The Home Buying Process: 7 Steps to Success

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The Home Buying Process: 7 Steps to Success

Home buyers tend to have a lot of questions about the house hunting and buying process. This is particularly true for first-time buyers who have never navigated their way through it before. This article lays it all out for you, from start to finish. Here are seven steps you should take when buying a home.

1. Review your credit situation.

Credit scores are an important qualifying factor for home buyers who need mortgage financing. The FICO score, in particular, is the one most commonly used by mortgage lenders. According to industry experts, home buyers generally need a credit score of 600 or higher to qualify for a loan. But that number is not set in stone, and some loan programs are more flexible than others.

You can order your credit reports from Equifax, and then review them for errors. You can also order your credit scores (different from your reports) to see how you stack up against the national average. A higher score could help you qualify for a better mortgage rate.

2. Determine your monthly housing budget.

A mortgage lender cannot tell you how much of a monthly payment you can comfortably afford. They can only tell you the amount you qualify for. You should determine your home-buying budget for yourself, before shopping for a loan. The idea is to get a basic budget on paper, including the most you are comfortable spending each month toward your housing costs. This will come in handy later on.

3. Get pre-approved for a mortgage loan. 

If you're planning to pay cash for a home, you can obviously skip this step. But if you're like most home buyers, and you need mortgage financing to complete your purchase, you can benefit from getting pre-approved.

Pre-approval is when a mortgage lender reviews your financial and credit history to determine your "creditworthiness." When you get pre-approved for a specific loan amount, you'll be able to narrow your house search to that price range.

Having a pre-approval letter also shows sellers that you are serious about (and capable of) purchasing their home. This can make a big difference in active real estate markets, where the seller may receive multiple offers from competing buyers.

4. Find a real estate agent to help you.

All home buyers can benefit from having professional help from an agent. This is especially true if you are buying a home for the first time, or in a new city you're not familiar with. An agent can help you find a home that meets your needs, evaluate the seller's asking price, put together a strong offer, and negotiate effectively based on current market conditions.

5. Start house hunting.

House hunting is the most exciting part of the home buying process. This is where you and your agent visit homes to find one that matches your needs. If you have a smart phone, be sure to bring it along so you can take pictures. And focus on the more permanent features of the home, such as the location, the lot, the square footage, etc. Don't worry about the paint or the decor -- you can always change those things.

6. Make a smart offer based on market conditions.

Once you've determined that the seller's asking price is fair and reasonable, you are ready to make an offer on the property. Your Realtor can help you determine this price and what conditions you should include.  In most cases, it's wise to make the offer contingent upon a home inspection and mortgage approval but there are other things you may need to consider such as a status review if your buying a condo. Your agent will help you prepare an effective offer. It's one of their core skills.

7. Attend closing to sign your paperwork -- and get your keys! 

Once you've made it through the inspection stage, you're ready to arrange the closing. This is conducted in Ontario by a Real Estate Lawyer, your Realtor can help find a good one in your area.  The lawyer will make sure the title is clear of any liens, that funds are ready for closing day  and arrange for the title to be transferred from the seller to you. 

Rob is a GTA Realtor offering something a little "different", ask him about his money saving programs for buyers and sellers.

Contact him today for more details.

Sales Representative with The Red Pin Brokerage And Part Of The METeam

Builders drop prices, but who really pays the price?

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This is a sad but cautionary read, (see link below) buyers need to be very cautious when buying pre-construction homes, in my opinion even more so than resale.

I have told many buyers in the last 18 months to steer away from over-priced freehold pre-construction and that the builders priced could not be sustained.  I felt they were 15-20% over priced (the market is now agreeing with me).

For the price this lady paid she could have bought a larger house that would, in my opinion, have been much better and she would not have had to live on a construction site for 2 years whilst the other homes were being built around her.

The other thing many unsuspecting Freehold Pre-Construction buyers are unaware of is that their deposits are not secured, whereas a condo project deposits are insured.

That means if the builders go bankrupt, or cannot complete the projects buyers may well not be able to recover their deposits.

There are many other things to take into account when buying pre-construction and its important that you get good advice when purchasing.  I am not saying "dont buy pre-construction" I am saying be cautious, review prices carefully, don't impulse buy and get professional advice.

Buyers feel that the sales staff i the sales centres are there to help them, and they are to a degree.  But the vast majority of them are not licensed REALTORS and, even if they are, they are employed to represent the builder and NOT you!  They will treat you fairly, but ultimately they are not working in YOUR interests.

So make sure you hire a knowledgeable Realtor on board who is very experienced in selling pre-construction and is working for YOU and your best interests, and a real estate lawyer who has a proven history of dealing with these very complicated contracts.

Rob is a GTA Realtor offering something a little "different", ask him about his money saving programs for buyers and sellers.

Contact him today for more details.

Sales Representative with The Red Pin Brokerage And Part Of The METeam

New Listing! 30 Herons Hill Way, #1410, Toronto

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South View 1+Den Condo By Monarch, 639 Sqft (Builder's Plans). Steps To Fairview Mall, Don Mills Subway Station, Hwy 401 & 404. Amen: 24 Hr Concierge, Guest Suit, Free Shuttle To Don Mills Subway Station & Fairview Mall. Party Room, Fitness Centre, Billiard Room, Cyber Lounge And Theatre. 1 Parking (#150 Level C) & 1 Locker (#186 Level C) 150 Sq Ft Balcony With 2 Walkouts From Living & Master.

1+Den with parking and locker $448,888

What to Look For In Your New Home, Room by Room

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When viewing a home for sale, many buyers look at the property from a “macro” perspective. They ask themselves questions like: “Is it large enough?”; “Are there enough bedrooms?”; “Is it in a nice neighbourhood?” While those questions are important, it also pays to consider a potential new home from a “micro” perspective.

Here are some things to consider:

Living room and family room. Are they large enough to fit all the furniture? Are the rooms conducive to family get-togethers and entertaining? Do you need a separate living room and family room?

Kitchen. Is it important to have enough space to eat comfortably in the kitchen as well as the dining room? Does the kitchen have all the cupboard and other storage space you need? Will your fridge fit?

Bathroom. Is the main floor bathroom uncomfortably small? Does the ensuite bathroom have all the features you desire, such as a large tub and/or separate shower? Do you need double sinks?

Bedrooms. Is the master bedroom large enough to fit the bed and other furniture? Does it have the closet space you need? Are the other bedrooms large enough for your needs? (It’s a good idea to get the measurements of these rooms as it can be difficult to judge measurements during a viewing.)

Storage space. This is particularly important if you’re shopping for a condo. Does the storage space or locker have the space you need?

Closets. Are there enough closets for your needs? Is there a linen closet?

Garage. Homeowners use the garage for more than just cars. If you plan to use this space for storage or hobbies, check that the garage will be suitable for those purposes.

Want more tips on selecting your next dream home? Call today!

Rob is a GTA Realtor offering something a little "different", ask him about his money saving programs for buyers and sellers.

Contact him today for more details.

Sales Representative with The Red Pin Brokerage And Part Of The METeam

VIP Access to Charisma Condos 2

Charisma Condos 2 - Vaughn

Charisma Condos 2 - Vaughn

Charisma Condos 2 is a New Condo development by Greenpark located at Jane and Rutherford, Vaughan.

Charisma Condos 2 is the second tower of the Charisma Condos development that will feature Greenpark Homes illustrious top-of-the-line detail and finishes.

Buying Charisma 2 has never been more enticing!
Just steps away from the world-renowned Canada's Wonderland and the ever so chic Vaughan Mills Shopping Centre, Charisma Condos 2 is surely one of the hottest projects in the Jane and Rutherford area. 

Favourable Location: 
Charisma Condos 2 stands at a close proximity to the upcoming Vaughan Metropolitan Centre, a great deal of retail stores, reputable restaurants, marvelous parks and the beautiful Fossil Hill Pond. Highway 400 is just minutes away, making it easy for the Charisma Condos 2 residents to explore the other beauteous areas of the city. The blossoming Jane & Rutherford neighbourhood has become even more desirable, all thanks to Charisma Condos. 

Excellent Investment Opportunity: 
The Jane & Rutherford area is currently being developed into an ever better community. More developments, plazas, transit options and schools are coming to the area, making the Charisma Condos a great building to invest in. Property values are estimated to increase as the area continues to flourish. 

Close Proximity to Schools & Parks: 
Situated in a quickly developing area, Charisma Condos 2 is close to many well-known schools in Vaughan. Schools in the Jane and Rutherford area include: 
• Maple High School
• Julliard Public School
• St. Emily Catholic Elementary School
• Maple Creek Public School

Endless Dining Options: 
Charisma Condos 2 residents will have no issues finding the nearest place to dine with friends and family! In addition to the wide selection of restaurants inside of Vaughan Mills Mall, there are an abundance of places to eat in the area. Some of the following food establishments are located at a close proximity to Charisma in Vaughan: 

• Marcello’s Pizza
• Truly Thai Cuisine
• Mr. Greek Express
• La Taquizza Flavour at its Best
• Wild Wing
• Evviva
• Island Mix Restaurant & Lounge
• Vinnie Zucchini’s Italian Eatery

Amazing Shopping Experience: 
With the renowned Vaughan Mills Mall located just steps away from Charisma Condos 2, residents can effortlessly browse through the 50+ store locations – most of which are outlets! Some of the most popular stores include: 

• MAC Cosmetics
• The North Face Outlet
• HR2
• Eddie Bauer Outlet
• UGG Australia
• ALDO Outlet
• Tommy Hilfiger

The transit options near Jane & Rutherford are continuously being enhanced. Unlike before, residents in the area can easily travel to Toronto via Vaughan's new transportation hub. Coming to Vaughan at Jane & Hwy 7 is the Vaughan TTC Subway Station, VMC Inter-Regional Bus Terminal, and Vivanext Bus Rapid Transit Station. 

Some of the following YRT buses currently run in the Jane and Rutherford area:
• 85/85C Rutherford Bus
• 20 Jane Bus (Connects to the 35 Jane bus in Toronto) 
• 20 Teston Bus
• 4 Major Mackenzie Bus

Superb Amenities: 
With impressive amenities, Charisma Condos sure does live up its name! Residents can expect to benefit from a spacious theatre room, convenient pet grooming room, WiFi lounge, billiards/games room and Bocce courts! A calming wellness centre, fresh swimming pool, rooftop skyview lounge and a beautiful terrace are also on the list of Charisma Condo's mind-blowing amenities.


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8 Ways To Get Ready To Buy A New Home

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House hunting is just like any other shopping expedition. If you identify exactly what you want and do some research, you’ll zoom in on the home you want at the best price. These eight tips will guide you through a smart home buying process.

1.  Know yourself

Understand the type of home that suits your personality. Do you prefer a new or existing home? A condo or  freehold? Detached or townhouse? If you’re leaning toward a fixer-upper, are you truly handy, or will you need to budget for contractors?

2.  Research before you look.

List the features you most want in a home and identify which are necessities and which are extras. Identify three to four neighbourhoods you’d like to live in based on commute time, schools, recreation, crime, and price. Then hop onto our site The MeTeam to get a feel for the homes available in your price range in your favourite communities. Use the results to prioritize your wants and needs so you can add in and weed out properties from the inventory you’d like to view.

3.  Get your finances in order.

Generally, lenders say you can afford a home priced two to three times your gross income. Create a budget so you know how much you’re comfortable spending each month on housing. Don’t wait until you’ve found a home and made an offer to investigate financing. 

Gather your financial records and meet with a lender to get a prequalification letter spelling out how much you’re eligible to borrow. The lender won’t necessarily consider the extra fees you’ll pay when you purchase or your plans to begin a family or purchase a new car, so shop in a price range you’re comfortable with. Also, presenting an offer contingent on financing will make your bid less attractive to sellers.

4.  Set a moving timeline.

Do you have blemishes on your credit that will take time to clear up? If you already own, have you sold your current home? If not, you’ll need to factor in the time needed to sell. If you rent, when is your lease up? Do you expect interest rates to jump anytime soon? All these factors will affect your buying, closing, and moving timelines.

5.  Think long term.

Your future plans may dictate the type of home you’ll buy. Are you looking for a starter house with plans to move up in a few years, or do you hope to stay in the home for five to 10 years? With a starter, you may need to adjust your expectations. If you plan to nest, be sure your priority list helps you identify a home you’ll still love years from now.

6.  Work with a REALTOR®.

Ask people you trust for referrals to a real estate professional they trust. Interview agents to determine which have expertise in the neighborhoods and type of homes you’re interested in. Because homebuying triggers many emotions, consider whether an agent’s style meshes with your personality. 

7.  Be realistic.

It’s OK to be picky about the home and neighborhood you want, but don’t be close-minded, unrealistic, or blinded by minor imperfections. If you insist on living in a cul-de-sac, you may miss out on great homes on streets that are just as quiet and secluded. 

On the flip side, don’t be so swayed by a “wow” feature that you forget about other issues -- like noise levels -- that can have a big impact on your quality of life. Use your priority list to evaluate each property, remembering there’s no such thing as the perfect home.

8.  Limit the opinions you solicit.

It’s natural to seek reassurance when making a big financial decision. But you know that saying about too many cooks in the kitchen. If you need a second opinion, select one or two people. But remain true to your list of wants and needs so the final decision is based on criteria you’ve identified as important.

Rob is a GTA Realtor offering something a little "different", ask him about his money saving programs for buyers and sellers.

Contact him today for more details.

Sales Representative with The Red Pin Brokerage And Part Of The METeam

The highest priced Condo in Toronto

50 Yorkville Ave, Toronto

50 Yorkville Ave, Toronto

The most expensive condo in Toronto today is priced at an eye bulging $13.5M.  But its a real beauty.

Listed in the Four Seasons this 3800 sq ft home is palatial with jaw dropping views of the city.

Tastefully decorated, and with no expense shared. This is a dream home for anyone ready to live in one of the most prestigious address in the Toronto Condo market.

And don't worry there is room to park the Benz, Roller, Ferrari AND the Range Rover as you get 4 parking spaces! 

Catch it while you can.  Message me for more details.


Rob Mills is a GTA Realtor offering something a little "different", ask him about his money saving programs for buyers and sellers.

Contact him today for more details.

Sales Representative with The Red Pin Brokerage And Part Of The METeam

New listing 13 Nathan Ave Brooklin, Whitby.

5 month old detached 3 bed bungalow in high demand Brooklin.  This house has all the bells and whistles.  Hardwood floors throughout, high end stainless steel appliances, granite counter, open concept, 2 car garage.  

Open house Sun 25th Apr 2-4pm.