Articles for Buyers

Eric Skicki

Deciding When to Buy a Condo

Written by Eric Skicki Sunday, September 8th, 2013
  • when-to-buy

    “When should I buy a condo?” 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.

     

    Condo Buyers

    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:

     

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    • This entry was posted on Sunday, September 8th, 2013 and is filed under ALL Articles, Articles for Buyers, First Time Home Buyer. Tags: ,

    Eric Skicki

    Landlords Satisfied With Mississauga Rental Condo Market

    Written by Eric Skicki Friday, August 23rd, 2013
    • condo-for-lease

       

      “My Square One Condo” has an entire rental team dedicated exclusively to working with rentals in the Square One area.  We continuously aid tenants looking to secure properties, as well as landlords looking to lease out their properties. Over the last few months, I started monitoring rental properties closely and how they ended up getting leased out. I decided to publish a short blog based on these observations.

      5 cool facts about Square One condo rentals

      – The most common request from a tenant is for us to find them a “clean unit with an open concept layout”

      -Young people tend to go for newer stylish condos such as The Onyx or One Park Tower, while families prefer older spacious condos such as The Phoenix

      – About 75% of potential tenants ask if the hydro is included

       

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      • This entry was posted on Friday, August 23rd, 2013 and is filed under ALL Articles, Articles for Buyers, Investment. Tags: , , , , ,

      Eric Skicki

      Elevator Strike Affecting Mississauga Condos

      Written by Eric Skicki Friday, June 21st, 2013
      • elevator strike

         

        Elevators have become the norm and we often take them for granted. In a condo of more than 20 storeys, there are usually 3 to 4 elevators in service and we rely on this everyday to get around. We sometimes experience a delay, of up to 10min when one elevator is put into service. Yet, day to day we are pretty lucky that the wait is not that drastic and we go about our day, as usual, maybe slightly irritated that this morning wait was an unusual 10min.

        However, in Ontario, the International Union of Elevator Constructors (IUEC) have been on strike against the National Elevator Escalator Association (NEEA) since the end of April. The Digital Journal has reported that the average wage of an elevator mechanic is $112,000 in Ontario. This leaves many to question: “Why the strike?” They do not ask for higher wages but rather a safer work environment and a signed contract.

        This week some of those mechanics on strike have been ordered back to work in the Greater Toronto Area. However, those forced back to work are still not servicing job sites such as hospitals, nursing homes or residential buildings, but rather the residential construction industry. The NEEA passed a never-used clause in the Labour Act forcing those back on the job that works in the construction, especially residential construction industry.

         

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        • This entry was posted on Friday, June 21st, 2013 and is filed under ALL Articles, Articles for Buyers, Articles for Sellers. Tags: , , , ,

        Eric Skicki

        Downtown 21 Master Plan – The Future Of Mississauga Condo Living

        Written by Eric Skicki Tuesday, May 28th, 2013
        • downtown21-mississauga

          Who would have ever thought, that Mississauga would eventually have one of the most active condo real estate markets in the country; with over forty existing condominiums and 15 proposed for the near future? Mississauga has grown substantially in population and, improvements to infrastructure and design are required to sustain this rapid growth.

          The solution offered by the city of Mississauga is called the “Downtown21 Master Plan”. The goal behind the Downtown21 Master Plan is to make downtown Mississauga, also known as the City Centre area, more pedestrian friendly. At the same time, this plan hopes to set out specific strategies for economic development, new transportation systems, and overall environmental improvement.

          In this blog post, I will cover some of the fundamental changes offered by the Downtown21 Master Plan, and its influence on the future of the Mississauga condo market.

           .

          The Plan In Detail

          Mississauga has always strived to have a well-balanced downtown core. The Downtown21 Master Plan will undergo some changes that are reflected in areas such as the employment, retail, commercial and civic sphere. This, in turn, will be balanced by residential development, entertainment, and facilities used by business visitors and tourists. Some of the changes which are to be implemented include:

           

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          • This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 28th, 2013 and is filed under ALL Articles, Articles for Buyers, First Time Home Buyer, Investment. Tags: , , ,

          Eric Skicki

          Tax Basics For Mississauga Condos

          Written by Eric Skicki Friday, April 5th, 2013
          • Mississauga Condo Taxes

            As many of you already know, in Canada, taxes are due each year on the last day of April. Now I know that for many, taxes are one of the least favourite things to talk about, yet lots of people seem to be misinformed about tax basics and the implications they have on real estate. By no means am I a tax expert, but in this blog post, I want to clear up some of the basic tax questions I get asked.

            Capital Gains Tax–  Capital gains occur when you sell a property at a higher price than you paid for it. The difference is known as your “capital gain”. Any property (with exception to your primary residence) is subject to a capital gains tax.

            Calculating Capital Gains Tax – The formula for calculating capital gains tax on real estate is: Capital gain x 50.00% x marginal tax rate = capital gain tax.  This can be best illustrated through the following example.

             

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            • This entry was posted on Friday, April 5th, 2013 and is filed under ALL Articles, Articles for Buyers, Investment. Tags: , , ,

            Eric Skicki

            How To Buy A Pre-construction Condo

            Written by Eric Skicki Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013
            • the pre-construction buying process

              The Buying Process For Pre-construction Condos

              If you are interested in a pre-construction condo in the Mississauga area, you should know that the pre-construction purchase process is very differently structured as opposed to the purchasing process of Mississauga Condos that are already complete. Typically the purchasing process is 2-4 years in advance and you are not required (at this point) to get a mortgage. Although this process may seem very long, it does prove to be financially rewarding in the long run, if you purchase in the right location, at the right time, with the right builder and of course with the right real estate agent.

              When you purchase a pre-construction condo, you are essentially purchasing off a floor plan. However, many Mississauga condo sales offices have managed to create furnished model suites in order to reflect what the units will look like upon completion and to give the buyer a better idea of what they are purchasing.

               

              1. The first step before purchasing your pre-construction condo is to find an agent who specializes in pre-construction condos. Make sure that this agent has a firm understanding of how the pre-construction buying process works and has a solid sales record. This agent should be familiarized with answering complex questions regarding closing costs, legal fees, and ownership rights.

               

              2. Once you have found the right agent, who specializes in pre-construction condos, you will then together book an appointment with the builder.

               

              3. The third step includes visiting the chosen project you liked the best with your realtor, selecting your floor plan, your floor premium and signing the appropriate documents! The agreement used for buying a pre-construction condo is a lot longer (up to 30 pages) than the one used for resale condos. One unique aspect of this process is that the builder gives you a 10 day “cooling off” period on your pre-construction unit. During this time you will have your lawyer review all your documents for you. Once the “cooling off” period is over and you have received a “go ahead” from your lawyer, you will need to submit the remainder of your deposit checks, usually about 20% of your total purchase price, to the builder.

               

              4. A few months/years later the condo building is being constructed and you will be asked to come into the sales presentations centre to chose the colours of your finishes and features of your Mississauga pre-construction condo. At this time, most condo developers give you the opportunity to select & pay for upgrades for your unit. This is a great opportunity to get creative and chose everything according to your taste for the perfect condo lifestyle you always wanted.

               

              5. Approximately a year after the upgrading process, you will be given the keys to your brand new suite. In real estate terms, this is called “interim occupancy”. At this point you still do not own the unit you are living in, as it still “belongs” to the builder, instead you are still responsible for paying something that is called the “occupancy fees” to the condo builder. This number reflects a portion of your taxes, maintenance fees and interest on the remaining of the balance owed. Occupancy typically lasts up to 6 months, however, it varies from builder to builder. Once the condo building registers with the Land Registry the title ownership will be transferred to your name and you will require a mortgage. This is referred to as “final closing.” As a side note; some builders allow you to sell your unit before you are “legally” considered the owner of the unit.

               

              6. Congratulations! You are now the owner of a brand new Mississauga condo.

               

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              • This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013 and is filed under ALL Articles, Articles for Buyers, First Time Home Buyer. Tags: ,

              Eric Skicki

              Buying a Condo in Mississauga with MySquareOneCondo.ca

              Written by Eric Skicki Thursday, November 22nd, 2012
              •  

                The truth is there are practically no reasons why any person should buy a condo without a realtor on their side. A good realtor has access to historical sales data, can aid with the paperwork/negotiations and best of all – do it free of charge. The problem lies in finding the right realtor for the job. Here are some of the reasons why you should have me represent you when buying a Condo in Mississauga:

                 

                knowledgeandexpertise

                 

                 

                You wouldn’t consult with a divorce lawyer about your accident benefits, so why would you consider hiring a real estate agent who has none or limited knowledge about Square One condos, when buying your next Square One condo? It only makes sense to have the right person for the right job. I specialize in Square One condos and have done plenty of research with regard to Mississauga downtown condos (known as the W15 zone). For my clients, I can provide advice on topics such as: which builders to be wary of, what to look for in an older condominium and how to get a bargain for your money.

                 

                search

                 

                 

                Often imitated yet never duplicated. There are plenty of decent Square One condo websites out there. However, my website – MySquareOneCondo – manages to stay ahead by providing up-to-date condominium information, having a blog which updates weekly, and by equipping buyers with the resources required to make an informed decision about their next condo purchase. For many condo shoppers, this website is the first and last stop they will need to make when purchasing their dream condo. My comprehensive list of the various condos around Mississauga’s downtown core should be the first stop for anyone seeking to buy a Square One condo. From here you can also see which condos are offered for sale at any given time.

                 

                realestateresources

                 

                 

                 Have you ever seen a condo you liked which just came out on the market and you called the first day only to be told it is sold? This is because a good portion of condos, especially ones which are well priced, sell before they are even placed on MLS or Realtor.ca. I have access this is hidden inventory and can set up my clients on an automatic email list which notify them every time a condo with specific criteria is about to appear on the market.

                 

                vipadvantage

                 

                 

                This privilege allows the general public to use an agent to access exclusive preconstruction condo sale events (during the pre-construction period). Often these events are by invitation only, and I, Eric Skicki, along with Cloud Realty Brokerage, can provide access to such sales events.

                 

                 

                legalpaperwork

                 

                 

                Back in the seventies, the one page home purchase deposit sheet was seen as the norm. Today’s purchase agreements are ten pages or more in length and include various clauses and terms which can be difficult to understand. One small mistake or omission can end up costing you thousands. Why would you risk it when my buying services to you are offered for free?

                 

                freeservices

                 

                 

                The services which I provide for my buying clients are and always will be free. With new condo projects, the builder pays agent commission and the resale condos commission is paid to the buyer’s agent by the selling party.

                 

                weputyourneedsfirst

                 

                One of the biggest complaints I hear about realtors is that they are not attentive to their customers’ specific needs. Real estate is my full time career and I treat every one of my customers as if they were my only customer. I provide you with the answers to all of your questions and concerns in a timely matter.

                 

                nopushysalestactics

                 

                 

                For buyers this means that I am going to show you as many properties as it takes to find the right one. I will not pressure you into making an offer on anything you do not want.

                 

                cancelanytime

                 

                 

                If a situation ever arises where you are unsatisfied with me or my services, let me know. If I can’t fix the problem you may cancel our agreement at no cost. No hassles, no penalty, nothing to lose!

                Give me a call, and let me show you why my system works.

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                • This entry was posted on Thursday, November 22nd, 2012 and is filed under Articles for Buyers, First Time Home Buyer. Tags: , ,

                Eric Skicki

                Women Investing In Condos

                Written by Eric Skicki Tuesday, September 25th, 2012
                • young woman investing into condos

                   

                  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 too 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.

                   

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                  • This entry was posted on Tuesday, September 25th, 2012 and is filed under ALL Articles, Articles for Buyers, First Time Home Buyer. Tags: , , , ,

                  Eric Skicki

                  How To Buy A Resale Condo In Mississauga

                  Written by Eric Skicki Wednesday, September 5th, 2012
                  • step by step condo buying process

                    The Buying Process – 8 Easy Steps For First Time Condo Buyers

                    1. Choosing the right real estate agent to work with is the most important part of the whole process. When looking for a real estate agent you should keep in mind that it does not cost you (the buyer) to have a real estate agent represent you. The selling party is responsible for the compensation of your real estate agent’s commission. The realtor you choose to work with should also work hand in hand with a property lawyer. When you make your selection, keep in mind that you want a realtor who is experienced and who specializes in (knowing) that neighbourhood. Some questions that you may want to ask could be; What areas do you specialize in? How many buyers have you represented in the area that I am interested in? A common mistake that many first time home buyers make is that they go with a realtor who is their friend, instead of the local real estate agent expert, and whom they feel obligated to. Although your friend who is an agent and is considered loyal may not be the right choice in finding you the perfect condo because the agent might lack a good understanding and experience of the area. In the end, you should choose an agent that will save you money and that will look out for your best interests (wants and needs).

                     

                    2. Getting a mortgage is the next important step. In order to get pre-approved, you should go to your bank and sit down with a mortgage broker, have them explain the mortgage process to you, and fit you with the best interest rate and terms. The letter of approval is usually valid between 45 and 90 days.

                     

                    3. The condo search process is the most exciting step. You and your realtor should get together and discuss your wants and needs, then your realtor should book you the best listings according to these wants and needs. Some of these might include, price range,  number of bedrooms & bathrooms, specific amenities, floor premiums, and certain finishes. Some things that your realtor should be advising you on are; appreciation rate of the unit, builder reputation, the location of the condo and financial stability of the condo corporation. Once the properties have been booked, you will look at the layouts, get some decorating ideas, view the many amenities and compare what you like the best/least about the properties you have viewed.

                     

                    4. Finding the perfect unit can prove to be a challenge at times. Sometimes you like everything but the price. Your real estate agent should pull up a comparative market analysis (CMA): recently sold, recently expired and just listed properties in the condo you are wishing to buy. This will allow you to know if you are overpaying for your condo, how much you can negotiate the price, and to see how much the unit has appreciated over time.

                     

                    5. Making an offer is a significant step in bringing you closer to your dream condo. Once you have found your property, made a comparison and found the unit meeting your needs, it’s time to make an offer. Always make it conditional on the status certificate. The offer may be also conditional on financing and inspection. During this time period, you should take your conditional offer to your lending institution and your lawyer for revision. They should go over everything and make sure that all is in order. It is important for you to also read over the by-laws of the condo section and to make yourself familiar with them. This section includes, whether or not you are allowed to have pets, the amenity hours, the number of free visitor parking passes you have every month, etc. Once you are satisfied with the status certificate and other clauses, you may wave your conditions and then the deal goes firm.

                     

                    6. What happens after the deal goes firm? At this point, everything will be reviewed one more time, by the lender, the real estate agent and the lawyer. They will make sure that everything is ready, that no last-minute complications arise, that is unnecessary and that you can move in on your closing day. You will sign any outstanding documents, if applicable once the deal goes firm.

                     

                    7. Prior to closing date – about one week before closing, you should get in touch once more with your agent, the lending institution and your lawyer to make sure that everything is still in good order. This is the time when you should register yourself with the condo management, and book your elevator for the day of moving.

                     

                    8. On the day of your closing, you will meet up with your lawyer, obtain any necessary documentation and get your keys. Now you are ready to move in! Congratulations on your new Home!

                     

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                    • This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 5th, 2012 and is filed under Articles for Buyers, First Time Home Buyer. Tags: , ,

                    Eric Skicki

                    FSBOs, Private Listings and Mississauga Condos

                    Written by Eric Skicki Monday, June 11th, 2012
                    • featuredinPrivate sale mississauga condo

                      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.

                       

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                      • This entry was posted on Monday, June 11th, 2012 and is filed under ALL Articles, Articles for Buyers, Articles for Sellers. Tags: , , , ,

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