I Do The Work For You!
As a professional realtor with experience since 1988, I have a marketing plan that while not a guarantee, is absolutely the best there is. Interested in how to sell your home for the most amount of money in the least amount of time? I can show you how it is done. Contact me for a confidential discussion!
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It’s tough to know where to start. Too much information on the Web, well-meaning advice from relatives, television shows with conflicting opinions from “experts” and no end to no money down or cash back offers from uncertain sources. With so many things to contemplate and such a large financial commitment how do you figure out what to do first? What are the important things to focus on, what should you anticipate next and how do you gain the knowledge to navigate this unfamiliar territory. Here are the 10 first things you need to do – in order – to equip yourself to dominate the market!
Trust me, it’s free and you need it. The Real Estate Agent will be the person you spend the most time with and you need a highly developed relationship based on trust. You need to make certain you are working with the right person. Your first consideration is experience. Experience is invaluable and in this case could mean tens of thousands of dollars to you. Thinking 3 steps ahead, knowing what is coming will put more money into a Buyer’s pocket and ensure fewer issues every single time. You don’t get that from a newbie. They will be able to communicate complex issues to you in an easily understood manner. When questioned they have explanations as to subtle nuances that make sense. If you don’t understand it or it can’t be explained coherently, don’t do it. Trust your instincts! Why is it free? It is normal that the Buyer’s Agent (your agent) is remunerated through a commission paid by the Seller. First subtlety explained. The Real Estate Agent can be your pivot point for a recommendation of a Lawyer and a Lender.
The home Buyers Tax (HBTC) is a new non-refundable tax credit, based on an amount of $5,000, for certain home buyers that acquire a qualifying home. You will qualify for the HBTC if you or your spouse or common-law partner acquire a qualifying home and you did not live in another home owned by you or your spouse or common-law partner in the year of acquisition or in any of the four preceding years.
The Home Buyers' Plan (HBP) allows first-time home buyers to withdraw amounts from a Registered Retirement Savings Plan to purchase or build a home without having to pay tax on the withdrawal. Withdrawal limit is $25,000. (This is in step # 2 for the reason that the money needs to be in the RRSP 90 days before withdrawal for the purpose of buying a home).
Land Transfer Tax Refund for First-time Homebuyers First-time homebuyers may be eligible for a refund of all or part of the taxes from the Province of Ontario and the city Of Toronto. Wondering about how the money flows? Do you need to pay it first and then get a rebate? It’s a great question. A good Real Estate Agent should know the answer. It is one of the questions I recommend you ask to qualify an Agent when you interview them. Just so that you know the answer before you ask here it is. No money changes hands. The Buyer signs a form, with the Lawyer as witness testifying that they are eligible as detailed above. The Governments accept it in lieu of the tax.
It’s a benefit when you’re putting in an offer, especially in a competitive multiple-bid offer, to be able to provide written proof to sellers that you can complete this transaction.
What’s the difference between being Pre-Qualified and Pre-Approved for a mortgage?
Pre-Qualification is a lender’s estimate of how much you could be eligible to borrow based on information you supply. Prequalification does not mean you will get the loan.
A written Pre-Approval means that the lender is ready to make you a mortgage loan based on the credit check, information and documentation you provided at the time you requested a pre-approval. The pre-approval will say how long it is valid for, typically 60 – 120 days and may contain some other conditions for you to get the loan.
I can’t stress this point enough. After you’re pre-qualified, THEN you can start looking at houses with an exact rate and number in mind of what you can afford.
Armed with knowledge of money available from Government programs, your written pre-approval and your down payment consider what other expenses are involved. Prior to moving in you may want to have: a home inspection, survey of the property, title insurance, status certificate if you are buying a condo, legal fees and moving costs. After you move in consider: repairs, appliances, furniture, paint, property taxes, heat, hydro and yearly maintenance. If a Lender has qualified you for a mortgage loan they have taken into consideration property tax and condo fees in the equation but it is nice to put it down on a spread sheet. A highly functioning Real Estate Agent should be able to provide you with this. Another qualifying question for your interview.
Studies (lots of them) have shown that the majority of borrowers with variable-rate mortgages save money in the long term. However people are always concerned about risk. So what is the strategy to have your cake and eat it too? I have never seen this simple strategy written about or talked about by anyone. It will pay down your mortgage faster and the rate will be cheaper – always! When you were pre-approved by your Lender they qualified you as if you were going to take a 3 year mortgage rate. That’s the law and they have to do it. What is doesn’t mean is that you have to take a 3 or 5 year rate. So the variable rate is less expensive. Pay the Lender the variable rate. Pay yourself the difference between the low variable rate and the higher 3 or 5 year rate by setting up an automatic withdrawal into a separate bank account every month. If the variable rate increases and you need help to pay your mortgage you have a rainy day fund to draw down. The real financial benefit is that you can on the 3 or 5 year anniversary of your mortgage PAY DOWN THE PRICIPLE of your mortgage with the rainy day fund. This is the most important financial decision you could ever make. The sooner you are out of debt the better off you will be. It is so simple.
Take these 5 steps and you are going to dominate the market.