The Basics of Term vs. Amortization

Posted onJune 30/2014By

When you first delve into the world of real estate, many words can cause confusion. The words ‘term’ and ‘amortization’ are a couple examples that may cause you some confusion. They are sort of similar, yet totally different, so it’s a good idea to learn the differences. Mortgage Term The mortgage term you hear about so often, refers to the length of time you’re committed to a specific mortgage rate, the lender and various conditions. The average mortgage term in Canada is five years, but you can also choose different lengths of time in many cases. When you think about a mortgage term, consider it like a “reset” button of sorts for your mortgage. When the term is up, you get to renew the mortgage on the amount that’s left. When you sign on for a new term, it’s generally at the current mortgage rate, so that may be good…

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What Do Your Condo Fees Pay For?

Posted onJune 27/2014By

One element of condo living that many people are not overly excited about are condo fees. Even if the concept and the layout are everything you’ve ever wanted, paying fees on top of your down payment and mortgage seems like a lot to many condo owners. What Are They? Condo fees refer to regular payments every condo owner has to make to their condo corporation, or strata board. These fees are also called strata fees and they are mandatory and non-negotiable. What Do They Pay For? The amount of your condo fees and what they ultimately pay for will vary depending on the building, but there is a list of things that are common. These include: Partial utilities for your unit. Common area maintenance, including lobby, exercise room, garbage and snow removal services and repairs. Reserve fund for the building. Condo Fee Amount As mentioned above, the amount of your…

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What is a “Walk Score” in Real Estate?

Posted onJune 23/2014By

When determining the overall appeal of a particular home or area, you may hear or see the term ‘walk score’ used. Sometimes the agents will talk about it and sometimes it’s featured along the with the ad or listing. What the Term Means Basically, the walk score is a measurement of how easily the residents of the neighbourhood are able to accomplish common, daily errands on foot. Some refer to it as the “walkability” of a certain area or address. Naturally, some cities and areas have much better walk scores than others. Some of the factors that go into determining a walk score include: Walking access to parks and other recreation spots. Walking access to malls or city centers that have shopping, restaurants and entertainment. Regular public transportation. Schools and workplaces within walking distance. Sufficient population to sustain all the businesses. Paved streets and walkways and affordable housing. Deciphering the…

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What is New Home Warranty Insurance?

Posted onJune 17/2014By

Home insurance is just part of the standard operating procedure when it comes to purchasing a house in modern society. Without proper coverage, you’re just tempting fate every single day and eventually something will happen. However, if your new home happens to be a condo the rules may be a little different. The condo corporation also has insurance, but that doesn’t mean it’s ok for you to go without. Don’t Make Assumptions In fact, one of the worst things you can do is to assume that your condo corporation’s insurance will provide you with all the coverage you need. There’s nothing worse than something happening and finding out later that you needed additional coverage for whatever it is. That’s why you should know about the different types. Standard Unit Insurance Standard unit insurance refers to a portion of your condo’s maintenance fees that are allocated to specific areas of the…

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Is It a Good Idea to Buy a New Home in the Summer?

Posted onJune 13/2014By

Since this elusive summer finally seems to be here, now is as good a time as any to discuss some of the pros and cons of buying a home over the next few months. Spring and summer are traditionally the most popular time of year to buy a new home, but are they the ‘best’ time of year to buy? That really depends on which elements are most important to you. Summer Home Buying Pros Naturally, summer looks and feels like a great time to get out there and buy a new home, and there are several pros to reflect that feeling. Curb Appeal – The gardens are in full bloom, leaves are on the trees and the grass is nice and green. You’ll definitely see you’re potential new home at its best in the summer months. School Schedules – If you have children that are in school, buying in…

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