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The process of buying and selling a home is a financial as well as emotional process for both the seller and the buyer, so if you have decided to sell your home, the look and feel of the house is a critical factor in attracting potential buyers. It’s important to keep in mind that first impressions count, so your property must have curbside appeal, including a clean and well maintained lawn and house exterior. Along with having the ideal curb appeal, here are 7 other ways to make your Toronto home attractive for buyers.

Clear the Clutter

When selling your house, it should feel like home to potential buyers, which means they want to “picture” their belongings in the space. Removing the clutter, including oversized furniture and personal items, such as photos, magazines and mail will make the house appear larger and allow them to picture themselves in the house.

Paint the Walls

Painting the walls with a neutral shade will not only help it look clean and fresh, but it will make the rooms appear more spacious. Freshly painted, open walls also gives potential buyers a blank canvas, so they can visualize what they can do with the rooms. Remember to apply a coat of paint to the baseboards and stain or paint the doors as well.

Give the House a Good Scrubbing

The quickest way to turn off potential buyers is by showing a dirty house. Even small things, such as dishes in the sink and dusty tables can be a distraction to a potential buyer. It’s essential that you give your home a good scrubbing. Along with cleaning the tub and toilet, some of the most overlooked things that need cleaned are the carpets, cabinet fronts, and ceiling fans.

Do Minor Repairs

Small problems that you have gotten used to can stand out to potential buyers. Most buyers don’t want to spend money or time making repairs to a house they have just bought. Before you put your home on the market, walk through the house and take note of any minor problems, such as broken tiles, holes in the walls and scratches on a wood floor. Making minor repairs will help your home appear well-maintained and the fewer problems your house has, the more appealing it will be to buyers.

Take a Close Look at the Kitchen

When it comes to ways to make your Toronto home attractive for buyers, keep in mind that kitchens sell houses. So, if you only have a small amount of money for improvements, spend it on the kitchen. You don’t have to completely remodel the kitchen, but a few upgrades and repairs can make a big difference when it comes to offers. Some things to consider may include upgrading the counter tops, painting or re-facing the cabinets. If the appliances are old and worn, consider renting appliances to use until the house sells.

Improve the Lighting

One of the best ways to make your Toronto home attractive for buyers is by brightening it up. The more natural light there is the better. Remove old blinds and curtains and replace them linen or cotton ones that are tied back to allow natural light in. Replace all burnt out light bulbs and use lamps to add light to dark spaces, such as in the corners.

Address Pet Issues

Everybody loves their pet, but it’s important to keep in mind that many people may not be used to animals, or they may have allergies. If you have pets, there is a good chance your home has odors, stains or both that you may not be aware of. These issues can be a deal breaker for some buyers, so make sure to get rid of stains and odors before showing the house and you should make sure your pets aren’t in the home during a showing.

It may seem overwhelming, but taking the time to do a few things around the house can make a big difference when it comes to getting potential buyers. If you aren’t sure exactly what changes to make or need advise on ways to make your Toronto home attractive to buyers, be sure to talk with your real estate agent for suggestions.

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People who are part of the millennial generation were born between 1980 and 2000. That means they are now 19 to 39 years old. Many millennials are just now thinking about buying their first home. If you are a millennial who is selling their home, you are a rare breed, unless you got the property from an inheritance.

This guide will help any first-time sellers to know what to expect from the process of selling a home and gives some tips for millennial home sellers in Toronto.

Tips for Millennial Home Sellers in Toronto

1. Work with a Real Estate Agent

2. How to Price a Home for Sale

3. Stage a Home Properly

4. Allow Plenty of Time

5. Conduct Due Diligence on Offers

6. Be Willing to Negotiate

Work with a Real Estate Agent

It is possible to sell a home without using a real estate agent; however, for first-time sellers, this may not be the most effective method. A professional real estate agent knows how to market a home and understands the process of closing the sale. It is probably better to ask a bit more for the home, to help pay for the help of a professional, than trying to do everything without one.

How to Price a Home for Sale

Research the prices of homes that are similar to the one that will be sold to help figure out a fair price. Look up the records for the actual recorded sales prices because those will be the actual prices paid, which are usually lower than the asking prices. Those are the two figures that are very useful for a seller to know. What to ask for and what to settle for in the negotiations with a buyer.

Stage a Home Properly

Staging is getting the home in the best possible condition that makes it very attractive to buyers. Staging includes cleaning, repairing, removing many things, and adding others to make the house look its best. Work with your real estate agent to get help with staging.

Allow Plenty of Time

If you want to get a good price for the sale, do not be in a rush. Price the home for sale at the average price for a similar home. Do not sell the home at a price that is very low unless you have an emergency need to sell the home quickly.

Conduct Due Diligence on Offers

Offers are more than just the dollar figure for the purchase. An offer’s strength also depends on the ability of the buyer to secure financing. A buyer who has a pre-approved loan commitment is stronger than one without a lending commitment. A pre-approval based on credit history and score of the buyer is the next best thing but is not as strong as a lender’s written commitment to lend.

Be Willing to Negotiate

By knowing what similar homes sell for and the ultimate prices paid by the buyers, give the negotiation room. If an offer comes in that is too low make a counteroffer that is less than the listing price but not your final price. Save your last price for the second round of negotiations with a motivated buyer.


By following these tips for Millennial home sellers in Toronto you will become a seasoned home seller and ready to do this again. Not only can you buy another home, when you sell one for a profit, if you are clever you can build up a real estate portfolio that is made of quality investment properties.

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Selling a home comes with mixed emotions. Change can be both exciting and intimidating, and there’s certainly a lot of work that goes into the selling process. Regardless, no one wants to have a home on the market indefinitely. That’s why you need these six tips for a fast sale of your Toronto home.

Change the Layout

Staging is often considered one of the best techniques for selling a home. If you’re still living in yours, that makes staging a little more complicated. It’s common for people to move furniture against the walls and do unique configurations that accommodate your lifestyle. When it’s time to show the house, presentation is everything (you’ll hear this again). Try to conform to modern layout trends. Put some furniture in storage if you must. An open, pretty staging is your best friend.

Clean it Again

Obviously. You clean your house to show it. But, since presentation is everything, you should clean it again. Make the place sparkle. Or, in less ambiguous terms, you need to remove every aesthetic decorator possible. This means no pet hair. Stubborn stains that have plagued you for years have to be managed. The place needs to look like an absolute showroom.

Make the Cheap Improvements

Not every problem can be scrubbed into submission. In some cases, a fresh coat of paint, new carpet, a new rug or a little landscaping can do what cleaning can’t. You don’t have to spend thousands on upgrading the home, but spending a few hundred on major aesthetic upgrades will pay for itself very easily.

Learn Some Marketing

People shop for houses online. Sure, you’ll have pictures and online listings, but that’s where this begins. Use social media for all it’s worth. More importantly, build your online marketing around mobile users. For the most part, potential buyers will see your house for the first time on their phones. Cater to that. A good mobile experience is how you get people to your house. It’s the first step.

Learn the Market

So far, we haven’t mentioned the listing price. There’s a lot you can do to sell a home quickly without slashing your listing, but there are limits. You have to do your homework and know the value of your home in your neighborhood. The price you want to get for your home and what it’s worth today won’t always agree. This is the hard part, but there’s no getting around it.

Get Help

By all means, real estate agents have a lot to offer. More than that, you can get feedback all the time. Start with friends and family. They’ll help you notice small things you can change to improve how you show and market the house. Don’t stop there. Plenty of people should be looking at your house. Only one will buy it. All of those non-buyers have reasons for their decision. You should ask about those reasons. Plenty of them won’t lead to changes you make, but some will.

Follow these tips and your Toronto home is sure to sell faster without you having to slash the asking price.

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Are you looking to buy a home in Toronto? That’s exciting! There are a lot of things you can enjoy about the process, but there will also be issues that test your patience. Never is that more true than during escrow. These six best practices for being patient during escrow will help you avoid some common mistakes and get you into your new house a little faster.

Make a Checklist

The worst way to delay escrow is to miss something easy and set back the whole process. A thorough checklist will keep on point, up to date with your paperwork and focused on the next step instead of the final step. Work with your realtor or bank to make sure you get everything you need in the list. Just a few items to get you started are an insurance timeline and an inspection schedule. 

Cram the Inspections

It’s not always possible, but when it is, cram as many inspections into a single day as possible. It might feel gruelling in the moment, but you accelerate one of the biggest holdups in escrow. If you spread out the inspections, you may find yourself renegotiating after each. That’s painfully slow and keeps you out of your new house.


You did great saving up your down payment. You did even better searching for a mortgage that you can reasonably afford. You have a great budget. But, you’re not done yet. The closing process has plenty of

unexpected expenses. Do you know how much your title fees will be? What about escrow property taxes? There are lots of hidden expenses. When you make your checklist, ask about hidden costs to help with your budget. This way, you won’t hold up the process waiting for the next paycheck to get through a closing fee.

Don’t Marry Your Closing Date

Most of these tips are practical. This is the hard one, and it’s possibly the most important. Things will happen that throw off your initial closing date. It’s inevitable. Maybe inspections find something that has to be fixed before you can close. Maybe it’s something else. The thing to remember is that the initial closing date is there to push things along. It is very likely to ultimately change, and anticipating that can save you some hair-pulling frustration.

Stay on Top of Contingencies

If you aren’t familiar with the term, contingencies are conditions written into the contract. Some of them will come from you; some will come from the seller. You want to make sure you’re on top of any contingencies that require something of you. It’s easy to agree to something minor during negotiation and then forget about it later. You know what? Make sure your contingencies are in that checklist. That should do it.

Triple Check Paperwork

Home sales require some intense paperwork. There’s plenty of legalese mixed in there, and it’s easy to make a seemingly innocuous mistake that stalls escrow. If you need a lawyer, get one. Then, triple check everything. That will remove the final barriers to closing, and you can get into your new house.

These best practices for being patient during escrow are sure to remove a few headaches and obstacles during the process. Still, your best friend is experience. If you aren’t an expert homebuyer, take advantage of a professional who is.

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More millennials are buying their own homes than ever before. As a matter of fact this age group (22 - 37 years old) have now surpassed the Baby Boomers and Gen Xers in making this major life decision. Here are some helpful tips for Millennial homebuyers in Toronto:

1.  Reduce Your Debt: One of the challenges facing millennials in Toronto is paying down their debt. Student loans, credit card balances, car loans, and other debt accumulates to the point that buying a home is impossible. Buying a home is one of the most expensive financial commitments you will make, so being debt free is a good idea before seeking financing. Make sure you pay your bills on time so your credit rating is high and consider a budget to help you maintain expenses. 

2.  Save For A Down Payment:  Most millennials get a mortgage to pay for their home so a down payment is necessary for the bank to grant the loan. Most lenders require between and 10 and 20 percent down. Due to other financial obligations, saving for a down payment is challenging. Some millennials use gifts from family members to supplement their savings. Experts suggest saving as much as possible before starting a home search because it could take a few years before you are financially ready.

3.  Look For An Affordable Home:  Resist looking at homes in Toronto neighborhoods that are out of your price range. There is much more to consider than just the price of the home. Taxes, insurance and other fees will affect the cost of living and it will vary from area to area. Do your homework before falling in love with a house that you can't afford yet. An experienced realtor will help you find the perfect home within your budget.

4. Learn The Buying Process:  Hire a real estate agent who you are comfortable with and can trust. Make sure they have at least four years experience in the industry and are willing to share their knowledge. They will listen to you and learn about you so they can find the perfect home with you. Make a list of questions and get to know the buying process. A good real estate agent becomes your partner and mentor in this process. 

5.  Go The Extra Mile:  When you finally save enough for a down payment, understand the buying process, and find your dream home, chances are someone else is bidding on it, too. To stand out, get preapproved by a bank before you make an offer. This demonstrates how serious you are about buying the home and put you on the top of their list.

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No matter if you're selling your house for the first time or the eighth, the question still comes up. You're wondering if it's the right time or if you're ready in the first place. There are a lot of things to take into consideration when selling. We’re going to talk about five ways to Determinin If You Are Ready to sell your Toronto Home.

1: Do You Have Equity?

Under most circumstances, you can tell if you're ready to sell your home if you have equity. If you have negative equity or not enough, then you'd find yourself in a position of owing than what your home is worth. You can work with your mortgage company to determine how much equity your home currently has.

2: Do You Have Financial Stability?

What story are your finances telling you? Have you paid off or paid down your nonmortgage debt? Do you have between three to six months of expenses put away in an emergency fund? Think about how you’re answering these questions. That way, you know for sure if you’re ready to sell your Toronto home or not.

3: Is Your Current Home Meeting Your Everyday Needs?

If you need another bedroom or bathroom, then your current home isn't meeting your everyday needs. The same is true if you need a larger kitchen or living room, or other upgrades to accommodate your growing family. Under some circumstances, home renovations aren’t enough for the accommodations you may need to meet your everyday needs.

4: Are You Emotionally Ready?

Besides letting your finances tell a story, what are your emotions telling you? A lot of work goes into preparing your home for house hunters. You'll have to commit to showing your home for weeks or even months. Hardball negotiations will occur, and some potential buyers may be upfront about why your home isn't perfect for them.

5: Are You Ready to Handle the Inspection Process?

Before your home goes under contract, it may be a good idea to go through the inspection process. That way, you can handle any issues that typically occur during the offer and contract phase. Otherwise, you may find yourself undergoing some surprises that may lead to undue stress. If you’re not ready for that, then it may be best to hold off on selling for now.

Selling your home is a significant life change. Working with a real estate agent is more than scheduling showings of your home. They'll work with you regarding how to stage your home, make updates and repairs, and get the best selling price. When you're trying to determine if you are ready to sell your Toronto home, speaking with a real estate agent should be the first step you take.

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When selling a home, it is very important to exercise caution when accepting and signing a written purchase offer. This is a legally binding contract. There are serious consequences, which may include financial damages, for backing out of the deal.

Why would a seller want to back out of a deal to sell a home?

Life can take some surprising turns. The most common reason that a seller wants to back out of a deal is that after accepting one offer, a better offer comes from another buyer. This is a greedy reason. Most buyers will not accept this reason easily.

Unless the seller can create a situation that causes the buyer to back out of the existing deal, taking another offer just because it is at a higher price is going to require compensating the buyer under the purchase agreement. Breaking a contract without compensating the damaged party will likely result in a lawsuit.

Another reason that a seller may want to back out of a deal is that some personal circumstances change.

Imagine that the house was put up for sale because the couple that owned it is getting divorced, and they change their mind, calling off the divorce process. Perhaps, they want to keep the home while they try to rebuild their marriage.

The buyer who signed the purchase agreement may be more sympathetic if the cancellation is not for a financial reason.

How to Back Out of the Deal

There is no penalty for backing out of a deal before signing the purchase agreement.

No matter if the reason is financial or personal, here are some ways to back out of a real estate deal in Toronto when the purchase agreement is already signed:

1. Tell the buyer your attorney does not approve of the agreement. Usually, most people will accept the need for an attorney review with a review period of three to five business days.

2. If the purchase agreement has a cooling-off period, you can cancel the deal quickly during the cooling-off period. A cooling-off period is allowed under Canadian law to be in a purchase agreement and is required to be 10 days for the purchase of a newly constructed condominium.

3. Be open, honest, and tell the buyer you changed your mind.

4. Rely on contingencies in the purchase agreement. Common contingencies for the seller’s side are the need to be able to buy another home before selling the existing one. On the buyer’s side contingencies are passing inspections and getting financing, which may come up in any deal to block it.

5. Offering to pay compensation to the buyer for breaking the agreement is one of the strongest ways to back out of a real estate deal in Toronto.


Only use these ways to back out of a real estate deal in Toronto when necessary because there is a strong chance of creating a legal liability and the risk of being sued for damages by the aggrieved party.

If the buyer agrees to accept the cancellation of the deal, make sure to prepare and sign a written cancellation document that states the purchase agreement made on a certain date between the named parties is null, void, and of no further effect.


How to Back Out of a Real Estate Deal as a Seller

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One of the first steps of buying a home is saving for the down payment. Typically, in order to qualify for a mortgage to buy a home you will need to have between 3 and 20 percent of the sale price in cash. The larger your down payment is, the less your mortgage will be, so the sooner you begin saving, the more you will have for a down payment. Saving for the down payment may seem like a fairly simply process, but there are things you can do to make the process less stressful and maybe even quicker. Here is an easy to follow five step process to help you get started saving for a down payment for your first house in Toronto.

1. Determine How Much to Save Each Month

A general rule of thumb is to put aside about 28 percent of your monthly income to save for a down payment. For instance, if your monthly income is $4000, you would have $2880 per month for your current housing expenses and $1120 to put aside for the down payment. One of the best ways to have a better idea of how much you will need for future house payments is to talk with a mortgage lender about average mortgage rates for the price you are intending to pay. This will give you a clearer understanding about how much you will need to save for a down payment as well as what you can expect to pay for housing.

2. Determine How Long it Will Take

Once you have a better idea of how much you will need to save, you’ll need to determine how long it will take you to save the full amount. For instance, if you plan to buy a home for $100,000 and you need a 20 percent down payment, you will need to save $20,000. If you want to buy a home in two years and the amount you have been saving for a down payment on your first house in Toronto is $1120 per month, you will have $26,880 saved, which will provide you with the down payment as well as some for extra fees.

3. Develop a Budget

It is extremely important to create a realistic budget. You will be setting aside a large amount of your monthly earnings to save for your down payment, so you will need to monitor every dollar you spend. If it becomes too difficult t live on the amount that you have setting aside for housing expenses, you will need to find a way to add additional income to your budget. It may be stressful, but getting a side job will allow you to achieve your goal and maybe even allow you to achieve it quicker. When creating your budget, be realistic in what you make and what you must spend and keep in mind that emergencies happen so allot for them.

4. Pay Down Debt

It may sound ridiculous to pay down debt when you are attempting to save for a down payment, but it’s really better. For instance, if you are currently paying for 20 percent interest on a maxed out credit card and are only earning 2 percent interest on a savings account, you’re paying 18 percent more than you are earning. Paying down your debt as quickly as possible will go a long way towards saving for a down payment on your first house in Toronto. Paying off debts will also improve your credit scores and you won’t be dragging a lot of heavy debt with you when you do purchase a house.

5. Choose the Best Method for Saving

The money you are saving for a down payment on your first house in Toronto should come from low-risk avenues, such as a savings account. It may seem like a good idea to try to double your money by gambling or investing in stocks, but these are high risk investments, so you may end up losing more than you already saved and it will take you longer to save for the down payment.

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Determining the selling price for your Toronto home is fairly easy to do. All it takes a bit of research to find comparable properties, which are called “comps” for short. The idea is to find homes that are a similar as possible to the one you want to sell.

Real estate lenders and appraisers go through this same process to create a valuation for a home. Finding three comps is the minimum requirement for a valid appraisal.

Step One — Make a List of Characteristics

Start by listing the characteristics of your home and include in the list these items:

1. The number of bedrooms and bathrooms.

2. The size of the home in square meters or square feet.

3. The year the home was built.

4. Adjust the price to take into account any special amenities that the home has, such as a wine cellar or a swimming pool. Deduct the cost of making any repairs that the buyer must do.

5. The quality of the neighborhood.

Step Two — Let a Professional Do the Work Working with a professional real estate professional, like those found at Lilford & Taylor, is an easier way to get information about comps. They have access to a searchable database of all the homes currently listed for sale. All they have to do is put in the characteristics of your home and search the database.

Real estate agents also have easier access to the prices that homes sold for and their sales history. This information is now legally allowed to be made available to the public but not yet easy to access in Ontario.

Step Three — Find Prices of Similar Homes

Historical selling prices are not such an important data point when determining the selling price for your Toronto home because homes are selling for an average of 102% of their asking price in Toronto. This means that the current asking prices for recent listings are likely to be very close to their selling price.

After finding three comps to use as a logical basis for making a decision, the next step for determining the selling price for your Toronto home is to think about your motivation.

Step Four — Are you a motivated seller?

A motivated seller has a powerful need to sell a home. It might be the need to buy another one, to relocate for a new job, or some personal challenge, such as going through a divorce. Motivated sellers can sell a property very quickly in a hot market like Toronto by simply discounting the listing price from the average price found for the comps.

Step Five — Discount to Sell Fast

The discount does not have to be much to sell a home in a market like Toronto. Sales statistics show that there are only 17 days for the median number of days, which homes are listed for sale. A 2% discount from the market value of the home will likely attract offers for the listing price and maybe even more.


If you are not highly motivated, just list the home for its actual value and it will probably sell in the first month that it is listed. If you are only trying to gauge the market, and do not care if the home sells quickly, list it for 10 % higher than its value to see what purchase offers come in.


Where to find real estate sold data in Canada

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Everyone has priorities when they’re purchasing a home. Because the home-buying process is complex, takes time, and it's easy to get off-track, Making a List of Home Features you Want should be your first priority. Not only will this list help keep you organized, but it will also help your real estate agent understand how you’re prioritizing things.

The Home's Location

If the home doesn't have easy access to where you work, your children attend school, and everything else you do, then it isn't ideal. The location should have good access to main roads where the traffic flow doesn't have too much congestion.

Some people also prefer locations where the lot is close to recreation areas, parks, and community pools. Others would rather be at the end of a cul-de-sac where it's quiet. So, be sure to check the neighborhood out to ensure it meets your requirements.

The Property's Size

While the size of the home is a priority ranking high on many people's lists, the size of the lot or property should also be taken into consideration. If you're looking at a neighborhood, lot sizes will probably be similar.

Once you start looking at homes and properties, you'll discern if you want a small or large lot. You'll also determine if you prefer one on the corner or interior. It all depends on how much privacy, lawn, and driveway you want


Number of Bedrooms You Need

Families moving into a new home already have an idea of how many bedrooms they need. Typically, if there are no children, two bedrooms are ideal. However, if there are children, that number increases. Some families have their children share rooms while others have separate rooms to accommodate privacy and different bedtimes.

If you have visitors staying regularly, then adding a guest bedroom is ideal. The extra room could double as an exercise room, office, or playroom. You could also use the extra room to accommodate a hobby or for storage.

Number of Bathrooms You Need

You may have a preference for how many bathrooms your future home should have, as well. If you're looking at older homes, you'll find that they'll have one, and you'll need to add one in the future if you can't live with that.

The bathroom's size and style are also factors to consider. Are you looking for a bathroom with a shower and tub combination, or do you want them to be separate? Do you want another half-bath, or do you need another shower? Consider these things when Making a List of Home Features you Want.

Final Thoughts

Your real estate agent will appreciate the time you take when you’re Making a List of Home Features you Want. These details will help keep you on track and prepare you for homeownership.

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A seller is so happy to receive a decent offer on a home for sale, accept it, sign the purchase agreement, and then enter into the escrow period. That is when the nerve-wracking waiting begins until the escrow closing is scheduled and the sale is finalized. The wait can be excruciating.

The close is not always on a certain date because so many factors are involved. Sometimes, there are delays in the paperwork or processing delays at the title company, which slows the process.

The home escrow process in Toronto can take 30 days or less if everything goes very smoothly. Nevertheless, allow up to eight weeks if there are challenges along the way.

Here are four ways to stay calm:

1. Understand the process and help complete each step.

2. Practice daily meditation.

3. Take anti-anxiety medication prescribed by a doctor.

4. Enjoy a stiff drink.

The most helpful of these four ways is to know what actually has to happen for the sale to close.

The Home Escrow Process in Toronto

1. Open the Escrow Account — After the purchase agreement has been accepted by the parties, an escrow account is opened with the earnest money deposit from the buyer that is specified in the purchase agreement.

2. Bank Appraisal — The bank providing the mortgage financing will conduct an appraisal that normally the buyer pays for. This is to make sure the purchase price matches or exceeds the appraised value. This is a critical part of the process. If the appraisal is lower than the purchase price, either the buyer will have to come up with the difference or the seller will have to come down in price or a compromise must be made between the two. If this is not possible, then the appraisal may be challenged by giving more information, getting another appraisal, or a new lender may be sought to see if their appraisal may be more favorable.

3. Financing is Secured — The buyer should have been pre-approved before the purchase agreement is accepted, so this is just the formal process of getting the money from the bank.

The bank gives a detailed loan commitment in writing stating the terms of the loan that the buyer must accept in writing.

4. Seller’s Disclosures Approved by Buyer — If the Seller made any disclosures to the buyer, such as part of the construction does not meet building codes, these must be accepted in writing by the buyer

5. Inspections — Any inspections of the property are conducted, repairs if any are made, and the buyer accepts the inspection process is completed. Who pays for the repairs is determined by the terms of the purchase agreement.

6. Insurance — Home insurance is obtained. Flood insurance is obtained if required by the mortgage lender. Title insurance is obtained for the title report that shows the property is free and clear of any liens or other encumbrances.

7. Final Walk-Through — The Buyer inspects the property personally for the last time to make sure no damage has occurred that happened at the last moment.

8. Escrow is Closed — The buyer signs the closing documents. The seller gets the proceeds from the sale less the real estate commissions paid to the agent. The buyer gets the keys. Everyone celebrates.


It is not easy to stay patient throughout this process; however, being impatient does not make the home escrow process in Toronto go any faster. Usually, after the financing is secured and committed by the bank, the rest of the process goes forward without much delay unless the inspections uncover something seriously wrong.


Understanding the Escrow Process

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Under most circumstances, when you're trying to figure out what kind of home you can afford to buy, mortgage lenders use the 28 percent rule. The rule means you're not spending more than 28 percent of your monthly income on your mortgage before taxes. We're going to address four simple ways to be honest regarding, “What type of home I can afford in Toronto?”

1: Look at How Much You Can Afford to Borrow

Many future homeowners benefit from using the 28/36 rule. That means your monthly housing costs shouldn't be exceeding 28 percent of your gross monthly income. Regarding your monthly debt payments, those shouldn't exceed more than 36 percent of your gross monthly income. Working with these percentages helps you avoid getting into mortgage payments that are too high.

2: Determine How the Amount You Can Afford for a Down Payment

If you can put down a larger down payment, then you'll be able to purchase a bigger house. Typically, your down payment will come from two sources. They include a savings account or equity in your current home. You can avoid paying mortgage insurance if you put down at least 20 percent. Some loans only require a 3 percent down payment. Remember, though, the lower you go to higher, your monthly mortgage payments will be.

3: Think About What's an Affordable Price

Calculate what you have for your down payment and add it to the maximum amount you should be borrowing. That number is the total you can afford to spend on a home. Continue revising this number as you shop for mortgages and houses. For example, if you find a fixer-upper, it's wise to lower your down payment and put that money toward renovations. That way you’re not surprised with the need for funds after making the purchase.

4: Understand the Local Housing Market

Are you researching homes during a seller's market? Or, are you purchasing during a buyer's market? Knowing this information may be the difference between being pressured to commit more than 28

percent of your income to housing or not. Speak to your realtor about what you should be planning for, so you're not hit with surprises.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to asking yourself questions about the type of home I can afford in Toronto, you must be honest. Otherwise, you will find yourself having issues with debt, looking at houses you can’t afford, or setting unrealistic goals. Working with a real estate agent will solve or eliminate the majority of these issues. They’ll talk to you about how to figure out how much you can borrow, down payments, pricing, and the local market’s conditions

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After years of renting a place to live, you may feel ready to make the leap from tenant to homeowner. The advantages of owning property in the city can be numerous, including the opportunity to build equity, set down roots and have something to call your own. But before making the leap to buying property, it's important to be sure you are actually ready. Buying a home isn't a decision you should make impulsively. Assessing a few important areas of your life will help you determine if you are ready to buy a home in Toronto.

1. Make an honest assessment of your financial situation

Buying a home is a large financial commitment that you can't take lightly, and neither will the bank when you apply for a mortgage. You'll need a regular, stable source of income to be sure you can pay your mortgage each month, and savings to help you secure the property you want. Not only should you have a down payment, you'll also want to have some extra money saved in case of unexpected home repairs once you move in.

2. Look at Your Long Term Life Goals

If you truly aren't sure what your future holds, tying yourself to a property long term might not be the right move. Take some time to assess whether you'll be happy staying the in the same spot long term or want to move on quickly. Even if you don't anticipate staying in the same place long term, you can still purchase a home and make money on your investment by selling it for more than you paid. However, if you plan to sell quickly, you'll want to invest in a property that is likely to appreciate quickly.

3. Determine Where You'll Get Your Down Payment

If you don't have money saved to put down for a home purchase, you can look into assistance programs, cash in investments you may have made, or approach family members to help you get the initial amount together.

4. Narrow Down Your Search Area

As you enter the process of looking for a home, the entire process will be made easier if you have an idea of what you are looking for and in what part of the city. This will save you time and energy as you begin your search.

If you've determined that you are ready to buy a home in Toronto, Lilford Taylor can help you with the rest. Our experienced team can help with every part of the process from listing to accepting an offer for your property. Contact us today to get started.

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Finding and buying a home can be an exciting time, but before you sign the contract you’ll need to have your down payment and mortgage in order and ready. When it comes to choosing your mortgage, it’s important to keep in mind that there are several mortgage payment options and home loan types in Toronto to choose from. It’s important that you assess each option and review the pros and cons of each as well as choose the best option for your budget. You’ll need to determine how much you can actually afford each month, including the cost of insurance and taxes. A good tip to remember is to borrow as little as possible, which will prevent you from getting buried under your mortgage. Here are

some of your options when it comes to payments and home loans in Toronto.

Home Loan Types in Toronto

There are several mortgage options for homebuyers in Toronto, including a fixed-rate mortgage or an

adjustable-rate mortgage as well as an interest-only mortgage.

Fixed-rate mortgage:

This is the most common and typically the best option for homebuyers. This type of mortgage locks in your interest rate and payment for the life of your loan, which means your interest rates cannot increase, so your mortgage payments can’t expectedly go up.

Adjustable-rate mortgage: This type of mortgage means your interest rates can be periodically adjusted according to the changes in current rates. This also means your payment amount can change, so it’s important to keep in mind that should you choose an adjustable-rate mortgage, although your payments may decrease, they can also easily be increased, sometimes unexpectedly.

Interest-only mortgage: 

An interest-only mortgage means you pay only the interest on the loan for a specified amount of time, which is typically 5-7 years. After the interest-only term is complete, you can choose to refinance your loan or begin paying the principal balance. It’s important to note that if the rates rise, you can expect to have a higher monthly payment even if you refinance your loan for another interest-only loan.

Mortgage Payment Options:

During the mortgage process, you’ll have to decide which payment option is the best for your needs. The option chosen will determine the amount you’ll pay and how often you will pay it. There are usually

5 payment options to choose from:

Monthly-This is the most common option. Monthly payments means that you will be required to have your mortgage payment paid to the lender on the same day each month, so you will make 12 equal payments to your mortgage each year.

Weekly payments:

Weekly payments can either be mailed or taken directly from your bank account every week-52 weeks a year. The amount of the weekly payments is calculated by dividing the yearly mortgage payment by 52.

Bi-weekly payments: This payment option means you will make a payment to the mortgage

lender every two weeks, so the payment amount is found by dividing the yearly mortgage

payment by 26.

Accelerated bi-weekly payments:

This type of payment allows you to pay the mortgage off quicker, so you’ll save on interest. The way this works is instead of payment amounts being the expected amount for a bi-weekly payment, you will pay half the monthly mortgage payment every two weeks.

Accelerated weekly payments: This is similar to the accelerated bi-weekly payment, except you divide by 4 (the weekly payment) and multiply by 52, so you will be making weekly payments instead of bi-weekly payments.

Reviewing mortgage payment options and home loan types in Toronto can be overwhelming, so it’s

important that you discuss your options and financial situation with a mortgage professional. Discussing

your options with a professional will allow you to find the best option for your specific needs and


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Understanding the Basics- Home Foundations 101

The true strength and durability of a building restfully on its foundation. The main purpose of the foundation is to hold any building or structure that is above it and to keep that structure upright and stable. A strong foundation keeps everything balanced and supported whereas a poorly constructed foundation is actually dangerous and puts any occupants or people in the neighbouring area at risk! This is why a foundation is so important to any home or building and is also why it is important to understand the basics of foundation development and support.

Home Foundations 101

The very first part of any home that is designed and constructed, the foundation is the single most important piece of the puzzle and is the key to having a home that is durable and supportive. While it is not seen once the home is built, the foundation affects every aspect of home design, maintenance, support, durability, and safety. “Building a good foundation requires a lot more than digging a hole and pouring some concrete into forms. It must be tailored to its site like a custom suit, taking into account soil conditions, water tables, even the quality of the backfill. And as with a custom suit, every detail must be perfect: the base properly compacted, the formwork set up right, the concrete free of voids” (This Old House). Disregard just one of these key aspects of the foundation, and the best designed and prepared design for your home can fail. Investing the time and money and resources necessary to make a strong and durable foundation are well worth it both in the short-term and long-term views!

What is the Purpose of a Foundation?

A foundation has three key roles that it plays when it comes to the construction of buildings:

- The basic piece under the ground that is designed to support the structure above it and support the weight of the entire building.

-  Well-built foundations are designed to absorb the abuse of Mother Nature and to stand strong during earthquakes, hurricanes, and other disasters.

- The foundation has to be designed and built in such a way that it keeps the ground moisture from seeping in and damaging structural components.

Weight Bearing Considerations for Home Foundations 101

The final thing to consider when looking at what role a foundation plays, it must be able to withstand what is known as dead load weight and live load weight. “The dead load is the weight or the load of the basic structure itself. This is called dead load as it remains constant. On the other hand, the live load is the weight of the people and other objects that they bring with them. The foundation must be firm and must be able to channel the weight of the entire building to the ground. If the building is being constructed on sloping regions or moist ground, the foundation has to be customized and durable” (SA Homes). It is easy to see how these two weight loads work- the building itself may weigh 20 tons but there could be an additional 2 tons coming in and out at any time. The foundation must be able to hold all of this weight safely day in and day out. A good foundation will deliver all the support and stability needed to keep the building and its occupants safe and stable!

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Lilford Taylor Real Estate Team

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