyer Process

In this series, we’ll be writing about the offer process. So, at this point, you’ve seen a fair share of properties, you like one, and you want to offer on it! Now what? 

 

Well, you’re going to be asked to sign a whole lot of paperwork, and you’ll be asked for some money (the deposit!). You’ll also be asked to get in touch with your professional partners to ensure that all your ducks are in a row to make sure you are ready to buy your home and most likely close on it. 

 

Here’s what it typically looks like (for a condo) 

 

 

 

 

Stay tuned for detailed explanations of all these steps! What is a mortgage? How do you get one? Where do I find the status certificate? How much deposit do I need to provide? All of these will be explained, and you’ll be prepped for your buying experience! 

 

Until then, happy searching! 🤓

Posted in Buying a Home
June 25, 2022

5 Things You Should Do When You're Shopping Condos

 

1.    Stand outside the building you want to buy in for 30 minutes 

You get to know what your area is really like when you stand outside the building. Being able to gauge foot traffic and street traffic going in and out of the building is important. You’re also able to see the type of community you may be getting into.

 

2.    Try (hard) to see the amenities

Another way to see traffic! We know you can’t spend all day in the amenities when you’re on showings, but it’s nice to see how many people at a given time are in the pool or in the gym. Do the amenities fit your needs? Do you see yourself spending time in those amenities? You’re paying for it, so make sure you like them! 

 

3.    Take the elevator to your parking level 

Do you have to get to the office at 9AM? Are you the type to forget your keys and realize when you get to the car? You may want to take the elevator from the unit to the parking level included with your unit. This could give you an idea of how long you’re waiting for an elevator, how many times it will stop, and how busy it may be. Take it a step further and try to get in and out of the spot and see how long it may take to get from your spot to the garage exit! 

 

4.    Walk from the building to the local convenience store and see what they have to offer 

When you’re in a condo, you don’t always do big grocery hauls; it’s typically a few things you need at the time, and you can pick these up locally without having to drive. Take a walk to the local convenience store and see what they have. Are these things you think you’ll be able to use? Are they open late in case of a late-night emergency? 

 

5.    Think about the area at large 

Is this the area that’s convenient for you and your family? Can your loved ones visit as often as they’d like? You should also consider the lifestyle adjustment of being in the suburbs versus the city – both have pros and cons, but which one fits your lifestyle the best? Make sure you’re completely comfortable in this area before falling in love with the unit! 

 

 

Posted in Buying a Home
June 24, 2022

TSD Law Q&A

 

 

Lawyers and real estate go hand in hand – our friends at TSD law were nice enough to answer some questions for us for our clients to get to know them and the process a little better!  

 

How long have you been doing real estate law for? 

My firm has been practicing Real Estate law since 2014

 

 

What is your favourite part of being in and out of real estate transactions every day? 

My favourite part is helping first time home buyers, it’s an amazing feeling being a part of something so monumental for my clients!

 

 

What is your role in a real estate transaction? 

My role in a Real Estate transaction is to ensure that all terms and conditions of the agreement of purchase and sale are fulfilled as agreed too and to advise our clients and provide guidance throughout the transaction.

 

 

What is a status certificate and why is it important? 

The Status Certificate is vital when buying a condo, it provides the “behind the scenes information” we need to determine if there are any outstanding issues with the condominium corporation, such as  special assessments which may change the amount of condo fees a buyer may have to pay, it lets us know if there are any potential law suits, and if the Condominium Corporation is properly funded, these are just a few items there are quite a few more.

 

 

How much do you charge for closing a deal? What does that include? 

I know it’s a typical lawyer response, but it depends! A straight forward Purchase transaction with 1 mortgage we charge $1249 + disbursements and HST. This includes the review of the Status certificate, Parcel Searches, Registrations and placing of the mortgage, closing of the transaction and the intangibles of the service we provide.

For a Sale transaction we charge $999.99 + Disbursements and HST. This includes : Discharge of Mortgage, Closing of the Transaction and Direction of Sale proceeds.

At TSD LAW we recognize that legal fees are similar across the board however it is our service that sets us apart. We know for many clients this may be their first Real Estate Transaction and as a result it can be daunting, it’s for this reason we make ourselves available to answer every question our clients have no matter how simple or complex, we want our clients to be comfortable throughout the process. My staff and I endeavor to respond to our clients within 24 hrs if not sooner.

 

 

Will you read a status certificate for me more than once? 

Once again it depends LOL! If there are points of concern then yes, if a Status Certificate meets our standards, we will provide an opinion reflecting that position.

 

 

What is your advice for buyers and sellers in the market? 

The best advice I can give is get a great agent *Cough Cough Condo Nerds!,  get a great Real Estate lawyer *Cough Cough TSD Law! And use them, I mean ask the questions that you need to ask to be comfortable and let your professional team do the heavy lifting, after all you are paying for a service and that service should be the best! 

 

Follow us at @tsdlawyers on IG

www.tsdlaw.ca

 

*answer 

Because they clothes it 🤣

 

 

Posted in Buying a Home
June 20, 2022

The Glass is Half Full!

We've already seen an impact on buyers' purchasing power and financial position as a result of the recent Bank of Canada interest rate increases. Rates are rising and the cost of living is going through the roof. 

Many home buyers may face higher qualifying rates and monthly payments this year as rates continue to rise until inflation is reduced. At The Condo Nerds, we understand real estate is still one of the biggest investments that the Canadian economy has to provide. Though it is a stressful time, there are still ample opportunities - and by that, we don't mean just good deals, we mean good strategies! 

Here are some of our strategies for buyers in this market.

Finding a home you love vs. getting into the market

Right now there are deals to be had in the market! This past season, there were bidding wars everywhere and some people were settling just to get into the market. Now, because affordability has gone down, there aren't many buyers in the market and investors are watching from the sidelines. This has given buyers a good opportunity to go out into the market, look at multiple homes, think about which fits their needs and not have to worry about the infamous "offer date"

Look At Smaller Markets Outside The Core

In key markets like the GTA and Vancouver, it’s challenging to find a home under the $1 million (which requires a 20% down payment, by the way). So you might want to look outside of the core to smaller markets where there are opportunities to find homes under the million-dollar threshold in which you can try and qualify at a minimum of 5% down payment (depending on the price and your financial situation of course). 

Consider a High Walk Score

Gas is through the roof and that means the carrying cost of a car is significantly increased! Not to mention, cars consume more as they age, so with every liter of gas you use, you're going to need more the next time, and the next, and the... you get what we mean. Condos are typically situated in an area that is convenient for residents to walk to plazas and stores. We tell clients to definitely consider this, even if they have a car. If you get into a condo where you find it easy to walk from point a to b - why not save money on a diminishing good and pay towards a growing one?

Consider A Starter Condo Apartment vs. Townhome

You don't have to always go big if it's your first, start slow and start small. There is a lot of opportunity in the 1 bedroom condo realm for folks to get their feet wet. These condos are starting in the late 500's, and there are even some that are below $500k, meaning you can get away with a 5% deposit...insane! 

Let’s get you home

 

Posted in Market Updates
June 16, 2022

Client Success - Shane

Meet Shane, 

Litigation lawyer in the GTA who works remotely - dream client right? Absolutely.

We reached out to Shane after he came across our website after not getting the type of service he was hoping for from his last representative - though they weren’t tied together on paper, morally, we wanted to make sure we at lease provided the tools and resources for him to succeed. In this market though, seeing property online isn’t enough, being in and out of units daily and making yourself available for clients is what eventually gets the job done.

We went out with Shane multiple times to see units we had hand picked for him, and since the rental market is still on fire, we still put in a few offers and finally landed the perfect one. A beautiful 1 bedroom, 1 den unit with parking and an amazing few in the heart of Mississauga for the price he wanted.

Today Shane got his keys, and we delivered him our signature Condo Nerds mug and a vintage bottle of a smooth red Malbec. Safe to say, that Shane finally got the unit he wanted, at the price he wanted and was super excited to finally be moving into his new home.

Congrats Shane! 

I’ll admit, doing a lease doesn’t dish out the highest pay cheque, but you come to a point in this career that the money isn’t driving your service - it’s the satisfaction these clients express that makes you want to jump for joy. Money always get’s spent, but relationships compound 🤓