Buying a Home in London Ontario & Co-signing?

What are the consequences if your daughter and her husband want to buy a home, but recently asked you to “Co-Sign” on the loan?

buying a house in London Ontario

There’s nothing wrong with helping a family member or close friend with buying a home.  However, co-signing on a loan should be done with great care and knowledge of the consequences.  Co-signing means that you are extending your personal credit for the benefit of someone else.  Problem is, if the borrower defaults, the lender will look to you for full repayment.

So you’re not really a co-signer, you’re a co-debtor.  Here are a few tips that may prove helpful when co-signing:

Although you’re co-signing, make sure your co-borrower is putting cash into the transaction.  The more they put in, the lower your risk.

Obtain a credit report on the person you’re co-signing for, even if it’s another family member.  If they’ve defaulted on other debts, there’s a good chance they’ll default on the debt you’re co-signing.

Ask the lender to release you from the loan when the principal balance is reduced to a certain amount.

Examine how your credit rating and ability to borrow will be impacted.  Co-signing on a loan can sometimes impact your ability to get financing if you need it.

Make sure you’re name is listed on the deed as a co-owner.  And by all means, speak with a good real estate lawyer.

If the home is sold, will you share in any appreciation or gain in value?

These  are only a few of the consequences let alone the dis-harmony between family or a friend. I have advised and helped many families over the years, so not only is a competent lawyer and lender required, but a real estate person with your interests in mind.

With Rising House Prices in London Ontario, Do You Have Enough Insurance?

With the rising cost of houses and condos in London Ontario, have you checked your insurance coverage on your home?

Is it enough?

Over 70 percent of homes in Canada are underinsured.  (This latest stat comes from a 2017 Insurance Bureau of Canada report. And, of those homes, 70 percent are underinsured by at least 30 percent.

                        Do you have enough insurance on your house?

   The confusion between market value and replacement value is where many of these problems originate. 

Many people base their insurance coverage on the market value of their home.  Market value is what a buyer will pay for your property, but this is irrelevant if your home is destroyed.  What you should really be basing your coverage on is replacement value.  This is much more complicated to compute.

When computing replacement value you must figure in all of the costs of rebuilding your home.  This is often 20-30 percent more than new construction because of the added demolition and removal costs.

House insurance enough

Once the land has been cleared, you will need to add the cost of actually building your home by multiplying the square footage by the average cost per square foot.  You can find out average square footage costs from your local builder’s association or myself.

Then, you need to add in additional money for upgrades and improvements that you have made.  Also, check your local building codes because changes in codes since your original home was built can cost a bundle when rebuilding.

In some cases, it may cost even more to rebuild your home than the market value.  In any case, don’t just base your homeowner’s coverage on the lender’s requirements.  These often only cover the mortgage balance leaving you with nothing.

If you like , I will bring the coffee or tea and my laptop and work out a market value for your home taking into consideration the new prices happening in London Ontario and area.

Worries Home Sellers Have in London Ontario

What’s some of the fears when someone lists a home with a Realtor?

For most, its worry about being locked into a lengthy listing agreement with a less than competent Realtor, costing valuable time and exposure on the market.

Agreement for sale of a house in London


  • How quick will it take to sell?
  • How do I get as much money as I can for the house?
  • How do I avoid paying a huge commission fee and I don’t want to go to a discount, bare bones real estate brokerage or even to try to sell it myself?

You do have options! Our many plans take the risk and the fear out of listing your home with a Realtor.


Because we clearly spell out our promise to you–it’s simple! You then pick the best plan available for marketing your home to its fullest potential. We are able to obtain the highest possible market value by doing the following:


  • “No Questions Asked, No Fee” Cancellation Agreement
  • Input your property into the MLS
  • Feature your property on over 56 real estate websites.
  • We make the additional investment to have our listings as “featured homes” on Point 2 homes, Kijiji, Craigslist &  Facebook
  • Create a virtual tour of your property and will be shown on the multiple websites.
  • Your home personal website
  • 118 other tasks

    “No Pressure” presentation

We will never allow you to be pressured.  All offers will be emailed, faxed or delivered to my office and presented to you by us, so you can make an informed decision.

   Frequently Asked Questions:

 Shouldn’t I pick an “area specialist” to sell my home?

There are Realtors who focus primarily in one geographic are or neighborhood. But buyers come from all over the city and in some cases, all over the province, not just from that small neighborhood. So an area specialist usually really means “listing agent” in the area.

But MLS, computers, the internet and cell phones have changed that aspect of the real estate business. Now the important points in selecting an agent are experience, track record, technology and marketing skills.

Also, buyers do not care whose sign is on the lawn, they want to see your home and not be pressured.

    Why do your homes sell so fast? Do you price them too low?

Absolutely not! Many of our listings sell at full price. We make it our business to know the market, so we can ensure we get the highest possible price for our sellers. Studies show that the highest value for a home is achieved in the first 10 days—so it is important to get it right the first time.


Our homes typically sell quicker than the average because of the effective marketing we do. We accomplish this by first doing a supply/demand analysis in the immediate area for any home we consider marketing. All Realtors have access to the same market information. It is the evaluation of what that information means to the marketing of a home that matters. X-rays mean nothing until they are evaluated by a competent doctor. Similarly, knowing what the market is doing affects both the marketing time and value.

   Why do you sell so many homes?

Our extensive marketing campaigns, as well as our  internet presence, experience, product knowledge, doing the little things right, effective marketing programs and our skilled team all add up to positive results. Every field has people who, through their drive and passion, manage to excel.

  I heard that there are limited service brokerages who charge less. Why shouldn’t I hire the cheapest agent?

Sellers don’t’ need an agent just to sell their house. They need an agent to sell their house for more! If your property would sell for the same price no matter who sells it – it probably would be in your best interest to sell the home yourself. In that case, why pay any agent?

The fact of the matter is we can sell your home for more. We have the track record we do because we are experts at pricing the property (using a specific supply-demand analysis prior to even looking for “comps”) and experts at creating the greatest amount of exposure of your property.

Even when receiving offers, we do not follow the pack. We do not permit other Realtors to pressure you into a rash decision. The offer will be presented to you by us alone.

  Why Do You Have So Many Buyers?

Full-time Buyer Specialists

Our buyer specialists only show property, write offers and negotiate contracts. They know the inventory, the ins and outs of financing, and which lenders to use to get the best rates.

Another reason is our “Love it or Leave It “guarantee!

The Only London Ontario Home Buyer Guarantee

Love it or Leave It” London Ontario’s Only Home Buying Guarantee

100% Home Buyer Guarantee

If you obtain a home through Sutton Group Envelope Real Estate Brokerage and you are not 100% pleased with it, we will sell your home for you for FREE! We offer this guarantee within the first 24 months after you purchase the home.


We want you to be totally satisfied with your home and will do everything to get you into a home that you will love…Guaranteed!

We are confident that we have the ability to listen to you and to being dedicated in finding the “Perfect Home” for you.  We take 100% responsibility; we offer no excuses and no finger pointing.

That’s why we are willing to work for FREE if your home isn’t everything you expected it to be.  You have nothing to lose,

There is some fine print and here it is:

This home buying guarantee excludes commercial properties, investors & students.

More Buyers, Less Homes For Sale in London Ontario = $$$

There are more buyers than homes for sale in London Ontario and  this London Free Press article talks about the shortage of properties for sale in London, the rising prices, bidding wars, bully offers and buyers coming from the GTA ( Greater Toronto Area) to buy.

As a buyer, there are four things people do:

  •  throw up their hands and overpay
  • wait (for how long) until prices drop
  • put their head in the sand
  • head in the sand
  • let me help you through the challenges and make a good long term decision and not get caught in the frenzy.


Ahh! This is where experience, strength, posture and due diligence comes into play, these clients feel that way and you can too.


1 3/4 Story For Sale in Lambeth, London

Photo Link
A very Solid Home

•  2 bath, 3 bdrm 1 3/4 story$299,900. Attractive Price
MLS® #600063  

– Well maintained home on a private lot in desirable Lambeth. This stately home is inviting as you walk up to the front porch. Beautifully cared for large bright living room and dining room. Two good size bedrooms with large closets on the second floor with a large bathroom.

Newer kitchen with a large picture window overlooking the well treed private backyard. There is a full bathroom and finished laundry room in the basement, which is otherwise unspoiled. Imagine large family gatherings on the deck in this this private backyard.

12 hours notice required due to special needs family member.

Showings 11AM-5PM please, Offers April 24, 10:00 AM

Property information

Trouble Buying a Home in London Ontario?

Are you spending countless hours searching MLS, real estate magazines, weekend classified ads and real estate websites looking for the ideal home for a great price and in a great neighbourhood?


searching to buy houses in London Ontario

By Yourself?

Quite a few home buyers do that in the thinking stage which is a great idea , but, when you think you are getting close, are you aware you may be missing out on some great homes that sell in a day, or a home that was priced agressively, a good income property or a home in that special neighbourhood of London?

Do you think you will get a head jump on others by searching daily or weekly? Avoid paying commissions? Avoid a pesky or bothersome real estate person (don’t blame you)? Get a deal?

Regardless, real estate changes, people change, neighbourhoods change, mortgage rules change and the motivation of buyers and sellers change.

So how do I, as a real estate professional, as a Broker of Record and Owner keep you, the curious, the maybe, the must have by the end of the month, the retiree, the downsizer, the upsizer, the tire kicker, deal maker, bread winner or just plain ready to move informed about real estate in London Ontario?

My asociates and I view a lot of houses and condos daily. We constantly are researching properties, even For Sale By Owner (FSBO) properties.

My tastes are different than yours, my perspective of neighbourhoods, price affordability, style of home, school district, what side of the tracks, how close certain amenities are and I bet, hundreds more.

So how do I help so many home buyers in London? These clients say I listen and listen and listen and  take the time to research and plan.

There is a catch though!

What is the Catch?

I don’t know who you are! Buying a home is something I help hundreds of buyers do, why not contact me and at least see what I have to offer.

I have built my business on service, by understanding what my client’s need and want and being a provider of real estate information. The tips and ideas I provide are a great business tool and I appreciate those who see the value in them and who truly want expert advice.

If that is you, raise your hand, it will not cost you anything, you are under no obligation and I promise you, you will be happy that you did!


How Buyers Find A House For Sale in London Ontario


How do London Ontario Houses sell?

How do homes sell?  It is the skill of creating sale-ability of a home.  Here are some statistics of how homes sell:

1%       of houses are sold from Open Houses.  This is only applicable if a thorough mailing to prospective buyers and proper advertising has been done.  Otherwise very few serious buyers go to Open Houses.

4%       of houses are sold through advertising in the newspaper or other real estate publications

6%       of homes are found by the buyer himself or the seller finding the buyer himself, A for Sale by Owner (FSBO)   in most of these cases, one party or the other hires a sales representative to handle the paperwork.

89%     of homes are sold through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS)  when listed with a real estate company – providing a reasonable price is offered.  Yet, some homes listed for sale do not sell or take quite a while to sell!.  This is where  knowledge and expertise is required to get a home sold for the highest price and quickly.

getting a better price for your house

89%     of homes that are sold through the Multiple Listing Service are sold by sales representatives who market for buyers daily!  Remember, real estate sales representatives sell real estate!

How many sales representatives actively look for buyers daily?  I don’t have any statistics on this, but according to the National Association of Realtors, 7% of the sales representatives are doing 93% of the total real estate business nationwide!  As an example, if you had 100 homes for sale, 7 sales representatives would sell 93 homes and 93 sales representatives would divide the sale of only 7 homes among themselves.


The size of a real estate company or its name has very little to do with the sale of your home or any other property.  Yes, there are some companies, which sell hundreds of homes, but they also have hundreds of sales representatives.  The average of sold homes per sales representative is usually very low.

Discounting commissions or making deals with sales representatives that you, too, can sell   the house will not change the facts of how homes are really sold.  Something important to keep in mind:

If the only way the sales representative can get the listing is by discounting commission, you can be sure they will also discount the price of your home when negotiating an offer on your home!

It will only take that much longer for you to realize that you have to do something else in order to sell your home.

London Ontario Real Estate Sets Another Record

March 2017 was another record month for real estate sales in London Ontario and area as reported by our local real estate board, The London and St Thomas Association of REALTORS® (LSTAR).

New Mortgage Rules

1,242 homes sold an increase of 44% over the same period last year. This represents the best results ever for March since LSTAR began tracking sales data in 1978.

In the first quarter of 2017, year-to-date sales were up by 30.4%, compared to 2016 and the average sales price was $314,847, up 12.8% from the same period in 2016.

In March, a total of 1,006 detached homes were sold, an increase of 46.9% over the previous year, while there were 236 condominium sales, up 34.9% from 2016. April is shaping up to be similar to the last 3 months, low supply of homes for sale and a high demand from buyers.

St. Thomas also had a very healthy March, with a total of 108 homes sold, up 44% from the same time last year. The average home price in St. Thomas was $247,455 up 2.2% from the previous month.

The best-selling house style in March continues to be the two-storey, followed by the bungalow and ranch. The average price for a detached home in March was $355,651 up 8.5% from the previous month, while the average price for a condominium was $216,539 down 8.3% from the previous month.

House Style Units Sold Average Price
2 storey 315 $471,815
Bungalow 112 $267,521
Ranch 110 $426,961
Townhouse 104 $197,032
High rise apt. condo 55 $195,902


The following chart is based on data taken from the Canadian Real Estate Association’s (CREA) National MLS® Report for February 2017 (the latest statistics available). It provides a snapshot of how average home prices in London and St. Thomas compare to other major Ontario and Canadian centres.

Home Prices Canada

What does all this mean? For those thinking of selling their home, now may be one of the best opportunities to sell quickly and for a good price and for those buying a home, know what you want and have your financing in order, we are seeing more multiple offers and fewer conditions.

Will this trend continue? All the indicators such as buyers coming from the Greater Toronto area coming to London, London’s historically lower real estate prices and the location of London Ontario, between two of the Great Lakes, Highway 401 and proximity to the US border and less than 1 ½ hours to Toronto.