buying

Why You Should Consider an Apartment

Photo by   Pixabay   from   Pexels

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

You deserve to live in a home that you love. It needs to have all of the amenities and features that not only provide convenience but offer you comfort and relaxation. While a single-family home can provide all of this for you, plus much more, it isn’t the only housing option you should consider. An apartment or condo are housing options that have many benefits but are often overlooked. Here are several reasons why you should consider renting an apartment. 

1. The Finances

One of the benefits of choosing an apartment is the cost. Over the past several years in the Toronto area, housing prices have increased. This has made it increasingly hard for many individuals, particularly first-time homebuyers, to purchase a home. They do not have the down payment and other expenses saved up to qualify for a home loan. 

When you choose an apartment, this is not a worry. Rent is much less expensive each month than a monthly mortgage payment in the GTA. You also don’t need the money to pay for maintenance and expenses on the home. If money is already tight, you can keep yourself in a much stronger financial situation with an apartment. 

2. The Responsibility

There are many benefits to owning a home. However, with these benefits comes much responsibility. It will require a substantial amount of time, energy, and money to keep your property in tip-top condition. However, this is not the case with an apartment. In most situations, the landlord or a handyman hired by the landlord will handle all of the maintenance and repairs for the apartment.

3. Location

Photo by   Burst   from   Pexels

Photo by Burst from Pexels

No matter what part of the city you choose to live in, you can typically find an apartment available. This is beneficial if you want to live right in the heart of downtown to make commuting and proximity to various amenities much easier. However, keep in mind that when you live closer to downtown or in busy and popular areas of the city, you will find higher monthly rent rates than elsewhere. 

4. Flexibility

When you purchase a home, you will want to reside in the area for several years. If not, you may find that you lose a considerable amount of money when selling your home. It can also be a major hassle to move from one area to the next. However, this is not the case with an apartment. Moving from place to place is as simple as canceling an upcoming lease. You don’t need to go through any complex or overwhelming selling processes. This is particularly ideal if you do not like your apartment or your current location. 

Living in an apartment has many benefits but it may not be the best choice for all individuals. Before you decide whether a single-family home or an apartment is the right choice for you, you will want to weigh the pros and cons of each and look carefully at your own financial situation and housing needs. 

Get in touch to learn more. 

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. 

The Pros and Cons of a Pre-List Inspection

Are you considering putting your house on the market? Wondering what you should do to increase the value of your home before you list it for sale? A pre-listing inspection presents a great opportunity for both of these things, but weigh out the pros and cons before you commit.

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Pro: You Know Repairs Ahead of Time

Part of the reason a potential buyer will complete an inspection is to decide if there are any repairs that need to be done to the home ahead of purchase. If this is the case, they will likely request the current owner to complete them as a condition of settlement. If you, as the owner, aren’t aware of these issues ahead of time, it can be a costly endeavour to have them fixed. Knowing beforehand the condition of your home makes the requirements more manageable.

Pro: Accurate Pricing

After you have the inspection done it will be much easier for the agent to recommend an accurate price for your home, as they will be able to use the results of the inspection and know what condition the home is in.

Pro: Improve Buyer Confidence

Whenever you can hand a buyer a completed inspection form, and show them that you have put in the effort to make the most of the sale and optimize the property for a new owner, this is good news. This immediately paints you as an honest seller, and helps ease any scepticism the buyer may have about the current condition of the home.

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Con: Added Expense

When you choose to have a home inspection done ahead of listing, you, as the seller have to pay for it (usually). Once you list the property, the inspection costs become the responsibility of the buyer. Given that inspections can cost anywhere from $400 - $800, this may be an added expense you don’t want in an already expensive time.

Con: Disclosure Laws

What if you find something in the inspection that is costly for you to repair and you opt not to repair it? Unfortunately, depending on your location, disclosure laws may require you to disclose all issues to the buyer. If you have money to make the necessary repairs, this will be a non-issue, but if, as above, these are an added expense you are not prepared to deal with, it may in fact hurt your chances of selling or devalue your home by getting the pre listing inspection.

Con: Two Inspections

Don’t assume that you having an inspection done is going to suffice: the buyer will still likely have their own inspection done. For this, you will still be required to go through the buyer’s inspection and discuss the outcomes accordingly.

While the notion of an inspection can be daunting, and it can be hard to know what is the best course of action, working with an experienced real estate agent can help you out a great deal. I would love to offer you my services as an agent and help you navigate all parts of home selling, including inspections. Please get in touch to learn more.