Do you have stuff in your home that you need to sell? Perhaps you have some suits or dresses that no longer fit, an older living room set that you've just had replaced, or a vinyl record collection you've been hanging onto for years.
If a traditional garage sale is not an option for you, there are other ways to sell those items.
For example, you could rent a stall for the weekend at a local flea market. This is relatively inexpensive and can be a fun activity for the whole family.
Another option is to advertise in your local community newspaper.
Advertising rates in local publications are often much lower than in major newspapers.
You can also advertise on the internet. There are several popular sites, such as Craigslist.com and eBayClassifieds.com (Kijiji.com in Canada) where you can advertise for free.
When you’re looking for a new home, you want to find one in a great neighbourhood – or, at least, in a neighbourhood that is on the upswing. How can you tell if a particular area is improving? Here are some common indicators:
Pride of ownership. Take a walk around the neighbourhood. Do you get a sense that people take good care of their homes? Are the lawns mowed? Is the landscaping trimmed? Are flowers planted? Homeowners are more likely to look after their properties when they like where they are living.
Home improvements. Are people investing in their homes? Are they getting their driveways re-done? Their windows replaced? Are there signs of home improvement projects? If so, this is a clear indication that homeowners like the area enough to invest in their properties.
Real estate sales activity. Do homes tend to sell quickly in the area? Do they sell for a good price? If so, the neighbourhood is probably in demand. If people want to live there, it's a desirable area.
Business investment. Are businesses investing in the surrounding area? Is there an increase in the number of upscale shops, health clubs, restaurants, and other commercial enterprises that often locate near desirable neighbourhoods?
Community involvement. Are there signs that the community plays an active role in the look and lifestyle of the neighbourhood? Are there neighbourhood picnics, yard sales and other get-togethers? Check Facebook.com to see if the neighbourhood has a community page.
City plans. Find out what plans the city has for the area. Will there be road improvements done in the near future? Are there any major construction projects on the schedule, such as a new school or community centre. Although such projects can be disruptive in the short term, they may improve the neighbourhood – and, as a result, boost the value of any home you buy – in the long-term.
Of course, the best way to find out the desirability of a neighbourhood is to talk to a good REALTOR® who knows the area.
2 HUGE changes to the mortgage market that may affect you
Both announced in the last 2 weeks, there are 2 BIG changes coming up in the Real Estate, and moreso, mortgage arena that will affect many people both buying and selling real estate.
CHANGE #1- Property Transfer Tax (PTT) threshold increased from $425,000-$450,000 to $475,000-$500,000
What this means for Buyers- Under the old rules, if you were to purchase a home above the $450,000 mark as a first time home buyer, you would be subject to a property transfer tax amount of 1% of the first $200,000 and 2% of the balance of your purchase price.
Ex. If you were to purchase a home at $475,000 as a first time buyer, you would pay $7,500 in PTT.
Now, under the new rules, first time home buyers can purchase up to $475,000 without paying any PTT. There is also a threshold between $475,000-$500,000 where there is a reduced amount until your purchase price goes above $500,000.
What this means to Sellers- If your home is priced under $500,000, the affordability for many buyers has just increased tremendously. This is great as it may open up an entire new category of first time buyers that were previously unable to afford your home due to the tax amounts they would incur.
These changes went into effect as of Feb 19, 2014.
CHANGE #2- CMHC is increasing their premiums for high ratio lending to Buyers
What this means for Buyers- Getting a mortgage as of May 1, 2014 is about to get more expensive. A high ratio mortgage is someone applying for a new mortgage with less than 20% as a down payment on the full price of the property. CMHC is a company that insures your mortgage for the bank, in case you default and the property goes into foreclosure. When this new change kicks in, the price of insuring a high ratio mortgage is increasing about 15%.
Ex. A first-time buyer, purchasing a $240,000 condo and putting five per cent down, will have to take on around $900 more in debt under the new rates, paid out over the course of 25 years.
This is not a huge amount yet is extra money needed to over the course of time. To squeak by this change, you must have a firm and approved purchase of a new home prior to May 1, 2014.
For more information on CMHC, check out http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca
What this means for Sellers- Not a huge impact, yet any small increase to a fee for buyers removes a portion of their affordability. This usually affects first time home buyers with small down payments the most.
If you have any further questions on the changes, or would like some advice on either buying or selling your home, always feel comfortable reaching out for my help.
Until next time,