Category Archives: Home Buying

Millcroft neighbourhood in Burlington, Ontario

Finding Your Ideal Home in Burlington

There are many factors home buyers should take into account when looking for that ideal home in Burlington, Ontario. Buying a home isn’t a simple process and you should put a lot of thought into it. This is why it’s always a good idea to get professionals, such as Team VanDinther, to guide you through the whole process.

So what are those factors to consider? What makes a home an ideal home? Ideal home is located in the right spot, and the home itself is accommodating your lifestyle and needs. Sound easy but in reality it can be tricky. And sometimes what we want and what’s available are not the same. Also, first thing is first. Figure out your purchase power. This will be the ultimate say in what you can attain.

Location. As the old phrase goes: Location, location, location! This is very important for a number of reasons. For one the price of your home will largely be determined by the location of the land and what’s around.  The value of your home appreciates as you live in an area that’s “happening” and has everything close by. You could have the most beautiful home, but if it’s too far from everything and isolated, you’ll end up not liking it as much. We’re talking major roads and highways, amenities, schools, parks, community centers, businesses, restaurants, etc. Well established communities, that support quality life. Consider where you work, how do you like to spend your free time, where are your friends and family, is waterfront important to you, or perhaps you like a more secluded area a bit outside the city. You don’t want to pick a house located too far from everything, even if that house is absolutely amazing. Unless you’re buying in an area that will grow in the years to come and you’re aware of that and OK with that.

Your Lifestyle. Where you are in life will determine the type and size of home you need. For example if you are thinking about starting a family? or have one already you need a place that will be accommodating to that in the few years to come, at least. Think about how many rooms/bathrooms you’d need, what style of home? are too many stairs a problem? backyard size? number of garages? Do you need a shed for tools and tinkering around. Figure out how many years you’d want to stay in this home, and then try to picture your life 2 years from now, 4 years, 6 years, and so on? Does it work for everyone that will be living in the house? If you are not planning kids but have lots of pets, you may need a bigger backyard or parks close by, rather that lots of bedrooms. If you are parents you need to take into considerations schools and where you want to send you kids to? Check out our blog post The Best Ranked Schools in Burlington, Ontario. You want your home to be able to accommodate your lifestyle.

Paletta Mansion in Burlington, Ontario

Paletta Mansion in Burlington, Ontario

Neighbourhood. What’s around your area? What can you do with your family or friends on the weekend? How does a typical evening feel like? What about morning rush hour? Try to see your potential neighbourhood in different times of the day to avoid surprises. Ask other home owners what do they love most about the neighborhood, what do they dislike? Do you like neighbourhoods that are easily walkable. For example if you go to www.redfin.com/how-walk-score-works and type in your address, neighbourhood what score does it give? Are you OK with that? Get a good feel of the neighbourhood because once you step outside your house, this is what you’re be immersed in. You wanna feel right at home. Some of Burlington’s best neighbourhoods for families are: Millcroft, The Orchard, Alton Village. South Burlington is primarily older neighbourhoods but closer to the Lake Ontario and very beautiful mature lots. Downtown core, Aldershot, Corporate tend to be suitable for young professionals or retirees.

If you are planning to buy a home in Burlington, best mid-sized city in Canada, and need some help in finding that ideal home, please don’t hesitate to ask us for help. That’s what we’re here for. We’ve connected hundreds of people with their ideal homes and we can do the same for you too. Call 905-330-2002 today or learn more about our Burlington real estate services.

Offer Strategies When Buying a Home

Offer Strategies When Buying a Home

Offer Strategies When Buying a Home

Choose the Strategy That’s Best for You!

  • The “How Low Can You Go” offer
  • The “I’ve Got to Have This Home” Offer
  • The “Poker” offer

The “How Low Can You Go” offer is contingent on you not having an emotional attachment to the property you intend to purchase. In a buyers’ market, you may find a few homes that catch your interest and you may want to make a lowball offer. This is usually significantly less than the asking price. Lowballs only succeed if the seller is desperate. You may receive a counter offer, but more often than not, the seller will feel insulted and ignore your offer.

We may advise you against presenting such an offer, but will pass it along to the vendor.

The “I’ve Got to Have This Home” offer usually happens when buyers fall in love with the home and want to present their best offer first. This offer leaves no negotiating room, but if the market is hot, it’s an offer that will attract attention. Your RE/MAX associate will convey to the seller that this is your best offer. Most sellers expect to receive an offer and counter with another, so you may find yourself in a situation where you either accept the counter offer, or walk away from the home.

The “Poker” offer usually arises in a sellers’ market where buyers find themselves in a bidding war for the property. If you find yourself in this situation, all of your negotiating strength will be lost. You have the choice to raise the bid, or fold and move on.

The power of waking away is a formidable one, especially when no one else is competing against you to buy the house.

Also keep the following points in mind:

  • All negotiating should be done in writing.. don’t relay on oral communication.
  • Don’t settle for the first offer presented, especially if not what you expected.
  • Do examine each clause, contingency and condition in detail.
  • Do consult with a real estate lawyer before signing any papers.
  • And always hire a professional real estate agent to represent you – this is what they do, and trust us, you do need the guidance in today’s real estate market.
Living in a condo in Burlington, Ontario

What is it like to live in a Condo?

Living in a condo can be awesome! Honestly, it all depends on what you like, want and expect from a condo. You have to be informed in order to get the most out of it. But there will be some compromises and gotchas. So the trick is to mentally, walk through all the possible situations and see if you can deal with that or not.

Fine. But what are some of the common things and condo owners like and dislike?

Well let’s take a look at what most people like about condo living

Pros

  1. Virtually maintenance free! You don’t have to do the yard work! That means no grass cutting, no leaves collecting, no grass watering, no snow shoveling, etc.
  2. Major repairs are shared by all owners. If something in the building breaks down you don’t pay for it by yourself. Everyone shares the cost.
  3. Condo’s come with many cool amenities, like: gym, swimming pool, outside tennis courts, party room, rooftop patio, theater room, etc… This saves you tons of time because everything is in your building, plus you get a chance to meet your neighbors and socialize a bit.
  4. Condos cost less! Not always, but generally, condos will cost less. Making it a perfect choice for young buyers or those with a entry level budget.
  5. Safe and secure. Most condos have a concierge which includes a security person at the main lobby. Controlled access to the premise. Plus since you live in a building, if you leave for a vacation, there is always someone around, so you don’t have to worry about theft.
  6. Condos tend to be in good locations – sometimes condos are in a good spot where you have access to everything. Making you less dependent on personal transportation.
  7. You belong to a community of other condo owners. You can be part of the condo board of directors. You have a say, through your vote.

Now let’s take a look at the negative aspects of buying a condo, and what that means for you..

Cons

  1. Condo fees are continuous and can only go up. They can range anywhere from $200 to $600 depending on where you live. Depending on how much they increase, condo fees can turn off potential condo buyers down the road.
  2. Less space when compared to a house or townhouse. Keep this in mind, if you have a family and need more space.
  3. Less privacy in some units and more noise can be a turn off. Depending on where you unit is, and who lives around you, you may find it hard to get peace and quiet. Definitely, inspect the unit carefully, before buying.
  4. You may have to pay for amenities you never use! Nobody’s forcing you to use them, but you do have to share the costs of maintaining those features.
  5. You don’t get a say when major maintenance, or any changes will be done, that’s the decision for a board of directors to make.
  6. Possible additional costs when some shared maintenance has to be done and there is no reserved money. There might be a special assessment charges for unexpected repairs.
  7. Restrictions and rules regarding balcony use, noise levels, parking, pets, smoking, style and colors of doors, windows, etc. For example if you like to BBQ, you may not be able to in a condo.
  8. Value appreciation is slower when compared to a house or townhouse. And doing major repair and renovations won’t necessarily raise the value.

Bottom line is, condo living is a lifestyle, and it can be a sweet dream for some people and a living nightmare for others. You really have to be realistic with your expectations, and decide if the condo living is the right choice for you.

To minimize disappointments and risks – get some expert advice from a real estate agent and a lawyer who have experience with condos! It’s definitely worth hiring them, because with their advice you could save yourself thousands of dollars, and major headaches.