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Buying a Home: Step by Step

 Buying a home can seem like a daunting task in the beginning. There are so many options to consider, let alone finding that dream home. You may be wondering what the main things to consider when you’re going to buy a house, and how the process works? With so much information surrounding the housing market, we’ve created a short step-by-step process to help you with all your home buying needs!

  1. Finances

The daunting and confusing aspect of buying a home always lands in the finance department. Mostly because finances on a large scale become a stressful process for people. However, when it comes to organizing your finances to buy a home, it doesn’t need to be complicated or scary. Just keep these tips in mind:

  • Determine what you can afford; remember that typically you require 20% down on your purchase. It is recommended that people look at homes that cost no more than 3-5 times their annual household income.
  • Talk to mortgage lenders and your bank to determine your pre-approval status on a mortgage and ensure your credit score is in order
  • Get prequalified and preapproved for a mortgage!
  1. Find the right realtor

 When it comes to finding the right realtor, remember that they are an essential partner when you’re buying a home. They can provide you with helpful information on homes and neighbourhoods that you may not know or may not be public information. Also, they are your communicator when it comes to making an offer on your dream home. Take your time and ensure you find a realtor that you’re comfortable with and has the knowledge and expertise that you need.

 

  1. The “House Hunt” 

Now the fun will begin! It’s time to go “house hunting.” You’ll spend plenty of time going over listings, scheduling showings, visiting open houses and ensuring that the homes you are looking for are what your future home should be. An easy way to narrow things down is to ensure that you have a list of wants and needs, so you know exactly what you’re looking for. You can also have your realtor set up a search for you, so you get the newest listings directly in your inbox (via realtor.ca) Don’t rush the process. You want to take as much time as you need to find the right home.

 

  1. Making an offer

 When it comes time to make an offer, your realtor will become your biggest advocate. Typically offers are contingent on financing, and home inspection. This contingency protects you by allowing you to inspect the home and either renegotiate or withdraw your offer without penalty should there be an issue discovered during the inspection.

There are a lot of terms that are included in making an offer and how the seller handles the offer. Should the offer be accepted based on conditions (inspection, selling of your home, etc.) and all goes well, the house will be “conditionally sold” meaning it is sold pending the resolution of conditions. If a condition is that you must sell your home, then you cannot become the official homeowner until those conditions are met.  While the offers are on the table, the seller may “counteroffer” meaning they may disagree with some terms of your offer but want to negotiate based on their counterterms. This negotiation process occurs using realtors as your main advocates. You would discuss the counter offer with your realtor, and either choose to accept or additionally negotiate.

An accepted offer is an offer that has been approved by the seller. If the offer is accepted and all the conditions have been met, then the house is sold firm, meaning you are officially buying a home! There will be a final walkthrough, and closing dates will be set throughout the negotiation process for you to take possession.

 

  1. Get ready to move

It’s time to get ready to move into your new home! Plan ahead of time about your move. In this plan, you should include how and when you’re going to pack, whether you are renting a moving van, or hiring a moving company, what day you intend to move things into your home, and so on.

Another significant aspect of getting ready to move will be to call all the necessary utility companies involved with your home (i.e., hydro, water, propane, etc.) to get accounts made in your name and ensure that these services begin on the day you take possession of your new home!

Once you are all set with your plan, it’s time to get packing! Moving day approaches faster than you think!

 

  1. Closing day!

The day has finally come! It’s closing day on your new home. Closing day means that the keys to your home will be officially transferred into your possession and the house now belongs to you. Typically, you pick up your keys from your realtor in the late afternoon that day

Ottawa Real Estate Market Snapshot: May 2018:  While inventory is still lower than normal, the number of listings coming onto the market this month is typical spring activity! Have questions? Looking for specific neighbourhood stats? Message us!!

May 2018 Infographic Stats

The following are hightlights from the Ottawa Real Estate Board’s latest News Release read the full story

Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 2,279 residential properties in May through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 2,294 in May 2017, a decrease of 0.7 per cent. The five-year average for May sales is 2,041. May’s sales included 485 in the condominium property class and 1,794 in the residential property class.

“Although our overall inventory stock is down in both the residential and condo market, the number of listings coming onto the market this month is typical spring activity,” states Ralph Shaw, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. “The sheer number of home sales that took place in May indicates that inventory is turning over quickly– certainly a sign that Ottawa is a healthy real estate market.”

The average sale price of a residential-class property sold in May in the Ottawa area was $464,401, an increase of 6.3 per cent over May 2017. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $281,247, an increase of 3.4 per cent from May 2017.*

“In the first five months of 2018, the value of a single-family home has increased about 8% and approximately 6.5% for condominiums,” Shaw notes. “This price acceleration is encouraging news for homeowners who have now seen an average of 3% price growth per year for the last five years.”

“Much of the total increase in property values have been experienced since the beginning of this year. Not only will this help new homebuilders validate their pricing since construction costs and development fees are so high, but it also will give baby boomers incentive to sell their homes which will help put inventory back onto the market,” he explains.

“While our inventory stays at historically low levels, especially in some neighbourhoods, there will continue to be upward pressure on home prices. We definitely have the demand for housing in this city not only because it is still very affordable but because all the fundamentals are solid here.  However, our city does need to have a longer-term housing supply strategy so that we aren’t confronted with future affordability challenges,” Shaw advises.

The $300,000 to $449,999 range remains the most active price point in the residential market, accounting for 45 per cent of home sales, while the $500,000 to $750,000 range continues to gain momentum, now representing almost one-quarter of residential home sales.

“Between $150,000 and $249,999 was May’s most active price point in the condominium market, accounting for 49 per cent of the units sold,” Shaw reports. “Moreover, apartment condos represent 52 per cent of the sales. This is likely a reflection of the low vacancy rate in the rental market. If you can scrape together a down payment, the carrying costs of one of these condos should be less than renting,” he suggests.

In addition to residential and condominium sales, OREB Members assisted clients with renting 1,020 properties since the beginning of the year.

The Board cautions that the average sale price can be useful in establishing trends over time but should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value. The calculation of the average sale price is based on the total dollar volume of all properties sold. Price and conditions will vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood.

 

Happy Hispanic Couple In Front of New Home And Sold Real Estate Sign Showing Off Their House Keys.

 

Thinking of buying your first home? If so, it may be time to get on with it, especially considering the possibility that interest rates will rise. Using government incentive programs that encourage first time homebuyers to enter the real estate market, you can realize additional savings. And, mortgage financing has been almost free for some time, but economic signals point to those costs rising.

 

Mortgage rates may increase

 

Several factors are threatening to push Canadian mortgage rates higher even as the Bank of Canada tries to hold its overnight lending rate down. Fixed mortgage rates are linked to long-term Canadian government bond yields, which are tied to U.S. bond yields. Those rates have risen since September as investors have come to expect the U.S. Federal Reserve to boost rates based on the U.S. economy.

 

Borrow from yourself

 

The Canadian government’s Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) allows first time home buyers to borrow up to $25,000 from their RRSP for a down payment to buy or build a qualified home, tax-free. If you purchase with someone who is also a first time homebuyer, including your spouse, you can both access $25,000 from your RRSP for a combined total of $50,000.

 

The HBP is considered a loan, so if you participate in the Plan, you must repay the amount you withdrew within a 15-year period, in the amount of 1/15 per year. If you repay less than that amount, the difference is added to your taxable income and you are taxed at the applicable rate.

 

Reduce your income tax

 

The federal Home Buyers’ Tax Credit helps recover closing costs (legal expenses, inspections, land transfer taxes) so you can save more for money for a down payment. At current taxation rates, it works out to a rebate of $750.

 

If you buy in Ontario, there is another rebate of up to $2,000 available to help offset the land transfer tax. In Toronto, you can also receive a rebate up to $3,725 for municipal land transfer taxes.

 

With the current economic uncertainty and the advantages of government incentive programs, now may be the right time for first time home buyers to lock in a mortgage at the low rates and buy a home.

The post First Time Homebuyers Government Incentive Programs appeared first on Team Realty.

Source: Blog

“Don’t wait to buy land, buy land and wait” – Will Rogers

 

 

Income Properties: Are you Ready? 

Owning a rental property may seem like a licence to print money.  Interest rates are low, the Ottawa Real Estate Market is stable …what could be easier?  Buy a property, lease it, collect cheques and plan your retirement.  But…before purchasing an income property, you should be aware of the benefits and drawbacks.

 

Advantages of Income Properties:

You pay less tax.

Because your secondary property is a business, you can deduct certain expenses from your income (mortgage interest, property taxes, insurance, maintenance/upgrades, property management and utility bills) and reduce your taxes.  Meet with an accountant or financial adviser to discuss your situation.

 

Rental cheques provide a steady monthly income

Other kinds of investments may pay out less often or income may be less predictable.  For a rental property, answer this question: when you subtract your mortgage and operating costs, will the property generate a steady monthly income?

 

The value of your investment can increase

Historically, property values rise and the rental income increases over time.   Don Campbell, senior analyst at the Real Estate Investment Network in Vancouver, believes “a good piece of real estate is like a blue chip stock. It won’t make you rich overnight, but it will perform well.”

 

You may be able to deduct losses for tax purposes

If expenses exceed rental income, you may be able to deduct that loss from other sources of income.  An accountant can help you figure out the tax and estate planning repercussions.

 

Income Properties: Make sure you’re ready! 

 

You accept the responsibilities and challenges of property management

Rentals need regular maintenance and repairs – sometimes on an emergency basis.  Filling vacancies can be expensive and time consuming.  Tenants can be challenging, especially if they don’t pay their rent and you need the money.  You have to decide if you want to invest “sweat equity” and manage the property or hire a landlord.

 

Real Estate Prices and Setting Realistic Expectations

The rental property market can be volatile.  “If the unemployment rate spikes or real estate prices collapse, then your income property investment might run into difficulties as well,” says Mr. Milevsky of York University’s Schulich School of Business.  The key is location, location, location.  Select an area that is expecting employment and population growth to ensure long term demand is good.  Talk to your realtor about neighbourhood demographics and average rent in the area to ensure anticipated rental income is appropriate for the location.

Home buyers can save money on their mortgage buying a multi-unit building such as a duplex or triplex, living in one unit and renting out the others. If you are considering downsizing in the coming years, buying a condo or townhouse as a rental property can be a great way to plan for the future.

 

It may be difficult to finance the purchase

In most cases you must have a down payment of at least 20% when you buy a second property.  Meet with your mortgage broker before you start hunting for an investment property, it will save you precious time and energy in the long run!

 

Questions?  Talk to one of our experienced realtors, we’re here to help.

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Source: Blog

Home buyers Ottawa Real EstateReal estate has undoubtedly become one of the biggest industries in the world.  Buying and selling of real estate property are obviously major financial undertakings for anyone and these transactions need to be executed in a professional way. With this in mind, working with a REALTOR® is crucial in selling or buying deal of real estate property.

In Ottawa, REALTORS® have their own professional association known as the Ottawa Real Estate Board. From this association, our fully trained REALTORS® have insider access to MLS statistics about real estate activity, sales of property, the median price and market conditions. Since the interpretation of these statistics is best known to them, then REALTORS® are crucial professionals in any buying or selling deal. This is because they assist a client in proper interpretation of these coded statistics and their proper implementation.

For Home Buyers, Real estate agents provide credible information about potential real estate property matches.   A great real estate agent will ask the right questions to help buyers choose the right home at the right price, in a neighbourhood that will work best for them.  They  spare clients a lot of time by linking them to potential properties and sellers quickly. REALTORS® also help buyers to acquire property at the best possible price.  Since Real Estate agents in Ottawa know the prices in the market, they are able to negotiate with sellers for the lowest prices possible. Ultimately, buying property becomes an easy job as realtors seal deals competently and professionally.  Realtors are therefore very important parties in buying or selling deals due to their vast knowledge of real estate business.

Thinking of Buying in the Ottawa area?  Once of our trained Real Estate Representatives would be delighted to assist.  Please contact us for details.

Source: Blog

How Google Sunroof Works

Employing the high-resolution aerial mapping used by Google Earth, Project Sunroof calculates the amount of sunlight reaching your roof to assess its potential for solar power.  It takes a variety of factors into account including local weather conditions, shade from nearby trees and buildings and sun positions throughout the year.  The tool combines this information with data from your household’s monthly electricity bill, factors in panel orientation and tilt to the roof surface to calculate average monthly and annual solar radiation, recommends the size of solar installation needed and estimates the cost to purchase or lease the hardware as well as the amount that could be saved with solar panels.

The tool is only available in the San Francisco Bay Area, Fresno and Boston, however, should Google decide to expand that coverage, they have ample capital reserves to act quickly.  They might offer serious competition to the Australian Photovoltaic Institute’s Live Solar Potential Tool, which currently provides similar services.

How Google Sunroof is Changing Homeowners’ Costs

Photovoltaic (PV) solar panels harness the power of the sun by allowing photons, or particles of light, to knock electrons free from atoms, generating a flow of electricity.  The electric current can power your home’s appliances or be put back into the grid.  Google Sunroof has developed a tool to help homeowners assess the solar power potential of their roof.

Improvements to Photovoltaic Technology

In the 1980′s photovoltaics consumed more energy than they produced over their lifetime.  Now the energy return ratio (ERR) on solar panels has improved exponentially. According to Professional Engineering magazine, the energy payback times (EPBT), the time it takes to produce all the energy used in their lifespan, is currently are between 6 months and 2 years.  And, with life cycles of 30 years, their ERR is 60:1 and 15:1.  In other words, solar panels produce 15 – 60 times the energy required to make them.

Advantages of Net Metering

Since their energy source is the sun, solar panels produce “clean” electricity, without emitting carbon.  And, many locations, including Ontario, offer “Net Metering” which means the utility credits a homeowner for solar energy that is not consumed by the home.  You send the excess electricity you generate to the local distribution system for a credit toward future energy costs. In essence, it’s a “trade” of electricity you supply against electricity you consume.

Source: Blog

Team - August 2015 Market update graphic-final


Check out the latest Ottawa Real Estate Statistics from the Ottawa Real Estate Board

The summer real estate market has been strong in the Ottawa area, as we head into fall we’ll keep you updated on the latest Ottawa Real Estate market news!  Are you interested in a specific neighbourhood?  Please contact us! We have the latest Ottawa neighbourhood statistics available.

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Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,279 residential properties in August through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 1,200 in August 2014, an increase of 6.6 per cent. The five-year average for August sales is 1,234.

“Ottawa Real Estate Board members had a busy August, with units sold coming in higher than the five-year average and a healthy increase from last year’s sales,” says David Oikle, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. “In addition to an increase in units sold, inventory levels of residential and condominium properties dropped by 5.3 per cent since last month, and cumulative days on the market was an average of 89 days.”

August’s sales included 259 in the condominium property class, and 1,020 in the residential property class. The condominium property class includes any property, regardless of style (i.e. detached, semi-detached, apartment, stacked etc.), which is registered as a condominium, as well as properties which are co-operatives, life leases and timeshares. The residential property class includes all other residential properties.

The average sale price of a residential-class property sold in August in the Ottawa area was $379,946, a decrease of 0.1 per cent over August 2014. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $244,801, a decrease of 7.3 per cent over August 2014. The Board cautions that average sale price information can be useful in establishing trends over time but should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value. The average sale price is calculated based on the total dollar volume of all properties sold.

“It is important to note that the increase in units sold is for both residential and condominium properties,” says Oikle. “Also, we continue to see an increase in the number of condominium units sold in comparison to 2014, and the year-to-date condominium sales are now close to on par with last year.”

“The majority of buyers in Ottawa continue to buy properties in the $300,000 to $400,000 price range, closely followed by the $200,000 to $300,000 range,” says Oikle. “In addition to residential and condominium sales, OREB members assisted clients with renting 295 properties in August, and over 2,000 since the beginning of the year.”

Source: Blog