the real/estate blog


What happens if you don’t close?

Posted in Real Estate by Cesia Green on June 7, 2013
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I have had this situation aCold feet few times: a client calls not too long before closing, and they’ve gotten cold feet. What happens if you don’t want to close the deal?

Generally, if you refuse to close, you must have a legitimate reason. As a buyer, if something is uncovered that would severely affect your enjoyment or use of the house, or your title to it, and you had no way of discovering it any earlier, you may be justified in not closing. As a seller, you are somewhat limited in why you can legitimately refuse to close, beyond not receiving funds. If you believe you have a legitimate reason, and refuse to close, you still run the risk of ultimately being found not legitimate, and then you will have to pay all of the other side’s costs that result from not closing. This could be additional mortgage costs, moving costs, or even the extra cost of buying a different house.

Before putting in an offer, be certain that you want it.

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Rent or own?

Posted in Real Estate by Cesia Green on September 21, 2012
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I read this article the other day at the Globe and Mail and found it both interesting and practical. The author goes through a number of reasons why, even though she could technically afford to buy a house, she is choosing to continue renting for the time being.

There is always a lot of chatter about how it is always better to buy than to rent: you can pay your own mortgage instead of your landlord’s; you can do whatever you want in terms of renovations. Everyone has heard all of the reasons and all of the pressure. In this new financial era, however, it is quite refreshing to hear of someone who is showing restraint. Renting has clear benefits, as she notes: someone else pays for repairs; no additional expenses for utilities, taxes and insurance; even being able to live in a better neighbourhood than you could afford to buy in. I would add to that, that if you move more than once every five years, you will have fewer expenses renting than owning.

Owning has its benefits; so does renting. The point to remember is to be mindful of what is right for you, not what others think is best.

Biting the hand that feeds you

Posted in Real Estate by Cesia Green on April 27, 2012
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Just before the end of last year, Moneyville reported on an agent who sued her former clients after a deal went bad. Essentially, the issue became the cost of staging the house when the owners took their home off the market because they could not sell it for a price they could afford. In the end, the parties settled for $1,600.00.

Often, agents will pay for staging, photography, etc., on the understanding that they will be receiving a commission at the end of the day. Ultimately, what this case came down to was the fact that the agreement did not mention who was to pay for the  costs of items such as staging if the house did not end up selling. It is very rare for an agent to bring this type of lawsuit; evidently, the realtor felt she had no choice but to do so.

If you are selling your house through a realtor, you should always be clear on these types of items up front.

Mortgage wars!

Posted in Mortgages,Real Estate by Cesia Green on March 23, 2012
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The Globe and Mail published an article last week about the latest round of price cuts on Canadian mortgages. Bank of Montreal has reduced its rates again, offering low five- and ten-year mortgages. In response, the other big banks in Canada have followed suit, offering major discounts as well and keeping rates incredibly low. With the spring rush coming in the real estate market, it is no surprise that all of the banks are chasing business. It will remain to be seen if BMO’s tactic will keep rates at these historically low levels for a while to come.

Time to jump into the market?

Posted in Real Estate by Cesia Green on March 9, 2012
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The Globe and Mail ran this article a few days ago about home ownership becoming more affordable. According to national statistics, house prices in the largest markets – Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal – all decreased in the last quarter. This combined with still historically low interest rates has made buying a home more affordable, on average, across Canada compared to the last quarter of 2011. This is perhaps not the most welcome news to home sellers, but is certainly good news for buyers still looking to take advantage of those low rates and get into the market.

Down by the bay

Up here in Simcoe County, there is a lot of waterfront property. In Barrie alone there are homes all along Kempenfelt Bay, and there are numerous lakes throughout the County where people own homes with waterfront access.

There are particular issues to be aware of when purchasing a home right on the water, such as access, whether you are allowed to put in a dock, and even whether you own the river or lake bed – with some older properties, in certain areas, there is ownership out into the water. One other major practical concern: taxes are almost always higher on the water. Make sure you know how much they will be so that you are prepared to budget for them.

If you are thinking of buying a little piece of vacation, be sure to find out as much as you can so that you spend less time worrying about your title and more time enjoying the sun on the dock.