Articles for Buyers
Over the past year or so, we are having more and more people inquire about moving into a three bedroom condo. In most cases it’s either a family of four (mom, dad and 2 kids) or a family wishing to take their in-laws in to live with them. With freehold house prices well over $700k on average in Mississauga, larger condos do seem like a good alternative. However, 3 bedroom condos are harder and harder to find in downtown Mississauga. This blog will help explain why this is happening.
Costs are high
For anyone looking to buy a new 3 bedroom condo, the price can be a surprise to them. Since most three bedroom condos are in the 1200-1300 square foot range in size, with a cost of around $475 a square foot, the purchase price is often close to $600,000 brand new.
For this reason most 3 bedrooms condos are reserved for the penthouse units.
Condo fees are calculated based on internal square footage of any given condo. This means that these condos often have condo fees of $750 per month (or more) when they are still brand new. For many people, this simply does not work with the budget.
For anyone trying to rent such a unit, they are looking at $2500 and upwards a month plus hydro. This seems unreasonable, if you can rent a full detached house in Mississauga for the same price.
The disconnect between the investor and renter
When preconstruction condos are getting built, very few people come into a sales centre and wish to reserve a three bedroom condo which is set to be ready in 2-3 years or so. Most people who desire a three bedroom condo, have a specific reason why they want a larger condo, and wish to buy or rent one within three months or so.
At the same time, investors usually prefer to stick to the 1+den or 2 bedrooms condos.
For example, a typical investor will rather buy two 1+den condos for $300,000 each which can be rented for $1600 a month (per unit), over one 3 bedroom unit which rents for around $2500 and costs $600,000. The return on investment is simply not there with larger 3 bedrooms.
Builders have trouble selling these larger units until they are ready; hence condo builders are reluctant to even build three bedroom condos.
The 2016 Den
Ten years ago, when condo builders used to build condos with “dens”, the den would often be a separate room, which in theory was used as a bedroom. Even though, the dimensions were smaller than a regular room, often 7 x 8 feet, but still useable as a third bedroom.
In 2016, the den offered by builders in new construction condos is MUCH smaller and often not a true separate room. Sometimes the den is just more of a “nook” in the wall, big enough to squeeze a home office. The option to convert the den into a 3rd bedroom is no longer available.
For anyone who is looking for a 3 bedroom condo, we almost always suggest looking for a townhouse with our team instead. It’s cheaper and there are more options out there. If you must stick with a 3 bedroom condo, then some of the older condos might have some good options for you.
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Wednesday, June 15th, 2016 and is filed
For any buyer looking to purchase in downtown Mississauga, the process of buying a condo can seem overwhelming. With so many buildings to choose from, buyers are often left with uncertainty, not knowing if they have purchased a unit that they will be completely be happy with. This is why I always stress to my buyers, that the most important aspect of selecting the right condo is – lifestyle. The lifestyle each condo has to offer is different, and I believe each buyer should be educated as much as possible about each condo (both negative and positive) before they commit to the purchase. In this blog post, I will cover some of the things which I noticed make certain condo buildings stand out from other condos.
Free Parking Access at Chicago:
385 Prince of Wales is one of the only buildings that has a lot of visitor parking space, since it is outdoors. It is also in front of Rabba and Dry Cleaners. It seems that many condos in Square One have two issues when it comes to parking. 1.) Time restrictions and limitations – how many parking passes a month are issued for your guests. Example only 8 passes a month. 2.) Availability – the condos that don’t have these restrictions have issues with availability. On the weekends; Friday and Saturday nights parking is very scarce.
Indoor retail store access at Solstice:
225 Webb Drive is the only building that has direct access to a 24 hour store right from the building, without having to step outside. This is great in the winter when it’s cold and it’s safe if you want to send your child down to buy some juice.
Realtor FOBs at Onyx & The Residence:
The benefit of realtor FOBs is great for when you are purchasing a condo. It is important that you not only like the lobby and your unit, but also your amenities. Purchasing a condo is a big step for many first time home buyers. It is important to see all aspects of your new home and your new lifestyle before you make that big decision of which unit to purchase. Keep in mind that when you are selling your unit in these buildings, the FOBs will become handy, since the amenities are often a deciding factor for many buyers. The Onyx at 223 Webb Dr and The Residence condos at 4065 Brick Stone and 4070 Confederation have realtor fobs available. Make sure to ask your agent to show you what the building has to offer.
Smart Elevators at Skymark:
The buildings at 25 and 35 Kinbgsbridge Garden are not only fancy but come with some really cool elevators. The wait time for these elevators in these buildings are really short given the size of the building. The elevators have built-in sensors, which can detect when you open your suite door. The moment you leave your unit, the sensors pick up the movement and know to send an elevator to your floor. This is a huge plus for those on high floors. and for those who just hate waiting for elevators to come.
FOB Activated Elevators:
In buildings such as 3515 and 3525 Karyia, elevators need FOB access in order to take you to your floor. Once inside the elevator, you would need to swipe your FOB and then press the designated floor. If you have guests arriving they will need to sign-in at security and let them know which floors they are going to. Security will grant them access, but only to press that floor button which they indicated. This is great security for women living in the building and it saves you many trips if a kid pressed a bunch of floors.
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Wednesday, May 21st, 2014 and is filed
Real estate has come a long way over the last decade or so.We have seen a peculiar change in the dynamics of how properties are marketed by the seller and searched for by the buyer. Years ago, it was unheard of that someone could be sitting halfway across the world on their computer, searching for properties and then buying them. Today, this has become mainstream. Buyers do not need to be in the country in order to purchase a property. In this blog post, I will share some of my thoughts on how the presentation of offers has changed over the past few years.
Traditional Offer Presentations
Traditionally speaking, the real estate purchasing process looked something like this:
A client would contact a REALTOR to help him find a new home. The agent would show him a series of houses until the perfect one was found. The REALTOR and client would then meet at the agent’s office and write up an offer. Once the offer was completed and signed, the buyer’s agent would contact the seller’s agent to arrange a time when the offer could be presented in person. The face to face meeting would usually take place late at night and it was common for all the parties (both agents, buyers and sellers) to be up past midnight to get the deal done. Sometimes, there were six copies of the offer that needed to be signed and initialed by all parties. Since photocopying was not an option, any major changes that were made in the offer would result in completely rewriting the offer, which would take hours. The offer process was tedious and extremely time consuming for everyone involved.
Modern Offer Presentations
Today, this process has taken new shape
Once the client finds the perfect property and decides to put in an offer; the buying agent can prepare, send and negotiate the offer without having to meet the sellers / seller’s agent in person. Technology makes this possible. It enables the buyer’s agent to email or fax over the offer to the seller’s agent. All negotiations are done over the phone and most of the time there is no need to meet face to face.
Which Is Better?
Not all REALTORS have adapted to the new way of presenting offers. Many still believe that better results can be achieved when there is a face to face meeting. Those who believe in presenting offers in person argue that from the buyer’s perspective it is much easier to “read” the sellers, and push for a lower price. While on the other side, the sellers also believe that through a face to face offer, it’s easier to “read” the buyer and to get the most amount of money out of them. Aside from reading the other party, those REALTORS in favor of presenting offers in person believe that a face to face meeting truly benefits their clients, and that they are doing everything that is in their power to serve their clients’ best interest. Whether this has any legitimacy, is left up for debate.
On the other hand, those agents who present offers via email/fax argue that the best results are achieved when the buying process is less personal and intimate. Having buyers and sellers meet face to face can bring its challenges, as buyers often try to reduce the purchase price and make comments about the seller’s house which could be interpreted as offensive by the seller. This may come as a shock to some sellers, but having the opportunity to work with a lot of buyers – what I found to be most interesting is that a lot of the time, the buyers do not want to meet the previous sellers (for whatever reason, that it may be). As a final note, from a seller’s perspective some agents would argue that the very weak offers are the ones usually presented in person and by doing so they are trying to humanize the weak offer.
To answer the question – which is better? It ultimately comes down to what the buyer, seller and their agents agree on. I respect both methods. Personally, I find about 90-95% of the offers I present are presented electronically. So far this year, my average buyer ended up paying roughly 97.2% of asking price, which is lower than the industry standard of 98.5%. Thus, I believe my strategy of sending offers does work in the favor of my buying clients. At the same time, I acknowledge that in some circumstances it’s better to present an offer in person. In a situation where there is a multiple offer, it is better to present the offer in person to ensure that you do not get outbid.
The Future Of Offer Presentations
Unfortunately, As REALTORS, we kill a lot of trees. It’s no secret that OREA (Ontario Real Estate Association) is making efforts to move towards electronic signatures and a paperless real estate environment. We will start seeing more and more REALTORS carrying iPads and tablets, as opposed to traditional printed listings. With the way technology is going, it is possible that all signatures and offers will be conducted electronically. This in turn will solve the big environmental issue of printing too much paper and wasting it. In the end, real estate has come a far way, it has moved away from the traditional ways of searching for properties to the new modern way of electronically searching and preparing/submitting offers and the future will only hold more changes and require more adaptations.
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Saturday, October 5th, 2013 and is filed
Should I buy in the fall, or wait until the spring when there are more properties? These questions are often asked by buyers searching for Mississauga condos. Although, different Realtors will give different answers, I believe the decision of when to buy really comes down to the individual.
First and foremost, you have to establish your needs, wants and desires when it comes to your dream condo. At the same time you have to be aware of your budget and the carrying costs associated with owning a condo. Buyers should understand that during the spring and summer seasons there will be more selection of properties available for sale, than during the slow winter months. However, at the same time, this also signifies that there is a higher probability that you will be competing against other potential buyers for a condo of your choice. Do not be alarmed if at times the amount needed to secure your property will be over the asking price. You also need to know that the market is really unpredictable. There is no absolute way to know for certain how many available units there will be, how interest rates will be and how stable the market will be in the future. As a general guide, I encourage buyers to follow these eight points:
Buy in Spring/Summer
– If you are a very picky buyer and know exactly what you want. (Example: Looking for only a high floor unit, 1 +den , north facing celebration square with dark hardwood floors)
– If you like to work under pressure in a fast paced environment
– If you are Ok with paying full asking price for the property of your dreams
– If you tried shopping around for a condo in the fall and found nothing particular to your taste
Buy in Fall/Winter
– If you have a pretty broad criteria of what you are looking for in a condo (Example: 2 bedroom, 2 bath, under $350,000, clean unit)
– If you do not like to work under pressure and prefer a slower paced environment
– If you feel that you need to pay below asking price regardless of how nice the property is
– If you tried shopping around for a condo in the spring, and found there are too many buyers competing against you
Once again, the above points are just a general guide based on my own observations. To answer the question – when is the right time to buy a condo? The best time to buy a condo is when you find the one that you really love. There is no prefect “time of the year” to purchase.
Are you a first time home buyer looking to purchase a condo? Remember my services are free, as the seller pays my commission. Contact me, I would love to hear from you!
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Sunday, September 8th, 2013 and is filed
Lately, more women are buying real estate. Television shows like “Buy Herself” and “Property Virgins” are displaying more and more women independently buying properties . This new emerging trend can be explained through numerous ways; young women wanting to move out and being independent, a high divorce rate, women having better job positions and equally paid positions and also young women who wish to focus on their careers instead of settling down to soon with a family.
At the moment the housing market is healthy within the GTA, especially Mississauga, allowing more people to buy and invest in real estate, including women. RBC Royal Bank predicts that within the next 2 years, women are more likely to become first time home buyers as compared to men. The results of their annual survey on homeownership showed 49% (women) vs. 35% (men). A recent study done by Genworth Financial demonstrates that a quarter of Canadian home purchasers in 2011/2012 were single, and the majority were women. In Mississauga, the single women buyer boom has expanded. Single women buyers represent approximately 15-20% of Mississauga’s condo market, up from barely 1% in the 1990s.
In today’s society, it is not so unusual for single women to invest in condos. Women are more educated than a few decades ago, they hold better paying positions and it is also not uncommon to find women in leading positions (CEOs, political leaders, judges etc). They know that investing in a new condo is a great idea and they know that in today’s society they can be independent. They don’t rely on men, they don’t sit around and think about settling down. They are a new power force and they know that they can take care of themselves financially.
What are women seeking when they purchase a condo?
For women it’s all about location. They want to live within walking distance to transit, the neighbourhood has to be safe. They have to feel safe inside the condo with cameras in the parking areas and they appreciate security personal on a different level as compared to men. They prefer a place that is at least a 1 bedroom plus den as they often desire the additional living space. Storage is of vital importance. Women bachelorettes need storage, space and closet space, whereas men really don’t care about too much storage. Walk-in-closets are also more popular amongst women buyers. From my observations, I also see that the majority of women prefer resale condos over pre-construction condos, as they like to get a feel for their units and to look out the windows and fall in love with the city skyline.
Jim Ritchie, president of Canada’s biggest condo builder, Tridel, (Grand Ovation, Ultra Ovation and Skymark in Mississauga) states that” women are the driving force behind granite and stainless steel designer kitchen, better bathroom storage, and even lighting – especially over the makeup mirror”. What appeals to women, appeals to other buyers as well. They are the driving force of today’s housing industry. I can only agree. Women are known to have higher standards and expectations of their homes than men. They know exactly what they want and it adds a bonus for the industry.
Ultimately, women condo shoppers want to feel safe, independent and financially secure. They wake up in the morning in their new condos to call it their own. It’s the best feeling in the world to know that you have achieved this on your own.
Good luck ladies in finding that perfect Mississauga condo that best suits you!
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Tuesday, September 25th, 2012 and is filed
Are you planning on selling your Mississauga condo yourself within the next 3 months? Do you have a condo listed privately and you are not getting the results you anticipated? Are you a potential condo buyer looking into private condos, because you are hoping to save some money? If so, this article is for you!
Selling Your Condo Privately
I have a lot of respect and admiration for those that are taking on the complex task of selling their home by themselves. These sellers, often referred to as FSBO’s (For sale by owner), choose not to work with a listing agent for perhaps several reasons, but mainly because they want to escape paying high commission fees. Traditionally speaking, most sellers who work with a Realtor in Mississauga can expect to pay anywhere from 1% to 3% to the listing agent and 2.5% to the buyer’s agent (known as the co-operating brokerage). This percentage is common practice rather than a fixed number.
However, selling your condo privately is easier said than done. By selling I do not mean putting up a $15 Kijiji ad, or a $299 listing on MLS and waiting around for a buyer. Selling includes: pricing it correctly, figuring out your target audience, designing a specific marketing plan, booking showings, finding buyers, qualifying buyers, answering detailed legal questions, negotiating your price, understanding all the legal terms and conditions, closing the deal and making sure your best interests are always put first.
Currently over 93% of people who choose to sell their home, do it with the help of a Realtor. For the few who choose to sell privately, their success relies on previous experience, as well as educating themselves about all the pitfalls of private sales. Having said that, it does not come as a surprise that more than 75% of sellers, who decide to list privately, eventually end up listing with a Realtor, considering that they have failed to sell their home on their own. At times they do not end up selling their property at all.
Why Your Condo Is Not Selling Privately
As I have mentioned numerous times on this Mississauga condo blog, the number one reason why a property is not selling is because of its price. Sellers (for sale by owners) price their properties based on a perceived value on what they feel their property is worth, as well as how it compares against other similar properties currently on the market. However, pricing a condo correctly is a bit more intricate than that. When a Realtor prices a property, they not only compare the subject property to the similar active listings in the area, but also to the comparable listings which have sold in the past and properties which have expired. A list of recently sold properties should provide a rough idea of what a seller should be expecting to get as a final figure for their property. A list of expired properties should guide the seller to ensure that they do not overprice the property. Thus, establishing the correct listing price, should be the number one priority of any seller looking for a successful private sale.
I would argue that the co-operating broker commission is almost as important as the listing price. The co-operating broker’s commission is the amount paid to an agent who brings a buyer to your property. Since most potential buyers have their own Realtor, it only makes sense to pay fair compensation to the Realtor who brings you a potential buyer. For this reason, well over 95% of the Mississauga condo properties listed on www.Realtor.ca pay a co-operating broker commission of 2.5%. Once again, this percentage is common practice rather than a fixed number. Based on my observation, properties which are listed on www.Realtor.ca and do not pay the appropriate co-operating broker commission are known to have less showings, less exposure and ultimately sell for a lower price, than those who compensate the buying agent.
The third reason which prevents your condo from being sold is your marketing plan. In today’s market, an MLS listing and professional photos are the bare minimal. A good Realtor will have a detailed marketing plan which he can show you on paper. Every property has a specific audience which they should be targeting. A condo which is promoted better will get more exposure and ultimately can sell for a higher price.
Buying A Condo Privately
Many Mississauga condo shoppers believe that private sales are the best deals since the seller is not paying the commission to a Realtor. However, this is only a myth. FSBOs list properties privately, because they want to avoid paying commission fees and are known to nickel and time to the last penny. Therefore, negotiation of price can be challenging since both seller and buyer are looking for an extreme deal. Also, as explained above, private deals are often overpriced as the seller is unaware of the correct pricing of the property. Explaining the correct price and finding common ground to meet can be next to impossible. For this reason, many Realtors simply refuse to work with private deals altogether.
By using a Realtor to buy a condo in Mississauga, 99.9% of the time it does not cost a penny to buyers. On the contrary, the buyer gets free qualified real estate advice, access to all the listings before they appear on MLS and most importantly a party which ensures that the buyer’s interest are always put first. To check out more advantages for my buyers click here.
Tried to sell your Square One condo privately with no luck? Contact me and I can help you out.
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Monday, June 11th, 2012 and is filed
Shopping around for a condo can be an exciting time, especially for first time home buyers. Mixed emotions are present and sometimes significant decisions are made on the spot. During this time, there are numerous things to keep in mind, yet it is easy to get sidetracked and forget what is most important.
In this blog post, I want to cover the three biggest mistakes I see first time home buyers make, when purchasing a Square One condo. I will outline each mistake, identify the common false belief which is then followed by the true fact.
1. Shopping For A Condo Using Only MLS – MLS (Multiple Listing Service) also known as www.realtor.ca is a great starting point for anyone interested in a Mississauga condo. In fact, over 92% of all properties that sell are listed on MLS. However, before any condo is placed on the MLS system and is accessible to the public, it is first placed on www.torontomls.net– a database only accessible to Realtors. Through this internal system, a good portion of real estate properties are sold before the public has a chance to place any offers on them.
False belief: “I do not want to hire a real estate agent when looking for a Mississauga condo because it’s going to cost me a lot of money”
Fact: Almost 99% of the time real estate agents do not charge their clients who are buying a property through them. The real estate agent’s commission is paid out by the seller of the property, which the buyer is purchasing. The other 1% (of the time) were commission is due by the buyer, is when they are under a BRA (buyer representation agreement) contract and the real estate agent introduces them to a property which does not pay the specified commission in the BRA. Most commonly this applies to private sales known as FSBOs.
2. Not Hiring A Real Estate Agent Who Knows The Area – Anybody who has a real estate license in Ontario, is permitted to trade real estate anywhere in Ontario. RECO and REBBA actually prohibit real estate agents from calling themselves “experts” in any particular field or area. However, a lot of the top performing agents like to focus their resources and time on one particular area and by doing so inevitably become the “community experts” . Having a focused approach translates into having a Realtor who understands the community at question. For those seeking a Square One condo, hiring a Realtor familiar with the City Center area, can make the new condo searching more pleasant, educational and save you time and money.
False belief: “My uncle, who is a real estate agent in Toronto, will help me find the best possible deal on a Mississauga condo.”
Fact: Having a distant Realtor in the family is great when you’re selling, but not so good when you’re buying. Any agent can take any property, do a CMA (comparative market analysis) and put it up on MLS for it to sell. However, it takes a lot more skill and practice to answer specific questions a buyer may have about a certain neighborhood. For example, here are some questions you may want to ask your Realtor when seeking a new Mississauga condo: “When was the building built?”, “Who was the builder?”, “How does this condo compare against other condos in the area?” In my opinion, hiring an agent who focuses on one particular area results in a great customer service experience and it saves the client time and money.
3. Not Knowing The Terms Of Your Mortgage – A lot of people get obsessed with finding the lowest possible interest rate on a mortgage. I have seen deals fall apart because clients were upset that the interest rate was 0.10-0.20% more than what they have anticipated. This type of difference in percentage translates only to a few dollars a month. Instead of being solely focused on your interest rate, talk to a mortgage specialist and inquire about the conditions placed on your mortgage. Do you have an option for pre-payment? Can you pay more if you want to? What is the penalty to terminate the mortgage term early? By no means am I a qualified mortgage personal, however, all of these are vital questions you should be asking.
False belief: “I’m going with the cheapest mortgage rate on the market, because that is going to save me the most money in the long run.”
Fact: As stated above, YES, mortgage interest rates are important when buying a Mississauga condo. However, what if you get a 5 year mortgage term and after only 3 years of living in your condo you are forced to sell? Do you know what kind of early termination fees you are faced with? These fees can go up to $20,000 or more! Do your homework.
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Thursday, May 24th, 2012 and is filed
Over the past few weeks, I had several clients inquire about investing in Square One condos. One question that seems to arise is whether pre-construction condos or resale condos are the better buy. Clients, regardless if buying for principle residence or investment purposes, want to make sure that their real estate purchases appreciate accordingly with the market, and that when they wish to cash out on their condos they have the option to do so.
In this blog article, I hope to give some insight into buying both new and resale condos in Mississauga. I want to cover new and resale condos from both a primary residence and investment perspective.
Prices of pre-construction condos in downtown Mississauga are currently between $420-470 a square foot. To put into perspective, a one bedroom plus den condo that is 650 square foot goes for roughly $270k-$310k. These prices may seem high to some people, but keep in mind that places like Toronto are currently selling between $600-800 a square foot for pre-construction condos. Although, Toronto and Mississauga differ in many ways, this does suggest that the prices of Mississauga condos still have room to grow.
Some people are under the impression that pre-construction condos are cheaper than similar existing condos. This however is not the case. According to my recent observations and market analysis, prices for pre-construction condos are in fact the same or even slightly more (roughly 2-8%) than resale condos. There are numerous reasons behind this. I would argue that the main reason, why pre-construction condos are not cheaper than resale condos, is because of the phenomenon which I like to call “Buying tomorrow’s real estate at today’s prices.” – Meaning, when you buy a pre built condo today, you are more or less paying the market price of today’s resale condos, but you are getting possession of the condo unit in 2-3 years. Hence, the speculation is that by the time you are ready to move in, the real estate market will have appreciated and the condo unit you have bought a few years back will be worth more.
I find that the way pre-construction condos are set up, that they mainly target investors. Not many people are in a financial position where they can afford to dish out $50,000+ on a down payment for their new pre-constructed home, wait 2-3 years until it’s complete and still be 100% confident that the condo they bought today will work for them 2-3 years down the road.
One of the biggest advantages of buying a new condo in Mississauga is that it’s a near worry free investment. Over the past decade people have been buying pre-built condos in Mississauga and capitalizing $30k, $40K and even $50k. With the help of a real estate agent, the process is very simple and straight forward. With most builders, only a 15% down payment is required within the first year and there is no need for mortgage approvals until the date of occupancy.
For those thinking of buying a pre-construction condominium as a principle residence, they should know about some of the perks that come along with this decision. One such perk is that you can choose the layout, floor and finishes according to your personal taste and life style. Another advantage might be that you get a brand new never before lived-in unit.
Although the purchases of resale condos in Mississauga are often similar to pre built condos, the entire process of buying and the strategy behind investing is what sets them apart.
Most people, who buy resale condos, purchase them as a primary residence and not as an investment. As mentioned above, newer resale condos are similarly priced to pre construction condos. Sometimes they are even cheaper than similar pre-construction condos that are offered a block away.
Unlike pre built condos, resale condos offer the option to qualified buyers to be purchased with as little as 5% down. On top of the low down payment structures, advocates of resale condos point out that the buyer has a chance to view the actual condo there are buying and not just a floor plan. Having a flexible move in day is also an advantage worth pointing out.
However, there are certain limitations to buying resale condos. Those who consider buying a resale condo as an investment purpose should consider the challenges they could face with tenants. Also, it is imperative to keep in mind that (historically speaking) resale condos simply do not appreciate as much in value as pre-construction condos. The end result of this is a lower return on investment for the person buying a resale condominium.
In conclusion, every client’s situation is unique and different. There is no universal fit-all answer to what is considered better, pre-construction condos or resale condos in Mississauga.
While the possibility of having higher financial gains over a specified period of time is greater with pre-construction condos, critiques point out that the possibility of gain is dependent on having a strong positive real estate market like we had in the past decade. At the same time, pre-construction condos offer a potential effortless path to making a substantial amount of money in a short period of time.
Resale condos on the other hand, are primarily attractive to those who want to minimize the consequences should the real estate market crash. However, by doing so, those who invest in resale condos often have to deal with tenant issues. Finally, the income produced with resale condos is substantially less than the potential income that could be gained with pre-construction condominiums.
If you are still unsure which direction you want to head in, I would advise that you contact me, so that we can go over all your options and find out which is best suited to you and your life-style.
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Sunday, April 29th, 2012 and is filed
1. Buying a Condo Based On Its Interior/Décor – When you are purchasing a Mississauga condo, you are not buying what is inside the unit but the unit itself. You need to look past the furniture, wall colours and décor and focus on square footage, as well as measuring the unit to make sure that your possessions fit how you envision your unit to look like at the end.
2. Waiting Until Spring To Sell Your Condo – Sure, spring is a very busy season in real estate, however, your condo will sell for its value the rest of the 365 days. It is simply a myth that it will sell quicker in the spring time. People purchase all year round. Just ask yourself – Do people move to Mississauga in the winter? Of course.
3. Not Having A Real Estate Agent – A real estate agent will make sure that your property is listed on MLS. Otherwise, other agents will not know that you are selling your property. At the same time, a realtor can explain everything to you and ensure that you get a fair value for your property. I often see Square One condos listed for sale privately for long periods of time without success. Not surprisingly, the moment the seller lists their condo with an agent, the property ends up selling quick.
4. Purchasing What You Want, And Not What You Need – Before you purchase your next Mississauga condo, you should ask yourself – “What do I need?” This could be, for example, a bigger closet, a larger master bedroom, maybe a balcony etc. It is a good idea to write some options down and tell your real estate agent what you are looking for.
5. Looking At The Perfect Kitchen/But Forgetting Your Finances – Sometimes, we like a property and it’s perfect. Perfect kitchen, big balcony and a spacious master bedroom. Yet, what we should really do first is get pre-approved for a mortgage. Keeping in mind how much we can spend, we can hunt for the perfect property that fits the budget.
6. Believing That Your First Offer Will Get Accepted – The Square One condo market is hot and you cannot expect to make an offer and immediately get the property. This should not discourage you.
7. Being Indecisive – It’s the first property, you like it, but you do not put on an offer because you believe you will find something even better. This way of thinking will make you lose your dream home. It’s never going to be perfect, a 100%. If you like everything but the kitchen cabinets, then you should definitely go for the unit. The cabinets can be upgraded.
8. Trying To Time The Market – Waiting for the best prices in order to buy, or sell. One may be able to predict the market at the minute, or a few months down the road but not in the future. If a financial crisis hits the country or a tornado hits, anything can happen. If the market was predictable a lot of us would be millionaires.
9. We Have To See The Condo To Buy It – This applies to Mississauga pre-construction condos. Developers sell units before the project is complete. Some people say that they cannot use their imagination when looking at floor plans, and that they would rather wait until the condo is built and ready to move in. However, one should keep in mind that prices of units are higher once the condo is complete and ready to move in, as opposed to, when it’s in its first stages.
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Sunday, April 15th, 2012 and is filed
With new condo sale records broken once again this year, Mississauga is once again in the spotlight of many who seek a good return on their real estate investment. According to a report by the Toronto Real Estate Board, Mississauga condos experienced a healthy 7.21% price increase from February 2011 to February 2012.
This is more than double of the 3.31% price increase found in Toronto, between February 2011 and February 2012. Not surprisingly, condos in the Mississauga area are considered more affordable with the average price at $241,900 as compared to Toronto; where prices on average hovered around the $320,000 mark.
In this blog post I hope to share some of my personal client experiences, and how investors; both local and distant are choosing Mississauga condos as their number one real estate investments in 2012.
I will start off with the local people who invest in Mississauga. By local I mean anyone from the GTA (Toronto, North York, Oakville, Hamilton and of course those already living in Mississauga). Most of these clients witnessed the start of the Mississauga condo boom which commenced roughly in 2004. They have seen one condo building being constructed after another, and over a period of less than 8 years the Mississauga skyline has evolved beyond their recognition. After hearing countless stories of friends and family, who bought property and seen it rise in price over a short period of time, it only made sense for many of the local investors to get involved. This could explain the sharp increase of 7.21% over a short time period of one year. In addition, they recognize Mississauga as a young city with plenty of real estate investment opportunities and room to grow.
Most of my local investing clients are word of mouth referrals. Once they contact me, I met with them in person, go over their specific needs and begin working on their file. Some of them are only interested in pre-construction condos and others prefer to go with resale condos. The majority of these clients are familiar with such aspects as local property taxes, condo maintenance fees and mortgage conditions. Interesting enough, Toronto downtown condos almost always get brought up during my face to face meetings with local investors and more often than not, my clients share similar views as myself, regarding investing in Toronto condos.
Once we decide on which condo would make the most sense from an investment perspective, I provide my local clients with the number breakdown of how much return on investment they should expect to make. From there we together make a decision which condo property would be the best investment for their needs.
My clients who are overseas investors (From Dubai, India and different parts of the Middle East and Europe), have very similar stories on why they have decided to invest in Mississauga condos. Most of them, never heard of Mississauga prior to being interested in investing in real estate. However, they did hear of the ever so popular Toronto condo market and how many profited huge amounts of money in a very short period of time. Upon further investigation into the Toronto condo market, the overseas investors soon realize that these condos are by no means cheap. The second dilemma that they are faced with is the size of the condos that are in question. Toronto condos are known to be very compact and sometimes referred to as “shoe box” size. Both the price and the size of the Toronto condos, gets many of the overseas investors worried and thus they begin to seek alternative options. They soon discover the city of Mississauga, which is less than 20 Km away and offers one of the most prosperous condo markets in the country. After doing some basic research about Mississauga, they find that the city is clean, debt-free and still in the process of growing. This could also be a factor of why the 7.21% healthy increase has occurred in Mississauga as compared to Toronto. Seeing as how, foreign investors see it better fit to invest in Mississauga condos than Toronto condos.
Right now, I would say that half of my international investors are referrals and the other half found me over the internet. Given the vast distances between us, some of my international clients who purchased pre-construction condos through me, I have never met in person, but stayed in tight contact with them over the phone and via e-mail.
What does the condo real estate market look like for Mississauga in 2012? My predictions lead me to believe that we will continue to see the same 3-7% rise in condo prices that we have seen in the past decade. Both local and international investors see Mississauga as a great opportunity to capitalize. Any active real estate agent in Mississauga will agree that it is difficult to find good condo properties, that are reasonably priced and that do not sell within 10 days.
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Tuesday, March 27th, 2012 and is filed