In a few words, how would you describe the profile of the Mississauga home-buyer?
In my opinion, a typical Mississauga buyer is very savvy and highly educated. There are many types of profiles, such as new immigrants to Canada, baby boomers who are now down-sizing to smaller townhouses and condo apartments (after selling their larger, more expensive homes in Mississauga), the children of baby boomers who live and have grown up in Mississauga, and also local renters who love the City and don’t want to move out of Mississauga.
Is there a trend that you have spotted in the Mississauga home-buyers preferences? Maybe interest in a particular neighbourhood or area rose over the last months?
The two trends that are most prominent to me are baby boomers down-sizing into smaller homes and condos and first time home buyers embracing condos, as Mississauga homes are out of reach.
A typical first time home buyer gets approved five times their annual household income (in general). So, a couple earning $100k gets qualified for an amount of $500k. With this budget, they can afford to buy a decent condominium apartment or a townhouse in Mississauga.
Is there a particular aspect of the home buying process that clients struggle with/complain about?
When facing a multiple offers scenario, most buyers hesitate to waive the home inspection condition or the finance condition. Removing the home inspection or financing condition is very risky and one should think twice before eliminating these two important home buying steps.
My team and I encourage home inspections before our buyers put in their offers. We also cover their first home inspection cost, giving them the confidence to buy after making an informed decision. Sometimes it is not possible to do inspections, so we have made arrangements with some established insurance companies who cover this risk. We offer all our buyers a six month home systems and appliances insurance package.
As far as financing goes, we always pre-approve our buyers before they start to look at the homes. We also provide them with our best opinion of price, show them the comparable information and satisfy them about the price that most bank appraisers might come up with.
What is the main challenge for the real estate industry at this time?
Land supply and high home prices are the two biggest challenges faced by the real estate industry today.
People are not ready to move because of the high prices. Renters are shying away from moving because of the affordability.
The Places to Grow Act of 2015 has limited land supply for large subdivisions. This is done in order to protect our environment and the Oak Ridge’s moraines.
As a result of lack of land supply, the prices of homes are increasing as there is a limited supply and a higher demand for low rise homes. That’s also one of the major reasons why municipalities are building high rise condos.
Have you spotted any interesting Mississauga Real Estate Trends 2017?
I mentioned previously in this interview the two prominent trends that I have seen take place in Mississauga.
A couple of other interesting trends that are also taking place in Mississauga:
Small investors are flocking to buy condo apartments that are less than $400k in Mississauga. Smart investors know that the real estate segment which has maximum demand will grow fastest in price. Square One area or Downtown Mississauga is the area that has maximum activity in this category. My team and I have a strong presence in this neighbourhood.
Users and medium investors are buying older homes and renovating to move in or flipping them for profit. Some of these people also buy old homes on large lots; they knock the old homes down to build a single detached home or two semi-detached homes. Older mature neighbourhoods of Mississauga like Port Credit, Streetsville, Minoela, Lorne Park, Lakeview have seen this trend in a big way.
Is downsizing an option used by baby boomers in Mississauga? Where should they begin the process and what are the most important steps of downsizing?
I have actually written about this in my Mississauga condo blog!
Have you spotted any trends in the Millennials’ attitudes towards home ownership?
Millennials are buying homes with help from their parents in terms of down payment. Others are renting or are continuing to stay in their parents’ homes. Some millennials are pairing with other professionals when it comes to renting. This is especially a trend seen in downtown Toronto condo rentals. Soon this trend may come to Mississauga, as our rents are on a sharp rise.
What are the best places to retire to in Mississauga?
Downtown Mississauga is a good place to retire in Mississauga. It has everything for everyone, young and old. There is so much to do. There are good restaurants in the Square One mall, and the mall itself is a haven for retirees to spend time in. There are a few condo buildings that arrange parties and events for residents and bus trips to Niagara Falls or the casino. I see many retirees living in such buildings. Our population is aging very fast and I see more and more old people living side by side with the younger generation in condos at Mississauga City Centre.
How important are schools in the home buying process? Are parents asking about the schools in the area when researching a home?
One of the most frequently asked questions by home buyers is about the schools in the area. It is a very important factor for many parents when buying a home. Luckily, our website is capable of matching homes with the top school districts in Mississauga.
Did you notice a preference for buying in the suburbs, and if so, what are the reasons for that?
Suburbs like Mississauga are preferred by people who want to stay in a vibrant and multicultural city. Mississauga has many good restaurants, shopping plazas, hospitals, parks and recreation centres to go to. This is a very live and active suburb city; it is not like other suburb cities which people refer to as “bedroom communities.”
People also prefer staying here because of the proximity to Downtown Toronto, Pearson airport, and good connectivity to Brampton, Oakville and Milton.
What’s the most important piece of advice for first-time home-buyers?
Don’t go overboard with your budget when buying. The first home is not always your dream home. Buy anything that you can afford and move in. Trust me, your equity will grow in 1-2 years and you can then port it to the home of your dreams. Renting and waiting to buy your home will eat your savings and widen the gap. Don’t do that, just buy something.
How should buyers prepare for the home buying process? Any tips you’d like to share?
Do your homework before selecting a real estate agent! Work with a local one, somebody you feel comfortable with and who can help you satisfy your needs/wants. Sign a buyer representation to get your agent’s full time commitment and put your trust in what your agent has to tell you.
Any other insights you’d like to share?
We are a local Mississauga condos real estate team based out of Downtown Mississauga (Square One area). If you are looking to buy, sell or rent remember, Local Experience Pays!