Friday, April 29, 2016

Buyers Were Asking: Condo Living


Town homes and condominium apartments have become popular housing choices for the empty-nester baby boomers, tired of lawns and unneeded space. Typically the choice of home buyers who have been priced out of the ever-escalating single family home market, the condo’s ‘image’ problem has been corrected in recent years. Builders paying attention to demographics have caught onto the ‘easy living’ lifestyle wishes of the baby boomer. Upscale town homes feature vaulted ceilings, hardwood flooring, large, functional kitchens and luxurious baths. The package may be smaller, but, the offering is refined. 

Many object to the condo living stigma. I say, don’t discount it if you’ve never lived anywhere but a detached home. You may just reclaim your life! To overcome your objections, do your homework. Here’s what to ask when considering a condo. And, please, don’t assume your Realtor will know the dynamics of the corporation. It’s up to you to ask and satisfy yourself.  
  • What is the tenant-to-owner ratio?
  • Are there any lawsuits pending?
  • How much insurance does the corporation carry?
  • What portion is liability insurance?
  • Are the reserves adequate?
  • What percentage increase in fees should I expect from
    year to year?
  • Exactly what am I expected to maintain?
  • What are the corporation rules?
Your offer to purchase should include a condition requesting your review and acceptance of what is termed the ‘status certificate’. This is a lengthy set of paperwork outlining the last set of financial statements prepared, the rules and regulations of the corporation and a list of the current board of directors and property manager for the corporation. You should review these papers carefully with your lawyer prior to agreeing to purchase any condo. 

Looking to start educating yourself on the condo living options out there for you?  Check out your list with preliminary info and links here!

As always, we're here to help as questions arise...Just Ask!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Market Update: Market Conditions and Summer Forecast

This is a 'nutty' market through and through.  Unprecedented lack of supply and driving consumer demand coming out of Toronto is fanning our red hot Spring market.  A market that started quite late this year, mainly due to the diminished supply.  For all those in the market right now, best wishes is all I can say.  Even attempting to advise someone or predict the outcome of a multiple bidding war is akin to shaking a crazy 8 ball.  Last month, the sale to list ratio was at 100% with an average sale price in Burlington of $616,150, further evidence of the bidding war numbers.  Hamilton fared even better with a 101% sale to list ratio with the Mountain averaging 102%! all we keep saying when we hear the sale prices.  Blurred neighbourhood lines are skewing neighbourhood values with the Toronto market now marching across the bridge and starting to buy up Stoney Creek and Grimsby markets.  If you don't have to buy, my advice would be to hold onto your  money and wait until this market settles somewhat. 

To keep on top of the ever-changing market, visit the Monthly Statistics page on our website, here

As always, we're here to help as questions arise...Just Ask!

Friday, April 8, 2016

You Were Asking: Buried Oil Tanks


Oh yes, we still do run across these on occasion in the older neighbourhoods.  If you have one, it is your responsibility to adequately maintain the tank (whether inside, or, outside your home) to prevent any spills or leakage that could occur.  Ontario regulations stipulate that tanks must be replaced every 15 - 25 years, depending on the tank design and steel thickness.  These days, anyone selling who currently still has an oil tank should know the age of the tank, location (if buried), and also possess some kind of proof that the tank installation meets current safety requirements.  Know that your prospective buyers’ insurance company will be asking these questions, so, it’s always best to be prepared ahead of any offer.  If you’re a buyer contemplating a purchase, ask who the fuel supplier is and if you can review the service/inspection records the seller has on hand. 

As always, we're here to help as questions arise...Just Ask!

Friday, April 1, 2016

Buyers Were Asking: Are You in the Market?


A realtor’s gauge is 3 simple words: Ready, Willing and Able. Some buyers are willing, but, not ready or able. How do you know? 

Ready may mean that if you are moving up or down, your current home is ‘market’ ready. Meaning, the moment you find the move-up/downsize home of your dreams, you are prepared to put your current home on the market that day. 

Willing. Some people are ‘tire kickers’. They appear willing, but, then, the “well, buts” come. They find excuses not to make the move. The timing is not right. The family is not prepared. The price isn’t right. If the home only had one more room, or, the right shade of colour on the walls. The lack of motivation doesn’t cause the willingness. 

Able. Are all your ducks in a row? Have you been to the bank and discovered what you can afford? Have you considered all your options? Being ready, willing AND able takes some work.

If you're looking for more resources before you take the plunge, visit the links within our section For Buyers, on our website.

As always, we're here to help as questions arise...Just Ask!