Tag: home selling tips

Investors are Entering the Student Condo Market

Investors across the country have taken note of student cities and have begun purchasing condos and renting them to students. With the number of enrolled students across Canada on the rise and the cost of an education reaching new heights, investors should definitely consider this strategy of entering the student condo market.

Since 2000, the number of enrolled students across Canada has grown by 44%, reaching more than a million, according to the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada.  The cost of an education in Canada is also on the rise. Investors catering to this market are aware that they are renting not to the poor student, but effectively, to their wealthy parents. These are parents who are more and more prepared to pay a premium to ensure that nothing gets in the way of their children’s education. In fact, the key to building a profitable and manageable student-housing portfolio lies at the high end of the student condo market.  These property types are a great option to both student and their parents for a number of reasons.

Security

Student condos and purpose-built apartment buildings have cameras in all common areas, as well as onsite staff, which gives parents peace of mind.  They also have security systems to control entry, as well as 24/7 video monitoring that protects the premises.

Professional Property Management

Managing 18 and 19-year-olds who are enjoying their first taste of freedom can give Landlords a headache worse than a morning-after hangover.  But you can eliminate this burden by having a professional property management firm handle your rental property on your behalf.

Maintenance

All the maintenance is handled by the condo, including snow removal, gardening, and cleaning common areas.

Preferred by the City

Condos are a preferred structure for municipalities.  Compared to illegal rooming houses, this structure ensures the building isn’t at risk of being shut down.

Fewer Rooms

Condos typically have fewer rooms than student houses.  Fewer rooms mean fewer students per unit and a lower chance that damage and Tenant issues will arise.  Condos are more desirable than larger houses with more distractions.

 

Pre-construction condos are one of the best ways to invest in the student condo market.  Purchased several years before students apply to schools, investors aren’t competing with parents on resale properties.  They often come with full rental guarantees and free or low-cost property management, making them a hands-off investment option.

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Five common mistakes home buyers make to watch out

Buyers are often so focused on finding the desired property within their budget that they make unnecessary and costly mistakes.  Here are five common mistakes home buyers make to watch out for:

1. Not Hiring a Qualified Home Inspector

Just like any other profession – no two Home Inspectors are created equal.  Always be sure to research a variety of professionals.  Find out how they report back results and determine their level of knowledge with the type of home they are inspecting.  You want someone who will take detailed notes and pictures, provide guidance, and take the time to explain the various concerns/benefits of the home.

2. Ignoring the Value of the Neighbourhood

The neighbourhood in which a home is located in is often ignored.  The focus is usually on the features of the home, but what about access to transit, schools, shops, and highways?  How do the other homeowners maintain their properties?  Is the area in a state of growth, stability, or decline?  Does the house conform to the general area?  Is it the worst or best house on the street?  All of these factors can impact not only the current market value but its anticipated future value.

3. Getting Caught up in Multiple-Offer Situations

A number of local real estate markets across Canada are experiencing high buyer demand with relative lack of active listings.  Typically, this trend will push home prices upwards.  This is often compounded by homes that are being priced below market value, and sellers not accepting offers until a specific date.  The purpose of these selling strategies in a hot sellers’ market is to encourage multiple-offer situations.  All too often, the end result is a buyer paying too much for a home.  As a homebuyer, be prepared to walk away from such a situation.  Allowing your emotions to rule your thinking may end up costing you more money than you should be otherwise paying for a home.

4. Having Search Criteria that is too Broad

Home buying should involve the process of elimination, not addition.  It’s normal to begin the process with a fairly broad set of criteria in terms of home features, location and cost.  Once you’ve had the chance to view a couple of homes and build your knowledge base, then it’s time to make some decisions.  The more focused and efficient your search is, the more you’re likely to find the home you actually want.  When search criteria are too broad, we tend to get overwhelmed and have difficulty making meaningful decisions.

5. Not Hiring a Professional REALTOR®

As in the case with every professional service provider, not all REALTORS® are made the same.  Do your homework.  Review REALTOR® websites, ask friends and family and interview multiple Real Estate Sales, Professionals.  A referral to a reputable REALTOR® can be a great source, but just because your good friend has a parent in the business doesn’t mean they’re a good fit for you.

 

Keep these five common mistakes home buyers make in mind when you are looking for your next home.

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The Do's and Don'ts of Selling Your Home

Now that the Spring selling season is fast approaching it is important to consider these do’s and don’ts when selling your home.  First impressions are everything when it comes to selling your home. Most people make up their mind on whether or not they like a house within mere minutes of stepping foot inside. That is why it is crucial to make sure that you, and your home, put your best foot forward.

Don’t overdo it on the heat

People tend to overcompensate when they know that potential buyers are coming to look at their home in the winter time. They crank up the heat to make the place warm and welcoming – but that can backfire. The air will be dry and stale, plus buyers will probably be too warm, as they will be bundled up in coats. To solve this problem, keep the heat at a reasonable setting and have your humidifier set between 40-60 percent.

Do consider curb appeal

Curb appeal is a huge draw for buyers, even in February and March.  Consider creating a winter planter with cold-weather plants like winterberry, holly or noble fir. At the very least, invest in a new doormat and keep the driveway clear of ice and snow. Warm lights glowing in the window will also be welcoming.

Don’t expect people to use their imagination

If you have a crazy colour choice in one or more of your rooms, you might think that people will look past this, but that can prove difficult for buyers. Bright paint and wacky décor choices will make them uneasy, no matter how beautiful your home. Paint over wild colours and put away any crazy items that might garner a laugh or a raised eyebrow.

Do invest in updates that matter

People will pay top dollar for homes with updated kitchens and bathrooms. If you can make even the barest improvements to these rooms, you will see a huge return. Update the yellowing tile in the bathroom or invest in new cabinetry. At the very least, purchase new shower curtains, bath rugs, and the like.

Do keep it bright

Open all curtains and turn on all the lights, even if it is the afternoon. Replace all dead light bulbs. Crack open doors to the pantry or laundry room so people won’t be afraid to peek inside. And tidy up in forgotten places like inside the fridge or oven.  People will be looking in there, and if they see mould or burnt food, they will be very turned off.

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Residential Negotiations

Deal-making is at the center of a Real Estate Professionals job every day when taking part in residential negotiations. With this, there have been noticeable similarities and common denominators present in the majority of residential properties that our Buyers have picked up at what can be viewed as a “steal”.

The three most critical pieces of information that need to be understood prior to entering into nonemotional residential negotiations are:

  1. Don’t even consider a negotiation without this piece of info: “How much did the seller pay for the property and when did they buy it?” Thinking rationally, it should not matter what the Seller bought a property for because in a perfect world market price would find itself. But since the world isn’t perfect, if you are a deal seeker and you combine a property that was purchased 10 years ago for $200k that is now worth $315k with a Seller that is motivated a deal COULD be on the table at $300k or north. The thought of cashing out or moving on, combined with a nice profit, will typically help facilitate the transaction. Versus the exact same property, except the Seller just purchased it last year for $298k and would be taking a loss at $300k. The second Seller may be more inclined to sit tight and wait for $315k to cover their loses.
  2. How many days has the property been on the market for? This element is pretty obvious – Days on market combined with motivating mitigating factors can often lead to a low ball offer being looked at more seriously than if the property had been on the market for two weeks.
  3. Has the Seller purchased another property yet? Or any other motivating factors for them to move? The thought of carrying two properties can lead consumers to act irrationally. If possible, look into this. Even if the Seller holds their hand close, have your Agent test their position with the old ‘offer and walk’ technique. This approach will likely lead to a call back in a few days and a possible deal!

Deals are in the details!

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