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2019: The Year of the First Time Home Buyer

Wednesday Jan 30th, 2019

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This morning was the 2018 awards ceremony for outstanding achievement in 2018 and The Baker Group is very proud to have been awarded the emerald award and while this blog post is definitely about shameless self-promotion, it is decidedly not about that beautiful plaque.   During the ceremony, Royal LePage President, Phil Soper said something really important we had to share with you all.   He said we’re anticipating something really exciting in 2019 because of some... [read more]

The Art of Packing

Friday Dec 07th, 2018

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The Art of Packing There is something uplifting about moving: a new home is a new beginning and packing becomes a purifying ritual, a time to decide what you will take and what you will leave. Packing for a move is the packrat's only true redemption. When else are they likely to discard, recycle or donate the mountains of clothes, unread magazines, and knickknacks? Packrat or not it can seem like a daunting task. Take a deep breath and mediate on this phrase: packing can be pleasant. All... [read more]

MOVING CHECK LIST - MOVING WEEK & DAY!

Friday Dec 07th, 2018

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The week has come! It’s time to make sure you organize your belongings, finish packing, and clean your old home. Make sure everything’s squared away early. It’ll allow for a stress-free moving day – and who wouldn’t want that? The week you move:   1. Make sure you canceled and/or redirected scheduled deliveries.   2. Clean your current home for the next resident. Your agreement states the condition the home should be left... [read more]

MOVING CHECK LIST - 2 WEEKS BEFORE THE MOVE

Friday Dec 07th, 2018

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The big day is almost here – deep breaths, you got this! You’re two weeks away from moving and it’s time to update your accounts and records for your new place and address. You also want to take these two weeks before your move to plan ahead packing, meals, medication, pets, and children. Moving day is a BUSY one. Make sure to have everything on your moving list checked off for this two-week point. Trust us, you’ll be glad you did! 2 weeks before you... [read more]

MOVING CHECK LIST - 4 WEEKS BEFORE THE MOVE

Friday Dec 07th, 2018

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Now’s the time to start gathering important documents that you’ll need to bring with you to your new place. You should also start doing things like selling and donating items. It will be a lot easier to complete items on your moving checklist when you’re not bogged down in possession that you neither want nor need. 4 weeks before you move: 1. Purchase moving insurance to cover all your belongings during the move. If you have to store your belongings for any period of... [read more]

MOVING CHECK LIST - 6 WEEKS BEFORE THE MOVE

Friday Dec 07th, 2018

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When you’re six weeks out from a move, it’s important to make sure you’re getting all your ducks in a row. Don’t worry, six weeks is plenty of time to get it all done. 6 weeks before you move: 1. Collect free boxes from restaurants liquor, grocery, and office supply stores. You can also pay a visit to your local bookstore. They have more boxes than they know what to do with and will be more than happy to hand them over for free. 2. Pack a little... [read more]

MOVING CHECK LIST - 8 WEEKS BEFORE THE MOVE

Friday Dec 07th, 2018

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Let’s face it, moving is stressful. But being organized and knowing what needs to be done will lessen that stress. This moving checklist can help you stay on track! With some guidance and this 8-week guide to your upcoming move, you’ll be sure to have everything done between now and the big day, leaving you plenty of time to celebrate.   8 weeks before you move:   It’s important to start your planning early – there are lots to do to prepare, lots of... [read more]

Don't Start Shopping Until You Do This

Tuesday Dec 04th, 2018

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Before booking a showing, before even starting your search for the perfect property, there is one absolutely critical thing you need to do first: Get your pre-approval. Homes sell quickly. Having your finances in order before shopping puts you in a stronger position than the competition and greatly reduces the stress involved in making the deal happen. Your mortgage pre-approval will tell you what you can afford and influence what you shop for. It will also ensure you're ready to take... [read more]

The Importance of Accurate Pricing

Tuesday Dec 04th, 2018

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In a previous post, we talked about how to figure out what your home is worth. This post is not about that. This post is about what to do with that information once you have it. For some it is obvious what to do: pick an asking price according to what my home is worth. If you count yourself among that cohort, read no further. If however, you'd be inclined to ask for more than market price for the off chacnce that someone might pay it, read on dear friend, this is for you.   For... [read more]

Home Prices set to continue growing into Q3

Monday Jul 16th, 2018

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According to the Royal LePage House Price Survey and Market Survey Forecast released today, home price appreciation slowed across Canada in the second quarter of 2018, marked primarily by softness in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), where many regions have witnessed year-over-year price declines. In contrast, a number of surrounding cities in Ontario’s Golden Horseshoe and beyond are now seeing significant year-over-year home price gains as a result of migration from the GTA as buyers... [read more]

Market Review: Mid-2018

Monday Jul 16th, 2018

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Given the unusual market trends in the last couple years, it comes as no surprise that the Real Estate market across Canada has been something of a spectacle in the media both domestically and abroad. The housing market affects everyone and people are rightly interested in what led to the pace of price increases, but more importantly, what the future holds. Will there be a catastrophic crash as promised by some zealous columnists? Will prices hold steady with stagnant growth? Or will prices... [read more]

Sell your home for more money with these upgrades

Thursday Jun 28th, 2018

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ModernKitchen

Prospective sellers likely to spend less than 2.5% of a home’s value on home improvement   According to a cross-Canada survey of over 750 Royal LePage real estate experts, a kitchen renovation is the clear upgrade of choice with the potential to boost a property’s value by more than 12.5 per cent. Both ranking second, a finished basement or a new bathroom has the potential to increase a property’s value between 2.5 per cent and 12.5 per cent, depending on... [read more]

5 Tips to Save for a Down Payment

Thursday Jun 14th, 2018

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piggy_bank

When speaking with potential first time home buyers, the biggest hurdle they tend to face is coming up with the down payment. That's why we reached out to Frank Gasper of CSR Wealth Management for some easy, actionable ways to save up. Here are Frank's top 5 tips: These are five simple things to think about. A little planning goes a long way when it comes to saving money. I have rarely seen someone fail when they plan. Failure to plan is a surefire way to a lack of success.... [read more]

Submitting An Offer On A Property

Friday Jun 01st, 2018

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So you've done your shopping and have found a property that fits your needs. You're ready to make an offer. What do you have to consider before you put pen to paper in order to ensure you cover all the bases? Price The most obvious variable in any offer to purchase a property is the price. Rather than getting caught up on the asking price, consider what the property is worth to you both as an investment and as a place to live. Talk with your realtor about market conditions; is it... [read more]

Closing Costs and Ongoing Expenses

Friday Jun 01st, 2018

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When working out your budget, consider breaking down your expenses into what you will spend monthly. ALso consider the one-time and ongoing costs associated with the transaction. Closing costs can be anywhere from 1.5-4% of the property value.   One-Time Costs Closing Costs (1.5-4%) Down Payment (5-20%) Deposit (5-10%) Land transfer tax  Movers Furniture Home Inspection Ongoing Costs Insurance Property Tax Condo... [read more]

3 Things you need to know about Mortgage Pre-Approvals

Friday Mar 30th, 2018

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Before you start shopping for homes, get a mortgage pre-approval. This is important for so many reasons but chiefly because it defines your budget. Shopping before having a budget is a good way to wind up disappointed when the homes you can actually afford don't match up to the homes you first looked at. Here are the three main things you need to know about the mortgage pre-approval process:   1. You'll learn your pre-approval amount It goes without saying that the primary... [read more]

The 6 Professionals you need when you move

Thursday Mar 29th, 2018

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Buying or selling a home is usually the single largest financial transaction of a person's lifetime. Working with qualified professionals protects your investment and gives you the peace of mind that the process is being handled correctly. Do yourself a favor and start looking for these professionals early in the process to save some headaches. 1. Realtor Okay, we're completely biased on this one. With that said, the facts are in and they make it plain that working with a Realtor... [read more]

3 Simple tips to maximize your home buying power

Thursday Mar 29th, 2018

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Before you get a mortgage pre-approval or start shopping for homes, it is crucial to put yourself in the best possible financial situation. Working on these simple strategies as much as a year in advance of your purchase can mean you are able to make a larger down payment, afford a more expensive home, and qualify for a better mortgage rate.   1. Don't apply for new credit Instead of a night out, consider putting money towards your auto loan. Pay down your student debt, and... [read more]

8 Questions to ask before you buy your first home

Thursday Mar 29th, 2018

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Owning a home is one of the best investments you can make but it's important to be ready for the responsibilities that come with it. Before you start down this exciting path, take the time to ask yourself some important questions: How much debt are you carrying? Do you have outstanding balances on credit cards? What is your monthly car payment? How good is your credit? These questions will determine not only the type of house you can afford to buy, but also the cost... [read more]

What’s the deal with 2018’s new Mortgage rules?

Wednesday Jan 17th, 2018

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There has been a lot of chatter lately about what the new mortgage rules mean. Let’s set the record straight. What is a stress test? The mortgage stress test was put into force by the federal body that regulates chartered banks, OSFI. The rule requires financial institutions to vet your mortgage application by using a minimum qualifying rate equal to the greater of the Bank of Canada’s five-year benchmark rate (currently 5.14 percent) or the contractual rate (the interest... [read more]

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