If you’re one of the lucky ones who are looking for a house in the Toronto area you will be delighted to know that what’s going on is nowhere going to end and will only get worse.
While there is a shortage of homes right now, the weather is slowing down what is really going to happen this year in the Real Estate market.
If you look at the $500-$600k range you will see that there is not really that much out there right now. There is more in the $450-$600 range.
I’m here to tell you that its going to get crazy out there this summer. I’ve been telling people who are asking me all the time about the market. Its going to get crazy because people are seeing whats going on in the lower range, and the people who are in the higher range are going to start to get involved once the weather gets better.
These homeowners are not in their first rodeo, so they know that the best time to sell a house is in the spring just as the winter season ends. They are experienced at buying and selling a property so don’t look for rookie mistakes.
I believe that the frenzy you are seeing now, is only going to get crazier, in the coming months, look for these houses in this price range to go up significantly with more bids.
I would watch out though, if you are thinking about listing your property, don’t be the last one out after all of the buyers are gone.
Also don’t listen to all this hype about a market crash out there this year. Every year, the news makes it a policy to start some stupid rumour that the housing market is going to crash. Its like the weather, just look outside. If you look at whats going on, even a bit of a mortgage rate hike won’t impact the market, there are so many buyers out there anyway. A few less won’t matter much with this housing shortage.
Contractors are expensive. Sometimes its not only the price of a contractor, but to find a good one. Yes some websites out there can help find the right one, but even those can have skewed reviews.
Doing the renovation yourself has become very popular in recent years, since the emergence of all these Home & Garden shows and shows on Slice network.The question remains do you want to do it yourself.
If you are handy enough you might be able to do some renovations, but if you’re like me, forget it. Doing it yourself is not happening. Let’s say you are going to tackle the project, there are a few things to keep in mind.
1. Will this project, if not done correctly, lower the value of my house. Some projects I’ve seen, do not bring value to the house but actually lower the value. An example would be a poorly finished basement. It would cost more money to fix the basement than to leave it alone.
2. Are you actually saving money: You must calculate your time & labour. What is your time worth? Some people cannot spare the time and could make more money doing what they’re best at.
3. Do you know what you’re doing: Even a bad paint job can lower the value of the house if the lines are not straight or the colours are terrible. Sometimes, you just need to get a professional in there.
4. Time: If you are trying to figure out how to complete the job while there is a deadline, do you have the time to do it. Lets say you’re selling your house in two weeks, do you have time to figure out how to re-wire the fixtures?
5. Can you do it in a professional manner: You might be able to put tiles down in your washroom, but does it look good. Do you want crooked tiles that makes the washroom look bad?
I’m starting a column this week for just the agents & Wanna Be Agents out there. I get a lot of feedback from agents and I thought I would dedicate a little section to agents, and pet-peeves and information agents could use. I’m not gonna make it a total bitch fest don’t worry. This weeks column is about different types of agents.
I’ve been in the business for 6 years now, and I’ve been in sales for about 20. Sold mortgages and was a manager. So that’s my resume.
I’ve notice that there is a wide range of different types of agents out there. Part Timers, Rookies, Veterans, Techies, Discounters, Busy Bodies and more.
While every generation is different, I’ve noticed the new norm is the part-time agent. I really don’t understand how you can fully service your client if you are out somewhere selling stocks during the day. From my experience, my job is a full time job.
Now I’m not here to cry about agents who need to put butter on the table to feed their kids and are trying to make a better life for themselves, but when you are selling your lives investment, don’t you think your attention is needed.
The same attention goes for the people that hire agents that take on every listing that comes across their desk. Being successful is one thing, but being gluttonous is another. I’ve dealt with agents that I can’t even get a hold to give them an offer.
The Question is what kind of agent are you?
When you buy a condo one of the clauses that is very important, is the status certificate clause. The status certificate gives the buyer a snapshot of what’s going on in the condo office and property management. Let’s face it, there are good condo property managers, and bad ones. Here are a few things you are looking for in the status certificate.
1. Lawsuits: You want to see if there have been or are any pending lawsuits against the corporation. If there are any pending lawsuits this could be bad news as a settlement could cost the owners of the condo thousands of dollars to settle.
2. Reserve Fund: You want to have a reserve fund of over $500,000. This fund is needed if there is any emergency renovations or repairs needed. Rather than wait to collect or save the money from the owners this is available. This fund could also depend on when the corporation was created or if any projects have been recently completed, but I would want at least as much to be safe.
3. Property Description: This is where all the lockers or parking spots associated with the unit is described. Make sure that your parking and locker is here. Sometimes, these have been purchased and might not correlate.
4. Maintenance Fees: The current fees and concurrent escalation of fees will be written here. You want to know how much the fees are going to go up in the near future. Some buildings go up 3% a year which is typical but because of some pending projects this will be higher. Watch out.
5. Special Assessment: Sometimes there needs work to be done, a fence, pool repairs, etc. A special assessment is needed to keep the reserve fund at par. If this is needed, see when the assessment is finished. Some condo owners pay off the first year in advance to make it look lower than usual. But lets say the assessment runs for 3 years, you might get dinged with two more years and should ask for an adjustment on price.
6. Projects: There will be a description of any pending projects and proposals that might be on the horizon. Be careful of what exactly needs to be done. It could cost you down the road.
Its really a political and money thing. The fact that there are so many Real Estate boards within 20 or 30 Kilometres. Back in the day of Real Estate, It made sense to have so many boards. With the advent of the modern MLS system, I don’t think it is.
I recently had a listing and I posted it on 3 Real Estate boards. I got to thinking, it was such a hassle but also that I’m sure many agents do not post all of their listings in the current market the house is in. So what this does is not allow local agents to see the listing, only if they are a part of the same board.
Here’s an example, lets say an agent is part of The Toronto Real Estate Board, but is listing a house in Milton for some reason. In the past this listing would be referred, but lets face it, it doesn’t happen. With the emergence of so many agents, and competition, a 45 minute drive is not unheard of. It is very common and it is not going away. I know a lot of agents up north complain that agents from the city are out of their league when trying to list a house up there, but its not going away.
If your agent is not local or a part of the board that you live in, make sure that your agent posts it there. It is essential to marketing your house correctly.