Monday, January 31, 2011

Buying a DNA Condo

Purchasers, first-time home buyers especially, generally lack the knowledge to determine what they can afford when it comes to buying real estate and how the purchasing process actually works. Here is a step by step list on how the condo purchase process works:
1) Start by getting pre-approved by your bank or a mortgage broker. Knowing what you can truly afford gives you a starting point and a price point to search within. After all, it would be very disappointing to find a home you love only to find out it is not within your financial means.
2) Find a Realtor (Real Estate Sales Representative) you trust! This is very important as you will be sharing personal information about yourself with them. Talk to your Realtor about what you are and are not looking for in a property.
3) Now the fun begins. Once you’ve been pre-approved for a mortgage and you’ve found your trusty realtor, your realtor will then begin showing you properties of interest.
4) While on the showings, scrutinize each unit. Think about the location, building amenities, the potential future value, the unit layout and of course the price.
5) Once you’ve found the unit you would like to purchase have you Realtor research what the unit is actually worth and carry out their due diligence.
6) Now its time to make up the offer. Have your Realtor go through the offer with you. You may also want to have a lawyer review it.
7) Your Realtor will then submit the offer to the Listing (Selling) Realtor who will then contact the seller to review the offer. The other party has a set time period, called the irrevocable date, to either sign back or accept the offer. Within this irrevocable time, the buyer is held to the agreement. If the irrevocable date passes without contact from the seller, the deal dies and neither party is held to the agreement.
8) Once the buyer and seller have come to an agreement regarding the price and conditions the deal is now either sold firm ( no conditions) or sold conditionally ( usually conditional upon arranging financing or lawyers review of the status certificate). If sold conditionally, the buyer then has a certain time frame, as set out in the agreement of purchase and sale to waive the conditions. Once the conditions have been met, the buyer signs a waiver which then makes the deal firm.
9) On occupancy is when the buyer and seller meet with their respective lawyers to exchange the property keys for payment. The title of the property is then switched over from the seller to the buyer and the buyer is then given entry and ownership to the property.
Buying real estate is an exciting process. It can also a stressful and complicated process so it’s important to hire a Realtor you trust. After all, buying real estate is one of the largest investments you will make!

Click on Dna Condos for more information.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

DNA Condos are Pet Friendly

One of the things that people overlook when purchasing a condo in Toronto is whether their beloved pet will be allowed to accompany them to their new home. With more and more people choosing the condo lifestyle in Toronto, it can sometimes be very difficult to find a building that will accommodate your pet which in turn makes your condo search a more challenging and more frustrating task.
Many buyers are under the impression that condo policies on pets can be taken lightly because after all you do own the unit, why shouldn’t you be allowed to bring your pet? Unless you want a lawsuit on your hands, abide by the condo corporations rules. To date, there have been many legal battles concerning the pets in condos; therefore it is best to do your research and due diligence prior to purchasing a condo in Toronto if you plan on moving with your pet.
Many condo buildings have rules and regulations that do not allow pets at all or have put restrictions on the size of your pet. Here’s what you can do to ensure you pet can move along with you:
Ask your real estate sales representative to only show you units where pets are permitted. Once you’ve chosen the condo you would like to reside in and you’ve decided to put in an offer, make sure that your real estate sales representative makes the offer conditional on your lawyer’s review of the status certificate. A portion of this document deals specifically with the pet rules and regulations in the condo building, outlining the number, size and type of pets. Even if pets are permitted, any animal that is considered to be a nuisance or dangerous to the health, safety or welfare of the community is prohibited.

Click on DNA CONDOS for more information.

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Condo Chicks win an Award

The Condo Chicks recently won an award from Buzz Buzz Homes!

Lower Maintenance Fees at DNA Condos

Buying a condo essentially means buying into a low maintenance way of living. Condos can be an affordable and stress free way to live as each month the owner pays a maintenance fee to cover certain common costs of the building. While having a low maintenance fee is ideal there are other factors to consider such as what is included in the monthly maintenance fee and the financial health of the buildings condo corporation.
Maintenance fees are paid to the condo corporation each month to cover common expenses in the building such as pool maintenance, security guards, grounds maintenance, etc. Maintenance fees are usually based on the size of the condo unit (square feet) therefore the larger the unit, the more the owner is contributing towards paying the common building expenses. Each year maintenance fees usually increase, as features of the building begin to wear out and need to be replaced and service contracts increase. This is why older condo buildings usually have a higher maintenance fee than newer ones. In addition, the more amenities a condo building offers its residents, such as a swimming pool, also contributes to a higher maintenance fee.
Many times I have buyer clients asking me to find them a condo with low maintenance fees. It’s not so black and white. You have to ask yourself a few other questions like what expenses do the monthly maintenance fee include? Does it include Heat, Hydro, Water, central air and building insurance? Each condo is different so make sure to find out exactly what is included. One condo may offer a low maintenance fee but utilities are not included whereas another condo may have a higher fee but you don’t have to worry about added utility bills.
Another thing to consider is the financial health of the condo building. Check with the property management to see if the monthly maintenance fees have been increased lately or if there is an increase scheduled for the near future. Special assessments are also important to take into account. Large repairs such as replacing the roof, are big ticket items. Depending on the situation of the condo corporation, they may choose to bill each unit owner their portion of the cost of the repair. The owner maybe required to pay in one lump sum or may be able to pay for it monthly for a certain time period. This cost is in addition to the monthly maintenance fee.
So next time you are looking for a condo with low maintenance fees make sure you take these other factors into consideration. Have your lawyer review the financial situation of the condo and only then you can decide if the maintenance fees are truly ideal.

Click on DNA CONDOS for more information.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Tips on Selling your DNA Condo

When selling your condo, it is extremely important to show it at its potential. Here are a few simple things you can do to increase the attractiveness of your condo unit to potential buyers while still keeping within a budget. Some of these items are do-it yourself projects and some require the help of a professional. Either way these changes will help you get top dollar for your condo unit and also have a great return on investment.
In cost ascending order, here is what you can do to better present your condo unit for sale:
1) De-clutter and de-personalize– This is probably the most cost effective yet easy improvement you can choose to do. When it comes to showing your condo, less is more. Remove religious items, family photos, gadgets and knickknacks. Keep in mind you want the buyer to remember the condo unit and not your extensive collection of DVD’s.
2) Clean – I know you are busy, but grab the vacuum and the glass cleaner and get rid of those dust mites and smudgy windows. People can not envision themselves living in a dirty home.
3) Upgrade hardware – Are those handles on your kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors still from the 90’s? Changing the hardware is a simple and cost effective way to give a new, modern look to an old cupboard door.
4) Upgrade light fixtures- Change old, outdated light fixtures and electrical cover plates. These are cheap to replace yet make a huge difference in the appearance of a room. Don’t forget to make sure to replace burnt out light bulbs as well.
5) Paint – Freshen up the interior of your condo unit with a new coat of paint. Use a neutral colour to make the space appear larger than it is and also to allow the buyer to envision their own furniture in the space.
6) Upgrade flooring – If it’s in your budget, replace old broadloom with simple, neutral broadloom or hardwood floors. If hardwood is way out of your budget, opt for laminate.
7) Kitchen Upgrades – One of the first areas in a condo a woman looks at is the kitchen. If it’s not in your budget to re-model the kitchen then consider replacing those old appliances with stainless steel. Stainless steel appliances are sleek and will give your home that modern touch.
In today’s buyers market it is more important than ever to make your condo unit more attractive to potential buyers. After all, you only get one chance at a first impression so why not make it a good one!

Click on DNA CONDOS for more information.

Selecting a Realtor to Buy or Sell Your DNA Condo

In the City of Toronto, it seems that everyone is in real estate, is getting into real estate or knows someone in real estate. It is definitely an industry that has seen an over saturation of real estate agents. Currently there is over 30 000 real estate agents registered with the Toronto Real Estate Board. That is a lot of agents to choose from when looking for representation for your condo sale or a condo purchase. Therefore how do you make the choice? The following tips will help you find the best agent for you.
1. Find an agent in the area or building you are looking to sell or buy. This is an important part of the selection process. Agents become “experts” in certain areas therefore they have the inside scoop of buyers and sellers in the area. A lot of the time they will know when someone is looking to list prior to which can essentially give you an edge when looking to buy into the condo building. On the flip side, if you are looking to sell your condo, an agent that is working in the building, will also have a pool of buyers looking to get into the building thus giving you an advantage.
2. If you are looking to buy a pre construction condo, it is an advantage to be represented by a seasoned pre construction agent in Toronto. A lot of developers open their doors first to what is called VIP real estate agents. These agents are allowed to purchase condos prior to the building being opened to regular brokers as well as to the public. The price per square foot will be at the lowest point, thus making your investment a lot more beneficial. Ask your VIP agent if he has sold for that particular builder before and if he has special VIP access.
3. Referrals are also an indication that a real estate agent has done a good job in the past. Ask your friends and family if they were particularly happy with the services provided by an agent in the past. It is always re assuring to know they have done a good job with other clients. A referral is essentially a real estate agent’s resume.
4. Communication while selecting a real estate agent is key. Don’t be shy to sit down with a few potential agents and tell them what you are looking for in services. Real estate agents work in different ways, therefore you have to find the one the works best for you. You are essentially interviewing for a job. You must be comfortable with the agent and be prepared to establish a working relationship that makes everyone happy.
As there are many reputable and established real estate agents in the City of Toronto, the selection process can be somewhat tiresome. By taking into the consideration the above mentioned tips, you should be able to find yourself an agent that will be able to sell your condo, find you a condo to live in or invest with no problems. It is quite the norm to have a few different agents to help you out in the different aspects of Toronto Condo Market.

Click on DNA CONDOS for more information.

Friday, January 21, 2011

New Mortgage Rules when Buying a DNA Condo

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has just released some info on new rules for CMHC insured mortgages, which will be implemented as of March 18th. A CMHC insured mortgage occurs when less than 20% is put down on a purchase of a property.
For home buyers with a CMHC insured mortgage, the new rules will effect mortgage amortization. Amortization will be changed from 35 years to 30 years.  On average this change will increase monthly payments by around $40 for every $100K borrowed. Down payments for purchases can still be 5%.
In terms of refinancing, the max mortgage advance will be 85% of the appraised value. This loan to value number used to be 90%.
Good news is that these new mortgage rules will help to keep interest rates low. The Bank of Canada has announced no prime rate change, leaving variable rate mortgages and credit lines as is. Flaherty hopes these new rules will help to keep Canadians spending in check.
We have about 2 months before the new rules come into play (March 18th). If you are looking to purchase a Toronto condo, make sure to visit the bank or your mortgage broker soon to arrange financing. Contact the Condo Chicks below in you are looking to purchase or sell a Toronto Condo.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

DNA Condos Availabilty

Currently there are some great  units remaining at what will be one of the most superior Toronto Condos in King West, DNA3 Condos. Units range from  500s/f to over 700s/f.  These units will all have outstanding finishes.

Contact The Condo Chicks for availability.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

DNA Condos For Rent

Currently there are some 1 and two bedroom units for rent at Dna Condos. For a viewing, contact
The Condo Chicks.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

DNA1 and DNA2 Condos Market Update

In the last 30 days in Toronto Condos DNA located in King West:

1. There is a 1 bedroom plus den unit with both parking and locker available for just under $320,000.00
2. There is a 2 bedroom unit with both parking and locker available for just under $400,00.00
3. A 1 bedroom plus den unit with both parking and locker sold for just under $350,00.00

If you're interested in buying or selling in DNA Condos, contact The Condo Chicks

Saturday, January 8, 2011

DNA Condos 1005 King Street West & 1 Shaw Street

In the heart of King West are the DNA Condos and Lofts (Downtown’s Next Address). 2 towers make up this complex (Phase 2 at 1005 King). Ultra modern suites feature polished concrete or hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances, and granite counter tops.Walk to Queen and King St W and Liberty Village shops, restaurants and 24 hour Metro. Java lovers can get their morning coffee at the Starbucks on the main level of the building.

LOCATION: 1005 King Street West & 1 Shaw St (South side of King and east of Shaw)

FEATURES: Gym, meeting rooms, security guard and system.

DEVELOPER: Canderel Stoneridge

A third tower, DNA3 is going to be built on the North side of King St. Sales at the 3rd tower was launched in the Spring of 2010.

Contact the Condo Chicks if you interested in buying or selling a unit at DNA.

Friday, January 7, 2011

King West is the Place to Be!

 The Toronto Condo Market has demonstrated it’s strength in the past six months. With interest rates at an all time low, there is not enough inventory to satisfy buyer demand. The high demand areas in the City of Toronto such as the Bay Street Corridor, CityPlace and the Entertainment District are experiencing dramatic increases in the prices per square foot due to the increasing demand of buyers wanting to be in these locations. Just a year ago, some condos in these areas were selling for $450 s/f. You can’t find anything in these locations at that price point anymore. It is for that reason, that locations  such as King West are gaining momentum.
Many may argue that King West extends as far as Liberty Village, which is not the case. “True” King West technically ends at King and Strachen. Over the past few years, King West has become recognized as a prime location for condo buyers. Even though it may not be as centrally located as condos east of Spadina, it is for this reason this location is grabbing the attention of buyers and investors. With buildings being zoned as low rises and an abundance of greenery, these aspects alone are very appealing to buyers.
Another factor that is appealing to buyers and especially investors, is the price per square foot. With buildings selling in the $300.00 s/f range just five years ago, owners in King West have made a great investment. With the average price per square foot now being well over $500.00, investors are flocking to the area hoping that only in a short time, prices will catch up to the $600.00s/f as condos in “prime locations.”
A lot of developers have started to jump on the King West opportunity. Recently, projects such as Art Condos and Minto at 775 King West have launched hoping to take advantage of the King West intrigue. Canderel Stoneridge, who is responsible for condo buildings DNA1 and DNA2 has successfully launched their third and final phase of their DNA series. Having essentially being one of the first to make it’s mark in King West, their third and final phase, DNA3 is expected to be one of the most sought out buildings in the City. This final phase will be built in the old Chrysler parking lot, which is the last prime location in King West.
For information on any other condos in the King West area, contact the Condo Chicks!