Steve Bucciol and Antony Malfara from The Property Boys at RE/MAX Hallmark Realty, Ltd. Located in Toronto, Ontario, they go out of their way to help you reach your Real Estate goals.
The Client Experience:
* Planning Your Success
* Trusted Realtors
* Go Above and Beyond
* The Right Price
* The Right Realtors
* Focused on Client
* They Care about your Details
* Passionate about your Real Estate Goals
If you’re buying or selling contact The Property Boys:
Bayview Village Office
685 Sheppard Ave East, Suite 401
Office: (416) 494-7653
Have you ever considered buying a house that is considered a “fixer-upper”? Sometimes we shy away from these because we just aren’t sure if it’s a practical move or not. We all want to buy our dream home but could it be possible that a fixer-upper is that dream house in disguise?
PRO – The first and most obvious reason to purchase a fixer-upper is the price. There are often significant savings over buying other homes. It’s important though to think beyond the short-term savings and consider the long-term financial burden when assessing whether this purchase is worthwhile or not. What will need to be repaired/renovated? How much will those repairs and renovations cost? How soon must those projects be completed?
PRO – There are often fewer competitors interested in purchasing a fixer-upper. This can be especially helpful in areas with low housing inventory and a high level of competition (which of course, may lead to higher prices and bidding wars).
PRO – To a degree, a fixer-upper can be somewhat of a blank slate for you to customize the way you want.
PRO – You may have the opportunity to build the equity in your home quickly depending on the types of changes you are making to your fixer-upper.
PRO – You may be eligible for certain loans or tax breaks/rebates based on the types of repairs and renovations you are making.
PRO – For someone who loves being creative and working with their hands, this could be an ideal purchase.
CON – Expect the unexpected. Even with a home inspection (and you need a home inspection), there are often surprises along the way. You will need patience and it’s advisable to have a separate budget set aside to accommodate those unplanned expenses as needed.
CON – Some of the updates that may be required won’t be terribly effective in increasing the equity in your home. Invisible repairs such as plumbing and electrical system overhauls may not raise the value of your home enough to offset the cost of those renovations. Unless you are receiving a significant discount in the initial cost of the home to accommodate these repairs, this is something you want to consider carefully.
CON – When purchasing a new home, you have some options in choosing location. With an established home, you are obviously locked into a specific location. You always need to consider the location but with a fixer-upper, there can be another important consideration. After completing the renovations to your home, will you have raised the value of your home to a point where you have now priced yourself out of the neighbourhood? Resale can be trickier if your home is priced much higher than the rest of the homes in the area and you may have to take a loss in order to get your house sold.
CON – Sub-contractors need to be carefully chosen. We’ve all heard horror stories about home renovations gone wrong so it’s essential to find reputable contractors or you may find yourself losing money, time, and patience.
Though buyers may be less joyful than sellers over the market, knowing that it will take far more effort on their part to secure a deal, all hope is not lost.
We’ve compiled a list of top tips for buyers to ensure the greatest success while surviving a seller’s market.
Both sellers and buyers should do their research when looking at real estate professionals (brokers, agents, etc.) rather than simply hiring the first they find. The right real estate professional can be extremely advantageous, especially while navigating a seller’s market, but how do you know they’ll be right for you?
Fully vetting a real estate professional may include checking their references, visiting the RECO website to confirm their registration, looking up their online profiles (LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.), and looking for web reviews.
When you have the list narrowed down, interview your top 3 or 4 candidates to ensure a good fit. Get everything – services, prices, incentives, etc. – they are offering explicitly stated in writing for easy comparison.
Know What You’re Signing
Before signing anything while conducting your search, including signing anything provided by your real estate professional, know exactly what you’re agreeing to. Make sure every clause is explicitly clear. If anything is unclear, ask questions. If you’re still unsure, it may be wise to seek independent legal advice for a second opinion.
It’s best to be fully informed of everything that the buying process entails before starting your search. That way, there are no nasty surprises at any crucial junctures.
Also do some cursory research into what’s available – read the listings, go to open houses, and ask questions to get acquainted with the market in your area.
Set a Budget
Especially when it comes time for a bidding war (an all-too-common occurrence in a seller’s market), you’ll be happy you’ve set a firm budget for how much you can afford. You need to have a hard limit when it comes to making offers. To help yourself stay within your budget, search for homes listed reasonably below your maximum limit.
Your budget also needs to include all other expenses you may/will occur during the buying process. Don’t forget about legal fees, land transfer tax, mortgage insurance, utility hookups, home inspections, home appraisals/surveys, and moving costs.
Unfortunately in a seller’s market, sellers are finding they are able to insist on offers without conditions – that is, buyers who aren’t insisting on waiting for home inspection, mortgage financing, or the sale of your existing home. However, these conditional offers protect the buyer from ending up incurring unexpected expenses.
Only waive the conditions of your offer if you have enough fluid finances to cover any incidental expenses you may incur, especially if you forego the home inspection.
Details, Details, Details
When making an offer, include every possible detail – what’s included (appliances, light fixtures, etc.) and be clear what renovations need to be completed before closing, based on the home inspection. That way, when it either comes time for negotiation or acceptance of your offer, your expectations are already explicit.
You are likely to encounter many competing offers while searching for the perfect home. To stand out from the crowd in a bidding war, make your offer as competitive as possible. Work with your real estate agent to ensure your offer is neither too high nor too low.
Getting prequalified or pre-approved for a loan makes your offer speedier and therefore more likely to catch a seller’s eye. Another way to look more attractive is to offer as large a down payment as possible (20% or more) to make yourself look financially strong.