Should I Get a Home Inspection When Buying a Condo in London Ontario?

Should you get a home inspection when buying a condo in London Ontario? I would say 90% of the time yes, however, be prudent.

Buying a home in London Ontario is most likely one of the most significant financial transactions most people will ever make. One of the ways to make the right decisions in real estate, and there are many, is to have a thorough home inspection by a well trained, qualified home inspector.

But, buyer beware! Home inspectors in Ontario are not licensed, and anybody can call themselves a home inspector!

Home inspection

What is a home inspection clause?

The home inspection clause protects buyers by giving them the right to cancel the purchase offer without forfeiting the deposit if the home inspector finds a problem or problems with the property.  Or, present the home inspection report to the seller and request either the defects be remedied or reduce the price accordingly — more about defects.

How much does a home inspection usually cost?

Home inspection prices can vary but expect to spend $350 plus. Since this is your only opportunity before closing the sale to identify any problems, this is not the time to skimp on costs or look for a “bargain” inspector.

Who do we recommend?

We have a list of inspectors we’ve used in the past, as well, a few never to use!

we use trusted home inspectors

Who will be there during the home inspection?

You and your realtor should be there, ( Not, all your uncles and aunts, brothers and sisters buddies, Joe the plumber, Mary the painter or your church minister! ) for the home inspection. Yes, a home inspector I recommend told me about a couple who came with their minister for a check to ensure the house was blessed!

The inspector will take photos and provide a detailed summary report, but you should not miss the opportunity to be there and ask questions. The inspector can point out which small repairs you can do yourself and which more massive problems may require a specialist. Some inspectors will also offer home maintenance tips as they discover areas that are in good condition now but may need attention in the future.

No home is perfect. Every home will have some minor issues revealed during a home inspection – even new construction.

In Summary:

  •  Do not look for the lowest price inspector
  • If you have trust and faith in your Realtoremploy who they can recommend.
  • Do not rush through the inspection, be there and try to have the review done in daylight!
  • Do not bring your well-meaning family members, friends or experts! Let the professional do his/her job!

A point to keep in mind: The home inspector works for you, not the Realtor, not the homeowner, not the bank or the appraiser.

Finding The Right Condo in London Ontario For Sale Takes Patience And Help

Are you spending countless hours searching the MLS or looking at old real estate magazines? Or, heaven forbid, real estate websites where it is all about the Realtor and not you?

Searching condos for sale in London Ontario

Going to Open houses and feeling pressured?

Have you missed out on some because they already have an offer or were sold before you even knew about it being for sale?

You may be missing out on some excellent properties that sell in a day or two or one priced so aggressively that it sells as soon as it comes on the market or in a specific area?

Is all that searching working for you or is that you wish to avoid a pesky or bothersome real estate person (don’t blame you)?

Or, perhaps you are curious, or you are in the ‘just thinking stage’ of real estate. Possibly to purchase or sell.

Like fashion, real estate changes quickly, people change, neighbourhoods change, real estate markets change, and the motivation of buyers and sellers change.

So how do I, as a real estate professional & problem solver help?

We view 150+ houses and condos every week. We do loads of searches daily for clients; we are continually researching properties, even For Sale By Owners.

hot property condos for sale in London Ontario

 

You won’t have to jump off any cliffs, scale any mountains, wrestle a crocodile, put up with a pushy real estate salesperson, cross-eyed lawyers, impotent mortgage lenders, near-sighted home inspectors, just put up with us!

A small price to pay to get what you want! Call now 519-435-1600 and start packing!

  These folks did, and they are still with us!

Before Buying a Condo in London Ontario, Questions To Ask

Before buying a condo in London Ontario, be it a townhouse, townhome or an apartment condo, there are questions you may want answers to.

It’s hard to ask questions if you don’t know what to ask and if you did get answers, how do you know they are accurate?

The wisest thing that anyone can do after they have decided to buy is to research and contact the Realtor who they feel most comfortable with, who they think has the skills and the experience and whom you feel you can entrust your hard earned money!

Maybe you might want to interview two or three. Here are 11 questions you may want to make sure to ask.

And then, are they pushy, in your face types or are they going to look after you?

Pushy

When you have confidence in a good Realtor, he or she will research properties on your behalf, make appointments to match your timetable, protect you in the buying and offer process and be there if any challenges come up.

Do you not think that having that type of representation would be better for you than just entrusting that binding faith with just anyone? A friend of a friend, Uncle Joe’s distant cousin who just got her license and needs some money, or your co-worker who’s husband ‘does’ real estate on the side!

Do not lose your hard earned money by entrusting it with just anyone!

Looking For a London Ontario Townhouse Or Apartment Condo?

Are you facing any of these situations when looking for a London Ontario Townhouse or Apartment Condo?

 

  • You’re looking to make one of the most important purchases of your life and you don’t want to get burned because of not knowing whom you can trust, or making a mistake that could cost you thousands of dollars later.
  • You do not know the values in the marketplace and you want to be assured of getting the most that you can for your money, without having any regrets after your closing?
  • You’re feeling out of control because there are so many unanswered questions. Making it hard to know where to start.
  • You see or find what you like but it is already sold or has an offer on it before you get a chance to even see it?

If any of these situations sound familiar, I have some fact-filled information will help prepare you for the purchase of a home in London Ontario.  Doesn’t it make sense that in order for you to make one of the most important decisions in your life you should be well informed?

Just 32 Minutes Of Your Time Will Save You From “YEARS Of Headaches”

I have a  quick and easy way to help you prepare for your next purchase  which I  call, “40 Buyer Tips You Should Know To Avoid Making Huge Mistakes!”

Just give me a call at 519-435-1600 to set up a convenient , no obligation meeting and when we do meet, in 32 minutes you will have 40 tips that could save you thousands of dollars and a ton of headaches!

Ty Lacroix

Ten Most Affordable Cities In Canada For Single Home Buyers

The past year hasn’t been easy for prospective home buyers. Despite some recent year-over-year price softening in the nation’s hottest markets, the national mortgage stress test, combined with various policies at provincial levels, effectively took a bite out of purchasing power for all Canadians.

Single Home Buyer

This is especially acute for single home purchasers; not only does having two incomes boost affordability, but it also helps satisfy the income and debt servicing requirements mandated by the aforementioned stress test. Those trying to get onto the property ladder solo may have long heard the narrative that it’s next to impossible to do so given these new requirements.

However, according to a recent study conducted by Zoocasa, that’s not the case in the Prairie and Eastern Canadian markets. In fact, 10 cities in these locales can still be considered affordable for single buyers earning a median household income.

The study, which assessed 20 cities for affordability from coast to coast, calculated the minimum income required to purchase the average home in each market, using a 20-per-cent down payment, 3.29-per-cent mortgage rate, and 30-year amortization as criteria. That amount was then compared to actual median income data of “persons living alone who earned employment income” as reported by Statistics Canada.

Markets were then ranked on whether the buyer had an “income surplus” – the amount of financial wiggle room they’d still have after purchasing their home – or an income gap, which indicated they’d be out of range altogether.

Based on these calculations, Regina can be considered the most affordable for single-income buyers, based on an average home price of $284,424, a median income of $58,823 and the greatest income surplus of $20,025. That’s followed by Saint John, where the average home priced at $181,576 could be purchased on an income of $42,888 with $18,038 left over, and Edmonton, where earning $64,036 would net a $17,826 surplus on the average home price of $338,760. The most affordable cities list is rounded out by Calgary, Lethbridge, Winnipeg and Halifax.

Single buyers earning a median income didn’t have much hope in the nation’s priciest markets, however. Vancouver is the least affordable, with an average home price of $1,109,600, far out of reach of an income of $50,721 to the tune of $88,361.

While incomes and home prices were more attractive in Toronto, buyers still face a steep gap of $46,858, based on a $55,221 income and home price of $748,328. Victoria rounds out the top three, where an average home price of $633,386 is still $39,359 out of range for the median income of $86,400.

Other markets not considered affordable for single buyers include Guelph, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, Montreal and Ottawa.

The study also considered earnings by age group, as purchasing power tends to increase with age. This was the case with Gen Xers (35-44 and 45-54), who enjoy the greatest purchasing power of all single buyers. For example, A Gen Xer purchasing a home in Regina would have an income surplus of roughly $4,000 greater than the average, at $24,215.

Single millennials, however, experienced the weakest purchasing power, especially in the priciest markets; someone between the age of 25-34 earning the median income would fall a whopping $92,774 short on a home purchase in Vancouver.

Before Buying a London Ontario Condominium, Be Aware Of What You Are Signing

Before buying a condominium in London Ontario, be aware of what you are signing!

Signing buyer agency in London Ontario

 

Why is That?

Most real estate agents may want you to sign a Buyer Agency Agreement because without a written agreement; there are no guarantees the Realtor who finds you your new home will get paid.

Most agency agreements say, in effect, that the Realtor will help you find a place, and you agree not to work with other real estate agents during your search. That’s like someone asking you to get married, and you haven’t even had your first date yet!

Now, after reading this, hopefully, you will know enough to maybe go out with this Realtor on at least one date (viewing a few homes).  Still, you may feel uncomfortable signing a contract that obligates you to this Realtor until you buy or die.

How can you handle it?

In Ontario, licensing laws require that you acknowledge receipt of a copy of The Buyer Agency Agreement which explains what you are signing.  Who represents whom in the transaction?

It is imperative that you understand what it is that you sign, and  keep in mind, this form is from our licensing body RECO (Real Estate Council of Ontario), and there is a lot of language in there to ensure that when you buy a home, that Realtor will get paid, either by you or by the seller.

Also, keep in mind that you are free to negotiate a change to any of the boilerplate language if there are terms or conditions you can’t live with

working with a Realtor in London Ontario

Here are some of the major issues it will include:

  • How much does the broker charge and how is that paid?

In Ontario, the sellers usually pay the brokerage fees, and I’ve even heard Realtor’s telling people that their services to buyers are “free.”  Not quite.  If the listing company has negotiated a payment from the seller (called a “co-op” commission) to your Realtor of less than the amount of the fee he or she charges, the agreement may say that you must make up the difference.  In other words, if your contract calls for a 3% payment, and the co-op commission is only 2.5%, you may have to write a cheque for the difference at settlement.

  • Does the buyer broker charge an up-front contingency fee?  If so, how much is it?  Is it refundable under any circumstances?  Is it credited back to you at closing toward your down payment and closing costs?  An upfront fee is one way that a Realtor can help weed out real buyers from tire kickers, and it’s becoming more customary.
  • How long is the term of the agreement?  If you are not sure you want to enter into something long-term, and if the Realtor insists that you have to sign something, make it a week or so.  You can extend your contract at the end of that time – assuming the Realtor is doing a good job and you both want to continue the relationship.
  • What geographical area does it cover?
  • What type of property?
  • Is it possible for you to break up once you’ve signed on the dotted line?  If it turned out that you’ve made a mistake and didn’t want to work with that Realtor after all, how do you get out of it?  Most brokerages will let you out, but they don’t have to make it easy for you unless you have included language that lets you terminate.

Make every word count

When a good Realtor enters into a buyer-brokerage agreement with a new client, they know that they have to earn the trust and loyalty that the agency agreement represents.  But the deal has got to be more than a piece of paper.

 Some questions to ask

Condo Buying in London Ontario Is Like Fashion, Changes Occur Rapidly

Are you spending countless hours searching the MLS, real estate magazines, classified ads &  real estate websites looking for the right condominium at the right price in a good neighbourhood in London Ontario?

searching for a condo in London Ontario

Going to Open Houses?

Have you missed out a few properties because they already have an offer or were sold before you even knew about it being for sale?

You may be missing out on some excellent properties that sell in a day or two or one priced so aggressively that it sells as soon as it comes on the market or in a specific area?

Is all that searching working for you or is that you wish to avoid a pesky or bothersome real estate person (don’t blame you)?

Or, perhaps you are curious, or you are in the ‘just thinking stage’ of real estate. Possibly to purchase or sell.

Like fashion, real estate changes quickly, people change, neighbourhoods change, real estate markets change, and the motivation of buyers and sellers change.

So how do I, as a real estate professional & problem solver help?

We view a lot of houses and condos every week. We do loads of searches daily for clients; we are continually researching properties, even For Sale By Owners.

Search Lpndon Ontario Condos For Sale

 

We are out looking at properties every day, we know the jungle, the alleys, the streets, avenues, crescents, what a reasonable price is, what junk is and what the games are that some play.

You won’t have to jump off any cliffs, scale any mountains, wrestle a crocodile, put up with a pushy real estate salesperson, cross-eyed lawyers, impotent mortgage lenders, near-sighted home inspectors, just put up with us!

Small price to pay to get what you want!

  These folks did, and they are still with us!

London Ontario Condominium Buyers, Common Sense or Impulse?

Mark Twain wrote that humans have a lot of common sense because they don’t use it very much! I was looking at the daily home sales in London Ontario today and saw some houses & townhouses in London Ontario sold at 110% – 125% over the asking price!

Mark Twain

It seems to me that home buyers either act on impulse or self-discipline! Impulsive action is emotion (keeping up with the Jones’s or fear of loss) rather than common sense.

Acting impulsively has consequences, and for a buyer of London Ontario real estate, that could mean, when it comes time to sell, the market has not kept up with inflation, being house poor and in turn, having to become more frugal in the other areas of their life.

In the heat of negotiating, counter offers and multiple offers, most buyers act impulsively, even their sales representative.

 How I think a buyer should act.

Be prepared! First, know the facts, neighbourhood prices, your financial limitations and lifestyle and secondly, psychological preparation.

Facts are the easy part and make sure they are facts and not opinions. Mentally being prepared to walk away takes courage and good old common sense.

With common sense, you’ll have more cents!

All our clients have more cents! Here’s proof!

Mortgages Explained When Buying a Condo In London Ontario

 Mortgages Explained When Buying a Condo In London Ontario

When purchasing a real estate property, be it a condo apartment or a townhouse, unless paying cash, consumers typically finance all or a portion of the purchase price. Financing means borrowing money from a financial institution to buy, using the intended house or condominium as collateral for the loan.

getting a Mortgage London Ontario

Mortgage payments include the principal (the amount borrowed), and the interested (the amount charged for borrowing the money). Payments can be made once a month, bi-weekly, or weekly, depending on availability from the lender. A typical mortgage is for an amount that does not go over 75% of the appraised value of the property or the purchase price, whichever is lower. That means 25% of the purchase price is the down payment. However, with a high-ratio mortgage, you may pay less than 25% of the cost of the home as a down payment.

Home mortgages are available from several types of lenders: banks, mortgage companies, trust companies and credit unions. Different mortgage lenders may quote you different prices, so you should contact several lenders to make sure you’re getting the best price. You may also get a home loan through a mortgage broker. Brokers arrange financial transactions rather than lending money directly; in other words, they find a lender for you. A broker’s access to several lenders can mean a more comprehensive selection of loan products and terms from which you can choose.

Typically it takes a few days to receive approval for a mortgage. It is recommended to get pre-approval for before you start and go out looking at properties. When you put in your offer to buy, this is almost always on the condition of getting mortgage approval as this assures everyone involved that you can pay back the mortgage without defaulting.

Qualifying For A Mortgage

  The process involves submitting your financial paperwork to a potential lender and receiving approval for a pre-determined mortgage amount. The pre-approval agreement may also guarantee an interest rate for a mortgage taken out during the 60 to 90-day pre-approval term. The mortgage lender will inquire about such things as your marital status, some dependents, age, current employment (including how long you have worked there), salary, as well as other sources of income. They will ask for a list of your assets (i.e. vehicles, cash, etc.) and liabilities (i.e. credit card balances, car loans, etc.). Lenders also do a credit check to find out if you pay your bills on time.

 To qualify for a mortgage, the applicant’s gross annual income, credit history, and assets and liabilities (past or present) all impact the outcome. Here is a mortgage calculator to help you figure out the amount of mortgage you may get..

Types of Home Loans

 Types of Mortgages

Read More

When Buying a Condo in London Ontario, Are Buyers Still Overpaying?

Are buyers still overpaying when buying a condo in London Ontario? In 61% of the time, yes!

Overpaying for real estate in London Ontario over the past few months is happening quite often and I have heard the following from buyers and their Realtors.

do not overpay for a home in London Ontario

 

  • “There is nothing I can do about it”.
  • “That’s just the way the real estate market is right now.”
  • “It is what it is”
  • “Get with the times”

Really? So, you are just going to sit there and take it?

Learned helplessness is a condition in which  buyers adapt to a scarcity mindset,  with the fear of loss being huge and instant gratification a must & not thinking of the second and third consequences of overpaying for a home in London Ontario and feeling that there is nothing they can do about it.

That their offer and the acceptance of the offer is totally out of their control.

Yes, the real estate market in London Ontario is vibrant and as a home owner, that is quite positive, yet the consequences of overzealous buyers and their Realtor’s actions will have a negative long term  effect , as history has proven over and over and that the axiom “What goes up must come down”, holds true.

As a home buyer in London Ontario, you have choices and there are strategies you can take to ensure you do not over pay and get caught up in the frenzy.

Let me know if you do not want to overpay, I won’t let you!