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Amit Kalia’s-Mississauga homes and condos blog

October 30th, 2013

Amit Kalia-Local experience for the best in Mississauga real estate

Amit Kalia, Mississauga homes and condos blog-condopundit.com

Hello and a warm welcome to my condopundit.com Mississauga homes and condos blog.

So, you wish to buy, sell or rent a Mississauga property?

I am a local real estate broker with RE/MAX Legacy Realty Inc. Brokerage, a REALTOR® and a real estate investor. I have been actively involved in Mississauga's condominium hub since 2003 which gives me a sound grasp on the pulse of the real estate market. For a first time buyer, newcomer or investor especially, I offer unique skills and insights that save you time, money and effort from start to finish. 
 
I strive to offer you nothing short of the best terms – be it on minimum down payment, picking the right property suited to your budget or guiding you on golden opportunities to maximize your returns. My honest and sincere advice combined with the power of the world leaders in real estate – RE/MAX Legacy Realty, can help you save both time and money.
 
I have over 10 years of experience in selling Mississauga real estate that allows me to skillfully negotiate top dollars for your home or condo. From making an informed decision on buying, selling, investing or renting Mississauga condos, guide you on industry trends, first time buyer incentives or any other service related to real estate, my local experience gives you an edge at every step.
 
I am fully equipped to give you what larger real estate teams sometimes find tough -one on one personal touch, accountability and prompt response.

I am fluent in English, Urdu, Punjabi, Hindi and Sindhi, accounting for a diverse portfolio of satisfied clients.

Most importantly, as a qualified REALTOR®, you are assured of the highest level of service with strict adherence to provincial laws and the Code of Ethics.

If you are moving to Mississauga, I can help make your transition into becoming a Mississauga resident a smooth one.  

Call me at 905-339-5111 for a FREE consultation at our Re/Max Legacy branch located conveniently in Downtown Mississauga, close to the Square One Mall.

See how I can transform your life!
 
Amit Kalia
 
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Category: Investing, Mortgage, News & Events, Realty Talk, Renting, SQ One Condos


Who should buy a Mississauga home instead of renting?

April 15th, 2014

There is a common myth that it is cheaper to rent a Mississauga home than buy one.

Sometimes renters wait for prices to fall before investing. Well, it is time to take a closer look at the numbers and judge for yourself.

I would say that the overall market is stable and the future looks good. The GTA condo apartment market looks very stable as per, 1st Quarter 2014 GTA condo apartment market report.

When you look at the long-term savings, there is more to gain when you buy. But not many see it that way, even if they are earning well.

Buying a Mississauga home makes sense than renting for young professionals in Mississauga

Just last week a young renter, a financial planner by profession, approached me on securing his first job in Mississauga Square One area. He earns well, has excellent credit score and is single. His income can qualify him for a $250K home. Looking at his credentials, I suggested that he buy a home instead of renting. He declined saying that he preferred to buy a Mississauga home only after he had saved up enough over the next five years. His planning did not impress me. Coming from the finance field, I felt he should know better. His job was to help people build their savings. When it came to his finances, he did not seem to follow what he preached.  At the same time I respect his views, every person has a right to make his/her own opinion.

I strongly believe that charity begins at home. So this is how I can gently explain. This person had the ability to make a 5%down payment right then. This amounts to about $12,250 for a $245,000 condo (I can help you buy some fantastic condos in Mississauga that are newly built), that he was planning to rent in Square One for $1,350 per month. If he were to buy a home, he would have ended up paying $1,556 per month (based on 2.5% variable interest per year, 25 year amortization, bi-weekly payments, $300 condo fee per month and $180 per month in property taxes).

Let us assume this Mississauga property appreciates by 15% in the next 5 years. This means that the property could easily be worth about $281,700 then. On selling five years later, taking into account the 5% in real estate fees and other costs, he would be left with $70,333 ($281,700, less $14,085 less $197,329 (balance of mortgage).

This equity build-up of some $70,000 in just five years is not easy for many earning between $50,000 to $60,000 gross yearly income in the real world. After 5 years, this person could simply put down this equity for a freehold Mississauga home. The $70,000 equity, plus his other savings could help him buy his dream home sooner than he imagined.

The point I am trying to make here is that renting makes little sense when you have good credit and a decent, stable job.

Many tenants plan to save more before venturing into buying. Sure, it makes sense to pay more down payment when it comes to buying, as a smaller mortgage loan translates into lower monthly payments. But it might not make sense if property prices keep moving up faster than one can save. It is also very hard for most people to keep finances on track.

Sometimes other expenditures such as family holidays, shopping expenses or other luxuries eat into savings for a Mississauga home and buying takes a back seat. This is the reason why some people stay tenants forever.

Look at the numbers and take an informed decision! At the end of the day, this is your money! Isn’t it wiser to make it grow?

Call me at 905-339-5111, if you plan to buy a home and wish to stop throwing away your savings on rent. 

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Category: Renting, SQ One Condos


Renting becomes easier for new immigrants in Mississauga

April 10th, 2014

Renting in Mississauga

Mississauga is a new immigrants' dream city, attracting many first time buyers and renters. If you are a new immigrant to Canada, you will be surprised to see how easy it is to buy a home in Mississauga than rent.

I work with many investors (landlords) and tenants at Square One.

When it comes to property investment, I’ve seen how surprised new immigrants are at our Canadian banking system that makes it so easy for those with no credit history or job to buy a home. How is that possible?

Most Canadian banks allow newcomers to invest simply by putting in 35% or more in down payment if they have no credit history or a job in Canada. Banks provide a mortgage loan on the balanace amount (65%). There is no difference in the way new immigrants and local Canadians are treated on interest rates. Infact, newcomers can now buy a Mississauga property with only 5% down payment ( see qualification quidelines and other conditions).

However, new immigrant tenants do face a hard time when it comes to renting in Mississauga. Most landlords hesitate to rent out to newcomers with no job or credit history. Sometimes tenants are asked to refer a guarantor with a good job and credit history in Canada. If they are new to Canada and don’t have friends or relatives, that’s a hard challenge. Even if they find such a person, the guarantor may be uncomfortable sharing personal details such as credit history and finances to help another tenant lease a home.

In Ontario, the rules have however changed. Earlier the rental laws were tougher when it came to paying more rent in advance over the standard first and last month’s rent. Landlords were not allowed to receive more than the first and last month's rent from the time the tenant moved in.

Now a recent court decision has changed the rules of the rental game in Ontario

The court now allows tenants to pay an extra amount up front, provided the offer is from no one but the tenant alone. This could include a deposit to cover damages or clean up the unit by tenants with pets.

A recent case in the Ontario Superior Court brought up this matter of lease negotiations between landlords and tenants, serving many lessons.

An English lady in Mississauga agreed to rent a home from a landlord for a duration of one year from May 1st 2013 to April 30th 2014. She was visiting Canada on a visitor’s visa, hoping to extend her time through a work visa and was concerned about maintaining the monthly payments. She paid one year’s rent in advance to demonstrate her earnestness, along with a security deposit (to cover potential damages to the premises from her pet). The landlord had no reason to decline.

But under the Ontario Residential Tenancies Act as discussed above, the landlord cannot ask for more than the first and last month’s rent to allow a tenant to move in. The Act strictly states that anything in a lease that violates the Act void. After moving in, the tenant went to the court with an application to demand back the extra month’s rent and security deposit, claiming that the landlord played foul and demanded the extra amount from her. The Judge of the Superior Court of Ontario looked at the evidence (a text sent by the tenant’s real estate agent to the landlord’s agent that said tenant will pay 12 month’s rent up front.) and based on that, he decided that since the tenant offered the money up-front, it was legal. Since the security deposit was not offered by the tenant, the landlord was forced to pay up.

The case was appealed later and earlier this year, the Superior court’s judge also agreed with the previous Judge that a landlord could not demand beyond the first and last month’s rent from the tenant.  If the landlord accepted bulk rent in advance that is voluntarily offered by the tenant, then it is legal. The court also held that interest on the entire prepayment of rent had to be paid by the landlord, in accordance with the rate prescribed under the Act.

In this light, we can see how the court has relaxed the conditions and made rent prepayment easier for both tenants and landlords. Mississauga has a choice of housing for new immigrants now seeking to rent.

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Category: News & Events, Renting


Make your money grow this year. Invest in a Mississauga property

March 28th, 2014

Invest in Mississauga real estate

GTA homes in general and Mississauga properties in particular, have been steadily increasing in value over the years, helping your investment grow more than you know. I often get this concern from a lot of investors. I am told that the returns from real estate in Canada are very low. Properties are said to grow at only 5% on an average. So what’s the point of investing with such low returns? This is how I explain.

Most of us use a leverage of 20-25% as down payment to buy property. If you were to buy a $500,000 property with a down payment of $125,000 (25%), and over ten years this property is worth $750,000, the return on your down payment of $125,000 is 200% before taxes (250,000 divide by 120,000). This leverage helps in evaluating profit or loss. Can you imagine that?

Depending upon the down payment, your rent helps pay for other costs such as mortgage, taxes and maintenance. At times, you may not want to invest but simply seek a mortgage free home. Of course, nothing beats a mortgage free home.

But if you want your money to grow, a small dip into your home’s equity can leave you with enough room to invest in a safe and sound real estate market, close to your home.

In fact, I see a great future for our Canadian real estate market. Here are other ways to make the most out of real estate, with the least amount of hassle.

Take it easy. Allow me to manage your tenants

Very often, the thought of a landlord tenant relationship gives some the jitters. If you believe that managing tenants is not your forte, don’t worry. I truly understand your feelings. I hate mowing my lawn too, doing groceries, ironing clothes and spending time on household chores that come with our Canadian lifestyle. So what I do instead is have it all taken care of by someone else. This allows me time to indulge in what I love doing best, i.e. buy, sell, rent and manage properties. If managing tenants is an issue and you have no intention of turning into a landlord, allow me to help you out. I’m happy to take care of your tenant needs from start to finish so that you can make better use of your time.

Upgrade into a bigger home

If you have not completed three or more years in your new home, buying a new home usually makes little sense.

Buying and selling can cost up to 7% of your home’s price. You need to add home improvements which mean further expenses up to 3%-5% or more of your home’s price. So if you were to sell, your breakeven price should be at least 12% more than your initial home buying price. Only when the price has gone up by 12% or 4% per year, does it make better sense to sell.  You can almost always port your mortgage from one home to another home without paying penalties to your lending institution. 

Your satisfaction is my biggest reward

At every step, your growth makes my work worthwhile. I look forward to offering you my services, insights and inputs in the near future. Nothing makes me happier than seeing you benefit from my years of real estate experience. 

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Category: Investing, Mortgage, Renting, SQ One Condos


Mississauga SQ One Condo Market Update

March 24th, 2014

538 condominium apartments sold in Mississauga through the Toronto MLS system in the fourth quarter of 2013.

This result was up by 17 per cent in comparison to Q4 2012 when 460 condominium apartments changed hands.

Both new listings during the quarter and active listings at the end of the quarter remain almost same on a year-over-year basis.

This time last year many were predicting that the condo apartment market would experience a downturn, both in terms of sales and selling prices. While there was a temporary lull in sales and price growth in the first half of 2013, we saw an about face in the second half of the year, as buyers realized home ownership remained affordable. As the demand for condos rebounded, competition between buyers increased and the pace of price growth accelerated," said Toronto Real Estate Board President Dianne Usher.

The average selling price for Mississauga condominium apartments in the fourth quarter was $267,405– up 2.9 per cent compared to Q4 2012.

"If market conditions in 2014 remain similar to what we experienced in the last six months of 2013, we will continue to experience year-over-year average price growth for condominium apartments above the rate of inflation. However, there was an increase in condo completions last year. The degree to which investors list their newly completed units for sale and the degree to which these units are absorbed will play a large role in dictating the pace of price growth," said Jason Mercer, TREB's Senior Manager of Market Analysis.

Square One Condos Market

Two condominium projects from new builders at Downtown Mississa

uga are currently undergoing interim occupancy. These are Pinnacle’s Grand Park 1 condo and Amacon’s The Park Residences. If you are looking to buy a new builder condo in one of the above projects, let me know. I will be able to offer you assignment sale condos in Mississauga at above projects for lower prices than builder’s unsold inventory or new pre-construction prices.

Call me at 905-339-5111 or email me at akalia@remax.net

In the condo apartment report for 4th quarter of 2012, you will find it interesting to note that maximum buying activity took place between the price ranges of $200,000-$299,999 in Downtown Mississauga vs. $300,000-$399,999 in Downtown Toronto.

Housing market works on affordability. I strongly feel that Downtown Mississauga market will perform better in terms of price appreciation as compared to Downtown Toronto in the near future. However, this is dependent upon new inventory and future projects that come to Downtown Mississauga, as a surplus of inventory could skew numbers.

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Category: Investing, News & Events, SQ One Condos


Better safe than sorry – the importance of home inspection!

March 19th, 2014

Home inspection when buying homes in Mississauga

I have been shopping for Mississauga homes with a buyer and I have to say that I’m facing an acute shortage of listings for sale. Every good home is receiving multiple offers.

My Mississauga home buyer is pre-approved and he is opting for a conventional mortgage. He trusts my views on price and is not worried about waiving the financing condition in the agreement of sales.

Recently we were bidding on a detached home at the Streetsville Glen neighbourhood in Brampton. This home had two more offers in addition to ours so my buyer asked me if he should remove the home inspection condition.

Well, I did waive my home inspection condition on my personal property when I was in similar situation. But when it comes to giving professional advice to clients, I don't want them to take a risk or allow their emotions to get in the way of buying a property.

I advised him about the risk associated with such a move. The biggest risk is that if significant defects go undetected, there could be accidents or serious property damage and consequent expenses later. If significant defects come to the forefront during home inspection, you can simply back out before firming up the sale.

Home inspection lasts for about two to three hours and involves thorough examination of the home by qualified inspectors. A report is then drafted out covering details about the findings.

I would advise you to listen closely to what your home inspector has to say during inspection and ask questions to find out more about the home. Problems that usually come to the surface normally regard safety issues, big or small defects, items that need replacement, repair or servicing and areas or items that are suitable for the time being but need to be looked into and perhaps fixed later.

Good inspectors let you know about routine maintenance. Walls are inspected for cracks, leaks, damages, wood-destroying insects and pest control. Foundations are examined for splits, cracks and drainage system. Grading slopes are examined to make sure that water flows away from the house.

Doors, frames, window panes and ventilation are tested within the house and outside in the garage. Water heaters are checked for correct installation to avoid the risk of explosions or accidents later. Roofs are inspected for damage. Loose or broken shingles can cause severe leakage so close inspection is mandatory. Water pipes are checked for pressure or leaks and electrical outlets, wiring and installation are closely inspected. If pipes and wires are frayed, the inspector may recommend replacement, let you know about costing and request for a second inspection once fixed, if necessary.

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) are tested to prevent fire hazards and efficiency. Good insulation can reduce your energy bills by a fair amount. Kitchen appliances are not always part of the inspection so make sure to check them yourself. The home’s smoke detectors will be tested and garage walls be evaluated for fire rating. Bathrooms will be checked for leaks, ventilation and plumbing. A bathroom that traps in humidity can invite mold and mildew causing severe damage to wooden cabinets later.

Home inspection may not be able to highlight all shortcomings or offer a solution to all damages. But in general, home inspectors can highlight problem areas and strengths, recommend experts to fix those problems and offer cost estimates. They will not check for termite damage, engineering defects, mold or site contamination.

Once the problems are identified, you can choose to have the home seller fix them or bring down the purchase price so you can mend them yourself or simply walk away from the purchase if the contract has an inspection contingency.

Home inspection may take up some time and cost you a bit but you have more to gain and less pain when you move in. Your home involves your life’s savings so it always pays to be safe than sorry.

Just make sure you choose a professional home inspector with a proven track record.

Pre-listing home inspection by the seller can drastically decrease nasty surprises and increase buyer confidence in the home.

A home seller can sometimes also opt to increase his asking price when everything is looked into and enjoy faster, smoother sales.

Most of all, for a seller and buyer, professional inspection offers complete peace of mind since it lessens the risk of accidents, property damage and unnecessary expenses later.

If you are unsure on how to go about it or who to contact, call me any time. I am happy to connect my clients to good home inspectors in Mississauga.

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Category: Realty Talk