Can I Afford a Condo in Toronto?

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It is no secret that condo prices in Toronto are high, but how high are they? 

During the first quarter of the year, condo prices have increased by 3.6%. With this increase, the average condo price in Toronto is now $600,000. These high and crazy prices have made it difficult for many homebuyers to afford and even consider condo living in this city. 

Are Condo Prices Expected to Keep Rising?  

While condo prices certainly rose during the first quarter, this was actually the slowest increase since 2015. The price per square foot for a condo also saw its lowest increase since 2014, which was only 3.3% or $683. This may mean the market is slowly cooling off but if you have any plans to purchase a condo in the future, you will still want to prepare accordingly. The average price for a 3-bedroom condo in the city is $800,000 while a studio condo will still cost you half a million dollars. 

Additionally, condos may become more affordable in the future due to their heavy supply. According to Urbanation, during the first quarter of 2019, there were 71,378 condo units under construction.

How to Improve Your Chances of Purchasing a Condo in Toronto

If you are interested in purchasing a condo in Toronto, you will need to prepare. The high prices will make it harder to qualify and become approved for a mortgage. Here are just a few things to consider before you seriously begin the house hunt. 

Improve Your Credit Score

Your credit score tells lenders about your financial history and habits. If you have a high score, lenders are more likely to let you borrow large sums of money and you will qualify for lower interest rates. If your credit score is low, it is in your best interest to work on improving it before the pre-approval process.  

Pay Off Your Debt

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Your debt not only plays a role in your credit score but also in whether a lender will approve your loan. Ideally, all of your debts should not exceed 40% of your gross income. These debts include your housing, automobile, consumer debts, etc. If you have a substantial amount of debt, work on lowering it before you jump into the real estate market. 

Work With a Qualified Real Estate Agent

If you are interested in purchasing a condo or another housing option in the Toronto area, you want to work with a qualified real estate agent. This professional knows the ins and outs of the market and can help you find a home that you will love and can afford. Make sure to discuss your budget with your agent and some of the features you want and desire in your next house.  

While there are signs of the condo market slowing down, prices are still significantly high. Be prepared for purchasing a home by improving your credit score, paying off debt, and working with a qualified agent who can help you find the right home at the right price. 

Get in touch to learn more. 

4 Budget-Friendly Ways You Can Increase Your Home’s Value

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If you are selling your Toronto home, you want to receive the best deal possible. You want it to make an instant impression and stand out in the real estate market. However, the real estate market in Toronto is not as hot as it was years ago so you want to find ways to increase your home’s value without hurting your budget. Luckily, this is easy to do. Let’s talk about several ways you can increase your home’s value without hurting your bank account.

1. Finish Your Basement

If you have an unfinished basement, hiring a contractor to complete this area of your home should be at the top of your list. This will not only improve your home’s value but it is more appealing to potential buyers. It gives them more space, rooms, a bathroom, etc. You don’t have to opt for luxury upgrades either to see the benefits of finishing this space. You can easily work with contractors to finish this project within a realistic budget. 

2. Create an Outdoor Living Space

Many homeowners are looking for usable outdoor space. They want a place where they can gather with friends and family, relax, and more. Creating this outdoor space is not only appealing for potential buyers but it also improves the curb appeal of your home as well. You can easily create this space by completing basic landscaping tasks such as mowing the lawn, planting fresh flowers, trimming trees, etc. If you need to implement some shade, you don’t need to build an expensive pergola or covered patio. You can use large umbrellas or shade sails to add the protection and colour to your yard as well.

3. Update Your Kitchen

A complete kitchen remodel can cost you thousands of dollars. In fact, a full renovation can cost you more than $20,000 and more than $30,000 if you choose luxury materials and appliances. Luckily, there are several things you can do in this room that will increase your home’s value and will cut down the costs. A few ideas include: 

  • Refinish and painting the cabinets

  • A fresh coat of paint on the walls

  • Install new hardware on cabinets

  • Replace old light fixtures

4. Focus on Home Security

Buyers are not only looking for a house that is convenient and beautiful, but secure as well. Improving the security of your home can be extremely simple. For example, you may update and improve the exterior lighting throughout your home. This could be as simple as replacing old light fixtures or installing a few additional motion sensors. You may also install new locks throughout your home. If you want to take your security a step farther, consider smart locks and camera doorbells as well. These are fairly inexpensive smart home devices that are perks for many buyers, particularly younger buyers. 

You don’t have to drain your savings to update your home and increase its value. By completing a few of the above projects, you and potential buyers will notice the difference. 

Get in touch to learn more.

Why You Should Always Use Staging

In booming real estate markets like the GTA, setting up your home for a successful sale all comes down to planning. From choosing the best season to list your home, to ensuring all your major repair work has been completed, every seller seeks to optimize their home to ensure a smooth sales process. Although staging can temporarily disrupt your daily routine, its proven benefits far outweigh the negatives, especially if you want to want to sell your home quickly. Here’s why you should always use staging.

Stand Out From The Crowd

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In a competitive market like Toronto’s, filled with fantastic properties, standing out from the crowd can be a challenge, especially if you’re selling a popular style of home such as a condo. Staging can help set your property apart by showing off it’s unique possibilities to potential buyers, and inviting them to imagine the lifestyle they could have there. When it comes to listing your property online, listings with photos that showcase the properties will always book more showings and tend to make a greater impact in buyers’ memories. Don’t forget, your staged photos are the first look most interested buyers will have of your home. You only have one chance to make a great first impression.

Sell Your Home Faster

Listings that book more showings, tend to sell faster. A professionally staged home shows off all of its best features, can help hide any shortcomings, and help potential buyers connect more easily with the space. Although these benefits may seem trivial, they go a long way when it comes to creating the emotional connection with a property many buyers seek before putting in an offer and putting any of their anxieties at ease. Staging optimizes your home for potential buyers and gives you a leg up on the competition by making your home as attractive and functional as possible.  

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Snag a Premium Price

With real estate prices as high as they are, buyers and sellers want to get the most bang for their buck. For buyers, this means they need to justify the price they’re paying for the property, while sellers will want to garner the highest offer possible. Staging your home enhances its appeal, making it more enticing to buyers and increases the chances they’ll be willing to pay top dollar. Because staged homes also tend to sell more quickly than others, they’re less likely to receive low-ball offers as interested buyers recognize the true value of the property, and don’t want to gamble their chance to secure their dream home.

Today, it’s believed that staged homes can generate an ROI ranging from 5%-20%. Not bad for only a few days of disruption! Although a few years ago staging was a relatively new concept, in today’s modern market, buyers expect a pleasant shopping experience and have a higher set of aesthetic criteria as a result of social media sites such as Pinterest and Instagram. Hence, all sellers should seriously consider staging if they want to stay competitive in today’s real estate market and sell their home successfully.

 

The Proof is in the Pudding

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I recently sold my condo in North York with Will. He was incredibly easy to work with and did an outstanding job. He made sure I understood what was happening at each stage of the process and was sure to carefully go through the offers so I understood them. His recommendations for painting, staging, and lawyers were all great, and my condo sold incredibly quickly at the price we hoped for. Thanks again Will!
— Tyler M.

Get in touch to learn more.