Area Spotlight: Erin Mills

As a team we're a little biased, but right now we think West Erin Mills is a great area in Mississauga to live in. 26 years ago our family home was on Chartrand Crescent (just off HWY 403 and Winston Churchill). Simon and I grew up playing on bendy tree lined streets, went to the local school and enjoyed family bike rides through the Pheasant Run trails. Check out the map below to see the area we're are talking about. 

26 years later the area is now in transition. The kids we grew up have grown up and moved away from home and our former elementary school Ashgrove actually had to close because of a shortage students. However a new trend is emerging as homeowners our parents' age are starting to downsize out of the area and young families are making their way back in to enjoy the maturity of the neighbourhood, the excellent amenities and the wider lots and style of homes you can get for mid range prices. We just sold our clients' home in the neighbourhood and we can honestly say with 11 offers on the home (and with other homes in the area going quickly as well), buyers agree, West Erin Mills is a desirable place to be. Read some more information about the area below. 

Style of Homes:

The majority of homes in the area are single family detached homes with wider lots than what you might see in newer neighboorhoods like Churchill Meadows. There are a variety of single car garage homes mixed with double car garage homes and the majority are 2-storey with brick exteriors.  The homes in this particular area were all built approximately 25-30 years ago. 

Price Range:

Depending on the size, style and finishes as well as the exact location (there is a pocket in the central west part of West Erin Mills where the values tend to be lower) the homes vary in price from $450,000 to $900,000 +. The average sale price from January 1st 2013 until now is $613,644. 

Area Amenities:

Just off the 403 sits the newly constructed luxury family fitness center Lifetime which features an outdoor pool, rock climbing wall and indoor lap pools. With two of our family members as active Lifetime members we can speak confidently when we say the gym is a huge draw to the area. 

The area is minutes to HWY 403, 407, QEW and Clarkson and Erindale GO Stations and has several parks closeby.

Schools:

Loyola Catholic Secondary School was recently relocated and rebuilt at the West edge of the area. Garthwood Elementary school sits at the south part of the area while high school aged students in the public school system are bused to either Clarkson Secondary School (where Simon went) or if your child is in the enhanced learning program or french immersion they can attend Lorne Park Secondary School (where I attended) one of the most esteemed high schools in the Ontario. 

Check out the video tour of the home we recently sold in the area: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y63U9-BlgII 

If you're thinking about making a move, call us today and whether it's Erin Mills or another area in the GTA we can help you and your family find the right area that will work for your budget and needs. 

Enjoy the weekend and the warmer weather (fingers crossed it will stay this time!!), 

Melanie

 


First Time Buyer Series: The Conditional Period

First Time Buyers: They’ve accepted my offer, now what?
 
Congratulations! They’ve accepted your offer which is a big step in the process, but there are still a ton of things to take care of during the conditional period before the deal becomes firm. Here is a condensed list of what you’ll need to do: 
 
1. Provide the Deposit Cheque-  Once an offer has been accepted, the buyer usually has 24 hours from when the Agreement of Purchase and Sale has been signed to deliver the deposit check to the seller’s brokerage. If the agreement is signed on a statutory holiday or on a Saturday or Sunday the buyer will have 24 hours from the beginning of the next weekday to produce the cheque. The cheque should be certified by your bank or should be a bank draft and is made out to the seller’s brokerage. It is held by that brokerage in a special account to be applied to the buyer’s down payment on closing.  If there are conditions on the offer and they are not waived by the buyer, then the deposit cheque is returned in full to the buyer with no deductions.
 
2. Find a Good Real Estate Lawyer- If you’ve bought a condo or a condo townhouse your agent will almost always include  a condition on your agreement to state that your lawyer will review the status certificate for the condo corporation. The status certificate is the document that gives details on the amount of money in the reserve fund for repairs on the building and will state whether there is an expected increase in the amount you pay each month. It can also show pet restrictions on the building (some condos do not allow dogs of a certain breed or size and some do not allow pets at all). This can be an important document to show how well the building or complex is managed and can indicate future issues with maintenance fees. 
This condition can sometimes take several weeks as it takes time for the document to be sent and then reviewed by the lawyer. During this time the deal is still conditional. Your agent will likely be able to refer you to a trusted real estate lawyer that they have worked with in the past. Click the following link to see our list of preferred suppliers: http://www.thamteam.com/Preferred-suppliers.
 
3. Arrange Financing – In most situations (except if you are competing with others for the house) your offer will also include a condition that will allow you a few days to be approved for financing on the home you have purchased. You may decide to use a bank that you have worked with in the past, use a referral from a trusted source, or shop around for different lenders. The financing condition will allow you to examine what kind of payments you’ll have to make on a mortgage each month and help you feel comfortable with the purchase you just made. If you are not approved by any lenders during the conditional period you have the opportunity to back out of the agreement and you will receive your deposit back in full. 
 
Even after you have been approved for a mortgage by one lender, you may still shop around for lower rates and different packages up until a couple weeks before your closing date. Again, your agent will likely be able to help you with that. We have a mortgage specialist at Scotiabank that we have worked with quite closely and referred several clients to. Mary keeps us updated on when rates are expected to go up often several days beforehand so we can keep our clients in the know and lock in rates before they purchase. Check the Preferred Suppliers link above for Mary’s information. 
 
4. Hire a good home Inspector – It is essential that you hire a good home inspector to ensure that the home you’ve just purchased is in good condition with no major defects. Major defects might include structural damage, foundation cracks, mould, water damage, leaks etc. They will also check all the appliances, electrical, water systems and the roof to ensure that everything is in good working order. Finding an inspector who you trust to be thorough and honest is important. You will likely need the inspector to do the inspection in the first five days following your purchase. If there are major defects, you have the option of adjusting the price on the offer, or adjusting the offer to ensure that the defects are fixed before you take possession of the home. You also have the option of backing out of the deal. Check out the “How Much Money Do I Need?” post in the series to find out information about the cost of an inspection. 
 
5. Waive conditions- Once you have done all the necessary things to satisfy yourself that the conditions have been met on your offer, you will have to sign a waiver before the conditional period is over to ensure that the deal becomes firm. Your agent will then send the waiver to the seller’s agent.
 
 
Are you a present buyer or potential buyer with questions? Contact Melanie at melanietham@kw.com for more information.  
 
Check out the next post in the series: What do I Have to do Before my Closing Date?
 

First Time Buyer Series: Understanding the Agreement of Purchase and Sale

Great, you’ve found a home you like! Now it’s time to put in an offer- this will help explain to you what that entails.
 
1. Putting in an offer
 When you find a home that you love, your agent will be able to provide you with comparable homes that have sold recently to help you decide what kind of offer to put forward on the house you’re interested in. 
 
Once you have decided on the price, your agent will put together documents called the Agreement of Purchase of Sale. The Agreement of Purchase and Sale contains standard clauses from the Ontario Real Estate Association to protect both you and the seller, however there are added components that are negotiable and conditions that your agent may add to the Agreement of Purchase and Sale to ensure that you are protected. If a deal is conditional, that means that certain conditions must be met before a certain time period for the deal to be firm or complete. This conditional time is usually always for the benefit of the buyer. Some of these conditions and negotiable components are as follows:
 
i. The Deposit- The deposit is an amount of money that you will submit after the agreement is accepted to show the sellers that you are serious about following through with the agreement. The deposit is submitted and made out to the seller’s real estate brokerage within 24 hours AFTER the Agreement of Purchase and Sale has been signed and accepted by both parties. If there are conditions on the agreement and they are not waived or met by the buyer then the deal does not go through and the buyer gets their deposit back in full. 
 
ii. Financing Condition- Most first time buyers will need a financing condition to ensure that they can get the financing they need to purchase the home and feel comfortable with the mortgage payments they will be assuming once their offer is accepted. This condition is worded to say that buyers have a certain number of days to secure financing in “their sole and absolute discretion” and that the buyers must waive this condition before the time period allotted or the deal becomes null and void (usually 3-5 days). This gives buyers an escape clause should they find that they are unsatisfied with the mortgage they’ve been quoted. 
 
iii. Home Inspection Condition - Home inspections are one of the most important ways that buyers can protect themselves when purchasing a home. We always recommend that buyers do a home inspection once their offer has been accepted to ensure that they become aware of any defects with the home. If the buyer is unsatisfied with the home inspection report, they have the option of backing out of the deal or asking for a price reduction based on the issues in the inspection. 
 
iv. Status Certificate Condition
This condition is used only when purchasing a condo-townhouse or a condominium. The status report is a document the details the current financial state of the condo corporation. It will show exactly where the maintenance fees go and what they pay for as well as the amount of money in the reserve fund for repairs that need to be done within the condo building or the complex. It will also detail any restrictions on the building such as pet restrictions. 
This document must be ordered the seller and is usually paid for by the seller (it costs about $100 to order). The document is then looked over by your lawyer to ensure there are no red flags or concerns. 
This condition usually takes the longest as it can take several days and sometimes weeks for the document to arrive and then your lawyer is usually given a certain amount of time to review the document (3-5 days).
 
v. Closing Date
The closing date is the date on which the buyers take possession of the home. This is a flexible date and sometimes the sellers have a specific date in mind based on another home they may have already purchased or they prefer a longer closing date as they may not have purchased a home yet. If buyers are flexible about their closing date it can be beneficial as it can make their offer more appealing to the seller.  60-90 days from the purchase date is quite common for a closing date.
 
2. After submitting the offer
a. Once you have submitted the offer, it does not mean you have actually purchased the home. The seller has several options: they can either accept the offer, reject the offer completely, or sign back the offer with a counter offer. If they sign back the offer, the buyers will have the opportunity to either accept their counter offer, reject the offer completely  OR counter the counter offer with another offer. A good agent will help you negotiate this process and help you do what best suits your needs as well as doing their best to keep a good relationship with the selling agent. 
 

First Time Buyer Series: Starting the Process

We know that buying your first home can be a daunting and confusing experience! To help you understand the process, we've put together a series of posts that will explain everything from where to begin, to what the conditions mean on an offer, to your moving day and closing costs.

Today's post: How to get Started

1. Talk to a mortgage broker
  • A mortgage broker will ask you to submit an application so they can assess your financial situation and your ability to purchase a home. A broker will be able to help you find flexible solutions for your situation and give you an idea of what kind of buying range you should look in to find a home that’s right for you. They will give you a pre-approval letter based on your application and a credit check which you can then pass forward to your agent so they can help you find homes within that price range. They can also give you an idea of current interest rates and what kind of mortgage payments you will have based on the money you have to put as a down payment.
2. Choose a real estate agent
  • Hiring a real estate professional will ensure that each step in the home buying process is as stress-free as possible. When working with a real estate agent it’s important to find someone you trust to represent you and your family for one of your biggest investments.
  • An agent will also be able to direct you to their trusted partners for your real estate needs such as mortgage brokers, real estate lawyers, home inspectors and contractors to make the process a little easier for you. Professional fees for  buyer agents are paid for by the seller of the home- this makes it all the more beneficial for buyers to have representatives on their side.
3. Finding the home for you
  • Make a list of what you need and want in a home and what areas you are interested in. This takes some careful thinking and planning. Your realtor will be able to provide you with essential market information and recommendations on ideal properties that fit your criteria and your price range in the areas you are interested. When good properties come on the market they can sell quickly- your agent can ensure that you see those properties as soon as they become available so that you have the best chance of getting that home. Your agent can book appointments and start taking you through properties that match your needs. Once you find the right home for you, you can  put in an offer to purchase the property. 

Watch for the next post in the series: The Agreement of Purchase and Sale 

Contact Melanie if you're interested in receiving more information about the purchase or sale of your next home melanietham@kw.com.

 

The GTA housing market remains strong for July

Check out the latest GTA market watch report for July- home sales remain strong despite a slight increase in mortgage lending rates.

“Last month’s sales represented the best July result since 2009 and was the third best July result on record. Despite recent increases in average borrowing costs, home buyers are still finding affordable home ownership options in the GTA,” said Toronto Real Estate Board President Dianne Usher (Source: Toronto Real Estate Board).

To watch the market watch report video go to:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0XcQKfkWVY&feature=player_embedded

 

For more information about how the market affects your home or your next purchase contact Lynne, Melanie, or Simon Tham at 905-278-8866.