Form Condos

We would like to announce some exciting news. Form Condos are going on sale this month. Royal LePage Signature Realty has been awarded Platinum VIP Access. The exclusive presentation will be held March 29th, 2016. Make sure to visit the previous link and sign up before this opportunity is lost.

The Form Condos are looking to be a great investment opportunity. Yes it is currently in pre-construction. As mentioned above it will start going on sale shortly. The location is wicked good. It is on 36-60 McCaul Street and 10 Stephanie Street in your favorite town of Toronto. It is designed as a mixed-use condominium development.

Are you ready for a short breakdown of Form Condo Development? The creators of this bad boy are Tridel and Osmington Inc. The proposal has be sent in for a 14 storey building which will have 184 suits. These are designed by a amazing firm that is used quite often, called architectsAlliance. Suits sizes will vary between 1 and 3 rooms. The building will have 3 storeys dedicated to a private art gallery. Naturally all tenants will have exclusive access to the gallery.

Form Condos is minutes away from town favorites like Nathan Phillips Square, Eaton Centre, OCAD University, Chinatown and much much more.

Tridel is an award-winning real estate developer. They have proven time and time again to make outstanding residential condominium developments.

Osmington Inc. is a private real estate company which is based out of Toronto. It is run by Canadian billionaire and media magnate, David Thomson.

architectsAlliance is a architectural firm who have architects, designers and technologists.

The combination of these 3 firms will surely inspire and meet the expectations of the public.

Staging your real estate

Once you’ve decided to put your home on the real estate market, it’s time to think about staging. Professional home stagers would like to to believe that you can’t do the staging yourself. The don’t want you to know that you can, indeed, stage your own home. It’s not always it’s the easiest job, but you can do it yourself.

There are some basics you have to do before you an start the home staging process. First you’re going to have to declutter the house. That means personal pictures and knick knacks have to be packed away. After that comes cleaning. A deep cleaning. Next you make minor repairs – and freshen the inside of your house with a fresh coat of paint. Now you’re ready to start your home staging project.

The most difficult part of staging your own home is to emotionally disconnect from the home and its memories. One thing you might consider is asking a friend to help – someone you trust and who can help you with that disconnection.

Go through the house with a critical eye. Think like a buyer. If you were relocating into the Denver real estate market, for example, what would you want to see in a house? Remember, there are three primary types of staging that will help you do an effective job of staging your home.

The first is to set a mood or style for the house. If you’re in an upscale neighborhood, you want the furnishings to reflect that. If your real estate agent feels that you should be appealing to young families, you want the furnishings and rooms to reflect a child friendly feeling.

Next, you want to arrange your furniture to show off your home and its surroundings. Again, if you’re trying to sell property in the Denver real estate market and there’s a terrific view of the mountains from your back deck, you want to make sure the entry to the deck has easy access and the furniture on the deck invites you to step out and enjoy the mountain view.

Lastly, you want to look objectively at the house to see if value added changes would make the house more inviting. These are changes made to the house to create a more appealing atmosphere. A worn and dated medicine cabinet, for example, might need to be replaced. Is it possible to economically replace worn carpeting or light fixtures to update the house?

While it’s a challenge to remove yourself emotionally from your house in order to do the staging, the effort is well worth it and pays off, often in a shorter time on the market and a higher sales price.

Writing An Offer

Once the real estate hunting is over, and you have found your dream home, you will first need to write an offer to the seller outlining your wish to buy his home.  This may sound simple, as you may already have a figure in mind of what you are hoping to pay for the house. Writing an offer however needs to be thought over carefully as it is the first step that you are taking to owning a new home. You need to imagine how the seller would feel about your offer when they first see it, and you need to include all the relevant information.

Buying real estate might be the most important thing you ever do, but likewise, selling a home may be the start of a new life for the seller. The seller may have plans of relocating and buying a home abroad, and the outcome of the house sale may be a very relevant factor to their future plans. When you begin to write your offer, you will need to take the seller’s point of view into the utmost consideration, and make sure that you write a clear and concise offer.

An offer on real estate does not merely include the amount that you want to pay on the property. You should include details on the financing of the property, and what arrangements you have already made. Inform the seller about the deposit amount you are putting down, and what would happen if the sale fell through. Your written offer should also include any relevant dates, as well as what exactly is included in the sale. Does it come with a fitted kitchen or will that be removed?

Writing your offer should be thought through carefully, as it is the very first step to owning your new home. Your offer needs to look good to the seller as well as to you, as both of your futures rely on the transaction of the property to begin your new lives.

Importance Of The Asking Price

Are you considering selling your home or a piece of real estate and are not quite sure where to begin? Deciding on the asking price of your home is one of the most important things that you need to do.

The asking price is the amount of money that you will get for your home, and it will affect how much profit that you will come out with after the sale.  The asking price in real estate is typically one of the first things that a potential buyer will see, and it will either attract them or put them off from the start.

Put yourself in the shoes of the buyer and try to see what they see when they first lay eyes on your home. If your asking price is too high, then your property will be overlooked by many buyers who consider it to be out of their means.

You may have thought that it would be a good idea to start with a high asking price so that you have the option of going down. Although this is true, it will also significantly decrease the amount of potential viewers. Try to decide on something that is fair, and that will work out well for both you and the buyer.

Fed Sets New Guidelines For Certain Home Loans

Federal banking regulators proposed new standards regarding Option Arm and Interest only mortgages.

The use of Interest Only mortgages has increased by 30% over the last 5 years probably due to the meteoric rise of home prices.

According to CNN, “approximately 40% of homes purchased in 2005 were financed by either option ARM’s or interest-only loans”.

With an interest only mortgage the borrower pays only the interest on the principal. For example lets take a look at a loan that I posess. It’s an interest only mortgage from Countrywide on one of my investment properties. The loan type is described as a 30 yr fixed interest only at an interest rate of 7.25%. On a loan amount of $171,000, the payment is $1033 per month. This type of mortgage is an attractive option for real estate investors because it allows them to maximize their cash flow.

With a negative amortization mortgage or option arm (adjustable rate mortgage) the borrower has several monthly payment options. One option is to pay less than the interest owed which allows them to have a lower monthly payment, but they have to pay the piper at some point. The interest that should have been paid gets added to the original loan amount. As a result, the home owner could end up owing more money on their mortgage, not less after a given period of time.

The new Federal standards may require banks to increase their capital reserves as a protection against these riskier loans. When banks have to keep more of their cash on hand, less cash is available for lending which causes banks to limit offering these products.

A tightening of lending practices means less money for buyers to borrow which could affect and already cooling real estate market.

Home loan Modification

It’s easy to understand how a home loan modification plan works, and even easier to see how it can help you. But home loan modification process is a different matter. It can be long and complicated, and if you’re not prepared, you can easily make costly mistakes. Each lender has its own way of going about the home loan modification plan, but even a working knowledge of the process can help you get better results. Here’s a simple step-by-step guide to help you out.

Find an agent. You may think it’s a waste of time paying a third party to help you out, but a good agent does more than make the calls. They also help you prepare for the home loan modification process and find useful strategies for negotiating with your lender.

Do the math. Knowing your numbers is vital to making your home loan modification plan. Get the forms you need ahead of time and gather the required financial documents. This will give you a clearer idea of your situation and help you set more realistic goals.

Some of the documents you’ll need are:

  • Tax returns and W-2 forms
  • Paycheck stubs or other proof of income
  • Bank statements
  • Mortgage bills
  • Property tax statements

Complete your financial worksheet. Most banks will have you fill out a worksheet detailing your monthly income and expenses. Little errors can delay the home loan modification process, so make sure your figures are as accurate as possible.

Write a hardship letter. This letter will explain to your bank why you fell into default and how the home loan modification plan can help. Make sure your reasons are accurate and valid, and have supporting documents on hand in case your lender asks for them.

Submit your application kit. Gather all your documents together and submit them to your lender, or have your agent do so. Make sure everything you need is in there—even one missing document can add weeks to the home loan modification process. Go over everything with your agent or attorney before filing your application.

The home loan modification process typically lasts 30 to 45 days, although delays can bring the wait time up to 90. Some banks are known to lose track of applications, and it’s your job to make sure your home loan modification plan is moving. Stay in touch with your lender and keep track of every conversation to avoid unnecessary delays.

Most Expensive Homes Sold EVER! $305 Million and $220 Million… What Recession?

In real estate, news spread like a wild fire when the new Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik paid a (Tampa) record $6 million for his new home on Palma Ceia Golf Course in South Tampa.  What was more amazing was he also bought the home next door for $3.2 million which was almost triple the price the owners paid only 2 years ago.  Well that was nothing compared to the luxury home just sold in Monaco which netted the sellers a profit of $291 million in just 2 years!

Nick and Christian Candy purchased the Monaco luxury penthouse in 2008 from widow Lily Safra for $14 million.   In 1999 famed philanthropist Edmond Safra died in a fire in the penthouse that was started by his nurse in an attempt to stage a rescue to make himself look good to the family.  The new buyer, rumored to be a Sheik, just purchased the property for $305 million, netting the seller’s $291 million in just 2 years!   Now that is a flip!  The penthouse features 17,500 square feet, 30 rooms, a spa, and theater.

The Monaco sale easily eclipses the previous worlds most expensive home sold just 2 months ago in London for $220 million.  Located in London’s prestigious Hyde Park neighborhoord this 2 story penthouse has bullet proof windows as it’s most unique feature.  The Penthouse is part of the high rise development One Hyde Park which has 86 other residences available, if you are more budget conscious, starting at a mere $20 million…

11 Reasons the Real Estate Market Will Turnaround in 2014

Since the peak of the market several years ago a lot has changed and real estate may be poised for a solid recovery in 2014.  Here’s 11 reasons 2014 might be a good year for  Real Estate!

  1. Median home price is around $150,000 while the median home price for the US is $217k.  This makes real estate more affordable than many other areas which is attractive to companies moving here.
  2. We currently have high unemployment of a skilled work force.  Although high unemployment isn’t a good thing it is again attractive to business who are considering moving.
  3. The cost of owning a home is now on par with cost to rent a home.  Why rent when you can own for the same price?
  4. Inventory of homes has been consistently falling and we are now at about the same inventory we had in 2006.
  5. We have 9 months inventory down from a peak of 19 months in October 2008.
  6. High Speed rail is coming connecting Toronto and Oshawa.  This will create new jobs and make Toronto the first city to have high speed rail in Canada.
  7. Interest Rates should remain at or near all time lows.
  8. Banks are finally lending again and you can now get loans of up $417,000 with as little as 5% down.  Last year you needed 20% down.  This opens up the buying pool to a lot more people.
  9. This election year is almost over and all the negativity of endless political commercials will end.  The constant shock words like “unemployment”, “Recession”, “Real Estate Crash” heard on radio and TV will end.  This will help the psycheof the public’s perception.
  10. The stock market has rebounded with the Dow solidly above 11,000.  With people’s account values up they start to loosen the purse strings a bit which not only directly affects real estate purchases but also affects the economy and unemployment as people spend more.
  11. Investors are back!  The difference between these investors and the one’s who got us into this mess is these investors are much more conservative and they are mostly cash buyers.  Investors are necessary for a healthy market as they pick up foreclosures and “fixer uppers” and add value to those homes and neighborhoods.

As a Realtor

For Buyers

Buying a home is an important decision. As your Realtor, I am Your Consultant.  I am Your Negotiator.  I am Your Overseer of the Transaction Details. 

You’re decision to buy a home will be a rewarding one. I am your consultant that will guide you through the entire buying process from getting you pre-approved with a trusted mortgage provider, to getting a home inspection, to picking up your keys on closing day.

I am your negotiator. I have your best interest in mind and will use my skill, experience, and focus to negotiate the best price on your behalf for your new home.

I know the neighborhoods in beautiful Bucks County, Montgomery County and Philadelphia. I will help you find the perfect home that fits your lifestyle and budget.

I am your overseer of transactional details. I will anticipate any bumps along the way and will answer your questions. I will explain all clauses and exactly what you are signing. Mistakes cost time and money. My attention to detail will save you both. Once you put an offer on a home, I will be the liaison between your financial institutions, your lawyer, and your home inspector. I will ensure everyone has what they need to complete their part of the transaction. I won’t stop working until you are moved into your new home and satisfied.

Bankruptcy Help

There are several ways to stop home foreclosure. You do either one of them a combination of more than one them.

Here are the options you have to stop home foreclosure:

A. Options can be used to save your home:

1. Loan modification
2. Reinstate your loan with you IRA money or borrow from relatives or friends
3. Work with default paper investors
4. Partial claim through FHA loan insurance
5. Request forbearance from your lender
6. File bankruptcy to buy you sometimes

B. Options can be used to stop foreclosure sale:

1. Do a short sale to prevent foreclosure from staining your credit record.
3. Do a deed in lieu foreclosure to give the property back to lender in exchange for lender not to report your home foreclosure to credit bureau.

If none of above options works for you, you can still have other way to keep your home. You can also file Chapter 13 bankruptcy to stop the foreclosure sale right at the morning of the day that foreclosure sale is conducted. You can also choose to do a short sale to stop foreclosure and keep your credit history not to be stained by the foreclosure record.

Some borrowers thought that filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy could automatically save their home. But, this is not true. If you file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you may or may not get approved by the judge depending on your financial situation. If the judge does not approve your bankruptcy filing, lender can initiate the foreclosure on your home again. Filing Chapter 13 does help you to buy sometime, possible few months and even a year or longer to save your home. Some borrowers do use this strategy to stay in the home for free for few months, a years, or even longer. Imagine that if you stay home for a year of more without making your mortgage payments. Let said, the monthly mortgage payment was $1500 per month and $18,000 a year. Staying in a home for one year is equivalent to an increase of pre-tax salary of at least $25,000 a year. For some, this is a very good option for them. However, I don’t encourage you to do that because the financial consequence can cost far more than that. Do you still remember how much could cost you for being unable to own a home for ten years as I described earlier?

If you got a Chapter 13 approved by the court and you make ALL of the payments, you can keep the house as soon as you make payment under the plan.

I am not an attorney and not in a position to give you any legal advice. What I am giving you is the information that how it works. You should also always seek the consultant from an attorney on any legal issue. Again, I am not giving legal advice on whether you should or should not file a bankruptcy to keep your home.

But in my personal opinion, filing bankruptcy is the last avenue you should take. You can file Chapter 13 right before the morning of the foreclosure sale to stop it. In order to do it right, you should at least give yourself one week to work with a good bankruptcy attorney before the foreclosure sale is conducted.

Now, after you reading this book, you should know that filing bankruptcy should never be your first option because you have known that there are several much better options than bankruptcy.

The reasons I said so are:

1. It is not at bankruptcy attorney’s best interest to tell you not to file bankruptcy;
2. It is not the best interest for a bankruptcy attorney to tell you all those options you have to keep your home;
3. It may not fair to some attorneys that they don’t want you to know those better options you have because most of them do not know those options that I have been described in this book.
4. There are upfront costs to you for filing bankruptcy. It cost you $1500 or more to hire an attorney to do it for you.
5. There are future financial consequences for having the bankruptcy in your credit reports.
6. There could be uneasiness and even pain emotionally for some people to go through the lengthy process of bankruptcy.