Series Finale of Krisztina’s Real Estate 411

THE VIEW FROM OAK PARK

The Official Krisztina Blogsite

And so we have it – Episode #6: The Closing, is the final episode in the series, Krisztina’s Real Estate 411 – Real Estate Tips for Real People. Based on the feedback I have been receiving, you have found the series informative, useful and fun. This final episode touches on the Mortgage and the Legals involved when closing on a home property.

Pre-qualifying for a mortgage is a crucial step before looking for a home. You need to know what you can afford. As repeated by Paul Meredith (Mortgage Services, CityCan Financial Corporation), “Pre-approval gives you a price range for home shopping.” It’s also important to go to the experts – check with a Mortgage Broker. As a Real Estate Agent, I deal with Mortgage Brokers (both independent and connected to Banks) on a regular basis, and I can direct you to the right Broker. As Joey Besana (a client), says: “When we needed help with the bank, Krisztina pointed us in the right direction…This person was much better for us than when we had gone to the bank on our own.” Your own bank may not give you the best mortgage rate. Tamara Vanmeggelen works in the Financial Industry and has found there is a misconception among people that they need to deal with the FI (Financial Institution) where they have traditionally had all their banking business. NOT TRUE!! She recommends to people (especially in this environment) to shop around for their mortgage and they may be surprised that the FI where they have no history may just be the FI of choice.

Mortgage Brokers will determine your mortgage range based on your income and credit. They can often find you lower mortgage rates because they don’t deal in savings and chequing accounts, RSPs or branches scattered across the country. They can tap into multiple lending sources and multiple mortgage products and will only do ONE credit check. I have, however, had great success dealing with banks, who are becoming more and more competitive in the mortgage arena. In this episode, we also discuss open and closed mortgages, refinancing, locking in, penalties and prepayment restrictions.

As I close this series, I would like to thank all the interview participants for giving so freely of their time. Thanks to Lindsay Atkinson, Eric Besana, Joey Besana, Steve Botelho, Tom Chaffee, Adrian Guertin, Terry Kuivinen, Shannon Meister, Paul Meredith, Sylvia Perdue, Rafal Tarasiewicz and Tamara Vanmeggelen. Please visit my Youtube Channel: NorthOakvilleAgent to view all 6 episodes.

Krisztina’s 411 Back With New Episodes!!

THE VIEW FROM OAK PARK

The Official Krisztina Blogsite

A New Year and a new episode of Krisztina’s Real Estate 411 (Real Estate Tips for Real People).. Now let me catch you up…in Episodes #1 and #2 we covered Choosing a Real Estate Agent, discussing the qualities you should look for as well as other considerations such as Area Specialists, Commissions and Brokerages. In Episode #3, experts are interviewed about Staging and Home Improvements for Resale which I called Preparing to List. Episode #4 covered the Marketing Plan, The Open House, the Virtual Tour as well as Internet and Print Advertising. Which brings us up to date. Now I am pleased to bring you Episode #5: The Purchase (How to select homes to view, the Offer and the Home Inspection). Sadly there will only be one more Episode in my Real Estate 411 series which will concentrate on The Closing (the mortgage and the legals), so I hope you enjoy!!

As I mentioned, this episode concentrates on the 3 Key Steps to finding your dream home:

1) Selecting homes to view

2) The Offer

3) The Home Inspection

Before I go house hunting with any Client, I ask them to prepare 3 Lists: A ‘Would Like to Have’ List, A ‘Must-Have’ List and a ‘Dream’ List. Then we narrow the search by discussing areas, home styles and pricing. It is important for me to really listen to my Clients so that I may get to know and understand their home-buying needs. Once I have my Clients out looking at homes, I ask them to make notes and will typically limit a viewing day to 4-5 homes. It is essential that I have already narrowed the search and that they recall the details of each home they have seen.

When we move onto the next step, The Offer, I ensure that my Clients are educated in the housing market and understand current market trends. That means looking at recently sold homes in the area as well as considering upgrades and the location.

If an offer gets drawn up, I encourage my clients to put in 2 clauses: 1) A Home Inspection and 2) Financing (if it is required). In my mind, the Home Inspection is the best $3-500 you’ll spend for your safety and assurance. It is crucial to find out any deficiencies in your new home and to make sure it meets safety measures.. Adrian Guertin (APG Home Inspections) refers to this as the last step in the home buying process, but perhaps the most important. This is the only time you can really examine the house from the foundation up to the attic and insulation. You can look at all the major components from the HVac to Electrical to Plumbing and Small Hazards. I agree wholeheartedly with Adrian when he says a Home Inspection will eliminate any ugly surprises. Some dealbreakers Adrian has encountered: major electrical issues, foundation problems, previous flooding and asbestos. Personally, I have had a Client walk away from a deal when the Home Inspection revealed mold issues.

For smaller problems, you can approach Home Inspection issues with an amendment to the Offer by having the old homeowner fix certain things like roofing, windows or leaky basements. But be prepared for minor issues – you WILL have them. As a rule of thumb, I have been advised that if you have to spend 1% of the home’s value on minor home improvements, it’s a GOOD home. Less than 1%, then the home is in EXCEPTIONAL shape. If it is more than 1%, you should RENEGOTIATE THE PRICE OR TERMS.

I’ll finish here with another quote from Adrian: “A Home Inspection may be the least expensive part of the process, but it might be the most important!”

I encourage all of you to check out previous episodes on my YouTube channel, ‘NorthOakvilleAgent’ and I look forward to bringing you the final episode of Krisztina’s Real Estate 411 in 2 weeks.

Happy To Be Back!

THE VIEW FROM OAK PARK

The Official Krisztina Blogsite

Fröhliches Weihnachten and Glückliches Neujahr!!! We have returned from our Christmas vacation in Germany, touring through Frankfurt, Nuremburg, Bamburg and Rothenburg (and hitting every Christmas market, bazaar and shop along the way!) My mission was threefold:

1) Cool elephants for my friend’s collection

2) Christmas decorations for all

3) To survive my family through the holidays!

My husband’s mission was simpler (at least on some levels) – to sample 100 different German beers in 14 days. Check out his Blog at http://blabbersaurus.wordpress.com/.

MISSION STATUS: SUCCESSFUL ON ALL COUNTS!!

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, so in lieu of actually telling you about my Christmas in Germany, I thought I would simply show you…