Pros and Cons of Condo Living


 What are the pros and cons of condo living?  Thats what I am going to talk about right now.  


Pro #1, Amenities:  Imagine living like you travel.  New Condos, have outdoor spaces to walk your dog, swimming pool, sauna, gym and party room.  Plus most new condos are build by rapid transit, shopping and recreation centres.  


Pro #2, Low Maintenance:  If you are not a handyman, and the thought of picking up a hammer or using power tools is something you dread, condo living maybe your thing. Just think about the last time your tried to assemble something bought from Ikea.  Oh goodness you know what I am talking about. The strata will maintain everything on the exterior of the building including the landscaping all you need to do is to maintain whats inside your unit and pay your strata fees.  


Pro #3 Affordability - Condos are priced for much less than a house.  I am talking about average prices here.  The price gap between a condo and a single detached home in Vancouver is about $750,000.  For the price of a house you can buy two condos.   


Con #1 Strata Fees are out of your control - Strata fees are fixed by your strata council, and you have no control.  Each year the strata council will create a yearly budget and in that budget they will determine the amount strata fees you need to pay.  


Con #2 Really Bad Bylaws -  when you are living in a condo, you are living with a community of residents.  You will be living with all types of people.  Thats where the strata comes in and develops a set of bylaws.  You are truly at the mercy of the strata council.  Imagine living in a building and being forced to leave when you realize you a pregnant.  Bingo some buildings have age restrictions.   So if you plan in buying a condo make sure to read those bylaws.


Con #3 Noisy Neighbours - when you are living in a condo you literally are living beside, above or below someone.   If the walls are thin enough you may hear them singing karaoke at 11:00 at night.   I mean karaoke is ok, but please sing only if you are good at it.           



Question of the day, would you consider living in a condo?  Yes or No  Please leave it in the comments below. I will try my best to personally answer all comments myself.     


As always please like, share and subscribe and become smart savvy consumer.  I make educational videos every Tuesday and videos every Friday.  

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Just saw this article from CNBC saying that 1 and 3 Millennials are making a big mistake withdrawing there retirement accounts to fund real estate purchases.  I think that article is wrong.  Millennials are our future and super smart.  They where practically born with an iPad in there hands.

In this video I will show you the 5 reasons why you should consider using your RRSP as your downpayment to purchase your home now. 


#1. High Tax Rates In Canada -  With our current tax rate I would says its very difficult to even save $1000 per month.  I mean our tax brackets here in Canada are excessive, plus you are also taxed again GST and PST on everyday purchases.   Your RRSP have been growing yearly because its the only tax savings vehicle we have aside from your TFSA’s.  


#2 Rental Rates are constantly rising.  This year, what we consider as affordable in vancouver west is $3,700 per month for a 3 bedroom, $2,700 for a two-bedroom and $1,900 for a one bedroom.


#3 You can borrow up to 25k tax free and if you have a spouse who is also a first time buyer he or she can borrow an additional 25k making that 50k.  


#4 Investment growth in the housing market is greater versus the returns you would receive from an RRSP.  On typical RRSP investments you can be lucky to earn 5% per year but that is only on the RRSP amount.   Condos in vancouver or have double in price over the last 10 years so its a smarter to use the RRSP funds to get into the market now versus later. 


#5 Payback time -  You will have 15 years to repay your RRSP loan with the first year being an exemption.  For example if you borrowed 25 thousand dollars that would be divided by 15, making that $1666 per year or $138 per month.  If you are not able to make the payments you would need to add this as your yearly income.   



Question of the day, would you consider using your RRSP to purchase a home?  Yes or No  Please leave it in the comments below. I will try my best to personally answer all comments myself.     


As always please like, share and subscribe and become smart savvy consumer.  I make educational videos every Tuesday and videos every Friday.  This is Alex from Vancouver and Thank you so much for watching this video.

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Can’t find the home your are looking for in your price range?  You should start looking at over priced listings, and write lowball offers on that house coming up next.  (Me pointing to the camera)


If you have been house hunting for awhile, you may not be finding much available in your price range.  I know it sucks……Why not look for properties at a higher price range and write low priced offers?  In this video I will show you 5 things to be on the look out for so you can write that low ball offer.    


#1 Look for Over priced properties - these are properties you know should be worth much much less but the seller has dreams of selling it for over market price.  If you are searching for condos look at increments of over fifty to hundred thousand.  If you are looking for a detached home look for homes that are over your price range by $100,000 to $200,000.  


#2 Look for Stale Properties that have been listed for over 90 days - When properties are listed this long the sellers start to doubt themselves.  At this time they maybe more vulnerable and look at low ball offers.  Its best to keep tabs on these type of homes, because you want to write an offer on them before they do a price adjustment.  In most cases you may get the home for much less than the sellers price reduction.


#3 Look at the realtor comments in the description -  a realtor usually has a sense of what the market is doing, but if the realtor is unconfident on the pricing of the home, they may reveal this in the realtor or public comments.  Be on the the look out for comments such as will look at all offers, and motivated seller.


#4 Look for Vacant homes - these are homes that you can tell nobody lives in.  There is no furniture, no food in the cubboards, and maybe nobody maintaining that lawn outside.  The sellers most likely already purchased another property, or this is just an investment property.  They may look at your low offers.  As these sellers may need the cash from the sale to fund other investments.  


#5 Look for Tenant Occupied homes - Sometime selling tenant occupied properties can be a nightmare.  The tenants usually restrict the amount of viewings and this also hurts the realtors marketing.  Look for these types of properties for writing offers as the sellers may begin to get desperate with the low viewing activity.   


Question of the day, What other strategies have you ?  If not why? Please leave it in the comments below. I will try my best to personally answer all comments myself.     


If you want to view other helpful videos why not consider subscribing to my youtube channel here


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As you may know purchasing real estate is already really expensive and closing costs can add thousands of dollars to your purchase price.  Closing costs should really be considered first before planning your real estate search.  In this video I will show you the 12 closing costs you should expect and the estimated costs of each.  

(Smile)


#1 the Appraisal fees - Before your lender approves your mortgage, you may be required to have the property appraised. Sometimes your lender will cover this cost. If not, you're responsible. The fee ranges from $300 to $450 plus GST.


#2 the Land survey fees - Lenders may require a survey of the property.  This is usually when you purchase a detached home.  The fee ranges and is typically $500 plus GST.


#3 Home inspection fees- A home inspection is a report on the condition of the home and includes structural and moisture problems, as well as electrical, plumbing, roofing and insulation. The fees range and is typically $500-$900 depending on the size of the home and the complexity of the inspection. Some inspectors also charge an additional fee for an older home or a home with a secondary suite, a crawlspace, or a laneway home.  Check out the cards here on how to find a good home inspector.


#4 GST,  Expect to pay 5% GST on all brand new homes with a purchase price of over $450,000.   


#5 Property Transfer Tax - which is calculated at 1% of the first 200k and 2% on the balance up to 2million, and 3% on the amount over 2 million.


Qualifying first-time home buyers may be exempt from paying the PTT if the purchase price of their home is priced up to $475,000. There is a proportional exemption for homes priced between $475,000 and $500,000. At $500,000 and above the rebate is Zero


Qualifying buyers of new homes may be exempt if the purchase price of their home is priced up to $750,000. There is a proportional exemption for homes priced between $750,000 and $800,000. At $800,000 and above there's no rebate. 


#6 Foreign Buyers Tax - This is an extra 20% applied onto your purchase price of your home if you are not a citizen of BC or a Permanent resident.  


#7 Mortgage insurance

The federal government requires high-ratio mortgages with less than 20% down payment to be insured against default. The cost ranges between 0.60 to 4.5 %of the mortgage amount which is added to the mortgage principal.  As of February 15, 2016, the federal government requires a 10 per cent down payment requirement on homes valued at $500,000 - $1 million, that need mortgage insurance. Homes valued at $1 million+ require a minimum down payment of 20 per cent. Mortgage insurance is not available for homes in this price range


#8 Mortgage life insurance

If the owner dies, this type of insurance will pay off the balance owing on their mortgage.  You can purchase mortgage insurance from your lender or term life insurance.  


#9 Home insurance

Most lenders require property buyers to carry fire and extended coverage insurance and liability insurance.  I would recommend that your insurance also cover water damage. As one small water leak can cause up more than $50,000 worth in damages.  


#10 Moving fees

Moving fees vary depending on the distance moved and whether professional movers do all of the packing. Rates vary.


#11 Adjustments 

Depending on the Contract of Purchase and Sale, a property buyer will likely be required to reimburse the seller for any prepaid property taxes. The lender may require the buyer to add property tax instalments to monthly mortgage payments. Utility bills, A buyer is typically required to reimburse the seller for any prepayments for municipal sewer and water fees.


Rent and security deposits - If you are purchasing a tenant occupied property and the tenancy continues, the buyer receives the security deposit from the seller with accrued interest because the buyer is responsible for reimbursement when the tenant leaves.


#12 - The Lawyer or notary fee, this fee is necessary as they are the ones that process the paperwork at the land title office and transfer your money to the sellers lawyer.  Expect to pay about $1000 for their services. 


So thats it, the 12 closing costs here in Vancouver, if you are interested in viewing my buyers video please click the playlist in the description below or on top in the cards.     


If you liked this post you can subscribe to my youtube channel here

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Did you just miss out on your dream home? Let me show you how to use back up offers to your advantage, coming up next. As you may know purchasing real estate can be very competitive. When you finally find a property that you are interested in, their is a good chance that other buyers are interested in the same property. But as soon as you decide you want to purchase the property another buyer may have already tied it up. Hey, I understand!!!!! Its a bad feeling. As a realtor in this situation I would suggest writing a back up offer. In this video I will show you why you should write a back up offer and how it may save you money. New Videos: Real Estate Tips Every Tuesday, and Market Report Fridays. Subscribe: https://bit.ly/2yqdfVf
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Want to purchase an assignment of contract?

 

 

 

 

Let me show you how

 

As you may know purchasing a brand new condo from the developer as a pre-sale is really difficult. You may line up for hours if not days outside a presentation centre and still miss out on an opportunity to purchase. Hey, I understand!!!!! Its frustrating, alot of these units are sold to “VIP buyers” or “insiders”. Another method to buy into these new condo developments is thru Assignment of Contract.
The first place to look for an assignment of contract is thru www.realtor.ca. On realtor.ca all properties marketed are managed by the agent for the seller. Realtors have a duty to go thru all the paperwork to confirm the property details before uploading it to realtor.ca. In my opinion Realtor.ca is one of my go to trusted sources.

 

A second source to find assignment of contracts can be from kijiji or craiglists. On these platforms you can easily be scammed as these photos can easily be copied from the developers website. If a realtor had posted the ad it should be more reliable.

 

A third source to find is thru your local realtor, which may have a personal database of assignment of contracts available to purchase. Why do they have this personal database? Because some developers do not allow assignments to be marketed on the MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE system. So realtors, including the brokerages they work for form exclusive assignment groups to market properties between agents.

 

Now that we know where to find these assignments, what do you need to look out for as a buyer?

 

I would read all the developers disclosure statements, floor plans, and site plans to verify all the details of the project and the unit.

 

The second thing I would look out for is the residency of the seller. Why is this important?? If the seller is a foreigner you could be on the hook for unpaid taxes if you structured you deal incorrectly.


The third thing to consider is where will the assignment moneys be held and when it needs to be paid. Some contracts have it paid directly to the seller, while the safer bet would be to have the deposits paid in a real estate companies trust account or brokerage and monies to be released upon registration at land title office when the project completes.


The forth thing to do is go to the construction site. Is there people working? Is the construction progressing on time. There have been cases recently that the developer has halted construction and cancelled the project entirely. Why do they do that? They do it when it becomes more profitable to flip the land versus completing the project. The last thing I would be aware is the price the assignment is offered at. Is the price desirable and how does it compare to properties that are currently for sale?

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Home inspection tips for buyer 

 

Buying real estate? You may need a home inspection  

 

Buying a home can be super stressful, and buying a home with problems can be a nightmare.  This video will show you 5 great things you need to know about home inspections.

 

Spring and Summer time is usually the most busiest time for home inspectors as this is the time most buyers are purchasing real estate. Once you have an accepted offer, I would recommend finding a home inspector immediately 

 

You can start your search online by going to a website www.hiabc.ca which is the home inspectors association of BC. 

Then you can cross reference then on the Better Business Bureau Website and look for an A+ Grade, you can read their reviews there or you can even go to google to find home inspectors with good reviews. 

 

When you have found your home inspector, checked that they are certified and have a A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau website you should ask one more question.  Find out what is included in your home inspection contract.  Is there an extra cost to inspect the garage, the appliances, and mold.  You can find a complete list of whats included in a typical inspection and whats not included 

 

https://hiabc.ca/files/HIABC%20Scope%20of%20Inspection(1).pdf

 

 

If after viewing this scope of inspection list and you feel you don’t want an home inspection that is totally ok as Home inspections are always optional.

 

At the end of every home inspection, your inspector should be giving you a detailed home inspection report for you to go over.  This should include photos of the areas that need to be repaired. 

 

Here is a bonus tip, if the amount of deficiencies is more than $500 I would recommend negotiating a discount off the purchase price or ask the seller to complete the repairs before you move in.  

 

Did you hire a home inspector lately?  What did they find? Please leave it in the comments below.    

 

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Buying a condo is a lot different than buying other residential properties. Do you want to buy a condo, but you’re not sure where to start? If that’s the case, there are 20 questions you should ask before you move forward with your purchase. For example, how many condos in the building are for sale? A high number may indicate some problems with the condo. To learn more, watch this short video.
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If you’re a first-time homebuyer or haven’t purchased a home in awhile, today’s topic is for you. I have 10 tips you can use to make your next home purchase smoother and more efficient. The first tip I have is to check your credit. A good credit score is essential to buying a home, since it proves you’ve got a good track record for paying off past debts such as credit card bills and student loans, and help you qualify for lower interest rates. For the full list of tips, watch my latest video.
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Avoid These 8 First-Time Homebuyer Mistakes Buying a home for the first time can be exciting and overwhelming. I’ve seen buyers make many mistakes over the years that cost them their dream homes. I want to share eight of the most common first-time buyer mistakes with you today. I’ll also share how to avoid these mistakes. To learn more, watch this short video.

 

 

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