How to Avoid Buyers Remorse

How to Avoid Buyers Remorse

Scenarios that Bring on Buyers Remorse

Remorse sometimes kicks in after we start talking to others about the new house.

Discussions with family and friends.

They usually mean well, but it’s not uncommon for family and friends to question your choice and what you paid for it, especially if it’s your first home purchase and they are seasoned pros.
But do they know the market? It may have been years since they bought a property themselves, and if that’s the case they probably aren’t in touch with current prices. They might even live in another part of the country, in an area where housing costs a fraction of what you can expect to pay at your location. And let’s face it, parents rarely think a house is “good enough” for their children.

Continuing to look at houses.
Big mistake. Stop looking at other houses unless you feel the contract has a good chance of falling apart (you think the home inspection might uncover serious repair issues, etc.).

Real estate agents who offer no guidance.
Some agents do not guide their buyers through the closing process. Questions and doubts pop up and the agents aren’t around to provide answers and assure their buyers that what they are feeling is normal. Unanswered questions can put buyers in a panic mode, especially when it’s their first home. Panic leads to doubt–and ultimately buyer’s remorse.

Contact your agent and others involved in your closing whenever you have a question. It’s their job to help you.

Your own doubts.
Nothing in life is certain, and we tend to think about the uncertainties even more whenever we make important commitments, dwelling on the negative what-ifs instead of looking at the positives.

Here are some “Bites” in ensuring that you made the correct decision:

1. Bring out your list of criteria and match the house you bought to that.
2. Does the house feel right compared to the other ones you looked at?
3. Did you find many houses that met your needs or was this one a rarity?
4.If you can back out of the contract, is it realistic to think you will find a house that’s “better?”
5.What was special about the house just a few days ago and how has it changed–really changed?

Analyzing the facts that lead you to the home will help you sort out your feelings about the contract. Was it truly a poor choice or would you be nervous moving forward on any house?

Tips for Investing in Condos?

Tips for Investing in Condos?

I have been receiving a lot inquires in the past few weeks regarding investing in condos. Both have been from condos either downtown, or in the Mississauga area. I thought I would share some tips to help you if you were considering investing in a condo.

1) If possible buy before it is built.

This is great because you can put some money down while the property and condo value go up. The longer the wait, usually the better it is because in the G.T.A., values have been going up, not down on condos. If you cannot sit on your money do not go for this plan. Wait till something is built. Usually condo corps are delaying moving in 2-3 times.

2) Make sure you see what is included in the fees.

I’m sure 98% of people will examine this, but I do get a few people that are shocked after they buy a condo to find out certain things or amenities are extra. Even after you figure out what is included, you need to understand what is not. If you buy a condo downtown without parking, that is usually a cost of 20-30 thousand extra if you need a parking spot down the road. These extras need to be calculated to the purchase price or monthly cost.

3) Find out how much the same unit rents for.

You want to ask your Realtor to find out what the recent comparables are in the building you are considering. The next thing you need to ask yourself is the rent you will receive worth the investment after you pay the expenses and mortgage. Depending on what your down payment is, you should have a few hundred dollars left. If you don’t you could be taking money out of your pocket every month to cover the mortgage. This is not a good situation.

4) Location Location Location.

I’m not the first nor the last to say this. A highly desirable area is best. It might cost more but it will attract renters easier and be easier to sell down the road. If you have problems with your tenant leaving then you can jump right into another lease. This is ideal. You don’t want to get stuck with a mortgage you don’t want.

5) Do you homework.

Make sure you ask for credit checks, references, post dated chqs, and as much as you can get from a potential tenant. Do not just interview a tenant and go on feeling. Sometimes people are serial renters. It is hard to kick out a family at Christmas time when they haven’t paid the rent in three months. Take my word for it.

6) Talk To Residents if older building

The best advice I could give you is go to the building and talk to some people that live there. Go up and down the elevator, and ask some questions. This is the best thing to do to get information. Tenants and owners will tell you everything about the building. Talk to the concierge and the security. Be nice they will tell you everything.


Problems that can happen when closing a house

Problems that can happen when closing a house

Here are a few Things to consider that can go wrong from the beginning to end of trying to buy a house.

1. Financing:

This is a big one, make sure you get pre-approved and know how long that pre-approval is good for. Just because you have a pre-approval it doesn’t mean the bank will finance the house you are buying. If you purchase a house and it is massively over priced the bank will not take that investment with you. Be careful in over bidding and know your comparables.

2. Inspection:

The home inspection is great but it is not the final word. There are always things that the inspector cannot see, especially if the basement is finished. Look for cracks in the foundation in and outside and in the attic. You may find something during one of your measuring tours of the house pre-closing that everybody missed. Use this time to further inspect the house.

3. Title:

The people selling the house cannot sell the house. The seller is divorced and either party does not know the house is listed for sale. When it comes down to closing you cannot close the house. This occurrence happens more than you think.

4. Not enough money:

There are some liens on the house and the equity is maxed out and the deal cannot close. It happens.

5. Second Guessing:

The sellers realize they undersold the house and want more money and will not give up the house or try to amend the deal. This happens, and you will have to get your lawyer involved. I know you think a deal is a deal. Sometimes you get crazy sellers that think that they should have sold for more and will try to swindle more money out of you and will not co-operate with clauses, or will completely remove appliances or trash the house. This could take some litigation later but for now it sucks because you just want to move into your house that you bought fair and square.

6. Closing date:

You agreed upon a day and they can’t close on that date because their new house is not ready. Usually this could be a deal breaker. Some people will try and change things later on in the deal to suit their needs.

As you can see there could be many problems that can go wrong with closing a house. There are many more. Make sure you have a good lawyer, home inspector and Real Estate agent that will make sure you eliminate as many extra circular activities by sellers as possible for a smooth close.

Learning to Love a New House

Learning to Love a New House

There are going to be an abundant of new home owners this February. With all of the mortgage laws changing, there are many people who will not qualify after the changes therefore will buy a new home before the rules change. Moving is said to be a stressful time because of all of the new scenarios people must face when moving and negotiating a property.

Here are a few Items to help you in your move and to get adjusted to your new home.

1. No matter the circumstance, think of a new home as a fresh start. Out with the old and in with the new.

2. Throw a party. Throwing a goodbye party is a great way to get family and friends into your old house one more time. Once you move into your new house you can have the second part of the party.

3. Bring a few items that remind you of home, don’t throw out everything all at once. Bring a few mementos of your old home, if you intend to get rid of everything, do it a step at a time so you can adjust.

4. Paint the rooms the same colour. I know you are trying to start something new, but if you really love your old house, and were forced to sell, use the same paint as the old house. This will keep familiarity in your mind, when coming home at night.

5. Say Goodbye to your old house. Write a journal with pictures of your old house. Write about all of the great times you had in the house. When you get to your new house start a scrap book of the old and new house.

Is Real Estate Investing For You?

Is Real Estate Investing For You?

I have clients and friends who approach me regarding investing in Real Estate daily. There are many types of Real Estate Investing from REIT’s, commercial properties, industrial properties and of course basic residential properties. I am approached about residential properties the most.

For most people who are looking to invest, residential investment is an easy introductory. It’s very simple; you buy a property and rent it out. You collect your monthly rent and it usually pays the mortgage, bills, taxes and any improvements needed. In an ideal world this is how it works and eventually you pay off the mortgage and you have capital to invest in another property. After 10 or 15 years you can continue to flip houses because you have built up the funds to invest in more properties and so on. If you’re enthusiastic with your money you can pay off these investments faster and start to move on to much bigger projects. You can then start to invest in land, or houses which are ready to be torn down or renovated.
At this point you need to look for builders, contractors, and people who can build on the land or tear down a house and rebuild a house. After you start to see your houses built and sell for a profit after paying all of your expenses you can start to invest in apartments and condo buildings. You can also buy shares or find other investors. Since you have been investing in properties for the last ten years you will have a great relationship with mortgage brokers, banks, and private funds and also have some money saved to put into bigger projects.

These bigger projects involve commercial properties which could include strip malls, condo development or industrial properties. The other options include investing in a REIT’s.

Below is two paragraphs from an article from written by ANDREW BEATTIE in his article, “How to invest in Real Estate”. He explains REIT’s:

Real estate has been around since our cave-dwelling ancestors started chasing strangers out of their space, so it’s not surprising that Wall Street has found a way to turn real estate into a publicly-traded instrument. A real estate investment trust (REIT) is created when a corporation (or trust) uses investors’ money to purchase and operate income properties. REITs are bought and sold on the major exchanges just like any other stock. A corporation must pay out 90% of its taxable profits in the form of dividends to keep its status as an REIT. By doing this, REITs avoid paying corporate income tax, whereas a regular company would be taxed its profits and then have to decide whether or not to distribute its after-tax profits as dividends.

Much like regular dividend-paying stocks, REITs are a solid investment for stock market investors that want regular income. In comparison to the aforementioned types of real estate investment, REITs allow investors into non-residential investments (malls, office buildings, etc.) and are highly liquid.”
Here are a few simple laws for the amateur investor to follow:

Law #1:

Buy when the market is low and never sell. If you must sell then sell when the market is high. Have you noticed there are not too many commercial properties for sale?

Law #2:

Buy when the interest rates are low. You want to pay as low as possible to invest in this property.


Commercial Investing is better than residential. There are too many laws to protect residential renters. Whether or not this is a good or bad thing is up for debate. Not receiving a rent cheque for 6 months can mean foreclosure for a person investing on a tight budget. In the commercial property world if your tenant doesn’t pay you, you can lock the door after 16 days. Typically a commercial tenant will pay you because they know if they don’t pay you they are out.

Law #4:

Buy condos before they are being built. If you like the condo markets buy something that is not built yet. You will see a nice return the day you get your keys. The longer the close the better it is for you and your investment. While the property value goes up around the condo, you will reap the benefits of waiting on your investment to finish building. After a few years sell it. Start the cycle again. When the fees are getting too high you know it’s time to sell.

Law #5:

Do your homework: If you decide to sign a lease agreement with somebody, do background checks, credit reports, past landlords, bank statements, post dated cheques, and so on. Do as much research on your tenant as possible. Why did they leave their last place? The last thing you want to have is someone who is a tenant who just moves from house to house without paying any rent every three months.

Law #6:

Get advice: Get information from everybody you can think of about your investment. Whether or not you think you know what you’re doing, get a second opinion.  Speak to Real Estate agents, accountants, lawyers, property managers; take a course do what you have to do to educate yourself. The one thing I have realized in this world is that you never stop learning. You can know everything and not know anything. Somebody will educate you regarding your investment. It is not embarrassing to ask a few questions or make a few calls; it is worse to throw away your life savings or get involved in a lawsuit or have the municipality down your throat because you were too proud or lazy to ask some questions.

I hope these laws get you started and yes I know there are many other rules or laws to follow but these are just a few to get you thinking and started. Happy Hunting.

Safety When Selling Your House

Safety When Selling Your House

Screen Shot 2014-01-17 at 4.31.29 PMWatch the video on youtube, click on the picture above

When you sell your property, your living space and privacy are very susceptable to strangers and vulnerability. I’m very strict with my policy regarding safety and go over all of the things that can happen when your house is for sale. These are some precautions among many others I take and make my clients take when selling your house.

1. Remove all valuables: Gold, valuables, small electronics. You would be surprised at what people might take when their agent is not looking. Sometimes it could be children which the parents went astray during a showing.
2. After so many showings I change the lockbox code. Make sure you or your agent changes the code after so many showings. Make sure your agent doesn’t use the same code for all of his or her houses.
3. Do not open the door to neighbours or strangers. Sometimes people will approach a listing off the street and try to see the house without your agent or just let them come in. NEVER! do this. I know you want to sell your house but do not let anybody in your house. Give them your agents card, and tell them to go to the website. (Make sure your agent creates a website if they do not)
4. If an agent is late or early ask for a card, then ask them to wait outside while you call your agent to determine what to do at this point. Your agent can confirm it is the right person at the door, maybe call their office, and cell phone to make sure it is the right person. You both can decide whether to let them in or rebook the appointment.
5. Open House: One showing at a time. One agent, one showing. I have a sign that says showing in progress, please wait. If they are really interested they will wait. Or they can make a direct appointment with the agent.
6. This one is for female agents. While I’m all for equal opportunity, this one is for the female agents. As a seller, you should ask if you have a female agent if she is bringing another agent or if her office knows about private showings and open houses. Does she check in before and after with her office if she is going alone. Let’s face it, most violence is toward women in these situations, you want to make sure as a seller, that your agent is safe for herself and for your peace of mind. The last thing you want in your house is for your agent to be harmed. I always remind my female co-workers and agents to be safe.
Don’t forget that your house is advertised everywhere these days if your agent is doing their job properly, and that will label your house a target for some sick individuals. BE SAFE and happy selling!

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