Owning a home is a dream for many people. Buying a home in in the GTA for the first time can be both exciting and stressful.

You may find yourself overwhelmed by the many things you have to do. On top of the challenge of looking for the right home, you also have to prepare documents, visit a mortgage lender, figure the right finances you can afford, and many more.

You must know what to do and who to turn to, so I prepared a guide to help you learn how to buy a house, what you need to know about the process and what to expect from the home buying process.


How to Buy a House in the GTA


Buying a house is a decision that takes months of planning and preparation. In this article, I’ve broken the home buying process into simple steps you can follow as you look for your new home. I’ve also included checklists to help you get a better idea of the home buying process.

But before we go to the actual buying process, here are three things you have to answer to check your readiness to buy a home:


  • Are you ready to own a home?
  • Do you know your mortgage options?
  • Is this a good time to buy a house?

 

Are You Ready to Own a Home?


Owning a home is a significant milestone in the world of adulthood and financial responsibility.

Buying a house is likely the most expensive single purchase you’ll make, so you don't want to do it casually. As much as possible, you should take the time to be well-informed about the process because you want to avoid mistakes. In real estate, mistakes can be costly and can run up to thousands of dollars.

Here are some questions you need to answer honestly before you proceed any further into planning to purchase a home.



1. Why do I want to buy a home?

Are you buying because you’re tired of renting and would like your money to go to some sort of investment? Are you buying because you're planning to start a family? Are you buying because you've fallen in love with a particular property?

You need to have a solid reason to support your goal of buying a house. Knowing your ‘whys’ will help you navigate challenges you'll face later on.



2. Am I financially ready to buy?

This is one of the most important questions you should ask yourself. Do you have a source of income that sufficiently covers your lifestyle and your upcoming mortgage?

Do you have enough savings to cover the 20% down payment?  Lenders will want you to have a cash deposit when you buy a home. The more substantial the deposit, the smaller your monthly mortgage payments are.

How’s your credit score? Your credit score will determine whether you are capable of purchasing a home or not. If you have good credit ratings, it will make the house purchase easier. If you’re having a hard time getting by, you may want to get your financial affairs in order first.

Are you paying off any other loans? If you are still making some other payments, you may want to continue paying them off before making another huge purchase. You want to make sure you have enough money to pay for the monthly mortgage.  

If you’ve saved enough money, have a stable and sufficient source of income, as well as good credit standing, then you’re financially ready to buy a home.



3. Should I buy or rent?

Owning a home gives a sense of security and pride. It’s also a big decision that requires years of commitment and financial stability.

There is a long-time argument between buying versus renting.

Renting may seem easier. You only have to pay a last month's rent deposit at the start of your rent, then monthly rent afterwards. You’re not strapped with a huge debt to the bank. You don’t have to worry about things like leaks.

However, if you’re planning to start a family and settle in a community for good, then buying a home might be a better option than renting.



4. Am I emotionally ready to buy a house?

Many first time buyers think that buying their first property is all about money - like paying the mortgage and property tax. What many fail to overlook is the emotional part that comes with a home purchase.

Buying a house means making some lifestyle changes, especially if the house you can afford requires some work. It may mean giving up vacations for a couple of years to put money into a down payment or possible repairs. If you're ready to give up your vacation and put every possible penny into financing the costs of carrying the home, then you're ready to buy a home.
 
Some first-time buyers make the mistake of deciding to buy a house because they fell in love with a certain home feature. If you think things through before making decisions, and are undaunted when faced with challenges, then you are emotionally ready to buy a house.



5. Do I have a vision or goals for the coming years? Is being a homeowner one of those?

A house purchase is one you’ll be paying off for a long time, so you need to have a plan on how to pay for your mortgage. Perhaps it means staying in your work for at least the next five years. If you plan to pursue a different career in the coming years, now may not be a good time to buy a house.

Your vision and goals can help you identify if you’re ready to buy a home.

Now that you’ve assessed that you’re ready to own a home, here’s another question that you need to answer...




Do You Know Your Mortgage Options?


Buying a home is a significant investment. Not many people can afford to pay cash for a house. For many, buying a house means getting a mortgage.

A mortgage is an agreement between two parties — the borrower and a bank or financial institution — to help the borrower purchase a property on the condition that the money will be paid back in a certain period of time. The mortgage loan is linked to the property. If you fall behind on payments, you risk losing your house to the lender.

A mortgage is usually paid monthly.  Mortgage payments cover the principal, interest, taxes, and sometimes the property tax and even insurance.

There are different types of mortgages. Knowing what they are will help you decide better when you are presented with mortgage products to choose from.



  • Traditional / Conventional / Low Ratio Mortgages require the borrowers to give a 20 percent down payment. The lender will likely finance the remaining 80 percent. This type of mortgage has a low loan-to-value ratio and therefore, does not require mortgage protection insurance.


  • High Ratio Mortgages are mortgages where the borrower can't meet the required 20 percent down payment. The lender is therefore required to shoulder a higher loan ratio. If you have a high-ratio mortgage, you are required by law to get a mortgage default insurance which can be taken through some mortgage insurers including Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).


  • Open Mortgages gives you the flexibility to repay the mortgage before the specified loan term is complete either through lump-sum prepayments or accelerated payments. These types of mortgages have slightly higher interest rates compared to a closed mortgage.


  • Closed Mortgages is a mortgage where the borrower cannot renegotiate before the loan term is complete unless the borrower is ready to pay a penalty.


  • Fixed-Rate Mortgages will have the same interest for the whole duration of your mortgage term, which usually runs from one to five years. This type of mortgage is popular among Canadians because it guarantees that the mortgage rate remains the same for five years. The rate for fixed-rate mortgages tends to be higher than other mortgages.


  • Variable Rate Mortgages vary in mortgage rate during the loan term. These loans are based on the current prime rate. This means that if the interest rate drops, you'll have a lower mortgage rate. If the interest rates rise, your interest rate will also increase. Variable-rate mortgages have lower interest rates than a fixed rate but they can go up anytime during your loan term.


  • Hybrid Mortgage is a combination of fixed and variable rate mortgages. This type of mortgage allows you to finance the loan at a fixed rate and the other part of the loan is financed through a variable rate.


  • Portable Mortgages can be transferred from one property to another property. You get to keep the interest rate of your current mortgage loan without going through the approval process again.

    
Mortgage types and products are different. You need to have a better understanding of the products so that you can avail of the best one for your budget.



6 Not To Do’s After Applying for a Mortgage



A home mortgage can be several hundreds of thousands of dollars. Because it’s such a large amount, certain measures are set in place by financial institutions to ensure they won’t lose their money. Once you’ve started on the mortgage process, there are some things you need to avoid to ensure that you’ll be successful in your application for the mortgage.

Here are some things you must not do after applying for a mortgage.



  • Don't change jobs or the way you are paid at your job


The lender wants to ensure you can repay your mortgage so it tracks the source and amount of your income. Changing jobs can affect your loan approval. Sometimes a better job opportunity may happen when you are in the process of buying a home. If you plan to accept the job offer, you need to inform your lender as soon as possible.


  • Don't make any large purchases like a new car or new furniture


New purchases come with new debt, and new debt comes with monthly payments, which greatly affects your debt to income ratio.

If you plan to secure a mortgage loan and you've recently just made a big purchase, this will likely reflect on your account statement. It will also add to the payment side of the equation, which may cause financial challenges.

Lenders prefer individuals with low debt to income ratio.  Individuals with higher debt to income ratio sometimes don't qualify for a mortgage loan.



  • Don't co-sign any other loans for anyone


Co-signing someone else's loan means you are promising responsibility for the loan should the principal borrower fail to give the monthly payment. Co-signing increases your debt-to-income ratio, which could be a key reason for denial of the mortgage loan.



  • Don't change bank accounts


Another big NO-NO when applying for a mortgage loan is changing bank accounts. One reason is the lender should get your most recent statements, and when you transfer to a new account, you may not be able to provide the most recent statements. You may not be able to comply with the requirements on time if you change bank accounts.



  • Don't apply for new credit


Applying for new credit will likely affect your credit score, which may be the reason you'll get turned down for the loan.



  • Don't close any credit accounts


If you have unused credit accounts, you may think that closing them during the mortgage process will help improve your chance of getting the mortgage loan. That's far from the truth. Closing credit accounts means losing available credit.



Is This a Good Time to Buy a House?


One of the most common questions I get from buyers is “Is it a good time to buy a home?”

You probably hear people say that the best time to buy a property is January. In fact, the Toronto Star published an article in 2017 stating that Jan 17 is the best time of the year to buy a house. The news article stated that although there are fewer homes for sale in winter months, the sales price down.

This “January advantage” is also supported by the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB). The TREB conducted a sales data analysis for a five-year period and found that January offered better prices for buyers.

Home prices may be lower in the month of January, but you also have to remember that inventory tends to be lower in the winter months meaning you have fewer options which now gives the buyer the risk of competition.

What if you don’t have enough savings by January? Do you have to wait for the next best month to buy a home?



The best time to buy a home is NOW.



Like other real estate markets, the GTA market also has its ups and downs. Summer tends to the peak seasons and winter season slows the market down. The market is affected by interest rate, economic changes, and affordability, — things you have no control over. But during a seller's market, winter, summer, rain or shine don't seem to make too much of a difference.

Relying solely on the market to decide when to purchase a property may lead to purchasing decisions which may cause your financial problems.

Instead of depending on your area's real estate market, rely on your needs.



The best time to buy a home is when you have these things:


- When you have saved for a downpayment. If you already have the money for a downpayment, then it's time to buy a house. Many people want to be homeowners but they don’t have enough money saved yet, which delays their chances of reaching for their dream.


- When you are financially stable and can make the monthly payments. One of the best indicators you're ready to own a home is your finances. You need a steady source of income that will help you save for your initial deposit, cover your monthly mortgage, and still allow you to live a comfortable lifestyle. Experts recommend that your mortgage costs no more than 20 to 30% of your monthly income.


To ensure that you can also meet the emotional demands of home buying, lenders requires that you pass a Mortgage Stress Test.  The stress test is not really a test. It is more of a strict set of rules that lenders must use to check if you qualify for a loan, and how much you can borrow.


- You have strong credit. Your credit score is essential in securing a mortgage. If you have a good score, you can secure a better interest, which can save you thousands of dollars in interest payment.


A strong score takes time to build. If you plan to buy a home, you should start building your credit score.

Making payments on all debts on time helps boost your credit score. The same goes for avoiding large purchases months before you have your credit score checked.


- You plan to stick around. Buying a residence means you’re planning to keep your home at least 2-years or more.  Longer is great, so give this some consideration.


- When you’re ready to be a homeowner.  Being a homeowner is not easy. It comes with much responsibility, and I don’t just mean the monthly mortgage. I am also talking of property maintenance, yard work, landscaping, etc.



Compelling reasons why you shouldn’t wait to buy your own home



If you still have doubts about whether to push through with the home buying process or not, here are four reasons you should proceed and not wait to buy a home.

- Home prices are increasing.


Although general market conditions continue to tighten, the average selling price continues to increase on a year-over-year basis. GTA’s housing market is on the boom for over a decade now, and it is predicted to continue to rise in the coming years.

In the 1980's, homes could be purchased from between $100,000  to $200,000. When the 90's rolled in, house price average increased to more than $250,000. 1992-1996 showed a drop in the price range, but it started picking up again in 1997 and it has been on the rise since then.

Home prices have doubled and tripled, and it will continue to do so, so if you’re planning to buy a property in the GTA, now is the best time to do it.  

- Mortgage Interest Rates


Mortgage interest rates continue to be low and a 5-year fixed-rate mortgage is available for under 2.5%.


- You’re paying a mortgage whether you buy or rent


If you are presently renting, maybe the reason you haven't bought a house yet is because you are not sure about taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Well, you are paying a mortgage either way - either yours or that of the landlord. Are you ready to put your housing payments to work for you?

When you buy a house and start paying monthly mortgage, you are building equity. In five to ten years time, you’ve built enough equity that you can borrow against or turn into cash if a need arises.

- Your “why”

What’s your why?

In other words, what’s the reason you are buying? Whether you want to have a great place for your children to grow up, greater safety for your family, or you just want to have control over renovations, NOW is the time to buy.

Now that we’ve covered the factors that affect your readiness, it is now time to find out the home buying steps.


Step 1: Get Pre-approved


Before you look at homes online, you need to know how much you can afford. Knowing your budget gives you realistic expectations, allowing you to choose a home that's right and within your financial range.

To get an idea of how much you can possibly qualify for, you can get a prequalification from a reliable lender. It's a quick process where you provide the bank or the lender with your financial information, like your income, assets and debt. It can be done online or over the phone.  After a simple evaluation, the lender can give you a great idea of how much mortgage you qualify for, which in turn lets you know the price limit of the home you will search for.

If you want something more official, get a written pre-approval.



A pre-approval is a more in depth evaluation of your finances by the lender.



With a pre-approval, the lender will do an extensive check on your financial situation and current credit rating. The lender will also tell you the specific mortgage amount for which you are pre-approved. It holds a heavier weight over a mere pre-qualification.

Getting a pre-approval has many advantages:



It tells you exactly how much mortgage you qualify for. Knowing how much you can afford helps streamline the properties you seek out. This way, you don't waste time looking at homes you'll just end up pining for because they are out of your budget range.


It makes the home selection process easy for your agent. A pre-approval tells you the location, size, and type of home you can afford. It makes it easier for your agent to know which properties to show you.



It increases your negotiating power. Sellers are more likely to take your offer more seriously when you have already been pre-approved.  It boosts your ranking in a pack of potential buyers because the seller thinks that your offer is much stronger than the others.   It may slightly ease the seller's fear that you won't qualify for a mortgage when your offer to purchase the home is conditional upon you securing a mortgage.



It lessens stress knowing you have already been approved by the lender. It gives you assurance that the buying process will be smoother.


Step 2. Establish Your Needs and Wants


Knowing the difference between your wants and your needs is critical. You need to know your MUST-HAVES and SHOULD-HAVES. What’s the difference between the two?




Must-haves are features so important, so critical you won’t even consider buying a house without these items. Do you need three bedrooms? How many bathrooms do you need? Do you prefer a single-family home? Stairs or no stairs? How much parking space do you need?

Should-haves are items that are nice to have but the house does not necessarily have to meet all the required features in order to be considered, provided that it meets all the must-have requirements. Do you want a home office? How about a screened porch? Is the hardwood floor a must-have or a should-have?



Step 3. Hire the Right Real Estate Agent



Purchasing a home is a big investment. Did you know there are over 230 possible steps that need to take place during every successful real estate transaction?

You need the guidance of a reputable REALTOR®. You need someone who will listen to you, prioritize your needs, and look out for your interests.

In other words, you need someone like me, Sol Kahane.  I am the REALTOR® you should...

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Thornhill is considered a thriving upscale community filled with modern detached homes and carefully landscaped lawns. Its child-friendly, middle- and upper-class neighborhoods offer residents great community amenities and places to bond with the family. It is an ideal place for families to get settled in and create wonderful memories.


No wonder, a lot of people want to invest and are looking to buy a house in Thornhill. But is there a best time to shop for a home in Thornhill? In real estate, it’s not all about location. It’s also about TIMING.


Generally, the best time to buy a house in Thornhill is during the month of September when the average property prices are at its lowest, the summer season is about to end, and home sellers are extremely motivated to sell their properties before the year ends.


However, considering the current situation where a global pandemic is currently happening, if you have been planning of buying a home in Thornhill, the best time to buy a home is now.

How does the average price of a home in Thornhill change in each season?


Based on April 2019 to March 2020 average property prices in Thornhill Real Estate Trends, average property prices are highest during winter and spring seasons and lowest during the end of summer.


Spring (March 20 to June 20)


Average property prices are high during this season, ranging from $860,000 to $700,000, especially during March until mid-April.


Summer (June 21 to September 21)


Average property prices are lowest during this season with prices ranging from $700,000 to $633,000, especially during September.


Fall/Autumn (September 22 to December 20)


Average property prices are starting to rise steadily during this season, with prices ranging from a bottom low of $633,000 in September to around $800,000 in October and dropping to around $700,000 in December.


Winter (December 21 to March 19)


Average property prices range from $700,000 to almost $900,000, with a peak in February.


What are the pros and cons of buying a house in each season?


Aside from the changing prices of property as seasons vary, there are other advantages and disadvantages in each season that you might need to consider. 


Pros and Cons When Buying a House During Spring  


Spring is the most popular time for house hunting since the weather is most convenient for both buyers and sellers. However, since there is a lot of real estate activity during springtime, it’s usual to see high-quality homes listed at market-rate prices. If you’re a buyer who’s looking for a lot of choices and is keen on buying a house with the best quality, this is an advantage. But with a lot of interested buyers, home sellers are least likely to provide much wiggle room for bargaining. If you’re looking to buy a home on a limited budget, this might be a disadvantage.



Pros and Cons When Buying a House During Summer 


During summer, homes that were listed early in the spring and have not sold may have decreased prices. Sellers may be more likely to compromise on price now. This is an advantage if you’re looking to buy a home with a limited budget. However, one disadvantage could be fewer choices and options. 


Pros and Cons When Buying a House During Fall 


During the fall, the real estate market starts to slow down. Families with children in school who were considering selling their homes may put it on hold since the timing is no longer ideal. This can be an advantage for buyers because there might be fewer crowds at open houses and they would have an easier time getting into showings for listed real estate. 


But then again, it could mean fewer choices and options for a high-quality house. Prices usually also drop during fall and home sellers can become extremely motivated to sell their homes before the end of the year, allowing you the advantage of getting a good bargain. 


Pros and Cons When Buying a House During Winter 


Wintertime is the most inconvenient time to sell and buy a property. Fewer people list their homes which translates to fewer choices for buyers. Those who put their houses on the market in wintertime tend to do so because they need to sell their home urgently and they cannot wait for an ideal real estate market. This can prove to be an advantage for buyers to get a great deal for a low price. A disadvantage though is that homes on the market during winter may be in fair condition and might require a lot of repairs. 


What other factors do you need to consider in buying a house aside from the location, timing, and price?


In addition to looking for the ideal location, knowing the perfect timing and getting the most out of your hard-earned cash, you might also need to consider the following:


1.The size of the lot


This may or may not matter to you, depending on your priorities. If you want a spacious lawn where family gathering can be held and where children can play around, you might be looking for a bigger sized lot. It can also give you more room for future house expansion projects as your family grows. 


The size and shape of the lot can also affect the price of the property. For instance, corner lots are usually priced higher than inner lots, while irregularly-shaped lots are less pricey than properties on rectangular-shaped lots. 



2.Number of bedrooms and bathrooms


The number of bedrooms and bathrooms is another important factor to consider when buying a house. It might be possible that the one-bathroom house is built upon a spacious lot and within your budget, but if you’re a family of five with teens and school-aged kids, this might be a huge inconvenience later on. Knowing beforehand the appropriate number of rooms and bathrooms you will need can help you make a better decision and narrow down your choices when there’s a lot on the market.


3.Kitchen layout


The kitchen layout is also another factor to consider when buying a house, especially if your family prefers daily home-cooked meals. Depending on your needs, you might want to have a home with up-to-date kitchen appliances and fixtures, with plenty of storage spaces. If you usually dine out, then you won’t mind a typical kitchen and be able to spend more on the things that you really need. 


4.Age and condition of the house and its appliances


The age and condition of the house and its appliances is also an important factor to consider when looking to buy a house. While an older house with dated appliances could initially be bought at a cheaper price, you might find later on that it is actually more expensive because you will need to update the appliances and spend more on home repairs. However, if you don’t mind DIY home improvement projects and find redesigning a hobby, then you could use this as a bargaining chip to buy a house with a lot of potential for a very cheap price. 


5.Seller’s incentive to sell


Finally, knowing the seller’s incentive to sell can help you to identify which properties can be bought at a bargain and which ones have lesser wiggle room on the price. Some sellers place their homes on the market but do not actually need to sell it urgently. Their main priority is to sell it for the highest offer possible. 


Other sellers, however, are highly motivated to sell. A family whose main bread-winner is up for a job relocation and need to move out of state, or someone paying two mortgages and wanting to sell and get back to only one payment, would want to sell their property as soon as possible and might be more flexible and amenable to price negotiations. 


Do you have more questions about the real estate market in the Crestwood-Springfarm-Yorkhill area? For your real estate needs, call me, Sol Kahane, at 416-576-6656.


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* *  S O L D  * *

Experience a relaxed condo lifestyle in the heart in this Beverly Glen Enclave condo!

Enjoy peace and privacy in this conveniently located 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom Thornhill condo. Bright and welcoming, this condo is the ideal place if you are looking for a maintenance-free lifestyle. Its convenient location places you just minutes away from malls, plazas, restaurants, Walmart, banks, shops, transportation, parks, and great schools. On top of that, this condo has excellent amenities.


 
 
  

Get the Thornhill condo lifestyle of your dreams at a great price of ONLY $549,000!


Call me, Sol Kahane, at 416-576-6656 to set a showing today.


 

Overview
Maps
Photos
Features




















$549,000
Single Family Home
Main Features
2 Bedrooms
2 Full Bathrooms
Location
95 North Park Road
Suite 109
Thornhill, ON
Canada

Sol Kahane

Sol Kahane

415-576-6656
Solkahane@gmail.com
 




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In case you cannot view this video here, please click the link below to view 95 North Park Road Suite 109 Thornhill | Condo for Sale on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c97nFWGuTH0&feature=youtu.be
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Enjoy the best value for your money in this condo in the prestigious Beverly Glen enclave!


Prime location, excellent amenities, and the best of conveniences are yours to enjoy in this condo unit in Beverly Glen, one of Thornhill’s best condo neighborhoods. 


This modern 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom condo in 95 North Park Rd has 760 square feet of living space and features a spacious open concept with a split floor plan, offering ultimate privacy. 


Located in the best area of Thornhill, this condo is a short walk to EVERYTHING! Enjoy easy access to malls, plazas, restaurants, Walmart, banks, shops, transportation, parks, and more. Living in this condo means you are just minutes away from highly reputable schools. 


You’ll also love the spectacular amenities provided with this unit.


You don’t have to leave the building for your daily dose of exercise because there’s a gym, an indoor pool, and a sauna. For your special celebrations, the party room is available. There are also guest suites your visitors can rent and the building offers 24-hour concierge/security.


In addition, your unit comes with two parking spaces and an extra-large storage locker. Best of all, this unit is being sold for at least 20% lower than the pre-construction price for this area and for the same size. 


For its value and amenities, this condo for sale in Thornhill is definitely a MUST-HAVE. It makes an excellent investment property!


Entertain and relax in this condo’s spacious living area


You'll love the well-planned layout of this Thornhill condo. 


Relax and entertain in the generous sized open living area with 9'ceilings, large windows, and laminate wood floors.


The split floor plan places the bedrooms on either side of the unit. It’s like having two separate units inside the condo. 


The modern kitchen features beautiful granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, which include a fridge, stove, dishwasher, and built-in microwave and hood fan. 


This unit’s first-floor location means you can avoid the elevator while still getting the benefits of having a high above-ground balcony where you can relax and unwind.


A washer and dryer complete the features of this Thornhill condo property. 


Enjoy condo living at its best!


Great location, quality finishes, exceptional amenities — this condo for sale in Thornhill has it all and it’s priced for ONLY $549,000! 


Call me, Sol Kahane, at 416-576-6656 to see this gorgeous property for yourself!



In case you cannot view this video here, please click the link below to view 95 North Park Road Suite 109 Thornhill | Condo for Sale on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c97nFWGuTH0&feature=youtu.be

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* *  S O L D  * *

Here is your opportunity to make a VALUE purchase on a Real Gem In Prestigious Beverly Glen Enclave!  Asking only $549,000.

Located in the best area of Thornhill, it's a very short walk to EVERYTHING!  Mall, plazas, restaurants, Wal-Mart, banks, shops, transportation, schools, parks, and so much more...such as zoned for High Reputation schools.
 
This is a very well laid out 760 sq ft, 2 bedroom and 2 full bathroom condo.  It's bright and airy boasting 9 foot ceiling and spacious open concept. This unit has a Split Floor Plan with a bedroom and its own ensuite washroom on either side of the condo unit. It's like having 2 separate units inside the condo.  The modern kitchen has granite countertop and stainless steel appliances which includes a fridge, stove, dishwasher and builet-in microwave and hood fan.  Washer and dryer are also included.  You will find laminate flooring throughout this condo.  Located on the first floor is another desirable feature which avoids the elevators, but with an added feature of high above-ground balcony level.  

This unit comes with a RARE 2 Owned Parking Spots very the elevators and an EXTRA LARGE storage locker.  And the amenities are spectacular: Indoor pool, gym, sauna, party room, guest suites, 24 hr concierge/security, etc.

The VALUE play here is the price being at least 20% lower than pre-construction prices for this area and for the same size.  On top of that, 2 parking spaces are included here plus an extra large storage locker.  This price can't be beat!

Other info:
Taxes: $2,632.55
Maintenance: $516.01
Exposure: West
Possession Date: Flexible
 
For More Info, Please Contact:
Sol Kahane
(416) 576-6656
SolKahane@gmail.com
theRESULTisKEY.com
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You are ready to sell your home. And you are ready to buy a new home. But now you have to make a big decision: Do you find your new dream home first or focus on selling the current home instead? As an experienced REALTOR®, I am often asked by clients, “What should I do first, buy a home or sell the old one?”


The answer varies depending on your priorities. Most of the time, the decision whether to buy or sell first depends on three factors: 

  1. your fears

  2. your finances, and

  3. the market

If it will stress you out worrying that you won't be able to find a new home soon enough when selling your current house, specially in a buyer's market, then buying a new home first is the path for you. However, if your finances will not allow for the luxury of temporarily owning multiple homes, you can opt to sell your house first.


Whether you decide to buy a new home first or sell your current one instead prior to purchasing, each side of the coin has its own advantages and disadvantages. Knowing them will help you to identify the risks and prepare contingencies to minimize these risks.


Pros and Cons of Buying First


These are some of the advantages to buying your home first:

  • In a buyer's market, you can purchase you new home at possibly its lowest cost; at the same time, if you're able to pay for two mortgages, you are not pressured to grab the first offer that comes along when you sell your current home.

  • You can remodel your new home before moving in. You can better plan for the interior design of your new home because you are not rushed into merely making it livable just so you can move in the soonest possible time.

  • You don’t have to worry about moving twice. You don’t have to spend time looking for a temporary place, packing everything up, unpacking temporarily and then going through the whole process of packing, moving and unpacking again when you finally get settled into your new home.

On the other hand, buying a new home first also has its fair share of disadvantages:

  • You might have to pay for two mortgages for an indefinite period of time. In this case, your finances are the most crucial of the three factors especially if you are raising a family or have other financial obligations.

  • In a buyer's market, while you are able to find a new home easily, selling your old home might be difficult and could take longer than you initially expected.

  • You might end up overspending for your new home because you do not have an actual figure of how much your current home will actually sell. If you happen to sell it for less than you expected,  you might be faced with a possible financial crisis.

Pros and Cons of Selling First


Some of the benefits to selling your current home first are listed below:


  • You don’t have to worry about having to pay for multiple mortgages. There is a much lighter financial burden for you to shoulder if you sell your house first. There is no risk of being buried in debt and not being able to meet your financial obligations.

  • Selling first will allow you to easily budget for a new home. Once your Agreement of Purchase and Sale is firm, you should have a pretty good idea on how much you can afford to spend on your new home. You will not have the fear about how to finance your new home

  • In a buyer’s market, selling first gives you more room to negotiate. If your finances are tight, deciding to sell your home first can help you ease the pressure of having to accept the first offer that comes along because you are not faced with the problem of having to pay for multiple mortgages, unlike the case when you decide to buy first.

  • You might be able to sell your home for a higher price if you sell first, especially in a seller’s market. Since you are not pressured by having to sell your home in the soonest possible time, you open yourself up to better opportunities.

  • You have the option of being able to test the waters, living in your new community by renting out a temporary home, without going in too deep. If later on you realize that the neighborhood not does not match your expectations, you can simply pack up and leave.

However, selling your home first also has some disadvantages:


  • You might have to find a temporary place to stay if you were able to sell your new home but are not able to find a new one soon enough. This might be the case in a seller’s market when it is easy to sell a home but difficult or quite pricey to buy one.

  • You might lose an opportunity to get your new home at the most optimal price because you have to wait until your house is sold. This is often the case in a buyer’s market when your dream home might be up for sale at a dream price but you have to forego the opportunity because you haven’t sold your current house yet.

  • You will have limited time to plan the interior design of your new home, if the one you bought isn’t up to your standards. You might be forced to rent out longer than you expected as you improve the interior design your new home. Either that or you might have to accept the condition of your new home as it is, just so you can move in the soonest possible time.

A REALTOR® Can Help You Decide Whether To Buy or Sell First

An experienced REALTOR® can help you identify the current market, clarify the risks and provide options on how to minimize such risks based on your situation. 


He can also help you assess if your current financial situation in the event you end up with two properties and two mortgages in case you opt to buy first. Furthermore, if you are looking to buy within the same market you are selling, your REALTOR® can give a realistic estimate of the current value of your existing home so that you can buy a new home without overshooting your budget.


In the case when you decide to sell your present home first instead, having an experienced REALTOR® will greatly increase the chances that you will be able to sell your home at a fair and competitive selling price and in a much shorter time frame. He will be able to market your home to a much larger pool of potential buyers than if you’re doing it on your own.


Also, since a REALTOR® is experienced in negotiating home sales, he can help you get more money for your home than if you sold it on your own. He will be able to help you handle the problems which usually occur when buying or selling your home, and may very likely help you avoid them in the first place. Finally, an experienced REALTOR® can help you with all the necessary paperwork involved in either buying or selling your home so you can focus on getting settled in your dream home.


 

In case you cannot view this video here, please click the link below to view Should You Buy or Sell Your House First? on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0HD8wlAdSI&feature=youtu.be
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Not a week goes by that I don't get asked the question “How many days does it take to sell a home?” It’s okay. I understand that home sellers are anxious to know how long their homes will be on the market, what’s the average number of days, and if there is anything they can do to speed up the process.


The number of days a home or condo stays on the market depends on several factors:

a. location

b. price

c. condition of the home

d. current market conditions, and

e. time of the year.

For the Crestwood-Springfarm-Yorkhill area, 104 homes were sold between April to June 2019. The average price was  $824,000.  56% of those homes were condos. They averaged around $600,000, and took approximately 31 days to sell.

The average sales price of detached homes was $1,314,000.  It took an average of 19 days to sell a typical detached home.


How does the Crestwood-Springfarm-Yorkhill market look now? For the second quarter of 2019, the number of sales compared to the number of listings is right at 50%. This number shows that it is a neutral market, great news for both homebuyers and sellers.


When Should I Sell My Home


The best time to sell your home is when you’re ready to sell it. Selling a home is not as easy as placing a For Sale sign in your front yard. These days, selling a home means getting it ready to sell, marketing it right, using professional photographs, and hiring the help of the best real estate agent.

Listed below are five signs that tell you it’s a good time to sell.


Your home has equity. You want to have enough equity in your home to pay off the mortgage and the costs of selling. If you don't have enough equity, it might be better to wait until your home increases in value.


Real Estate Market Report Crestwood-Springfarm-Yorkhill Area Pic 2 Home Equity


You have enough money in the bank. Selling a home has expenses. If you want your home to look its best, you may want to have some repairs and/or maintenance done and  to clear out rooms and rearrange the furniture.

You need more space. If your family is growing and your current home is already too small to provide the comfort and convenience you’re looking for, it is time to sell.

You’re looking for a lower-maintenance living. Owning a single-detached family home has a lot of maintenance.

You have a long list of things to take care of, for example:

  • Landscaping
  • Cleaning
  • general maintenance
  • shoveling snow


All these are part of home ownership and they can be tiring and time-consuming. Maybe you are tired of it all. Maybe you want a maintenance-free lifestyle with a condominium.


How to Get Your Home Ready to Sell


Are you excited about preparing your home for the market? Or do you dread the day when you have to spend days cleaning up?

Most homeowners have mixed feelings about this step in the home selling process. Many look forward to it, knowing the outcome is a brighter and cleaner home. You just can’t help but feel a little anxious about all the stuff you may need to throw out or give away. After all, our home is a sum total of what we put in it, and all those little knickknacks grow on us.

Here are some things to do to get your home ready:

Work on your must-repair list. First, make sure to take care of any small maintenance issues in the house, a leaky faucet, and more.


Real Estate Market Report Crestwood-Springfarm-Yorkhill Area Pic 3 Home Repair

These issues may be insignificant and you barely notice them, but buyers will definitely spot them. Those small maintenance issues can easily pile up. You don’t want to give potential homebuyers a reason not to buy your home.

Decluttering. If you’ve lived in a home for years, it’s easy to accumulate stuff. Now that you’re planning to sell it is time to start organizing. Figure out which one to dispose, which ones to donate, and ones to keep.

Remove all the bulky items inside your home. Sure, oversized couches are comfortable and cozy, but it many cases, it does not match the size of the home. You are better off using regular size sofa to make your rooms look larger.

Cleaning. This task is labor intensive. Cleaning is a task many people avoid. However, when you want your home to sell fast, you need to clean everything. Buyers also check areas which you don’t usually clean, so make sure to clean everything.

Making your home spotless is not easy, but it will not cost you anything. Go ahead, clean everything including door handles, under the sink, behind the cupboards, and even the garage.

Repaint your walls in neutral colors.  When you’ve finished decluttering and organizing your belongings, you’ll notice two things:


Real Estate Market Report Crestwood-Springfarm-Yorkhill Area Pic 4 Home Paint

First, the wall decor that you’ve moved or put into storage leaves a distinct mark on the wall.


Second, you’ll clearly see which parts of the home have faded wall paint.  

You can fix this by repainting the walls with a neutral color. You may think “A neutral color is so bland and does not have personality”.

This may not be your personal preference, but you have to remember that it’s  not going to be your home anymore. It will be the buyer’s home.

Presenting a home with a freshly painted neutral tone allows buyers to visualize the place as their own, and neutral tones look make the room look bigger and brighter than your favorite vivid red.

Go simple on the decor. The key to keeping a house “sale-ready” is to keep the decor minimal. Think basic, think essential.

Pick one “tastefully done” painting to hang on the wall. If you don’t have a painting, leave the wall blank, but set up a vase full of flowers to break the monotony of the blank wall. Furnish the various living spaces with only what is needed.

Boost your curb appeal. Don’t just focus on the interior. The curb appeal matters, especially since it is the first thing a potential homebuyer will see. First impressions count, so you need to maximize your home’s curb appeal.

Price it to the market.  As a seller, you want a return on the investment you've used in buying and improving the house. It can be very tempting to raise your price, but if you want to get it sold, it should be priced according to what the market determines.

In this day and age where home information can be easily accessed online, buyers can see your home’s previous selling price and know if you’ve priced it over market value.

In a slow moving area, be prepared to drop the price a little to move your home faster. This serves as an incentive to home buyers who previously did not show interest because the home’s value is over their pre-approved amount.

Hire the right local real estate agent. There are real estate agents and there are professional, competent, hard-working real estate agents.

You want to find someone who is active, someone who has sold houses recently in the past six months, someone who has an excellent track record in selling homes in your area, like me, Sol Kahane.

For my track record, you can check out this page: https://springfarm-yorkhill-homes-for-sale.com/testimonials.html

Do you have any questions about the real estate market in the Crestwood-Springfarm-Yorkhill area? For your real estate needs, call me, Sol Kahane, at 416-576-6656.





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Buying a home is already a complicated enough procedure, so before making your first move, why not speak the real estate language like a pro?  As your premier agent specializing in the Springfarm Yorkhill real estate market, I would like to provide you with the following key real estate terms to make your home buying experience easier and less complicated.

Key Real Estate Terms

Appraisal – An informed and impartial value of a home. This figure is derived from data such as the price of comparable homes in and around the neighbourhood, the overall strength of the real estate market and any unique selling features of the home.

Buyer’s market – A real estate market that is created when homes for sale outnumber potential buyers.  Traditionally, this market sees a larger inventory of homes that sit on the market and thus housing prices drop.  

Closing – The final procedure where ownership is transferred from seller to buyer.

Closing costs – Fees attached to the purchase of a home that are due at the end of the sales transaction.  These fees can include appraisals, home inspections, title searches, as well as lawyer fees.  When purchasing a home, be sure to include an extra 1 %– 3 % of the home’s purchase price to cover these costs.

Days on the market (DOM) – The overall number of days on the real estate market that a property has been listed. 

Down payment – A percentage or portion of the home’s purchase price that a buyer must pay (this is not part of your mortgage).

Gentrification – The process of changing the demographics of a certain area through renovations and property development.  Typically, in gentrified areas, rents and property values increase.

Home inspection – A visual look at the various systems of a home or building to see if there are any hidden damages or defects.  This inspection is usually secured and paid for by the buyer.

Homeowner’s insurance – A policy that protects the structure of a home, the homeowners’ contents and covers any injury to others should damages occur while on the property.

These important real estate terms will not only help you better understand the language associated with buying a home, but will also make the entire purchasing experience less convoluted and clearer.  If you have any questions about these terms or would like more clarification around the home buying process, please contact me today.  I would love to show you some of the new and exciting real estate opportunities that are available in the Springfarm Yorkhill area and help you find your perfect home.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

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Many potential homebuyers start their search online.  While there is nothing wrong with this approach, you may find that the search quickly gets out of control and becomes overwhelming.  As your premier agent specializing in the Springfarm Yorkhill real estate market, I would like to share the following ways on how you can narrow your online search and find your perfect home.

Get Pre-Approved

Perhaps the biggest mistake that homebuyers make is that they start their online search without any parameters and quickly tire of looking at an endless amount of properties.  Before seriously looking at homes online, go to a few banks and mortgage brokers and see how much you will be pre-approved for.  Once you have a dollar figure, you will have an excellent starting point to start your online search.

Here’s the Deal:

Don’t be afraid to look just outside your maximum price range as you may be able to negotiate with the seller and settle on a price that is indeed within your budget.   

What do you want?

The next step to further narrow your online home search is to brainstorm all the features that you want in your home and order them from most important to least important.  Some of the features you may want to include in your search are:

  • The number of bedrooms and bathrooms.
  • A rough idea of square footage.
  • Neighbourhood features such as traffic in the area, the crime rate, any ongoing developments or future developments in the area.
  • Proximity to schools, community centres, and distance to your work.
  • Walkability score and distance to grocery stores, shopping centres etc.

Be sure to include all the important features, as you are going to be spending a lot of time and money in your home, so you want to find the right one for you.

Get an Agent

Once you have narrowed your list down to the homes that are right for you, it is time to contact a real estate agent.  The right agent will be able to help you line up showings and perhaps even show you homes that you may have missed.  Your real estate agent will also help you negotiate a final price and complete the arduous paperwork that is included when buying a home. 

An online home search is a great first step in finding your dream home.  If you have any questions about searching for homes online or are interested in viewing some of the new and exciting properties that are available on the Springfarm Yorkhill real estate market, please contact me today.  I look forward to helping you find your perfect home.


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When it comes to selling your home, avoiding a wide range of common mistakes is so important if you want a quick sale at full market value.  As your premier agent specializing in the Springfarm Yorkhill real estate market, I would like to follow up the previous blog with more common selling mistakes and how you can avoid them.

Price it Right

In order to attract a wide range of buyers, you will need to price your home right.  A common selling mistake is overvaluing your home which will only keep it on the market for longer, thus delaying your sale.  The best way to properly price your home is to look at similar homes that are for sale or have recently sold in your area and neighbourhood. 

Here’s the Deal:

By comparing your home to these homes and working with your real estate agent, you should be able to competitively price your home and sell it at market value.   

Go with a Pro

A huge mistake many sellers make is trying to sell their home on their own.  Without employing the skills of a real estate agent, you risk either leaving money on the table or keeping your home on the market for far too long. Either scenario is not ideal.  A real estate agent will help you with the following important steps when selling your home:

  • Organize and orchestrate open houses and private showings.
  • Help you with your online portfolio as well as setting a competitive asking price for your home.
  • Deal with the paperwork that can get confusing.
  • Network with other agents to attract as many potential buyers as possible. 

Meet in the Middle

Another common selling mistake is refusing to negotiate with a prospective buyer.  Unfortunately, not every sale ends up in a bidding war between buyers.  Sometimes you will have to be willing to negotiate and meet somewhere in the middle if you want to sell your home.  As a seller, you should take every offer seriously, even the low-ball ones.  Remember, it is only an offer and you can counter-offer or refuse it.  If you want to sell your home quickly, look at every offer with an open mind.   

These commons selling mistakes are easily avoidable with the right agent to guide you through the selling process.  If you would like more information on this topic or are interested in selling your home on the Springfarm Yorkhill real estate market, please contact me today.  I would love to help you sell your home and look forward to working with you soon.

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The summer season is a great time to take advantage of the hot Springfarm Yorkhill real estate market and sell your home.  However, before putting that for sale sign up you may want to consider these common selling mistakes and be sure to avoid them. 

Be Photogenic

If you want to sell your home quickly and at full market value, then an online real estate portfolio is a must.  This portfolio will allow any prospective buyer a chance to view your home from the comfort of their own living room.  Unfortunately, one of the most common mistakes that sellers make is using grainy, unfocused, dark and just overly poor photographs to showcase their home.

Before listing your home online, take a moment to look at the quality of each picture and see if they truly represent your home.  A good set of photographs will do the following:

  • Effectively highlight your home’s selling features such as views, large windows, its unique character as well as any renovations.
  • Every photo needs to be crisp, well lit, taken from a proper angle and straight.

Here’s the deal:

Over 90% of prospective buyers either find or narrow down their house hunting list online.  It is of the utmost importance that the pictures in your portfolio are attractive and effectively showcase the selling features of your home.  Because of this you may want to consider hiring a professional photographer for the job.

The Right Setting

A properly staged home is an effective tool when it comes to selling your home.  A common selling mistake that happens far too often is that sellers overlook the importance of staging and show their home as is – thus losing prospective buyers in the process.  A well-staged home is a home that is uncluttered and depersonalized.  Your home should also have very little furniture in it so that the overall floorplan and space is the true focal point.

Remember:

Any potential buyer wants to be able to envision their lifestyle and their belongings in your space.  A well-staged home gives them this opportunity.

Fixer-Up

Before listing your home, look to see if there are any major repairs that need to take place.  A home in need of repair is either a deal breaker or the repairs are going to be used as a bargaining chip and you will not get full market value for your home.  Be sure to avoid this common selling mistake and do the repairs before your first open house.

By avoiding these common selling mistakes, you should be able to sell your home this summer at full market value.  If you would like more information on any of these mistakes or are thinking about listing your home on the Springfarm Yorkhill real estate market, please contact me today.  I look forward to hearing from you soon.

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The summer has finally arrived in Crestwood Springfarm Yorkhill.  Not only is this the best of the four seasons, chocked full of activities, picnics and vacations, summer is also the perfect time to buy your dream home.  As your premier agent specializing in Crestwood Springfarm Yorkhill real estate, I would like to share the following tips on buying the perfect home in the summer.   

More to Choose From

The biggest reason to buy a home in the summer is the increased selection of homes available on the real estate market.  Both buyers and sellers alike seem keener on listing and buying homes in the summer.  This is likely attributed to the following factors:

  • The summer is a more flexible time of the year for many people with less structured activities and schedules.  The kids are out of school, more people tend to take holidays, etc.
  • Longer and warmer days mean people are ready to get outside.  The weather allows interested parties to view more homes in a day.

If you have a long list of must-haves for your perfect home or want to be choosier, then the summer is the time for you to buy a home.  Increased inventory means a better selection and thus a better chance of you checking all the boxes on your must-have list.

Be Prepared

Increased volume combined with nicer weather and more flexible schedules brings more competition to the Crestwood Springfarm Yorkhill real estate market.  You will not be the only one interested in finding your dream home this summer.  It is important to be pre-approved for your mortgage and be ready to put an offer in very quickly if you see something you like.  The quicker you can put in an offer, the better the chance you have of getting the property without getting into a bidding war.

Know your Days

One way you may be able to get your dream home at a discount this summer is by looking at the number of days that a particular property has been on the market.  If a property has been on the market for over 60 days, chances are the seller is going to be willing to negotiate and want to make a deal.

It’s all Cyclical

All markets are cyclical, including the real estate market. Single family homes often parallel the school season, so chances are the sellers will want to complete a deal before the start of school.  They will want to be settled in their new home before September.  Townhouses and apartments follow other cycles as they are often owned by young professionals.

Pick the Right Agent

The right real estate agent is someone who understands the idiosyncrasies of the local market and has a vast knowledge of the area and its neighbourhoods.  Your real estate agent should also have years of experience and be able to help you not only find your dream home but also help you negotiate the best deal. 

These tips will allow you to buy your dream home this summer.  If you are interested in other helpful tips or would like to view some of the new and exciting properties that are available this summer in Crestwood Springfarm Yorkhill, please contact me today.  I look forward to working with you soon.

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My son and I went on a much deserved vacation to Mexico where something really unexpected happened. I have shared this story with my friends and now I’m sharing it with the rest of the world.

Although my son and I enjoyed our various excursions, I decided to write about one specific excursion which I will never forget. Deep sea fishing, but with a twist.

More than just a day in paradise

We charted a fishing boat off the Mayan Riviera. They took us over an hour from the coast to a vast area where we might have better luck at catching large fish such as marlin or tuna. Sitting at the back of the fishing boat where the fishing rods were safely secured to the boat, we chatted and drank a beer or two.

The decision was made without much thought

After casting the lines a number of times, we finally caught something on one of our lines. While working hard to reel it in, we saw it jump above the water and it was immediately identified as a sailfish. It turned out to be a 150 pound sailfish that would take us an hour and a half to reel in.

Within the first 30 minutes of pulling and reeling, the captain, a very tanned, short, stalky Mexican, came up to me and explained that just a few minutes earlier, another fishing boat sent out a unique call to all other fishing boats in the general area. In that boat was a 5 year old girl with Down Syndrome who, along with her family, had been trying to catch a similar fish for days.

While taking turns reeling in the biggest fish I had ever caught and without giving it a thought to the entire process, I blurted out "she can have this one!". I then began to wonder how that would work, but the captain had already gone to radio the other boat.

After a total of about 90 minutes of reeling in the magnificent fish, and with aching arms, the sailfish was safely onboard our boat. That’s when we quickly fumbled with our phones to capture the moment with a photo or two, then safely and slowly lowered the sailfish into the ocean to keep it alive and healthy for the girl to reel in, all the while the fish was still hooked to the line as we held the rod.

What the heck does this have to do with real estate?

The other boat appeared in site in about 10 minutes and after a few more minutes, it was facing the back of our boat where we, our rods and the fish were. A crew member of our boat held out the rod as far as he could reach towards the oncoming boat while a crew member of the other boat climbed to the front of their boat, grabbed the rod and ran to the back of their boat where the fishing was being done.

I stood there staring at the boat as it pulled away as quickly as it had arrived and imagining how they would pretend to catch the prize fish in order to make the little girl happy. A second or two later, I noticed that the captain was standing next to me also staring out at the other boat. Within what felt like seconds, that boat was gone (along with the rod and reel).

It was quiet for quite a while until the captain finally suggested we now try to catch smaller fish for lunch.

I called my wife later that day and told her about my day. I also told her that I should write a blog about this, to which she replied “what the heck does this have to do with real estate?”

Are you kidding me? It has so much to do with what I do! It’s like the saying “it takes a village”.  For example, I place calls myself when I list a home.  I know there’s a much better chance of even higher success when I call out to a good professional photographer, and when required, a trusted staging expert or even a specialist for a smooth drone footage.

And how many times had someone tried to do something on their own without success? Like selling their own home by themselves and missing out on an entire pool of potential buyers willing to offer a higher price. Getting a REALTOR® is like putting out that call to other boats.

I’m not making light of what took place on that boat in Mexico. I felt and still feel that it was one of those rare events which we, as a group, jumped at the opportunity to make someone happy. And in that same spirit, and as always, my offer to assist in any way I can still stands or to answer questions without obligation. Whether the property is located in Springfarm, Yorkhill, Thornhill or the GTA, let’s discuss it over a cup of coffee and I might even tell you my scuba diving story too :)

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With so much to see and do this summer in the Crestwood Springfarm Yorkhill area, one blog simply wasn’t enough to cover them all.  With so many great venues to choose from the summer fun is endless.  As the premier agent for all your Crestwood Springfarm Yorkhill real estate needs, here are more can’t miss summer events and festivals going on in the area.

York Farmer’s Market (All Summer)

Located in the heart of the historical village of Thornhill, the York Farmer’s Market has brought the community fresh local produce since 1953.  This storied market boasts over 19 fulltime vendors and features a wide range of local, organic and seasonal vegetables and fruit, as well as artisanal foods, breads and meats.  You will also find exquisite locally designed jewelry, arts and crafts as well as pottery.  The market is open 4 days a week, so get your bags and stock up on your summertime favourites.

City Parks 

There is no end to the many amazing green spaces and city parks in and around the Crestwood Springfarm Yorkhill area.  Some of the more popular summer parks include:

  • Toogood Pond Park – This popular park is home to a wide range of waterfowl.  The pond is surrounded by walkways, picnic tables and benches where you can take in the tranquil and beautiful views. 
  • Hendon Park – This park was built for the summer.  With a splashpad and a kid’s playground, it is an excellent place to enjoy a hot summer day.  The park also features baseball diamonds and tennis courts.
  • Mill Pond Park – One of the region’s most popular outdoor recreation and entertainment areas.  The park features a playground, multiple trails and a gazebo that overlooks the pond.  Enjoy a picnic or just take in all the sights and sounds at Mill Pond Park this summer.   

Markham Jazz Festival (August 16-18, 2019)

This exciting and vibrant all ages summer festival brings a wide range of local and national well-known jazz musicians to three stages on Main Street Unionville Markham.  Be sure to enjoy this free event and choose from over 30 performances going on all day and into the evening this August. 

Get out and enjoy all the best that Crestwood Springfarm Yorkhill has to offer this summer.  This special season is just another great reason as to why the community is such a sought-after place to call home.  If you would like more information on any of these can’t miss summer venues or would like to see some of the amazing real estate options that abound in Crestwood Springfarm Yorkhill please contact me today.  I look forward to hearing from you soon.

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There is no better place to enjoy the summer season than the Crestwood Springfarm Yorkhill region.  The warm, long days combined with an endless list of great local venues will have your summer calendar full in no time.  As your premier agent for all your Crestwood Springfarm Yorkhill real estate needs, here are some can’t miss summer events and festivals going on in the area.

Canada Day (July 1, 2019)

The award-winning Canada Day celebrations are back this year at the newly opened North Maple Regional Park.  Be sure to join in on all the fun and action at this free event. Canada Day activities include:

  • Face painting and other kid’s activities.
  • Live musical performances and street performers.
  • Arts and crafts for all ages.

Come on out to this family friendly event and celebrate Canada’s birthday Crestwood Springfarm Yorkhill style.

Concerts in the Park (Select Wednesdays in July and August)

The annual Concerts in the Park is back for another year of rocking good times.  This year is an extra special one as it marks the venue’s 25th anniversary.  This series is an all ages, free event that will feature musical genres ranging from rock ‘n roll, pop to Motown and funk.  This year’s headliners are Honeymoon Suite.  Be sure to circle your calendar and head out to Vaughn’s Transit Square. 

KidZfest (July 22-August 5, 2019)

KidZfest is a special celebration just for kids at Canada’s Wonderland.  This special event offers free park admission and features:

  • Live Entertainment.
  • Dance Parties.
  • Foam Pits.

Joining in on the celebrations are some of your kid’s favourite TV characters such as Thomas and Friends, Toopy and Binoo, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Paw Patrol and a host of Marvel Superheroes.  Mark your calendar and come celebrate KidZfest this summer.

Brew and BBQ (July 18 – July 21, 2019)

The 3rd annual Brew and BBQ festival features over 70 craft beers and ciders from around the region.  All beverages are expertly paired with exquisite cuisine by Canada Wonderland’s executive chef Dilup Attygalla.  This delicious festival is a popular summer event and free with your general admission to Canada Wonderland.



Celebration Canada (June 29-July 14, 2019)

The Canada Day celebrations just keep on happening at Canada’s Wonderland.  Join us for this special event that features a nightly firework show, Tundra: A Cirque Experience that takes you on a journey through Canada’s 4 distinct seasons and the Flying Frontenacs – a high flying trapeze and trampoline show.  Celebration Canada also features live music and street performers as well as authentic Canadian food.  Join us for the ultimate Canadian summer party.   

Be sure to plan your summer vacation around these must see Crestwood Springfarm Yorkhill venues.  From Canada Day celebrations to music festivals there is something for everyone this summer.  If you would like more information about any of these or other summer events or are interested in some of the exciting real estate opportunities that are available in and around the Crestwood Springfarm Yorkhill area, please contact me today.  I look forward to hearing from you soon.

 

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The true cost of buying a home is more than just the final closing price.  Not only will you need to set a budget for your dream home, you will also need to save for a wide range of fees and costs that will arise after the sale.  As the premier real estate agent for all your Crestwood Springfarm Yorkhill real estate needs, I would like to share the following hidden costs that are part of buying a home.

Closing Costs

There are a few closing costs that you will need to cover when purchasing your home.  These include:

  • Lawyers’ fees, the taxes on your home and any lender’s fees.
  • House insurance to cover your personal belongings as well as insurance for fire, flood and earthquake.
  •  Moving costs.
  • Any maintenance fees and your home’s annual property tax adjustment.

Utilities, Furniture and Services

Once you have covered the closing costs, the next set of expenses associated with your home are outfitting your home with the creature comforts and necessities.  Chances are you are going to need to purchase furniture to furnish your entire home.  Other costs that you will need to consider include:

  • Services such as cable and internet.
  • Utilities – electricity and heat.
  • City services such as garbage collection, recycling and water.
  • Any tools or items that are required for your home’s upkeep such as hoses, rakes, lawnmowers and maybe even a place to store them, such as a shed.

Long-Term Plans

If you have any money left over, it is a wise decision to set aside a rainy day fund for any upcoming costs.  Now that you are a homeowner, you are responsible for upkeep and maintenance costs as well as any replacements.  You will want to budget for projects such as:

  • A new roof.  Your home inspector should be able to give you a rough estimate of how many years are left on your roof and when you will need to replace it.
  • Repainting both the interior and exterior of your home as well as the fence, planters or other structures such as a shed. 
  • Any appliances that need to be repaired or replaced.

These hidden costs can quickly put you over your intended home purchase budget.  Make sure to accommodate for these hidden costs, so that you are not house poor or overstretched.  If you would like more information on these hidden costs or other costs attached to buying a home or are interested in the real estate options that abound in the Crestwood Springfarm Yorkhill area, please contact me today.  I would love to help you find that perfect home.

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If you are looking for a great family activity this spring, in your newly purchased dream home, then look no further.  A brightly coloured flowerbed is a great addition to any front yard.  As the premier agent for all your Crestwood Springfarm Yorkhill real estate needs, I would like to offer you the following tips on how you can enjoy a fabulous flowerbed this spring.  

Make your Bed

Before planting your first flower, it is important to lay the groundwork for a healthy flowerbed by doing some preparatory steps.  You will want to start with a weed and rock free bed to allow your flowers to thrive and take root.  Once you have cleared out the debris, add some topsoil to provide much needed nutrients and don’t forget to turn the soil to loosen it up.  Loose soil will make the planting step easier and will encourage proper rooting, aeration and drainage. 

Nursery Time

Now that you have prepared your flowerbed, it is time to visit your local nursery and pick out the flowers that you want in your bed.  Try to choose a wide variety of flowers to give your garden a kaleidoscope of colours. 

Here’s the deal:

Water your flowers the minute you unload them from your car.  Moving flowers can be stressful, so to keep your flowers healthy until they are transplanted, give them ample water. 

Be Choosy

When choosing the different flowers, pay attention to the potential height of each flower as well as their specific needs.  You do not want to plant taller flowers in front of smaller, more delicate flowers as they will be choked out.  Plan your flowerbed according to heights and each flower’s individual requirements.

Follow the Instructions

Each flower will come with a tag.  Pay attention to this tag as it will have important details such as:

  • How big the flower will grow.
  • How often it needs to be watered.
  • How much sunlight it needs in order to survive.

Keep this information in mind when you transplant each flower into your flowerbed.  Ensure that you have properly spaced the flowers and that you have planted each flower at the proper depth.  Once you have planted all of your flowers, thoroughly water the flowerbed as transplanting is stressful on flowers. 

Family Fun

After the initial planting phase of your flowerbed, it is important to set up a weekly routine to ensure that your garden stays healthy and vibrant for the upcoming summer.  A weekly watering routine as well as sporadic weeding can become a great family activity and give kids a sense of ownership and responsibility. 

A flowerbed is a great addition to any home and is a simple and fun activity that can be enjoyed by the whole family.  If you would like more information on how to create a beautiful array of flowers or would like to see some of the exciting real estate properties that abound in the Crestwood Springfarm Yorkhill area, please contact me today.  I look forward to hearing from you soon.




                                                                         

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Last summer, Alex, my son’s friend, contacted me with the news that he was going to be transferred to Ajax.  It would be a daily return commute of approximately 4 hours so he asked me to find him an apartment to lease.  As always, it was my pleasure.

On the drive to view some apartments in Ajax, we caught up on each other’s lives and we also discussed rentals.  On the drive back, we continued our conversation and, from his financial situation and from prices of houses in nearby Oshawa, we concluded that it would make more sense to purchase a small house instead of renting an apartment.  

I had no problem putting the other agent in his place

After a detailed search, I found a very charming house that I thought would be ideal for Alex.  Alex loved it so I immediately went to work and negotiated a great price with a few conditions to protect Alex.  During the conditional period, some items related to the area were discovered and I advised my client to wait until we could clarify the situation or at least to the last minute before waving conditions which could be affected.  This made the selling agent extremely agitated. At one point, that agent said to me “I don’t know how you people do things in Toronto, but here we do things by the book” and he continued with threats to report me.  My number one priority is to shield my clients, as best as I can, from any foreseeable trouble and within the confines of all rules, regulations and laws of Ontario including moral and ethical obligations.  Needless to say, I had no problem putting that agent in his place exactly where he belonged.  After satisfying myself with the information received from the City, and not a minute sooner, I then advised Alex to sign the wavers.  Now the deal was ‘firm’.

Sound fatherly advice

At this point, you would think my job was done.  Not even close.  Two days after that contract became firm, Alex called to advise me that he was being transferred back to Toronto.  The timing was just awful.  If he didn’t proceed with the purchase of the Oshawa house, he would lose his deposit and potentially face a lawsuit.  His voice was surprisingly calm so I asked him how he felt about it.  He said he needed some sound fatherly advice before he reacted. After taking a moment to absorb that complement, I explained the options available to him.  

One of the options was a ‘speech’ on the present Toronto real estate market and how this property would not only be a sound investment, but an excellent retirement tool.  The basement had a 3 piece washroom, a separate entrance, full legal height, large windows and roughed-in plumbing which made it easy and relatively inexpensive to add a small IKEA type of kitchen.  And if he lowered his downpayment and financed part of the cost of that basement kitchen, he wouldn’t have to come up with any extra funds.  

We continue talking while I was plugging numbers on the calculator.  I then advised him that if he bought the house and rented the main portion and the basement separately, the rents would not only cover all his expenses, including mortgage payments and property tax, but he should also expect an approximate 8% return on his down payment.  Once the mortgage is paid off in 25 years, he would be sitting nicely and collecting rents so this could be part of his retirement plan.  I paused and asked him what he thought so far and his response was “you had me at 8%”.

Before the drive home, Alex put away $3,000 in his pocket

Although the offer was firm, now it was time for me to roll up my sleeves and get to work. 

When submitting offers on houses with basements that can be ideal for renting, I like to include clauses to not only view the property on at least 2 occasions, but to be able to bring potential renters to view the house.  This Oshawa offer included that clause.  Alex knew nothing about being a landlord, specially a distant landlord, so I taught him.  This is the sort of thing I gladly assist anyone with...at no charge.  I showed Alex where and how to place ads and how to set appointments when calls and emails come in.  

We arranged the tenant viewings for the same time as the first house viewing.  I showed Alex how to show the apartments and how to ask the potential renter to fill out an application and collect a deposit.  This is a very crucial moment because although the potential tenant is applying for an apartment, he will not necessarily be approved.  In the mean time, I consider the applicant’s present situation, employment and even his/her personality before asking for a deposit.  The deposit can always be returned to the applicant if the application is denied.  

Before the drive home, Alex put away $3,000 in his pocket from tenants’ deposits and he had 2 very promising applicants for the basement and main floor rentals...not to the mention the $4,500 CashBack Rebate he received from me after closing.

Experience in this field and knowledge

A word of caution for the inexperienced would-be-landlords: at the beginning, work with someone with experience in this field and knowledge on how to select tenants to avoid tenants from hell and to avoid making trips to the Landlord and Tenant Board.  Also as important is how to manage rental properties even though it usually only takes a couple of hours a month whether the property is near you or an hour or two away.

Alex is now working on saving for a down payment on another small investment property.  With the help of the return he’s making on the Oshawa house, I expect he will be calling me again in about 3 years.  If you have questions or some real estate issues you’re trying to resolve, wether they are in Thornhill, Toronto or the GTA, please don’t hesitate to call, text or email me.  I’d love to help.  


Sol Kahane

(416) 576-6656

SolKahane@gmail.com

Result is KEY

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A lush green lawn is not achieved overnight, but is a product of a well-established routine and some important steps.  In order to achieve a coveted, healthy yard this summer, you need to start your lawn care now. As your premier real estate agent for homes for sale in Springfarm Yorkville, I would like to share these spring lawn care tips.


Clean up

The first thing on your spring lawn care maintenance list needs to be a general yard clean up and a thorough rake.  It is important to clear the layer of dead grass known as thatch. If not removed, thatch can cause all kinds of problems for your lawn such as drought, dead patches and encourage the growth of unwanted weeds.  By removing this dead layer of grass, you will promote proper aeration and a deeper and more even watering of your lawn. 


Seed, Weed and Sod

After removing the thatch from your yard, the next step should be to seed or sod your lawn.  A reseeding of your yard will fill in any thin or bare areas.  In extreme cases of large dead patches, you may need to add sod to fill in the area.

The best protection against weeds is a well-established routine of mowing, irrigating and feeding.  However, to give your lawn a head start against weeds, you may want to remove any dandelions or other invasive weeds at the root before applying a layer of seeds. 


Early Season Maintenance

Before mowing your yard for the first time, take a few minutes to perform the following important maintenance points on your lawn mower.

  • Change the oil.
  • Clean or replace the air filter and sparkplug.
  • Add a fuel stabilizer to help your lawn mower’s engine run smoothly.
  • Sharpen the blade.  A dull blade can damage the grass on your lawn and make it more susceptible to disease. 

Establish a Lawn Care Routine

The earlier you establish a routine, the healthier and more vibrant your yard will be.  An effective method should include the following:

  • An irrigation routine.  Always water your lawn early in the morning or in the evening to prevent burning and to minimize the amount of evaporation.  Remember to follow all city bylaws and pay attention to any water restrictions.
  • Seed and feed your lawn a few times a year.  Follow the instructions on the bags and never overfeed your lawn as it may burn or kill the grass.
  • Mow more often.  Choose a higher setting and alternate the directions each time you mow to encourage a healthy lawn.

By following these important spring lawn care tips, you will enjoy a healthy and lush yard this summer.  If you would like more tips or are interested in some of the new and exciting real estate properties that are available in Crestwood Springfarm Yorkhill, please contact me today.  I look forward to hearing from you soon.

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“...because I truly feel I owed a duty of care”

I don’t usually talk about deals that didn’t happen, but I just "un-sold" a house...and I feel pretty good about it.  Let me explain:

A potential buyer called me to inquire about a townhouse I have listed for sale.  The buyer, let’s call him Bob, explained that he was looking for a house to purchase as a small investment property and I proceeded to confirm how perfect this place would be for him because of its great location, proximity to his residence and it's already tenanted with good people who would love to stay.  

“So far, so good”

I made arrangements to meet Bob and show him the house the following day. After the viewing, Bob was happy with the house, with the info on the house that I had provided him and he was happy with the tenants so we sat down to discuss how to proceed.  So far, so good.  As we talked, Bob explained that he went over the numbers and asked me to prepare an offer.  At one point, he also mentioned how he was financing the purchase.  

On my way to the office, I realized that this property may not be suitable for Bob after all.  Once I got to the office, I looked up all the figures again and confirmed that, because of how Bob was planning to finance the purchase, he would be experiencing a very high negative cashflow on a monthly basis.  I immediately called him and even though he claimed he went over all the figures, I went over them again with him.  I then asked Bob if he could manage such a monthly outflow of cash.  Bob replied that he couldn't afford it.   And no other acceptable financing options were available to Bob at that time.  

“He looked extremely relieved when I met with him”

We obviously didn't proceed with an offer, but I made sure Bob understood that I would look for something more suitable for him.  He looked extremely relieved when I met with him again and I was actually happy that he didn't get himself in financial trouble.

And this is how I un-sold a house!

I take pride in my work.  I like to feel like I've done my job (in this case, as a dual agent) when I exercised a duty of care to a "customer" even though the seller is my "client".

I sold that house to a lovely couple a few days later and Bob became my client.  Everyone was happy.

If you are ready to purchase or sell a property, I can surely provide you with excellent representation to protect you at every step.  So please feel free to contact me even if it’s only for advice, direction or suggestion.  


Sol Kahane

(416) 576-6656

SolKahane@gmail.com

Result is KEY!

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