Friday, February 17, 2017

Buyers Were Asking: Added Value

Added Value?

When are inclusions added into a purchase price a value and when are they not?  Anyone who is in the market for a new home eventually asks the question, "What are they including?".  The thing is, the inclusions or exclusions can be negotiated...that is, if you really want them.  

For the Realtor, adding items into a mix can sometimes end up being a nightmare.  We are usually the first ones a buyer calls when the fridge conks out.  As much as we can try to help, it's not really our responsibility to buy you a new one.  It's the old adage, 'Buyer Beware'.  

If you really want the used appliances, you have to recognize that they don't often come with a warranty.  Your home inspector will not offer you an opinion on appliances, so, you really are taking a chance.  Yes, you can ask that the seller represents that the appliances will be in good working order upon closing, but, what about six months down the road?

That is not to say, don't take them if they are offered. It simply means you need to be somewhat aware.  If the appliance looks well used, chances are, you need to plan for replacement.  If they give you a year or two, great.  If they stop working within the first week or two after moving in, well, maybe it wasn't such a cost savings negotiating them into the deal.  Yes, if there is an existing problem, it should be noted on the Seller Property Information Statement, but, an appliance can break down at any time. 

Sometimes, you're just better off buying your own appliances separate from the house deal!

If we can help, contact us!  

Friday, February 10, 2017

Buyers Were Asking: Closing Costs

Closing Costs

A question that often arises is, "What other costs are involved in buying a house?"  Well here they are:

  • Down Payment - After you have put down a deposit with the offer, you can continue to save money toward increasing the down payment to further lower your monthly mortgage expense.  A down payment under 25% will mean your mortgage is considered a 'high ratio loan', therefore will be subject to mortgage insurance fees.  A down payment above 25% is considered a 'conventional mortgage' which will not be subject to additional fees.
  • Survey - ensure your Realtor has requested any existing survey the owner may have on hand.  Your lender will require the paperwork for financing purposes.  If a survey is not available, the cost can run close to $1,000.
  • Land Transfer Tax - the calculation is; .5% x the first $55,000 plus 1.0% from $55,000 to $250,000 plus 1.5% from $250,001 to $400,000 (I'll stop there, if you're looking to get an idea, there are many online Land Transfer Tax calculators like, this one)
  • Legal Fees - Call around, typical fees range from $400 - $600 plus HST.
  • Disbursements - Title search fees, letter searches, registration costs, prorated adjustments (property taxes, fuel holdbacks, special assessments / levies), miscellaneous (photocopies, fax transmissions, courier, long distance, travel costs).
  • Home Inspection - Call around, typical fees range from $400 - $600 dependent on house size.  
  • Moving Costs - Call around to get quotes from various moving companies.  Again, the price quoted will be dependent on square footage of your current living space.  If you're doing the beer and pizza thing, check out a truck rental place.  
Good luck with your purchase, and, your move!

If you're looking for professionals to help with the whole process, we've got a great resource!  Check out our directory of referred professionals, here

Monday, February 6, 2017

Market Update: Market Conditions and Spring Forecast

Market Conditions and Spring Forecast

The average sale price in December in Burlington was $707,652, that is up over $150,000 from December of last year.  In Hamilton, on the mountain, the average sale price was $430,742, Stoney Creek $475,017...all unprecedented stats, but, appearing to be our new normal.  

Trends continuing are our lack of inventory and low interest rates.  New trends emerging are how buyers and sellers are reacting.  The long waiting lists for senior assisted care have some taking matters into their own hands and hiring in-home personal care workers.  This live-in solution can offer a win/win for both senior and PSW.  If you have the space and can keep yourself safe in your own home, it’s not a bad solution when you consider how many seniors dig their heels in at the very thought of moving into a retirement home.  

The new normal has been just how many millennials have never left home and for those who have, how many have boomeranged.  Sounds too good to be true for the baby boomers who are ok with it.  Really, if your kids are helping you and paying part of the quickly diminishing or non-existent mortgage, it sounds like the perfect arrangement.  Very similar to the senior reaction to the retirement home.  Not so. As it turns out, this generation is tapping into their boomer parents’ retirement plans and investment, forcing the boomers to continue working to make up for the lost investment.  

2017 has started as 2016 left off...multiple offers, low, low inventory, low interest rates.  

Let's see where it goes...when we can us!  

Friday, February 3, 2017

Buyers Were Asking: The Further Visit

The Further Visit

After the excitement wears down, thoughts to actually moving into your newly purchased home bring about the questions as your memory dims on what you actually recall about the new place.  Measurements need to be made for that 'about to be bought' fridge, or, new draperies.  You may wish to show the kids, or Mom and Dad, or bring by contractors.  

Hopefully, you have a clause that entitles you to a further visit, or, maybe two.  Ensuring a further visit is important as if you don't stipulate that in the offer, you may not get an opportunity to get back in until the day of closing.  The misnomer is that your lawyer can enforce a visit for you to walk through a day before the deal is scheduled to close.  Not so.  

If you have a further visit or two, be courteous to the owners as they're now off the market and your timing may not be convenient for them.  Try to schedule your visit with enough notice given and provide some alternative times for them to choose what works well for them.  Give consideration to the days leading to the closing.  This really is not a good time to re-visit as, for obvious reasons, they are stressed.  Sometimes, a lawyer will suggest you do this to ensure the house is in good order.  Well, it won't be, it'll be in an uproar. Don't try to get in the day before closing.  

If you feel you have cause for concern, advise your lawyer ahead of time and then ensure you contact him or her asap upon entry to report any issues.

Now...if you've purchased, and need that lawyer to assist in your closing, we've got you covered, with some of our recommendations, here!