May 1, 2018

Sold prices for Toronto homes now online

'What buyers and sellers have been looking for': Sold prices for Toronto homes now online after court ruling

Move opens door for innovation, but some agents are waiting for next legal test before posting data publicly read more...

Posted in Market Updates
April 28, 2018

Mississauga - Spring Market Trends - 2018

Activity in Mississauga’s housing market was primarily driven by a mix of growing families, young couples and immigrants. It continues to be a seller’s market with low inventory levels in the first two months of 2018.

The OSFI stress test has made an impact on Mississauga’s market, with many buyers taking a wait-and-see approach and shifting their preferences to condos, which offer greater affordability.

Posted in Mississauga
April 28, 2018

Brampton - Spring Market Trends

Activity in Brampton’s market was driven by first-time home buyers, primarily Millennials and young families.

It continues to be a balanced market driving condo prices up as a result of the solid demand and affordability. The OFSI stress test has had the most impact on sale price and activity in January and February. Buyers have made adjustments and the spring market looks strong in comparison.

Posted in Brampton
April 28, 2018

RE/MAX 2018 Spring Market Trends Report

Posted in Market Updates
April 28, 2018

4 Things You Should Know About Credit Reports

Most people find reading a credit report confusing. There’s a lot of information contained in a credit report, so it’s important not to focus too much on the credit score itself. Here are four things you should know about credit reports to help you make sense of them.

Credit reports are notoriously exhaustive and confusing. If you’re like most people, you need an experienced person helping you understand this crazy document. If you’re in a position that requires you to read a credit report – whether it’s your own or someone else’s – it’s important you have the confidence to make sense of it yourself. Below, we discuss four things you should know about credit reports.

Credit Scores

Since the culmination of any credit report is its credit score, we’ll start with that. It’s important to note here that the credit score shouldn’t be the only factor that drives your decision to extend credit to someone. There are a lot of extenuating circumstances that go into this number, so it’s crucial that you dig deep into the details of the report to uncover a person’s true financial obligations.

800-850 – Excellent: It’s not often you see a credit score this high, but if you do, it’s a good indication this person has done everything right.

700-800 – Great: A credit score in this range indicates that the person’s financial status isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty darn good. Extending credit to someone with a score this high isn’t usually much of a risk.

650-700 – Good: Scores in this range aren’t bad, but there are definitely some issues that need attention.

600-650 – Fair: Credit scores in this range are going to include several issues that need explaining. Red flags in the report should be investigated thoroughly to understand exactly why the score is so low.

Under 600 – Poor: Significant issues are probably to blame for scores below 600. Be leery of extending credit to anyone with a score this low as the risk is high you will have a hard time collecting.

Credit Overview

When you look at the beginning of a credit report, it gives you a summary of the information contained within. That summary is a three-digit number, otherwise known as the credit score and a quick rundown of the major factors that affected that number. Even if the credit score is decent, it’s important to delve deeper into the report to gain a full understanding of the person’s financial status.

Amount Of Credit Used

In this section of the credit report, you’ll learn just how much credit the person has used. Each person only has so much available credit. For example, if a person’s available credit is $100, and the credit report says they’ve used 47 percent of that, they’ve already borrowed $47 of the $100 they have available to them. Obviously, the closer they are to using up all their available credit, the less likely a lender is to extend more credit.

Payment History

Preceding the payment history section are the Total Monthly Payments and Total Debts sections. While informative, these sections really don’t tell you anything about the person’s actual cash flow or how likely he or she is to pay you back. The Payment History section, however, tells a very detailed story – both current and past. In the Payment History section, you’ll discover the number of times a person has been late or missed payments and whether they’ve completely neglected or ignored their financial obligations. You’ll see accounts that have been turned over to collection agencies, too. An “All Clear” or “None” indicates no issues at all.

The information above is a quick look at how to read a credit report. There is a wealth of information contained in a credit report, so it’s important you don’t just focus on the credit score itself. If you’re in a position that requires you to read a credit report, learn everything you can to gain confidence in your ability to understand them to make informed decisions.

Posted in Mortgage
April 26, 2018

Save on interest

How to Save Thousands of Dollars in Interest and Pay Your Mortgage off Faster

There are a few easy ways to make extra principle payments that can save you a ton of money in interest expenses and get you mortgage-free sooner than you thought possible. Here are a few simple strategies you can use:

  1. Round your monthly payment up
    The results of this simple strategy can save you a fortune and drastically reduce the length of your mortgage.
    As an example, if your monthly mortgage payments were $734 dollars a month, but you rounded it up to $800 per month, you would save more than $48,000 in interest payments, and reduce the length of your mortgage by 7.5 years!

  2. Make One Time Pre-Payments Using Your Income Tax Refund
    This is an easy way to save money and shorten your mortgage. For example, if you have a $100,000 mortgage, and you have a $1000 tax refund this year, you take apply that refund to your mortgage. Over time, this will save you more than $8600 and shave 1 year and 1 month off your mortgage! That's another amazing result from a simple strategy.

  3. Choose a 15 Year Mortgage
    If you can afford it, you are far better off getting a 15 year mortgage instead of 30. It won't cost you much more, and the interest savings are truly incredible.

If you have a mortgage of $100,000 at 8% interest over 15 years, your monthly payment would be about $200 more, but you'd end up saving $92,083 in interest over the life of your mortgage!

Using these strategies is the easiest way to reduce your interest expenses and shorten your mortgage period.

Posted in Buying
April 26, 2018

Avoid money pit

How to Avoid a Money Pit: Be on the Lookout for these 6 Warning Signs That Could Mean Expensive Repairs...

Many people think that serious defects in a home are easy to spot, but the truth is, often the most serious and costly problems can only be detected upon very close inspection. When you are considering buying a home, look for the following six telltale signs of serious problems...

  1. Roof
    Leaks are the most common problem with roofs, and are tough to detect from outside. However, from inside an attic, you can often see water marks where there is a leak.

  2. Plumbing System
    Make sure you are confident that both water systems: the one that brings fresh water in and the one that takes sewage out are functioning well before signing on the dotted line.

  3. Electrical Systems
    Before you agree to buy you should make sure that you can run all of the appliances you want to and even power tools at the same time without having a power failure. You also want to make sure that the electrical system is safe and does not present a fire hazard.

  4. Heating and Cooling Systems
    Be sure to thoroughly inspect the heating and air conditioning systems in any home you are considering purchasing.

  5. Bad Paint and Signs of Rotting
    The paint inside and outside the house can reveal a lot about the condition of the underlying material. Check several places on several walls, using your eyes and a screwdriver for poking.

  6. Cracks and other important signs
    Cracks in walls, doors not closing properly and uneven floors can all be signs that there is a problem with the foundation. If the foundation is not strong, the entire house could literally collapse, so you should carefully check for these signs. A bad foundation may not mean imminent disaster, but it could be used to bargain for a lower sale price, or you could ask to have the owner repair it before the sale.
Posted in Buying
April 26, 2018

5 costly mistakes

5 Costly Mistakes Home Buyers Make.

  1. Mistake #1
    Not knowing what they can afford before making an offer.
    The best way to avoid this is to get pre-approved for a mortgage so you know exactly how much you can afford. Usually pre-approvals are free.

  2. Mistake #2
    Not knowing who the agent represents.
    Unless an agent is working as your buyer representative, they represent the seller. Many people don't realize this.

  3. Mistake #3
    Choosing the wrong mortgage.
    A bad mortgage can cost you thousands in taxes and interest. Consult an accountant before you choose your mortgage.

  4. Mistake #4
    Not finding problems with the home before buying it.
    You should always have a professional inspector look at the home before buying it, otherwise you could be looking at huge repair costs later on. Read this guide to avoiding a money pit.

  5. Mistake #5
    Not understanding how their credit can impact their ability to purchase or refinance a home.
    Get a mortgage professional to help you go over and prepare your credit file before you buy a home.
Posted in Buying
April 26, 2018

Buying an under constructive home

EXTRA STEPS INVOLVED WITH FINANCING AN UNDER CONSTRUCTION HOME

Depending on the scenario, financing options may slightly differ if you are purchasing a brand new home that is under construction. You can either buy an under construction home from a local/regional/national builder or you can choose to build your own custom home. Below we will discuss both options and the type of financing required.

In the first scenario, buying a home from a local, regional, or national builder will not require any atypical financing than the purchase of an existing home. However, the only thing that will be different in this case as opposed to buying an already existing home is that you will apply for the loan once you sign the contract, but you will lock the terms of your loan until the property is complete. However, if you are building your own custom home then financing options differ from the financing an existing home.

By choosing to design your own home, you will encounter many style options from the fixtures to the finishes, and unless you have the cash to pay up front for all of these you will have to deal with the bank or another type of lender. Keep in mind that not all lenders offer construction loans, so you will have to do a bit of research to find out which lenders in your area offer these type of loans. A lender that provides construction loans will typically offer two solutions to help you handle your construction project. One time closing is the first solution, in this case you will be offered an interest only loan during the duration of the construction (usually from 6-12 months).

Once the construction is complete the loan converts to a fixed rate loan, there is a fee for this conversion. However, due to the high risk of this loan many lenders will choose to offer the two-closing loan. The two-closing loan as the name suggests is actually two loans, the first is taken out during the construction period and once the closing costs are paid out, the second one comes into effect as an end loan, where you will again have to pay for closing costs. Not everyone can qualify for a construction loan, in fact very few people can.

You must have excellent credit and be able to put at least 20% down in order to be eligible for a construction loan. The down payment for a construction loan is based on the cost of the land and the cost of the house. For example, if the land costs $200,000 and the home costs $250,000 then a 20% down payment would be $90,000 (($200,000 x 0.20) + ($250,000 x 0.20)). Moreover, the lender will have to do a background check of the builder as well, since not completing the project is also part of the risk. This loan is not given out as a lump sum, instead the lender decides to free more money up based on his assessment of the project needs.

Posted in Buying
April 26, 2018

Buying a Home near an Airport

You have started your home search and have even gotten an agent to help you out. Suddenly you are a bit confused, the last home the agent has shown you is exactly what you are looking for, however it happens to be near an airport. There are both advantages and disadvantages to buying a home, and to help you figure out if this location is for you, consider the following three tips.

Travel Time:
The first thing to think about is your life style. If you are always on the go then this location could be ideal as your travel time is significantly reduced.

Noise and Pollution:
Depending on the exact location of your home in the air port region noise and pollution may actually not be a problem. If your home is located directly below the flight path then you do have something to worry about. But before you write this home off, figure out how the peak flight times during night, and get information on how low they fly. Another thing to consider is the structure of the home, if the home has built in soundproofing then noise will not be an issue, at least while you are inside. However, if you spend a lot of time in the back yard or garden and cannot simply turn a deaf ear to it , then you should pass this home up to other potential buyers.

Investigate property developments:
You have to remember that one of the most important things about the home is actually the location itself, therefore it is in your best interest to see if there will be any type of future developments be it positive or negative so that you can determine if down the road your property will go up or down in value.

Whether you are interested in purchasing this home for your permanent residence or if you just look at it as an investment opportunity it is important to truly consider the above factors. Therefore, do not make a quick decision or simply think that you can overlook some things when you truly assess your lifestyle, the negative external factors that come along with having a home close to an airport and lastly the future development of the area. If you know that the airport will be expanding in the near future then this will have a negative effect on you and you can bet that it will not be a profitable future investment.

Posted in Buying