All About Mortgages

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All About Mortgages

The world of mortgages can sometimes be a scary place, especially if you’re just getting into the housing market as a first-time home buyer. There are so many places where you can get a mortgage, like a bank, private financing, independent brokerages, and every deal seems to be slightly different than the other.

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London: the New Alternative to Toronto

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London: the New Alternative to Toronto

Even if mortgage rates are going up, London’s real estate prices are quite low, so it’s a great entry point for first-time buyers or those who may be looking for a cheap, second property to rent out for some extra passive income.

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EOA...Stay Away?

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EOA...Stay Away?

EAO Stay Away

I meet a lot of people moving to London, Ontario from Toronto and even other provinces in Canada. As we start discussing what they are looking for in a home and in a neighbourhood, I always ask the one question to which I'm almost always afraid to hear the answer to:

"Is there a neighbourhood you don't want to live in?"

The majority of the time, the answer is the same:

"I've heard that I should stay away from the east end."

When I ask why, it's always because someone told them. The problem is, that someone who gave advice likely has never spent any time on the east side, let alone lived there. This is a challenging moment for me, as there are some really incredible neighbourhoods on the east side of the city. Take Old East Village, for instance. 5 years ago, it was seen as one of the "sketchy" areas and now it's one of the city's hottest neighbourhoods, with a farmer's market, hip coffee shops and gorgeous heritage homes. People are in bidding wars trying to get in!

 

I love my city and I understand that every city, including London, has its "rougher" neighbourhoods, but to write off the entire east side of a city means you're missing out of the potential of an amazing community vibe, not to mention more affordable options than other parts of the city. In fact, I live in the east end of London and wouldn't have it any other way! I even joke that I live so far East that I'm bound to fall off the edge of the city limits, enjoying a forest in my backyard in Argyle.

The truth is that east London has some fantastic neighbourhood, and like all the neighbourhoods of the city, these areas will suit certain people based on their housing needs and personal lifestyle. Each neighbourhood varies widely and there's bound to be a neighbourhood that matches what you're looking for. So, if you are coming into London or any other new community, take the time to tour the neighbourhoods yourself before jumping to conclusions. The bottom line is, you don't want to miss out on the right house in the right neighbourhood, just because of an uninformed opinion. The best way to get to know a neighbourhood is on foot. Park the car on a side street and go for a stroll! Stop in for a coffee, chat with the locals and see for yourself. Who knows, you could just be strolling the streets of your next neighbourhood.

In the meantime, you can check out the neighbourhoods section of my website to get a sense of what each neighbourhood has to offer. I offer all the stats as well as personal insight into each neighbourhood in London, Ontario. Click Here for more info, and don't hesitate to be in touch if you have any questions about the different neighbourhoods of London, Ontario!

Thanks for reading!

Mel

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How To Get The Home You Want in a Seller's Market

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How To Get The Home You Want in a Seller's Market

London, Ontario's sudden real estate market explosion is on everyone's mind. Houses going for well above asking, limited inventory, more buyers flooding in from the GTA are all making for some pretty tough conditions, especially if you're on the buying end of things.

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How Much is Your Home Really Worth?

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How Much is Your Home Really Worth?

When you are thinking about selling your home, one of the first questions you’re going to have is “how much is my home worth?” This is a natural thing to come up, especially if you’re curious as to where the market is heading in your neighbourhood or if you’re going to see a return on the investments in renovations that you’ve made to the property. The answer to how much your home is worth may even help you decide between selling now or waiting until a later point in time.

 

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Price it Right and it Will Sell

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Price it Right and it Will Sell

The bottom line is: if you price it right, it will sell. Price it wrong, there’s a good chance it will be on the market a long time (and maybe won't even sell). Nothing is worse than having your house up for sale for an extended period of time. The goal is, afterall, to sell it, right? 

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Goodbye, Phantom Offers!

The real estate market is buzzing here in London, Ontario! In fact, there’s so many buyers looking for properties that we have a shortage of inventory. Psst...if you’ve been thinking about putting your house up for sale, now would be a great time! We've been seeing multiple offers everywhere.


As we head into what we can only expect will be another busy summer season for real estate in London, Ontario, there’s no doubt we’re going to see some of the hottest properties attracting more than one interested buyer. If you are a house hunter who falls in love with a property but find yourself in competition with another buyer, you’re going to want to make sure your are prepared in the event that you end up in a multiple offer situation, most commonly called a bidding war.

Phantom bids (when an agent hints that there may be another offer) are dangerous as they not only encourage bidding wars, but in doing so, they also inflate homes prices, which isn’t good for anybody. You may have already heard rumours about the phantom bids that were surfacing in the real estate market in recent years, especially in Toronto. You may have even been involved in a deal where you suspect the agent representing the sellers was insinuating there were other offers coming in and felt pressured to bid higher on a property than you would have liked, never knowing if that other mysterious offer was even real. Regardless, phantom offers are a thing of the past (at least, legally).

Fortunately, the recent Ontario law that came into effect last summer (July 2015) was established as a means of protecting both sellers and buyers from potential phantom bids unethically making their way into the offer process. Now, if there is more than one offer on the table, the agent representing the listing must have all the written and signed offers before they can share with other agents and buyers that there are, in fact, competing offers on the table.

Up until that point, agents representing the sellers could imply to other agents representing the buyers that they were receiving more than one offer, without ever having to prove the existence of an actual competing offer, oftentimes setting things into a bidding frenzy. While this was most popular in hot markets like Vancouver and Toronto, there have still been some reported suspicions of this happening with real estate offers here in London, Ontario.

Making an offer on a home you have fallen in love with is already a charged and emotional process. Add the possibility of someone else potentially making a bid on the property you want only further heightens this situation. It’s also an unethical tactic on the part of the agent representing the property that, up until now, has been difficult to substantiate.

This level of transparency on the phantom offer situation is a step in the right direction, and leaves doubt at the door for both buyers and sellers alike. Goodbye phantom bids, hello real offers! Entering into a multiple offer situation or bidding war is stressful enough of a situation for buyers, but now, if you are entering into a bidding war, at least you know that there are actually other offers on the table.

As I mentioned, we are short on inventory right now in London, Ontario and there are a lot of buyers looking for properties. If you’d like to receive a FREE home evaluation and talk about listing your property, get in touch with me!

Thanks for reading,


Mel

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Bidding Wars Part II: Tips for Sellers

Bidding Wars

Welcome to Part II of Bidding Wars! Last month, we took a look at the buyer’s perspective in the bidding war process (check it out here), but this month, we’re turning the tables and looking at what it means to be a seller in the situation.

 

I have experience on both ends of the bidding war scenario. I’ve helped buyers edge out the competition to purchase the home they are interested in and I’ve also helped sellers negotiate which offer is the best offer to accept. There’s a lot of negotiation on either end of a bidding war and you want to make sure that when it comes to a multiple offer situation, you have the right people in your corner. Together, we’ll not only get the deal done, but we’ll make sure that it’s the best deal possible.

Last month, we touched on the subject of bidding wars, or what agents formally call “multiple offer situations.” A multiple offer situation is when there is more than one interested party making an offer on your property. While the thought of having more than one offer on your property is very exciting as a seller, it’s important to have a good sense of all of your options and to strategize accordingly.

This is where an experienced real estate agent comes in. Sure, you are the owner and seller of the property, but your agent is working hard on your behalf to facilitate the situation and ensure you get the best deal for you. They need to be super organized, know the rules (and play by them!) and maintain open communication throughout the entire process. There’s also typically a time crunch on responding to offers, which only gets more complicated when there is more than one offer on the table.

Sometimes, sellers take advantage of the fact of having more than one offer and try to play the buyers off each other, but this can turn some buyers away. The last thing you want is to have three offers on the table and not end up with any! Just because you have more than one offer on the table doesn’t guarantee that your house is sold. It ain’t sold until the sticker is on the sign. Better yet, it ain't sold until the buyers have the keys in hand and you're already house hunting for your next property. The main thing to keep in mind as a seller in a multiple offer situation is to treat each offer with respect and timely attention. Keep your eye on the price (getting your house sold) and don't get distracted by the excitement of having more than one offer. Stick to this and you’ll be sure to end up with a great deal.

Have the idea of a multiple offer situation piqued your interest? Ready to get your property listed? Get in touch with me to schedule your free home evaluation, the first step to getting your property listed...and sold. Click here for more information on the home evaluation process.

Thanks for reading!

Mel

 

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