Tools, Tips and Suggestions for Buyers and Sellers

Your Credit Score


What Price Point Will You Be Able To Pay For a House Based on Your Credit Score... 

The most important factor in determining how much you can afford for a house is your credit score.  This is very important to know if you area currently looking to buy a house or condo.

Mortgage companies need to determine the risk when lending to you. Therefore they use a system called credit scoring (also called "FICO" scores). Looking at your credit score report is now one of the main assessment factors which allows lenders to instantly see how much debt you have, how reliable you are with bill payments, and if you've had any bankruptcies within the last several years.

Your credit report runs between the numbers of 300 and 900. The higher the number, the less of a credit risk you are seen to be. This is how lenders decide which types of loans you will be eligible for. As with many things, there is controversy over credit scores.

To be eligible for some loan types, you must have a minimum credit score without any exceptions.Credit scores fluctuate over time. In fact, the mere act of applying for credit can lower your credit score.


How to ensure that you have the highest possible credit score

To avoid comprimizing your credit score, you should avoid applying for new credit cards and loans. Avoid going to the discount store and take them up on the "No interest, no payments for one year" offer -- and avoid financing a car!

After buying your home and your mortgage is being paid, you can do all of these things, but before then it's a bad idea. Credit purchases can hurt your credit score, and will leave less money available for your downpayment.

Lenders also look at this figure to decide how much money they will lend you, and how much interest they will charge you on the loan. This is the reason why it is always best to wait until after you've purchased your home to go shopping for furniture and appliances. Also, once you've bought your home, you can get a loan for up to 100% of your home's value to buy anything you may need.

If you learn to play by these lenders rules you can get the best credit score possible, which improves the odds that you can get the home of your dreams.


How to Save on Interest

How to Pay off Your Mortgage Faster while Saving Thousands in Interest 

Save yourself a ton of money on interest expenses and pay off your mortgage faster by strategizing and finding ways to make a few extra principal payments. See a few simple strategies below which you can use to get you mortgage free sooner.

1. Round up your monthly payments


This strategy will allow you to pay a little bit more each month without breaking the bank. Although this strategy sounds simple, it can save you a fortune and drastically reduce the period you have left to pay your mortgage.

For example, if your payments are $734 monthly and you rounded up by paying $800 per month, you would save more than $48,000 in interest payments, and reduce the length of your mortgage by 7.5 years!

2. Use Your Income Tax Refund to Make One Time Extra Payments


This strategy can save you a ton of interest in the short and long run while shortening the length of the mortgage. If you have a $100,000 mortgage, and your tax refund this year is $1000, you can apply this amount to your mortgage. Over time, this will save you more than $8600 and reduce your mortgage length by 13 months! With such a simple strategy, you can yield big results.

3. A 15 Year Mortgage is the Option You Should Choose


A 15 year mortgage is the best mortgage payment time frame to choose if you can afford it. It is half the time of a 30 year mortgage and will save you a ton of interest. A good example would be if your mortgage is $100,000 at 8% interest over 15 years, your monthly payment would be about $200 more, but you'd end up saving $92,083 in interest over the life of your mortgage! That's insane (In a good way!)

Implementing these strategies is a good and simple way to save in a ton of interest and reduce the life of your mortgage.


Costly Mistakes Home Buyers Make

Mistake #1 - Not knowing what you are qualified for before making the offer

The best way to know what you are qualified for is to get pre-approved for a mortgage so that you know exactly how much you can afford. Usually pre-approvals are free.

Mistake #2- Not knowing if the agent represents th buyer or seller

Unless an agent is working as your buyer representative, they represent the seller. Many people don't realize this. 

Mistake #3 - Choosing the wrong mortgage

A bad mortgage can cost you thousands in taxes and interest. Consult an accountant before you choose your mortgage.

Mistake #4 - Not getting a professional home inspection before buying the house

You should always have a professional inspector look at the home before buying it. Not doing this can result in huge repair costs later on. 

Mistake #5 - Not understanding how credit can significantly impact your ability to purchase a home

Get a mortgage professional to help you go over and prepare your credit file before you buy a home.

Things Home Buyers Should Look Out For


Lookout for these 6 Warning Signs That Could Mean Expensive Repairs...

There is a common misconception among some home buyers that serious defects in a home are easy to spot. However the fact of the matter is that very often the most serious and costly problems can only be detected upon very close inspection. When looking to buy a home it is in your best interest to look for the following six telltale signs of serious problems...

1. Roof

Leaks are the most common problem with roofs. Roof leaks are tough to detect from outside. However, from inside an attic, you can often see water marks where there is a leak.

2. Plumbing System

Ensure that you are confident that both water systems: the one that brings fresh water in and the one that takes sewage out are functioning well before signing on the dotted line.

3. Electrical Systems

Before you agree to buy you a home, you should make sure that you can run all of the appliances you want to and even power tools at the same time without having a power failure. You also want to make sure that the electrical system is safe and does not present a fire hazard.

4. Heating and Cooling Systems

Be sure to thoroughly inspect the heating and air conditioning systems in the home you are thinking of purchasing.

5. Bad Paint and Signs of Rotting

The interior and exterior paint job of the house can reveal a lot about the condition of the underlying material. Check several places on several walls, using your eyes and a screwdriver for poking.

6. Cracks and other important signs

Issues with the foundation can be evidenced by cracks in walls, doors not closing properly and uneven floors. If the foundation is not strong, the entire house could literally collapse, so you should carefully check for these signs. A bad foundation may not mean imminent disaster, but it could be used to bargain for a lower sale price, or you could ask to have the owner repair it before the sale.

Selling Your Home


Selling a home is probably the largest monetary transaction which you will ever encounter. This is why it s important to ensure that you receive top dollar for your property. With rising prices for different home types throughout the Greater Toronto area and surrounding communities, now is the perfect time to sell a property.

To increase the chances for getting the highest amount possible for the home and to encourage a multiple offer situation, there are some factors which may make a big difference in the final outcome of the selling price.

Tip #1
  • Get rid of anything which you do not need, including old clothing and shoes (yes buyers will look in closets when viewing a home)
  • Leave kitchen counters free of clutter
  • Empty the garage (all garage clutter should be removed and stored elsewhere temporarily)
  • Washrooms should not have toothpaste, toothbrushes, wash cloths, mouthwash, makeup or anything of the sort across the top of counters.
Tip #2
  • It is amazing how a new coat of paint can refresh a room or the exterior of a home. It is cheap and very effective, so paint where ever necessary and it is advised to use low odor paint.
  • It is a good idea to remove wall paper and replace with neutral toned paint. Rooms with bright or unusual colors can be a deal breaker for many persons looking to buy a home.
Tip #3
  • Reattach hinges and fixtures to doors and windows to ensure proper functionality
  • Fix gutters which may need maintenance
  • Fix potholes on driveway
  • Landscape (the first few seconds of the outer appearance may determine what potenital buyers may think about the house overall)
  • Fix leaky roofs and leaky basements with a solution for the long run
Tip #4
  • It is always a good idea to stage your home. Keep in mind that the first few seconds make a lasting impression. The home should look like a show house. After all, you are showcasing the home at its best in order to get it sold as quickly as possible for top dollar.