This report should give you a fairly good idea of what is happening in the Real Estate Market. To help you make an educated decision, I just wanted you to be aware of the market trend.
This year's report focuses on Connecting to Affordability and provides a review of the market in 2016 as well as a look forward into 2017, tackling top-of-mind issues, including consumer intentions for the coming year, foreign buying activity in the Greater Toronto Area, the impact of transportation infrastructure on housing affordability, and the lack of housing supply. Click the link below to read the stats.
Home inspections are commonly used to help buyers assess the condition of a house before purchase. However, they can also be very beneficial for homeowners – even if they are not intending to sell in the short term. Getting an informed professional opinion about the state of a home can be invaluable in determining priorities for future renovations or ongoing maintenance decisions. The report will give you an objective opinion on the status of the critical elements of the construction and operation of the house, such as its foundation, structure, roofing and drainage, as well as its HVAC, plumbing and electrical systems.
This thorough checklist can also be used to request and compare contractor quotations when it’s time to act on the inspector’s recommendations. Furthermore, it can provide a basis for discussing the current and potential market value
An Additional Property May Be More Affordable than You Think
Generally speaking, most homeowners give little consideration to the purchase of a second property, often citing economic limitations for either a down payment or for carrying an extra mortgage. But sometimes an open-minded approach to the idea can create true opportunities.
For example, your current property may have enough equity to enable you to secure an additional loan. You may also discover that specific real estate investments have the potential to generate dependable income. It takes homework, but properties in areas where rental units are in demand can generate steady cash flow, that can contribute to their monthly upkeep.
Another option might be owning your own cottage, chalet or resort condo. Rather than taking an expensive family trip this year, imagine using that money towards a vacation property, which can be rented out on long weekends or during the peak season.
You don’t have to freeze in the winter or start reading by candlelight to reduce your electricity bill. There are many simple ways to use less power with little, if any, impact on your lifestyle.
A good place to start is with your electronics.
According to the David Suzuki Foundation, “Any gizmo that has a clock, digital timer, remote control or standby mode is sucking energy when it's not being used (it's called 'phantom electricity' — and it's scary how much of it there is).” So keep them unplugged as much as possible. Also, unplug charger cords for phone and computers when not in use. Even when not connected to the device, they still suck power.
Another easy change to make involves your lights. Switching to compact fluorescent (CFL) or LED light bulbs can save you a lot of energy. They’re 75% more efficient.
Finally, the old-fashioned method of insulating doors and windows can work wonders for lowering your electricity bill. In fact, some particularly drafty homes can lose up to 40% of their heat. Check for drafts regularly and repair or replace insulation as needed.
None of these ideas will impact your day-to-day living. Yet, they could potentially save you a bundle.
Imagine finding a home you love, making an offer, and then finding out there are other competing offers on the table. Ouch.
If you’re looking for a property in a competitive market, it is likely that there will be multiple offers. Even just one can create the risk that you’ll lose the home. So how do you make sure your offer is enticing enough to win over the seller? Here are some ideas:
• Don’t make a low-ball offer. If you do, it might be dismissed and you probably won’t get another chance to bid — especially if the other competing offers are near the listing price.
• Have a pre-arranged mortgage and include that with your offer. This reassures the seller there won’t be any money issues. (Most lenders will provide you with a pre-arranged mortgage certificate for this purpose.)
• Go in with a price high enough that the seller will be interested, but not so high as to be leaving money on the table. This is tricky and requires a savvy knowledge of the current market.
• Have a REALTOR® present the offer on your behalf. A REALTOR® will know how to do so professionally, and in a manner that gives you the best chance of getting the home.
In a competitive situation, working with a REALTOR® who is an expert on the local market — and a skilled negotiator — is crucial.
You’re probably going to be inundated with holiday sales this month. While those sales can be fantastic, they aren’t the only opportunities to save money. Here are some less-than-obvious ways to keep more money in your pocket.
• Review all of your subscriptions and online services that are set to auto-renew. Do you still want them? Online subscriptions can easily go unnoticed for months. Cancel those you don’t want.
• Have you received any notices of price increases? That’s common in December as companies hike rates for the new year. If you’re a long-term customer, give the company a call. You may be entitled to a loyalty discount, or at least be able to negotiate your rate.
• Do you have a loan or mortgage? Many lenders allow you to make lump-sum payments on the principal. This can save you a bundle on interest charges.
• Call your insurance company. Ask what riders you have on your policies that are not included in your basic premium. Find out if you still need all of them.
Motivational guru Tony Robbins charges thousands of dollars for a single coaching session. Yet, with a few simple strategies, you can learn to motivate yourself without any coaching sessions — for free.
How? According to Steve Chandler, author of 100 Ways To Motivate Yourself, it’s simply a matter of paying attention to what motivates you and gives you energy.
Do you feel inspired when you listen to a particular song? Are you less stressed when you sip your favourite tea? Do you get energized when you go for a walk? Are you more motivated after chatting with a friend?
If so, those are things that naturally motivate you. You don’t have to learn how to do them – you already know how. You just need to do them and — like turning on a light — your motivation will be turned on!
“Make it a personal commitment to notice everything that pushes your buttons,” says Chandler. “Make a note of everything that inspires you.” Once you do, you’ll have a repertoire of ways to help yourself feel enthused. Tap into them whenever you need a boost of motivation.
If you’ve ever run a marathon, or watched one, you’ve probably noticed that no one quits at the beginning. They don’t quit near the end either. If anything, they run faster!
So at what point are people most likely to drop out? The middle. The middle is the toughest part of any marathon or, indeed, anything major you want to accomplish. In his book, The Dip, author Seth Godin states that this is the point in any project or goal where failure is most likely.
Have you set a new year’s goal? If so, beware of the dip!
How do you do that? Prepare for it.
If you want to lose weight, for example, you’ll be most enthusiastic, and get the most encouragement from friends and family in January. But what happens in March? At that point, the initial burst of motivation and support will have likely waned. At that point it becomes tough to keep going.
There are several things you can do to get through the dip. One is to celebrate milestones. When you’re halfway to your goal, tell your friends and family. Get some high fives! You can also remind yourself that your goal is important to you and renew your determination to achieve it. So don’t give up in the middle. Keep pushing through. After all, when the end is in sight, it will be a wonderful sight to behold.