One easy get a way spot for people in the GTA is Blue Mountain Collingwood. While many people just go there for the Skiing, it has become so much more over the years. I used to go there as a child, and what has happened to Blue Mountain, and Collingwood has changed it from a ski town to an all season getaway.
The hotels and chalets in the area have become more luxurious, and the major hotel chains have come to town to update the room rental space. This has brought more people to town and in most times the whole area is sold out.
In the summer months, there are beaches, trail walks, mountain climbing (I did this) water parks, and great dining experiences. There are also spas which offer salt springs which are usually sold out. There are also zip lines and small coasters through the mountain bottom. You can also go to the top of the mountain and ride down the ski lift and see phenomenal views.
In the winter, of course there is world class skiing, skating, and tobogganing.
Blue Mountain is not only skiing these days, its a great trip close to the city of Toronto.
The Real Estate industry has changed dramatically in the past decade. Not only has it changed, but the scope of it has expanded.
The one thing that was the Real Estate agents primary focus was to look for a house for buyer or investors. While this task is still there, it is different now.
Buyers have access, and do it your selfers are quick to know exactly what’s going on in the market around them.
The main thing is the sophistication of the market online. There are thousands of websites that crunch data and new listings at a moments notice. The information that was once only available to agents is available to everybody.
Yes, the sold statistics are not available online, and the boards are fighting the release of those stats, but I believe it will be available.
So then if all this information will be available, what do you need a Real Estate agent for? Nothing right!
Well there will always be some people that do not need a Real Estate agent. That’s fine, I always tell them to do it yourself, If I could change my own oil I would, or build my own house, but I can’t.
Here is the main few things to consider when thinking about hiring an agent or not.
Negotiations: A good Real Estate Agent is like a trained shark, to go in for the kill when its available. Knowing how to build a bridge between the seller, the seller agent and you. Buyers kill deals all the time when negotiating or are involved because they are very emotionally involved with their purchase and money.
Law: They know the laws that govern the sale of a property. They can find out if you can build that addition, or if there is a property near by, or if the seller agent is lying about something related to the house.
Infrastructure: A good agent will have lawyers, home inspectors, and other people that will help with your transaction getting done.
Paperwork: There is so much paperwork to fill out these days, they will do all of the paperwork, and make appointments etc.
Representative: The key here is above and beyond all of the others and is worth it alone to get an agent is that you have somebody representing you. Someone who is on your side, someone who is looking out for your best interest. You have someone to go for with professional advice. This alone is worth the agents weight in gold.
Experience: Agents are experienced in buying a property. You are hiring an agent who has bought a property numerous times a year. Most people only buy a property a few times in their lifetime, and while some people also buy a lot of properties, it probably doesn’t add up to the number an experienced agent has. Also agents also review other cases and speak to other agents, who might encounter a property like the one you are buying. This further adds to that experience, even if second hand.
Unless you’ve been stuck in an igloo for the last week, you should know that the bank of Canada cut their lending rate down by .75% a few weeks ago. This means that the banks cut their lending rates, and it looks like the rates are going to go down again.
Initially most news outlets were saying that the banks were only going to cut the variable rate down but some banks have announced plans to cut 3-5 years mortgage rates.
So what does this all mean?
Well it should spark the market which looked like it was taking a downturn and it still may take a down turn. If you don’t have a job, it doesn’t matter what the rates are, you can’t pay a mortgage, and you will have to sell your house.
In the meantime, the bank of Canada will try this tactic to ease the economy slowing, and the next step is easing CMHC rules, and some other housing rules that have been changed in recent years to tighten up the market.
My predictions are:
1. 30 and 35 year mortgages are coming back.
2. 5% mortgages are going to come back strong, or even 0% down.
3. Business for Self restrictions will ease a bit
4. Banks Loan to Value will go Up currently 80% probably will go to 85% to 90%
5. The market will get Crazy this year.