Archives: Posted in Advice

Giselle’s professional tips on navigating through an uncertain real estate market

Buying Real Estate is a big deal, and whether you’re doing it for the first time or the fifth time, buying a home can still present uncertain situations.


Before you embark on the journey, take a few moments to read my suggestions:

1. Find the right Realtor that will work well for you. Let’s face it – the real estate industry is saturated with Realtors: from friend’s referrals, to family members, to the agent who is active in your neighbourhood. Take some time to meet at least two Realtors to figure out who you would like to work with. Knowledge, experience and reputation is important – but also find a professional that you click with. Personality matters a lot, and you want someone you feel you can trust and who will lead you though this journey. Did you research and ask for referrals, look up their website, and confirm they are a registered representative?

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Giselle’s personal tips on how to save for a down payment on your first home

Buying a home is a goal for most people. A home is an investment that you use for yourself to live in, but it’s also an investment that should work to build equity for you.

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Buying a home can come at any stage in life. Maybe it’s between getting married and having kids, or maybe it’s after establishing your career, or maybe it’s just plainly when the timing is right for you. Whatever your path in life, buying a home is something that can add great value. Learning the way to save for a down payment will teach you valuable financial skills that will stay with you throughout life.

The down payment is the first big stepping stone in buying a home and usually the hardest obstacle to get past. Here are some things I’ve picked up along the way:

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Bring on the fall: market outlook

What an amazing summer we had this year! Over 38 days of temperatures over 30°C. The good ol’ dog days of summer. But alas, all good things must come to an end. Welcome in the fall season of 2016.

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In terms of the real estate market, things have pretty much remained consistent. Number of sales transactions for August 2016 reported in the TREB MLS system were up 13% percent from August 2015. Number of new listings on the other hand – down compared to last year. Strong economic forces continued such as growth in average earnings and continued low borrowing costs.

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Selling your home with pets

We are definitely a pet loving society. Pets bring us love, health and happiness. Unfortunately, pets do not usually help us to sell our homes. When you’re considering putting your house up for sale, there might be repairs and house cleaning that needs to be done before you can command a competitive price. Remember, you always want to present your home to potential buyers as a space where they can see themselves living. This means clearing your home of personal things – including our beloved pets.

Also, it’s important to remember that selling a home can be just as stressful for pets – as it can be for their owners. So here are a few tips to think of when selling your home with pets.

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Everything you wish you knew…before buying your first home

Oh, but hey, you get to read this before you actually do – if you’re a first time buyer, that is.

I like to work with first time buyers – because it’s such an exciting time. It’s a big step, a huge life changer, a brand new avenue. Whether you’re buying your first condo, or your first house or your first investment – these are all factors that should be thought about.

1. Setting yourself up for success before you begin. Your first step to buying a home should be to take a serious look at your finances. You need to consider things such as your credit score, job security and financial stability.

Questions you should ask yourself: Have you been employed or can you show consistent income for the past six months? Do you have available funds to cover your down payment, deposits and closings costs? Do you have a credit score that will enable you to obtain financing for a mortgage with a competitive rate? Online services such as Equifax.com allow you to check your credit score – and if need be – take action to improve it. There are also government-backed programs that offer rebates for tax portions of your purchase as well as programs such as the first time home buyers plan, which enables you to use money from your RRSP. (You can speak to your Realtor about these programs.)

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