Have you accomplished any of your real estate resolutions for the year or are they long forgotten? While some of you may have successfully completed your goals, others may still be getting their affairs in order in order to make their move and some may have even lost their list somewhere along the first six months of 2019. No need to fret – we have you covered! This month we revisit our recommendations from the start of the year.
Sales activity increased in every month in the first half of 2019 except for February, meanwhile the average price of a property as reported by the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) has increased 11.3 per cent since the beginning of the year. That is an average price appreciation of 1.9 per cent for each month of 2019 so far. This active market is taking place not only in the resale segment, but also within the secondary rental market. While more listings available for lease through TREB’s Multiple Listings Service (MLS) increased year-over-year in the first two quarters of 2019, the average price of one, two, and three-bedroom rentals have followed suit hitting $2,192, $2,873, and $3,586, respectively, by the end of the second quarter. Since the start of the year, that is an increase 1.1 per cent per month in the average price for all housing types in the secondary rental market.
Historically, the pace of activity in the real estate market slows down during the summer months as people look to vacation near and abroad. Be that as it may, there is still a plethora of people making moves during these months. Some will be closing on their purchases made during spring and moving in over the summer, while other buyers and investors will take advantage of reduced competition during summer. Landlords and tenants alike will be looking for suitable accommodations in the near-term or to line up new residential tenancies to align with the commencement of school, new arrivals, and work contracts.
Are you planning on selling your home in the next few months or even in the latter part of the year? Regardless of the season or market conditions, remember that you have one chance to make a memorable first impression on prospective buyers. Before listing your home for sale, commit to these resolutions to ensure you attain the best possible price and conditions for your home at the time in which you sell.
When planning to sell your home, research and interview a team of professionals that will list and market your property. Real estate sales representatives and brokers will help assess the condition of your home and suggest repairs to be made before listing that align with your overall timeline as well as financial and physical wherewithal to complete the work. Burnt-out light bulbs, cracked drywall, chipped paint, stained carpets, and other minor damage is easy to fix and won’t break the bank, but left un-repaired, could impact offers.
A cluttered home can also impact offers. At times this can be a large undertaking. Take it room-by-room and you will get through it. Be honest about what you want, need, what you can do without, and remember to pack up family photos along with personal affections and valuables.
It can be tough at times to list and have people tour your home. List your home with a clear mind and anticipate possible objections from buyers about your home.
Whether it is your first home, an investment property, or a home in which you are smartsizing, start with a list of needs, wants, and which property characteristics you are willing to forego. Speak with your bank and a mortgage broker in order to assess your and determine your budget. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage will allow you to lock-in your interest rate and increase your purchasing power by strengthening your offer. Lenders will assess your profile based on the 5 Cs of Credit. You are going to need to prepare a letter of employment, T4 Statement of Remuneration, your most recent pay stubs, two years of Notices of Assessment, and a history of your banking activity.
First-time home buyers can take advantage of the Home Buyer’s Plan by tapping into their Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) for an interest-free loan up to a maximum of $25,000 per person which is set to increase to $35,000 in September under the 2019 federal budget announced this past June as well as a shared equity program with the CMHC which we will take a closer look at in next month’s issue of our blog.
Whether you’re a long-term investor or you are making your first investment in real estate, make sure that your rental property is in a state of good repair and decide whether or not you will decide to work with a professional in the real estate industry or handle the investment strictly on your own.
When the current resident owner or tenant vacates the rental property make sure that it is clean and tidy and that all major electrical, plumbing, and heating, air, and ventilation along with all major appliances are in working order. Remember that any rental expenses, such as maintenance and repairs can be deducted at tax time.
Moreover, there are many tools at your disposal to find the right tenant for your rental property. Firstly, you can enlist the services of a property management company to look after all needs of a residential rental property.
If you have the physical wherewithal to maintain the rental property on your own, you can employ the services of a real estate sales representative to assist with the listing and marketing of your rental property. REALTORS® will list your home on the Multiple Listings Service (MLS) with property details and photos. REALTORS® will collect information about prospective tenants, such as references, proof of income, and a current credit report, to provide you a detailed report in order for you to make an informed decision on their application and offer. Aim to reduce any turnover losses and vacancy time from one tenant to the next in order to ensure for an efficient transition.
Lastly, there are many websites available for landlords to generate their own tenant leads for their properties. Managing an investment property from tenant search and acquisition to maintaining and sustaining the lease and property requires much time and sweat equity. Resources, such as Facebook Marketplace and websites, like Zumper.com, Kijiji.ca, TorontoRentals.com provide you with a platform to advertise your property and receive and screen prospective tenants. REALTORS® are responsible for putting themselves in your shoes when they represent you in a lease transaction, so you will want to perform the same due diligence that they would in order to ensure you find the correct tenant for your rental property.
If you are looking to rent, especially in Toronto, you may already be acquainted with the difficulties of the current rental market or have read about second hand accounts in the news. Earlier this year, Rentals.ca released a report on rental market predictions and major Canadian cities could see a rent increase of as much as eleven per cent.
In order to stay ahead of other prospective tenants in markets that have historically low vacancy rates, you should obtain a credit report, personal and professional references, and proof of income before setting out to tour listings available for lease. If you are self-employed, landlords and their representatives may ask you to submit the last two years of Notices of Assessment with your application.
Neither neglect to check the size of the parking space or locker (if applicable) nor the appliances and water pressure in the apartment.
Make sure that you have enough money saved for first and last months rents. Provincial guidelines also permit landlords to charge a deposit for keys. Familiarize yourself with the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 which describes the rights and obligations of both landlords and tenants. And, if you rent in a condominium, ensure that your landlord provides you with the condominium rules, regulations, and by-laws, so that you can comply with the rules set forth by that community.
Remember, the services of a REALTOR® are predominantly free for a tenant, so when you align yourself with a knowledgeable, ethical, and hardworking REALTOR®, they can help you secure a home for you in a timely manner at no cost to you.