Posts Tagged ‘condos’
The purchase price is never really “the final price”, is it? From car’s to condo’s it seem’s like many high priced items tend to have a ton extra costs that quickly add up. Thankfully, there’s a new service from ClosingCosts.ca that helps calculate all those pesky little extras - efficiently and clearly!
The ClosingCosts.ca team put together a short summary of what their site does and how it could help make your next real estate purchase a more organized process:
Why Buyers Should Use a Closing Costs Calculator
When it comes to buying a house, it never hurts to have extra money set aside. We know, we know… that seems impossible, when prices are high and a down payment can seem difficult enough to save for. But while it’s easy to calculate the minimum down payment you’ll need for your dream home, closing costs aren’t always so straightforward. Too many first-time buyers make the mistake of not budgeting for closing costs and are left scrambling for extra cash on closing day. MyClosingCosts.ca is the only website that demystifies closing costs by providing users with a realistic idea of what buying a home is actually going to cost them.
What are Closing Costs?
Closing costs are the transaction costs you have to pay when buying real estate. Seriously, there’s a lot more to closing costs than your down payment. First, you’ll want to bring a Toronto home inspector in – that’ll cost you on average $450. You’ll need to put a deposit down – there’s another couple thousand dollars. You will have to pay Ontario’s land transfer tax plus Toronto’s land transfer tax, which is likely the most expensive closing cost. And then there are legal fees, disbursements, title insurance, and the list goes on and on.
So how much should you budget for closing costs? $1,000 or $2,000 should do it, right? Wrong! We recommend if you’re buying a home to budget 1.5 to 4 per cent of your home’s purchase price for closing costs. For example, if you’re buying a house for $550,000, you should be prepared to pay anywhere from $8,250 to $22,000 extra on closing day – and that’s on top of your down payment. It adds up fast! In fact, your closing costs could be almost as much as your down payment, if you’re only putting down 5 per cent.
Closing Cost Calculator
If there’s a property you’re thinking of buying – or even just looking at – pull up the MLS listing and plug in what you know about it into our closing costs calculator. Not only is our calculator easy to use, in less than five minutes you’ll have a realistic idea of how much to budget for closing costs. Similar to a receipt from your favourite restaurant, we will break down the closing costs line by line. When you’re done, you can download a PDF report that summarizes your closing costs. And if you need it, we can even put you in touch with a home inspector or real estate lawyer in Toronto.
MyClosingCosts.ca is your guide to understanding the not-so-obvious real estate expenses. We created the site with buyers in mind, so you aren’t caught off guard with unexpected fees that you can’t pay for. If you aren’t ready to buy, stop by our education centre to learn more about the closing costs you’ll have to pay one day. Our education centre includes common questions from both buyers and sellers; if you have a question of your own, you’ll most likely find the answer here. There’s nothing quite like MyClosingCosts.ca on the web, and it’s free to use, so try it out today!
As Treviso starts to take shape, I passed by my future home to snap some pics of it’s progress… but what I got was much more!
Currently at 11 floors above ground, Phase 1 is coming up quick! The sales centre has been moved to the north end of the lot, in-front of the McDonalds. The old Shoppers Drug Mart that once occupied the space and relocated to the east end of the lot and is accessible from 770 Lawerence Ave. West.
BUUUT the biggest news to come out from the corner came from a small sign posted on the construction boards! It looks to me like the developers are wanting to increase the heights in phase 1 from 20 storeys to 25 and from 24 to 29 in phase 2… no word at the moment as to what this means for phase 3!
I’ve started a community Facebook group for purchasers at the development, please join and share if you know anyone else who bought at Treviso!
There aren’t many condos being built in Toronto that I can say hit as close to home as The Hub Condos by Empire Communities… and there probably aren’t very many Realtors who can talk about the area of the new development as well as me!
The future site of The Hub actually backs on the street I’ve lived on my entire life! Located at on the corner of Eglinton and Oakwood, Empire Communities is the first condo developer to venture in this part of town – and with good reason. With plans of the new LRT line well underway, getting in early offers the best chance for benefiting from all that’s happening!
Early next week more details of The Hub will be released, but I’ve been lucky enough to preview some early floorplans and renderings… I gotta say – I like what I saw! Units range from about 500 sq. ft. to just over 1000 sq. ft., and will include a variety of 1 bedroom, 1+den, 2 bedroom and 2+den layouts. I can’t post the floorplans online just yet but I was able to leak a few renderings of what the condo will one day look like!
If you’d like early access to prices and floorplans fill out the form below:
Just when you mastered the iPad, Nawar Naji (a mortgage broker friend from twitter) comes along and tweets a video from the Corning company that totallllllllllllly changes everything… and the best part – it was made 2 years ago.
Meant as a “concept video” for all the possibilities Corning can one day create, the video takes you through a typical 9-5 in the not so distant future! Several reactions crossed my mind while watching it, the first: “Wow, and how much?” The second: “ok, maybe this is a little too much tech in the home.” And the third: “what changes can this bring to the real estate market today.”
Take for example the Condo Sales Centre… Currently, you walk in, check out a few floorplans, tour a model suite (if even that) and fork over a chunk of change based on a black and white sketch! To any developers listening, I say: forget the models and fancy upgrades, INVEST YOUR MONEY IN THIS TECHNOLOGY!
If given the chance I’d buy a big open space and fit a room full of Corning screens. The room would generate a 3D model of the condo unit to scale and from one place you’d be able to shop and compare several buildings at once! Just think of all the possibilities… future views could be displayed, colour selection and upgrades visualized and changed in real time, heck even furniture layouts could be added or subtracted with a simple swipe of the hand.
Truthfully and realistically, getting competitors to create open sourced deceives that can communicate as smoothly as in the video seems pretty unlikely – but the advantages of incorporating a few into our daily lives today would be huge! Check out the video they came out with in 2012!
The possibilities are endless for how this technology can change in our lives… but so too may be the hydro bill!
BLAHHHH, Multiple Offers!!!
For those who haven’t had their dream home snatched from them at a ridiculous number more much more than it’s value, let me tell you how they work…
Typically, a bidding war is strategically planned when demand out weighs supply. Essentially the home is priced much less then fair market value to give hopefuls the illusion of a “great deal” on an under-priced home. In reality the seller of that bargain price is expecting more and won’t part with their home until a much higher price is achieved.
I’ve personally worked with buyers who’ve submitted up to 7 different offers on homes, only to be disappointed time after time. I kept reassuring them that their strategy was sound and they were approaching the difficult challenge in the smartest of ways. Basically I’d show them my finding as to what past sales dictated a fair market price range. Once that was known, they’d a agree on a price ceiling for how much higher than fair market value they’d want to go… heck, if it’s your dream home, and you really love the place going a few thousand dollars over, won’t really matter after 10 years of living there!
Since all offers are given in secrecy in Toronto, it’s impossible to know the terms and prices each buyer is giving. This creates a further problem of people giving blind bids without truly knowing what they’re up against. With so much at stake and emotions running high I’ve seen homes sell for flat out stupid numbers that I don’t think anyone without the pressure of a bidding war would pay… and this creates a further problem of pushing up prices much faster and artificially then it should.
Enter my latest adventure to Melbourne Australia… it was down there that I discovered a solution to our problem described above in the form of an 7 lettered word: AUCTION
It’s a brilliant idea that truly embodies over used “transparency” word that so many real estate professionals up here claim to promote. The process working like this: for a week or two before the auction date, buyers and their realtors tour the home and get their home inspections and financing in order. For pricing, a range is given as to where bids should start (typically 10% below the homes value) and a minimum amount the seller would accept is also often known (For example, a price must hit a price floor before the sellers agree to sell). Saturdays are the most typical days set for auction. Groups of buyers and their Realtors meet in-front of the house to start the OPEN style of bidding. The technicalities of how the auction happens, strategies for winning, and the paperwork that follows aren’t really important to the point I’m trying to make, so I’m not going to get into things further… the key phrase to focus on is: open style bidding.
In Toronto we’re restricted from disclosing any of the terms related to an offer in a bidding war, but to be completely honest – I don’t understand why? Save for the personal name of the buyer… everything else should be completely open to the parties bidding on the home.
Think about it – if you really want the home, maybe you’ll pay the premium to get it. But in our current system, there’s no way of knowing what the other person is offering. This causes a lot of blind bids and foolish offers based on some made up number that you feel might win you the place!
Bidding wars have been the “new norm” since at least 2008… that’s 5 years already. It’s time we look at ways to do it right, and truly be transparent to the people that are supporting this market. I’m really curious to what others think, so please take a second to fill out the poll below. If you disagree with an open auction style, please do leave a comment explaining why!
I’m in my final week of travels down under, yet still finding it incredibly hard to find time to blog vs. getting an even tan throughout my pasty white body! Thankfully I’ve got great guest bloggers like Chris Molder to help me out on the blogging side, and beautiful beaches to help me with the tan!
This week Chris compares shopping for mortgages with purchasing toaster ovens:
What’s the difference between a mortgage and a toaster oven?
Seems like a pretty silly question but there is one major difference that you need to understand before you take the real estate plunge.
When you shop for a toaster-oven or any consumer good for that matter, the price is set and firm. You can shop it around to get a better price from one store to the next but once you pay, the amount you paid for that toaster oven won’t change. Your cost is fixed and nothing you do later will ever cause the price to change.
Mortgages are different from almost every other item you’ve ever bought.
Why? Because the price you pay, also known as interest, is impacted by the choices you make throughout the life of your mortgage.
Let me explain.
Borrowers are mostly concerned with the lowest interest rate. The thinking is that the lower the rate the more I save. This is only half true. The lowest mortgage rate will save you money compared to a higher rate but if you want to minimize the total cost of your mortgage you have to look beyond just the rate.
You have the opportunity to affect how much interest you pay. For example the simple choice of setting up bi-weekly accelerated payments can save you tens of thousands of dollars in interest not paid to the lender. Every dollar not paid to the lender is a dollar in your pocket.
Consider the example bellow; column #1 shows regular monthly payments and column #2 shows bi weekly accelerated payments. The last two lines show the amount of interest saved simply by making payments more frequently. That’s $13,493 of interest saved.
As a borrower you have choices throughout the life of your mortgage that will effect the total cost of your mortgage. If you stay focused on just the interest rate as your mortgage reduction strategy you’ll end up paying more to the lender than you should. But with a some simple strategies and cashflow management you can save yourself thousands of dollars and be mortgage-free years sooner.
Imagine what you’ll do when you are mortgage free? Think of all the toaster ovens you can buy!
Christopher Molder is a Toronto Mortgage broker with Tridac Corporation Ltd – The Mortgage Centre. He writes on his blog sonofabroker.com with a primary focus on showing Canadian mortgage borrowers how to reduce their mortgage debt. He’s my buddy and a true professional, you can sign up on his blog for more great mortgage reduction tips.
With Mark off basking in the sun in Australia, he left his trendsetting Must Have Mondays blog series to the most trendy gal he knows, me. Or, at least that’s what I’d like to think, and he is not here to say otherwise.
So, let me bring your attention to my latest discovery, or, if we are getting technical here, rediscovery, the Calling Card.
As someone who obsesses over bygone eras and BBC period dramas (the recent success of Downton Abbey suggests I am not alone), I am fascinated by historic fashions and customs. One such fascination is the Calling Card. Before the business card and before business people were even considered amongst the ranks of good society, proper gentlemen (the old money kind) used to “call” on a household and present their card.
When I spotted a modern-day Calling Card amid my Pinterest feed, I immediately set out investigating the source. I soon found out that the cards are slowly gaining momentum again.
Why might one need a Calling Card when one has business cards, you might ask? Well, let me count the ways. Let’s say you are a girl (or guy)-about-town who frequents new places and people, or are seeking out a new career or love life, the Calling Card could come in handy. In fact, this comprehensive Gentleman’s Guide to the Calling Card lists many opportunities for its use and vendors where you can order them.
I favour the old school letterpress versions myself, and like the metallic foil and embellishments offered by this Bespoke Letterpress Calling Cards site. However, these can get a bit pricey. As an alternative, you can design one yourself like I did that allows for a little more self-expression. With the fuchsia and bronze colour scheme and fun typography I would like to think my Calling Card says: lively, amusing, confident and unapologetically girly.
Now the next time I am presented the occasion to utter “Call me maybe” and slip my card, I can keep the interest going long after I am gone with a distinctive Calling Card.
Kerri-Lynn McAllister is the Chief Marketing Officer at Ratehub.ca, a site that compares Canadian mortgage rates