Toronto Real Estate

  • 07 Apr
    Basic Tips for Investment Properties

    Basic Tips for Investment Properties

    An investment property can be a smart way of increasing your income, if decisions have been made wisely. In the past years property values have doubled and rental prices have increased in the GTA, however there is no guarantee that this trend will continue.

    The major factors in selecting the right property is based on value appreciation and generating a steady income. The basic calculation for the monthly income would be total rent minus operating expenses (such as mortgage, property  tax , insurance and maintenance costs).

    Here are some basic tips to help with the decision-making:

    • First of all, start with your budget. Determine how much you can afford and get a mortgage pre-approval. Keep in mind that the down-payment for a second property is usually a minimum of 20%.
    • Even if you can gain a good cash flow, don’t rely on an income property as your sole income source. There’s always a chance that you have no tenants for a period of time. Be prepared to arrange your mortgage payment for the time your property remains vacant.
    • You can deduct some of the expenses from your income;  such as mortgage interest, property taxes, insurance, utility bills, property management costs, maintenance and repair costs
    • Do your research on the local market conditions. Find out about the area’s vacancy rates and average rental prices.
    • Before buying a home, find out legal requirements for a basement apartment. Every city has its own rules.
    • Work with a Real Estate Agent who is a also a seasoned Real Estate Investor. Buying an income property is different than buying a home to live in. An agent with personal experience in investment properties has a broader perspective and can guide you through all the additional details.
    • Get a qualified home inspector to ensure the unit adheres to all existing building and fire codes. An inspector can also discover hidden repair and renovation costs that could affect your budget.
    • Don’t be emotional when choosing the right property: It should be in a good livable condition with a cozy layout, but you are not going to live there.
    • Ask yourself whether you want to be a landlord. This can be challenging since you will have to deal with different people and sometimes tenants can be problematic.
    • You can hire a property manager to manage your property, deal with the tenants and take care of the maintenance.
  • 10 Jan
    What is Home Staging?

    What is Home Staging?

    Home Staging is not just an art of preparing and redecorating a home for sale, it is also a proven real estate strategy. Staging a home can have a significant impact on the appeal of your home and increase its market value. If done wisely, it can turn a cold looking property into a warm and inviting home in the potential buyer’s mind.

    Home staging Tips

    Studies have shown that most buyers make a decision about a house within minutes of walking in the door. Here are some simple tips to make the most effective first impression:

    • Make sure your home is spotlessly clean and eliminate unpleasant pet or food odours.
    • Keep all curtains and blinds open and turn on the lights.
    • Put fresh flowers in principal rooms.
    • Add a new shower curtain, fresh towels and new guest soaps to every bath.
    • Take one or two major pieces of furniture out of every room to create a sense of spaciousness.
    • Items that do not enhance the decor of the room should be put away or stored off-site.
    • Depersonalize the rooms by putting away family photos, mementos and distinctive artwork.
    • Don’t leave any rooms empty, rent some furniture if necessary.
    • Remove any clutter from the the kitchen counter top.
    • Maintain neat and tidy closets. Storage areas need to look clean and organized.
    • Apply neutral tones if you need to repaint walls or replace carpets.
    • If necessary re-grout the tiles in the kitchen and bathrooms. It can make a big difference.
    • The basement should be dry and clean. Use shelves or cabinets to store your materials.
    • Move your lawn and put away toys and yard equipment.

    Creating a positive first impression is crucial when selling your home. A staged home stands out from the competition, maximizes the selling price and sells faster!