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What's the Market Doing?

by Claire Franceschetti

I know there have been many conflicting reports and the media has been spinning some very negative stories in the news. Well, the market is still chugging along and sales are UP!

Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported 1,469 sales through the Toronto MLS system during the first two weeks of January 2013. This result represented an increase of 2.4 per cent over the 1,435 transactions reported during the same period in 2012.

I’ll keep an eye on things as the month progresses and report back to you early in February. What we ARE seeing is that the number of new listings coming on the market is a bit higher which will increase the inventory and give more choices to the buyers. Sellers and their agents will need to be aware of this. The great news is that the sellers who stick close to the real market value, still have a great chance of selling ... contrary to what you may hear or see in the news.

Who do you listen to? There are multiple opinions on what’s going on out there. If you’re confused and want to get a clearer picture, please give me a call. If you know anyone who needs help with real estate and is looking for a good agent, I have one in mind!

First-time homebuyers often experience total excitement, frustrating setbacks and overwhelming anxiety much like they may have encountered on their first day of university.   These two experiences are remarkably similar.  Buyers are often searching for the perfect home.  They have high expectations of finding an affordable house with great schools, a big yard and character.  Beginning university students are also motivated to use their money wisely, tackle all of the challenges that higher education presents and earn high scores – all while working.  Along with wild expectations, there are five more blaring similarities between the two experiences. (Above, is a picture of my UofT Experience: Woodsworth College.)
 

1. Lifetime Milestone
 
Remember the excitement of the first day of University?  Finally, students move away from home and explore a whole new city away from their family and friends.  These 18 year olds get to take on more responsibility and fully enjoy their new freedoms.  Going to University is a rite of passage for many youth in Canada; it’s a huge transition.
 
For buyers, owning a home is a momentous transition into adulthood.  Homeownership is a major commitment of money and time.  When buyers purchase a home they are planting roots in a community for at least a few years.  They can finally unpack all of their boxes, settle-in and call one place home.  Buyers accept the responsibility of home maintenance and payments.
 
Both of these experiences are milestones at different stages of life.  They indicate a major transition and an increased level of responsibility.  Going to college and buying a home are both accomplishments representing maturity.
 
2. Underestimating the Lengthiness of the Process?
 
Getting into the right University can take months (if not years!).  Teenagers study for tests to qualify for acceptance, go through the application process and then wait.  Upon acceptance, students have paperwork and orientations to go through.  Finally, on the first day of class, students have to travel all around a foreign campus to get from class to class.  Even the most prepared student may underestimate how long it takes to walk or bus from class A to class B.  Getting in and adjusting to this level of school can be a stressful process that tests patience and confidence.


 


The home-buying process also takes an enormous amount of patience.  Buyers should be pre-qualified for a loan before their house hunt begins.  Finding the right home requires persistence to attend open houses, search online and stay in contact with realtors.  Buyers can be out-bid or turned down.  Once a home is selected and an offer is accepted, the process continues.  There is an inspection, tons of repeat paperwork and rapid exchanges between the buyer and lender.  After the papers are signed, the money must be issued to the seller and the deed recorded before the purchase is final.  Buyers may feel at times like they will never see the keys!
 
Lots of front-end work must be completed before finalizing acceptance into a college or the purchase of a home.  When one stressful step is completed, another begins.  The question of getting into a college or a home can be emotionally discouraging.  Both processes can be ongoing and require persistence.
 
3. Learning Curve
 
Think back on that first day of University.  Remember how every reference to a class, a department, a building or a book was expressed as an acronym?  No matter how many times new students reference their orientation manuals, those acronyms just don’t seem to stick.  Eventually, students become comfortable explaining that they live in B.T. eat lunch in the V.U. study their G.U.R.s and plan to complete a B.A. in G.S.  Even if students have all of their books on the first day and show up with every supply imaginable, these acronyms can make them feel confused or behind.
 
Similarly, first-time home buyers may feel like they know all about loan options and mortgage rates before meeting with their lender.  When all of the numbers are in front of them and all of the answers are provided in real estate jargon, it can be mind-boggling.  The choice of loan program can determine the next 30 years of a buyer’s monthly costs.  It can be distressing to make such long-lasting decisions without clarity.
 
It’s important to ask questions and do research.  Whether it’s the first day of University or the beginning of the home buying process, questioning the experts is the best way to get pointed in the right direction.  Studying the processes and topics that present challenges is another good way to get back on track.  Lacking confidence can make a student or buyer feel unprepared to move forward.  However, in time, these topics will become familiar and second nature.
 
4. Studying To Catch Up

Some professors use the first class of a semester to hand out syllabi and discuss how the course will progress over the next few months.  Other professors jump right into lecture.  Such rapid adjustment to topics can overwhelm new students.  They are often left wondering if they already missed an assignment and hoping the professor doesn’t call on them.  Alternatively, that fast approach can motivate students to read their books to get up to speed so they do not find themselves unprepared again.
 
When a buyer’s offer is accepted, he can hire an inspector to evaluate the condition of the home.  Inspections can last several hours, and the buyers are recommended to be present.  The inspector references building codes or points out structural inaccuracies.  After the findings are compiled, the buyer can decide whether he wants to proceed with the purchase or negotiate deductions.   For first-time home buyers, this step can be well above their knowledge base.  New homeowners rarely know how much it would cost to correct an electrical panel, fix some water damage or replace the roof.  Buyers may find themselves studying that night to find out if the fixes are worth the trouble.
 
A student’s first day of an intense college class or a buyer’s first home inspection can be overwhelming.  Both student and buyer should research the material to be better prepared and educated in the future.  However, even when topics are above an individual’s knowledge base, diving right in can motivate him to catch-up and become better informed.
 
5. Buyer’s Remorse
 
After students have experienced the first day of class, they may feel like they have taken on more than they can manage.  The course load could be too intense or the balancing of a job may be unachievable.  Once the tuition check goes through, it’s difficult to go back on the commitment.  The feelings of hopelessness or fear can sometimes be explained as buyer’s remorse.  All of that money is gone and applied to something that seems unattainable.
 
First-time home buyers may also experience such remorse.  Buyers go through such a long process of completing one step after another that their focus may not be on the final purchase until it’s complete.  The size of the mortgage payment can be shocking and saving money for each payment can be stressful.
 
A University education is invaluable, regardless of the career path graduates choose.  Education sets an individual up for a successful future.  A degree opens the door for more professional opportunities and higher standards of pay.  Buying a home doesn’t make perfect sense for everyone.  For most, it’s a financially sound decision for their future wealth.  Whether the home is purchased in downtown Toronto, Vaughan, Brampton or Richmond Hill, it’s a long-term investment that appreciates in value.  Although the purchases of education and a home are some of the most expensive in an individual’s lifetime, they are generally quality investments with high returns.
 
In conclusion, try to soak up the pride associated with these comparable milestones.  Stay persistent through the long processes and adapt as each presents challenges.  Begin as prepared as possible and study if the steps seem confusing.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions of experts, family, friends or the web.  When it’s finally complete, appreciate the degree and home that were worked for so diligently.  Not everyone is steadfast enough or financially sound enough to complete University or purchase a home.  Be responsible for the commitments made and relish in the accomplishments.

Kleinburg Pumpkins ROCKED this Year!

by Claire Franceschetti

Despite the rain, the kids and pumpkins were out this year! We only got about 30 total kids, which is much lower than last year's 120 head count.

Unfortunately, due to Sandy the Hurricane, the rain never let up and we ended up with umbrellas all around.

During our neighborhood tour, I took pictures of the creative pumpkins.

I won't tell you which one is mine, but let's just say, I sell houses better than I carve pumpkins. (Must have missed that class!!!)

 

Check these ones out! Which is your favorite?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prelisting Inspections: Should Buyers Trust Them?

by Claire Franceschetti

As a buyer, should You trust the seller's pre-listing home inspection report?
 
My clients often ask this question of me when they are preparing to offer on a property.  
 
This type of report is prepared by an inspector at the request of the seller, mostly for properties that are holding off on offers in an attempt to generate multiple offers.  
 
Pre-listing home inspection reports that are paid for by the seller may or may not be accurate. Companies that do home inspections are only as good and as ethical as the hired inspector.  If an inspector produces a report that overlooks certain problems, the buyer may not be aware of impending liabilities.  
 
 
As a Buyer's agent working for the interests of the buyer, I would always recommend a property be inspected by a Qualified home inspector of the buyers choice prior to buying a property.  
 
If there are no competing offers on the table, I would suggest to always include the condition of a home inspection.  Even in the case of a total demolishing job, I would still recommend an inspection to determine whether there are special waste disposal issues to consider during demo. (i.e. removal of vermiculite or asbestos can be very costly.)
 
If there are several other expected offers, one option is to get a home inspector of the buyer's choice though the property prior to offer presentation.  Most listing agents allow this to happen as it's a good indication that the buyers are building a stronger offer.  
 
 
Last Word: Beware of Cheap Inspections! Quality inspections by qualified and competent inspectors are worth the price. Don't opt for the cheapest inspector.

There is rarely a day that goes by without being asked about the market. When I grab my daily coffee at Coffee Time or Starbucks in town (I change it up every day depending on how I'm feeling), I am quizzed on what's going on. So here's a quick update that looks promising if you're thinking of making a move.

1.  Sales are UP!

The Toronto Real Estate Board reported 10,350 firm sales in April 2012, which is nearly 1500 more homes than the 8,778 firm deals during April 2011.  The strongest sales growth was seen amongst the single-detached home market, with sales up by 22 % compared to a year ago.

2. Prices are UP!

Shockingly, the average price for April 2012 transactions was $517,556 – up 8.5 per cent
compared to April 2011. Comparatively, condominium apartment sales has more supply, and thus has only seen a moderate price growth of 4%.

3. Still a Sellers Market

What does this mean for sellers? Since demand has increased, and supply has not kept up, competition between buyers has increased. (The dreaded multiple offer frenzy for buyers is still upon us.) It follows then that the strongest annual price increase was also seen for single-detached homes.

4. Sitting it Out is a Dumb Idea

I have lost a few buyer clients because the thought that the market would collapse a few years back. They sold their homes and began to rent. They have spend thousands of dollars in rent, and their equity is earning close to no interest.  They are further behind at this point than staying in the market and living without fearing the timing of buying and selling.

I love my job...I actually love it so much it doesn't feel like a job at all! So next time you ask me "How's the Market?", upsize the coffee because we've got lots to discuss!


 

Here's something to really keep in mind when you are considering a New Build as an investment property.

Give me a call to discuss this or other aspects of buying investment properties!

Displaying blog entries 1-6 of 6

Contact Information

Photo of Claire Franceschetti Real Estate
Claire Franceschetti
Right At Home Realty Inc.
190 Marycroft Ave.
Vaughan ON L4L5Y2
Direct: 416-918-6325
Office: 416-391-3232
Fax: Fax: 416-987-8001