Who Do You Listen To When Buying London Ontario Real Estate?

When you go shopping for a house or condo to buy, two homes are competing for your attention: the one that meets your needs, and the one that fulfils your desires.

looking to buy a house or a condo in London Ontario

In one of the greatest financial books ever written, ‘The Richest Man in Babylon,’ George Clason writes that there are two kinds of study: the one type being the things we learned and knew, and the other being the training that taught us how to find out what we did not know.

I read this book yearly to refresh and remind myself of some straightforward financial basics, while very simple and easy to do, most Canadians do not follow, perhaps because it is so simple to make wise financial decisions.

It is like a person complaining of a sore belly, goes to their doctor and tells the physician that Dr. Google says it is blah blah blah! The kind physician ( the one not rolling their eyes or thinking “Oh no, here we go again) will ask questions, identify the cause or the remedy and treat the problem.

In real estate the same thing, wise, intelligent people listen to what their neighbour or co-worker says, read “how to save thousands when buying real estate’, or watch all those reality shows and then become experts in buying a house or a condo.

Home sellers and their real estate representative love you, because you are the one who overpays for a home (yet brag that you got a good deal, yadayadayaa) or find out that the house has structural issues or a neighbourhood stigma.

It’s like losing weight; it’s easier to buy bigger pants!

Getting back to The Richest Man in Babylon, why not let your ego sit down for a while and find out what you do not know about buying or selling a home? In real estate, we do not have a Dr. Google, but we have everyone who has ever bought or sold a home as experts on how to buy or sell a home.

If I offended anyone by being blunt with the last paragraph, hopefully, I have at least brought more awareness that perhaps you do not have all the answers and that a professional Realtor may be your greatest asset.

What Are You Forgetting When Buying a London Ontario House?

   Is there anything you are forgetting when buying a London Ontario house?

 Buying a house or buying a condo in London and South West Ontario can be an exciting yet overwhelming series of emotions, both negative and positive.

Guide to buying a house London Ontario

I know that when I meet buyers for the first time, be it first time buyers or 5th time buyers and go through a checklist of the buying process, I hear from everyone; “You know, I never even thought of that!”

Below are some things to think about and get answers to or decide on before you make a purchase and during the purchase process.

  • How much exactly have you been pre-approved for a mortgage, is it in writing and at what rate and is that rate guaranteed and for how long?

  • What lawyer are you going to use? Do they specialize in real estate and what is their fee, not just their real estate fee but their disbursements! (You would be surprised of the stories I hear where that low fee did not turn out to be low! Yes, the fee was low, but additional charges such as filing fees, record keeping, and blah and blah fees add up!) Get it in writing; they are lawyers, which would be their advice to you!

  • When working with a Realtor, do you have to sign a buyer agency contract? Not sure or what is Buyer Agency? Have your Realtor explain buyer agency to you and if they insist you sign one before showing any homes, fully understand what you are signing and how long you are committed to that Realtor.  In most cases you don’t and won’t mind being committed, but what if your relationship is not working out!?Be very careful!

  • What about a home inspection? Do not leave that to chance or google the least expensive inspector on the web. Home inspectors in Ontario are not regulated and would you trust hundreds of thousands of dollars for a home inspection to save $100 or $200?

At least now there are 4 you have thought about. Want more?

Buying a home in London Ontario is the easy part, it is the lack of details,lack of preparation and the lack of information or the lack of experience that will make you toss and turn at night.

 

How To Overcome The Fear Of Buying a House in London Ontario

The fear of buying a house in London Ontario is more about the unknown than anything else.

One  of the first questions I ask London Ontario home buyers is; “What are your biggest concerns or fears?” After 15 years of asking, these answers are the most common!

  • Getting the best price

  • The quality of the home

  • Will I be able to find and get all the things I am looking for?

  • Trust in the people I have helping me

  • The Neighbourhood

All valid and understandable, so what can you, that buyer do?

​  Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to scare anyone, but if you are going to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a property, why not be thorough?

Great realtors will have information to help guide you and the really great ones will do what we call a ‘buyer education’ and walk you through the steps from start to finish.

We particularly like the buyer education system because our buyers are more at ease, know what to expect and are ready for any hiccups that may occur. Rest assured, there will be bumps in the road.

Some may jump in the water with both feet and that is a quick way to get wet , but jumping into a real estate transaction with both feet can really hurt, for a long time!

don't jump into a real estate transaction

We’d be all too pleased to walk you through our buyer education system, there is no signing your life away, no pressure and please, leave your wallet and pen at home, we  want you to be so knowledgeable about the buying steps that you may know more about how to buy a home the right way than the average realtor!

Why not eliminate those fears now? We don’t bite. We don’t brag. We just work harder than most and just love it when our clients thank and praise us!

Getting a Deal When Buying a London Ontario Home?

When buying a London Ontario home, everyone that I have ever helped in buying a house  or a condo, want a good deal!

Overpaying for a London Ontario Home

What is a good deal  and for whom?

  • Gobs of money off the listing price?
  • A little off the listing price?
  • The seller lets you have his lawn mower and snow blower? Their cat?
  • The house or condo is exactly what you wanted, is in the neighbourhood you wanted and in a very good condition?
  • You bought something bigger & nicer than your friends have?
  • It was listed at a fair price?

So how do you know its a good deal?

  • You think it is (perspective)?
  • You feel it is?
  • Your Realtor said it is?
  • Your hairdresser said it is?
  • Facts and neighbourhood history say it is?

Buying a home and deciding on one is an emotional ride that you get to slow down with logic, but who’s logic?

When buying a home, use logic first in whom you choose to help you, not only a Realtor, but a lawyer, a home inspector if needed and a mortgage provider. Choose those first before you even go and look at a house or a condo.

That way, you will get a good deal!

 

 

Buying a House in London Ontario? How Sellers Price Their Homes

When buying a house in London Ontario, be aware that in real estate, there are 4 pricing strategies that have been used since Adam had to go out and look for a place of his own!

pricing a home in London Ontario

Clearly Overpriced:

Every seller wants to maximize the amount they receive . They may have an inflated value of what their home is worth because of: getting opinions from un-informed advisors and friends, having an over financed home, or they have renovated their home to a standard not consistent with their neighbours.

Somewhat Overpriced:

  About 75% of the homes on the market are overpriced. These homes sit on the market longer than they should as well. There are two main reasons these homes are overpriced. The seller believes that the home is worth more than the market has indicated, OR, the seller has left room for negotiating.

 Priced Correctly At Market Value: 

Some sellers understand that real estate is part of the capitalistic system of supply and demand. They have realistically priced their homes based on a thorough analysis of other homes on the market prepared by a good and knowledgeable Realtor. These competitively priced homes usually sell in a reasonable time and very close to asking price.

  Priced Below the Fair Market Value:

Some sellers are motivated by a quick sale. These homes could attract multiple offers and sell fast, and, at or above, the asking price!

As a buyer, do you know which strategy will be used?

Why?

Knowing how to get an offer accepted at a price you are pleased with is a skill that very few Realtors have. I hope I have raised your awareness of how prices are determined ,  quality representation can save you a lot of time and money.

Is It True About London Ontario Real Estate?

Is It True?

Every week I talk to hundreds of people about real estate, not only buyers and sellers, but Realtors, lawyers, mortgage people, home inspectors, want-to-be real estate moguls, tire kickers, blog comments, whiners, goody two-shoes, and to my past clients, friends and family.

I bet I hear 50 different opinions about real estate and when I ask why they say or think the way they do, it is because they read something (even though it was a British newspaper), watched something on TV (American), or their accountant, financial impersonator or boss said something that they most likely got from something they read or saw on TV!

So, I always ask, is it true?

Well, you would think I was asking them to go for a prostate exam; they get uptight (a pun) and then spout words of wisdom! I believe that facts don’t lie and until I can walk on water, I cannot predict the real estate market –or maybe I could if I made a career change and became a weather forecaster.

Enjoy the rest of the summer!

Disappointed In Buying a London Ontario House?

There’s nothing worse than ordering a sparkling water and then taking a sip and it’s flat.

No bubbles, no life, no spark.

Can't find a house in London Ontario

It’s the same with buying a house or a condo in London Ontario. You’re pumped up and excited to get to it.

But then no listings (or so your Realtor told you).  You were outbid on one. You sit  there & never hear from your salesperson or you miss out on a property because you were a day late finding out about it.

You get deflated, pi*#ed off even upset.

How do you get that fizz back? How do you add some carbonation to your home search?

You knew this was coming so here it is, call me!

Problem Solvers Or Just Another London Ontario Real Estate Company?

     People buy or sell a home in London Ontario for one reason and one reason only, to solve a problem!

  Our happy buyers & sellers

  • Tired of Renting? -Solve the problem by buying a house or a condo

  • House or condo too small?Too big? Solve the problem by buying something bigger or smaller

  • Too Expensive? Solve ……..
  • Relocating? Solve …….
  • Don’t like the neighbourhood? Solve ……
  • Divorced? Living Together? Getting Married? Solve ……
  • Fill in the blanks ___________________? Solve ………

I have been a Realtor for quite a few years and own a real estate brokerage and have learned that people do not hire us because we are just a Realtor who can help buy or sell a home, anybody can do that, that is what the average do.

People hire us because we solve problems, we identify them, take a focused view and solve the problem, end of story!

You don’t hire  a Realtor because you need a taxi driver,  or because they are pretty, ugly, skinny, fat, bald, young or old, you have a problem(which can be good or bad) and you want someone to listen and solve the problem quickly and save some money as well.

And, can back it up with proof, not talk!

Don’t Forget These Extra Costs When Buying a London Ontario Home

    Don’t Forget These  Extra Costs When Buying a  London Ontario  Home

Buying a home in London Ontario will take much more money than just the purchase price of the property, and not the  things like moving costs, furniture, paint, rakes or shovels, blinds and all the thing most of us never even think about!

I’m talking about the actual costs of buying real estate, below are some costs, either hidden, or included in your mortgage or money that you will have to spend right away. Of the hundred’s of transactions we do, very few people even take these into consideration.

 Now, you can!

it takes more money buying a home

  Purchase Price
duhhhh! you say, of course, but this is just the starting point in your calculation.

  Registration Fees
Fees paid to the provincial government for recording a title transfer, mortgage registration or other instruments.

  High Ratio Insurance (CMHC)
Must be purchased if you are buying a home for less than 20% down. A sliding fee scale applies, depending on the percentage of the purchase price required in a first mortgage (some minor exceptions) which can be added to the mortgage. More information.

  Compliance Letter
Obtained by your lawyer and required in many municipalities throughout Canada before a property transfer can take place. This is an acknowledgment from the building department that the property either has, or is clear of outstanding work-orders. Work-orders are specific clean-up or fix-up requirements that the owner is legally required to do, and which must be completed before ownership can be transferred.

paperwork for buying a house London Ontario

  Tax Certificate
Obtained by your lawyer at the time of sale to confirm that local taxes have been paid and are up-to-date. If they are not up to date, the seller is required to pay them from the proceeds of the sale. If there are insufficient proceeds, then you may be legally required to pay the outstanding taxes. If, on the other hand, taxes have been prepaid, you may have to compensate the seller for them.

   Provincial “New Home Warranty Program” premiums — New Homes Only!
A third party (provincial) warranty program between a builder and a buyer. With the exception of Ontario and Quebec, membership in such a program is voluntary for the builder. Through these programs, your home is guaranteed against defects for at least one year.  See Tarion. 

   Mortgage Appraisal and Application Fees
Application feees &  appraisal fees are common. Generally $150 — $235 each would apply. (Be careful here, ask your lender what the fees are and if they can waive some or all of it)

  Home Inspection
A report commissioned by the buyer, usually to verify the condition of a property prior to the “firming up” of a purchase agreement. The scope and detail may vary, but most reports outline any particular problems and associated repair costs. Unfortunately, home inspectors in Ontario are not licsenced!

   Land Survey
The legal written and/or mapped description of the location and dimensions of your land. The survey should also show the dimensions and placement on the lot of any structure, including additions such as pools, sheds and fences. An up-to-date survey is often required by a lender as part of the mortgage transaction, although Title Insurance is more prevalent and is usually included in your lawyer’s fee.

  Title Insurance
Title insurance can be purchased by home buyers to protect against potential deficiencies in a number of areas, such as the land survey.  More about title insurance.

  Connection Charges
Some local utility companies (hydro, gas, oil) charge a fee on closing to connect new buyers up to their service. More common, however, is an extra charge on the first billing.

property taxes in London Ontario

  Property Tax and Prepaid Utilities Adjustments
If the previous owner prepaid property taxes or other utilities, they will be credited the prepaid portion on closing. If they paid all their taxes by April, expect a large adjustment cost on closing!

  Interest Adjustment 
If you arrange to make your mortgage payments monthly on the first day of the month, and your transaction closes after the first day of the month, your lender will charge you interest on closing to the next interest date, called the Interest Adjustment Date (IAD), when your payment cycle will commence. This can be a sizeable amount, but it is the correct interest you should pay. For example, close on June 15th, pay 15 days interest on closing and start payments on August 1st.

 Property Taxes

Depending on your down payment, your lending institution may decide to include your property taxes in your monthly mortgage payments.

Property Insurance

Home insurance covers the replacement value of your home (structure and contents). Your lending institution will request proof that you are insured as it protects their investment on the loan.

 Legal Fees

Shop around here; rates vary depending on the complexity issues or experience of the lawyer or the cost of their overhead and associates.

  Mortgage Loan Insurance Fee

In the event of disability or death, your insurer will pay your mortgage or mortgage payments. *** Be very careful here; compare rates with your lending institution and your life insurance sales person.

 Mortgage Broker Fee

Shop around; most lending institutions will pay the mortgage broker’s fee, not you. Ask up front, “Do I have to pay any fees by using your services?”

 Mortgages & Buying real estate London Ontario

 Moving Costs

$50-$100/hour for a truck and 3 movers, 10 –30% higher at end of month and other peak times

 Maintenance Fees

Condos charge monthly fees and vary depending on the building.

 Water Quality and Quality Certification

If the home you purchased is serviced by a well, you will require and should get regular water portability tests by your local heath unit.

 Local Improvements

If the area you are moving to has made local improvements (such as sidewalks or addition of sewers), this could impact a property’s taxes by thousands of dollars.

 Land Transfer Tax

This tax is applied whenever property changes hands and the amount varies on the purchase price of the property. Your lawyer or I can let you know what this amount will be. More info.

 Congratulations, you’ve read this far! Believe it or not, you are a minority and the type of person we like to work with, thorough, willing to learn, careful and prudent!

As you can see, there are extra costs to consider before you make that purchase. By working with a very good Realtor, you will be aware of these and some you may prevent.

We use a spread sheet that we developed that comes pretty close to giving you an idea of how much extra you may need when buying a home in London.

Do not stress yourself out! Be prepared! Let us organize your steps towards getting the house you want!

Contact us- Sutton Group Envelope Real Estate

Buy a London Ontario Home And Get Protection

When you buy a London Ontario home, in all our offers, we put in a clause that allows us to view the property 1 or 2 times before closing. The reason is, for me as a Realtor, is to ensure there are no damages, that appliances are the same or the sellers did not leave any junk behind.

Get Results, use a Good Realtor

About 90% of the time( over 100’s of transactions) all is fine, but in some cases, you would be shocked. When we find out the home is not in the same condition when we bought it, or the place is filthy or appliances were switched, we contact your lawyer immediately.

Of course, we also contact the seller’s Realtor as well and in most cases, they too are not happy with the condition of the home and say they will contact their client and see if we can remedy the problems.

The main reason I do our final walk through 1-3 days before closing is that when a problem arises, we can suggest your lawyer not close the transaction, or, hold back $5000 to $10,000 until the seller remedies the problems.

You would be surprised how quick problems get solved when there is a holdback!

As a Realtor, my responsibility goes much further than helping you find and purchase a home, it is the behind the scenes work, skills and ownership we take that allows me to state ; “Not All Realtors Are The Same!”