If you’ve been keeping a keen ear to the real estate market over the past few weeks you’ve certainly heard by now that June 2009 was the best June on record, ever. No, that’s not a typo, or a trick phrase. June ’09 went into the Toronto Real Estate Board’s books as the most active June on record, with a total of 10,955 transactions taking place — up 27 per cent from June of 2008. If you’ve been looking for a home in any of the GTA’s more popular areas I’m sure this is not a surprise to you, as you may have lost out on a home or two that had its price skyrocket due to multiple offers. If you are looking to purchase this summer, hopefully the tips below will help.

Take it from me, even when times weren’t as peachy as they are reaching towards once again, the really good properties vanish almost instantly. You must move fast. If you’re focused, aware of your needs, finances, and have notes on the properties you’ve seen, moving quickly can be moving intelligently, rather than blindly. The purpose of establishing your needs, having a breakdown of various mortgage potentials, taking notes, and seeing numerous properties, is to enable you to act fast when a gem presents itself. It’s easy to see how moving quick can be nerve-wracking. After all, buying a condo/home is often the single largest investment a person/family makes. You must understand that with the real estate market in the GTA being what it is, a person would have to be desperate or crazy — or ill informed — to sell for less than market value! That’s why it’s important to put yourself in a position to react fast to a “hot property,” from a position of informed factual intelligence, and taking the right steps towards becoming a clever and astute buyer will do that for you. It is those amongst the very few who understand that moving fast can also mean moving wisely, that become the beneficiaries of the best properties in the GTA.

Often the most complex issue for buyers is how much they can afford. Many times I’ve shown buyers a breakdown of various mortgage situations, to their pleasant surprise! Fact is, many buyers can actually afford more than they think, given the proper strategy. Assume Buyer Katelyn is ready to buy a condo priced at $250,000. Chances are she’d consider a condo-town at $300,000 way out of her price range. With the right mortgage product, her monthly mortgage payment would only be about $200 more, not the $50,000 increase, on the surface. Katelyn should also consider her maintenance fees at the condo-town will be less and appreciation will probably be higher. Add all these figures together and the condo-town might actually be the financially sounder option. Of course this is just one scenario, but it pays to know all of your scenarios.

The key lies in the confidence of being a prepared and knowledgeable buyer, so that you’re in a position to jump on a deal when it comes — very few are. In this market everyone’s looking for the best deal and only the ones that are properly prepared will get it.

For assistance with your real estate questions feel free to email Amit at amitp@rogers.com.

– Amit is a Realtor/Developer with Re/Max. amitp@rogers.com

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