Doug Heldman

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Government removes non-bank lenders from the playing field

Originally posted on: November 21, 2016
Last updated on: November 21, 2016
Filed under: east york riverdale the beach leslieville
Will You Qualify For Your Mortgage After November 30th, 2016? Will You Qualify For Your Mortgage After Nov ...

The intended consequences of new housing policies

Originally posted on: October 27, 2016
Last updated on: October 27, 2016
Filed under: east york the beach riverdale lesliville canada mortgage and housing corporationbank of canadagovernmentpricemortgagehomehousinghousing policiesceconomycanadaconsequencesunintendedintendedeconomy
EVAN SIDDALL The intended consequences of new housing policies EVAN SIDDALL Contributed to The Globe and Mail ( ...

Seperated Cycle Lanes On Woodbine

Originally posted on: September 29, 2016
Last updated on: September 29, 2016
Filed under: east york riverdale the beach leslieville
Sep 28, 2016 | Separated cycle tracks may be coming to Toronto's Woodbine Avenue ...

Have Prices Crossed The Line?

Originally posted on: September 7, 2016
Last updated on: September 7, 2016
Filed under: east york riverdale the beach leslieville
The Toronto Real Estate Board publishes the above affordability chart monthly, showing the share of average household income used for mortgage, ...

5 Low-Cost Countries Where You Can Live on $1,500 a Month or Less

Originally posted on: March 4, 2016
Filed under: east york riverdale the beach leslieville
5 Low-Cost Countries Where You Can Live on $1,500 a Month or Less Posted on February 24, 2016 International Living ...

Top 5 Mistakes Intelligent Home-Buyers Make & How to Avoid Them

Mistake #1: Credit Check

The process should start 18 – 24 months prior to the date you want to move. The first step is finding out exactly what your credit rating score is. A credit report is a "snapshot" of your credit history. It is one of the main tools lenders use to decide whether or not to give you credit.  It is free to do and when you look into it you will get a copy of your credit report, details about what’s impacting your credit score and an explanation of how lenders may perceive your risk level when you apply for a loan

If you find your credit score is less than excellent, wage an all out campaign to raise it. Too many borrowers ignore this step and get surprised when they get interest rate quotes.

Once you've scrutinized your credit history and corrected any errors, the next step is to pay down credit card debt to no more than 30% of the limit. That will help raise your credit score significantly.

Why does it matter?

The lower your score, the higher your costs of borrowing.   For a buyer with a low score, the premium could to 1.5% of the mortgage principal. On a $400,000 mortgage, that adds up to $4,000 per year. Over the 25 year life of a mortgage that could mean $100,000.  So a little work now will definitely pay off.

Solution - Get your FREE credit score at www.consumer.equifax.ca
and another major credit-reporting agency www.transunion.ca is not free, as it is if you were a U.S. citizen, but would have similar information.

Mistake #2: Buying a Car Before a House

Anytime Joe Public applies for new credit cards, car loans, etc. -- there is a "hit" on the credit report and depending on what it is and the timing it could affect the decision by the Lender.  Planning should include canceling any credit cards you do not use and delay the purchase or lease of a new car until after you have moved into the new house. 

Similarly when you shop for a mortgage if several Banks are doing a credit check simultaneously the report shows all these inquires and individual banks are concerned that another institution may have discovered a blemish on your credit history that they have not uncovered.  End result is that you may be denied or the mortgage terms cost more.

Solution - Do not open new accounts while your mortgage application is in process.  A big purchase would use up a considerable proportion of a borrower's total credit limit, which results in a drop in the score. Lenders often continue to check credit scores in the weeks and days before closing.  A Lender can unceremoniously deny the mortgage at a very late stage if the applicant's credit scores have suddenly dropped below the minimum required for the requested loan rate.  Do not let the Bank do a credit check until you are certain they are the institution you want to work with.  HINT- they require your Social Insurance number to do the credit check.

Mistake #3: Not Getting Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

It’s a benefit when you’re putting in an offer, especially in a multiple-bid offer, being able to provide written proof to sellers that you can complete this transaction. If you are the only bidder it could provide the leverage to get the house.  It happens all the time.  This is another free item that makes every difference in the world!

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.

Solution – Get a written Pre-Approval right from the beginning.  I can’t stress this point enough.  You can’t imagine how good it feels to get the house or condo of you dreams simply because you were better prepared than the competition or conversely how rotten it feels if you are not.  Did I mention it’s free?

Mistake #4:  Location Location Location

Many buyers wish they'd taken their due diligence a few steps further to understand all the subtleties, idiosyncrasies and hassles of living in a particular neighborhood. You can always fix up the house, but there's no easy remedy for low rent neighbors, dodgy apartment buildings, poor school districts and marathon commutes of 2-3 hours a day.

Solution - Spend as much time as you can in your future hood, ideally on different days and times and test drive your commute.  Consider this will be a 10 year commitment.  How many vehicles will you go through and how much will that add to you budget?  Are kids in the picture?

School information is available on the Net and www.eqao.com will help you understand how the local school stacks up to the rest.  Crime statistics are available by heat map at www.DougHeldman.com

Mistake #5: No Home Inspection

This is one of the most expensive mistakes any homebuyer can make. Every home should be professionally inspected regardless of whether it’s sold as-is or is brand new. Besides the standard mechanical home inspection, you should consider additional inspections for mold, pool equipment and termites. Cost should be approximately .1% of the purchase and spending $450 to $700 on an inspection is nothing compared to potential headaches down the road.

Solution - Get recommendations from your realtor or friends who’ve bought in the area, and have a professional inspection done before you make a firm Offer on the house. They will look for major defects and put into context minor defects as well as how to best approach the remedy.  Budget for 2% of the purchase price for upgrades in the first year of owning a home.

 

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