Who Pays for a Home Appraisal?

Posted onJanuary 30/2015By

The short answer is borrower. Usually twice. The long answer gives you a little more insight as to why. A home appraisal is a necessary part of buying a home. Appraisals are professional estimates of a home’s value that take into account its layout, condition, size, appearance, and location. When you seek a mortgage, the lender will order an appraisal of the home at your expense. However, this appraisal is designed to protect both the lender and the borrower from putting money into a bad property. Obviously, the lender does not want to be stuck with a foreclosed house once the borrower realizes it is not worth as much as the mortgage. Yet the borrower also does not want to be stuck with a low-value house. The lender-ordered appraisal is a crucial protection for both parties. After receiving the results of the appraisal, the lender can discuss with you whether…

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What Options do Brokers Offer that Banks Don’t?

Posted onJanuary 27/2015By

Brokers versus Lenders A broker’s job is not just to provide a mortgage; it is to find the best possible mortgage for a client’s situation among multiple lenders. A good broker will shop around between many different banks and credit unions to find the best mortgage product for the client. This is a fundamentally different service from banks or other lenders. While a broker’s purpose is to find the best mortgage for a client, a bank’s purpose is to sell the client on the bank’s products. Advantages of Going through a Broker Mortgages are complicated affairs with many hidden costs. Many first-time home buyers choose mortgages strictly based on rates. However, they end up getting fleeced by fees, pay restrictions, and refinance policies. This is especially true for people with variable income or bad credit, who need more flexible mortgage options. A broker can help find a mortgage product specifically…

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Ontario Government Programs for First Time Home Buyers

Posted onJanuary 23/2015By

Buying a new home is by no means cheap, and moving into a location like the GTA makes that statement all the more true. But the Ontario government wants people to move here, invest in real estate, and contribute to the economy. To accomplish this, the government has provided many government programs to help first-time home buyers. These include: 1. HST New Housing Rebate The federal government provides an HST rebate of up to 36% to buyers who purchase either a newly built, or greatly renovated, home. The rebate is intended to encourage people to build upon and improve their properties. The provincial government provides an even more generous rebate, of up to 75% off the provincial part of the HST. 2. Mortgage Loan Insurance Rebate for Energy-Efficient Homes To keep demands on the power grid to a minimum, the CMHC provides a rebate of up to 10% of mortgage…

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How to Win a Bidding War

Posted onJanuary 20/2015By

Conventional wisdom holds that buyers should never enter a bidding war. This wisdom is becoming less and less useful in the real world as competition for real estate increases. Many sellers in fast-growing urban areas like Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, and especially the GTA are deliberately under-pricing their property in order to suck multiple buyers into a bidding war. As a result, 16% of all Canadians have engaged in a bidding war at least once in their lives. The truth is that if you want to buy property in Canada’s hottest cities, you may need to fight for it, and you want to fight to win. You also want to define “win” correctly. Looking at winning solely in terms of who gets the house is a sure-fire way to get fleeced. Instead, think of winning as buying the house for what it is actually worth. To do this, follow these steps:…

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How to Invest in Real Estate

Posted onJanuary 16/2015By

Real estate is an attractive investment, and it’s getting more attractive all the time. Land is a finite resource, but Canada’s population is increasing. The basic laws of supply and demand mean that land, in general, will become more valuable in the future. Real estate investment has also kicked into high gear recently as low mortgage rates inspire many to buy additional investment properties. Although attractive, real estate investment is complicated. Here are several different approaches to entering the world of real estate investment: 1. House Flipping Many people first become involved in the real estate market through house-flipping. This is when you buy a house when the market is low, renovating it, and selling it when the market is high again. An advantage of this approach is the ability to live in a house while waiting for its value to mature. This option carries one major risk: the cost of…

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