Real Estate Blog

The coronavirus pandemic has derailed buying and selling activities in the property market. Albeit fewer homes have been listed for sale, the industry is gradually recovering. Prospective buyers can make purchases and sellers can list their properties for sale while adhering to prevention measures for safe transactions.


When this year started, the Real Estate Market was showing prospects of steady growth until the novel coronavirus took toll of the industry in March. With strict restrictions to limit the spread of Covid-19 put in place, householders took to a cautious approach, trying not to make purchases or listing their properties for sale.  There have been reports showing the volume of mortgage applications falling up to 24%, despite the rock-bottom mortgage rates.


Nonetheless, that's not to say that all hopes of buying and selling your home are entirely shuttered. Those who were on the verge of closing home deals, or want to purchase properties they can still do so.


Here are helpful...

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Property owners refinance their homes and commercial properties all the time. As your credit improves and you have built more equity into the property, it may make fiscal sense to refinance when interest rates dip low; the move can save you hundreds of dollars every year.


On the other hand, sometimes refinancing a mortgage may not the right thing to do. When you speak to a mortgage professional or real estate agent, we will review what you need to know in order to make informed decisions about how to best proceed with a refinancing plan.


What Are the Penalties?


Possible penalties are a risk for refinancing a home or commercial property. In mortgage agreements, there may be clauses that allow lenders to assess a fee for refinancing and/or paying down an existing mortgage with a line of home equity credit. In certain situations, a mortgage may contain a provision that allows the lender to assess a penalty fee when the homeowner pays more than 20% on the outstanding balance of the...

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We are facing a challenging time as we work together to combat COVID-19 in our country and even our own neighborhoods. With so much uncertainty in the air, is it a good time to think about buying a house? Especially as a First-Time Home Buyer?



The housing market can be highly seasonal, sales are typically low through the start of the year and then heats up in the spring and through the summer, like the weather. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed those trends because of lockdowns and social distancing measures. The number of homes sold has fallen but prices appear to be holding steady for now.

Are there any benefits to becoming a First-Time Buyer right now?



Low-Interest Rates:



Interest rates have been dropping to an all-time low as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Real estate is one of the largest economic sectors; lowering the interest rate is an attempt to entice more people to purchase a home.

There are also various government incentives that may help first-time buyers...

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Buying your first home is a scary and exciting process because it’s a HUGE commitment. It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of home shopping and mistakes can leave you with buyer’s remorse later.


Here are some First-Time Homebuyer Mistakes you may want to avoid:

1) Looking For a Home Before Applying For a Mortgage.
A common mistake that many first-time buyers make is to start viewing homes before they get in front of a mortgage professional. You may end up behind the ball if you find a home that you love and end up losing the property by not being pre-approved for a mortgage.


2) Draining Your Savings
It may not be a good idea to spend all or most of your savings on the down payment and closing costs, especially with the current events. It is a good idea to have three to six months of living expenses in an emergency fund no matter if you plan to buy a house or not.


3) Buying More House Than You Can Afford
It is easy to fall in love with a home that may stretch your budget...

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For homeowners across the globe, home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) have become a handy way of tapping into the value of their homes. However, when borrowing money against your home, it is always a good idea to be a little cautious about what you spend it on. As such, it usually isn't a good idea to use a HELOC to pay for a vacation or buy a new TV. So then, what should homeowners use HELOCs for?


1) Home Improvements
Using a HELOC to make improvements to your home can be a great way to increase the property's value. Whether you want to install a pool, renovate the kitchen, or add a bathroom, tapping into your home's equity is an easy and efficient way to finance the project. In some cases, you might even find that you have more equity in your home after the project has been completed than you did before you used your HELOC.

2) Emergency Fund
Ideally, it is a good idea to have about six months’ worth of expenses tucked away. If you are in a crunch, your home’s equity can serve...

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Mortgage rates are at a historic low. If you're thinking about refinancing your mortgage, you could possibly save significant amounts of money over the years. Especially in the first years of owning your home, a large percentage of your monthly mortgage payment actually goes toward paying interest rather than the principal.


Refinancing your mortgage is usually done for one of the following reasons:

- To lower your interest rate


This is one of the most common reasons. If you first obtained your mortgage when interest rates were higher, refinancing enable you to save money each month. You may also qualify for a lower interest rate if your credit rating has improved since you first qualified for your home loan.

- To change the length of your mortgage


When you refinance your mortgage, you're really obtaining a new one. You can choose to lengthen or shorten your term - whichever you'd prefer. Generally, shorter mortgage terms have lower interest rates.

- To obtain a different type of mortgage...

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A home is a massive investment. Any new homeowner will naturally hope their investment will gain value. While nothing in life is guaranteed, there are some excellent indicators that a home is likely to substantially increase in worth over the years. Here are the six main signs to look for.


1. A nice neighborhood. Location often plays the largest role in determining home value. Consider what can be found in close proximity to home. Are there quality restaurants, cafes, good grocery stores, banks, and department stores relatively nearby? How about pleasant parks and trails? Most importantly, is the area safe and crime-free?


2. A pleasant street. Virtually all home buyers prefer a house found on a quiet street with a nice atmosphere. Think big leafy trees and well-maintained lawns -- the kind of place it would be enjoyable to walk in. Homes that are obviously run-down are a huge negative -- for example, a house that looks as if it hasn't had a fresh coat of paint in decades.


3. A strict...

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Whether you're a home-buyer or a seller, it pays to understand the real estate market if you want to get a good deal. Unfortunately, a series of damaging ideas has grown up around real estate which can get in the way of a smooth transaction for both sides.


Here are six of the worst myths you need to ignore.


1) Spring is the Busiest Season.


Traditionally, the best time to list a home was in spring. This was because parents would try to move home over the summer holidays, minimizing the disruption to their children's education. Naturally, spring became the busiest season with the most homes appearing on the market.


However, today's home-buyer profile is a lot more varied than in the past. More than half of buyers are unmarried and have no children, and the school timetable is no longer nearly so relevant.


Instead, as a seller focus on getting your home In the best sale-ready condition you can before listing, rather than rushing to meet an outdated deadline. And as a buyer, start your search...

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It's a dream to be able to pay off your mortgage early, but is there a downside?  While it sounds like a great idea, there are some factors to consider before doing so.  This article will explore some of the reasons you may want to hold off on that final payoff amount.


Other Debts 


If you have various other debts (credit cards, auto loans, etc.) it's a good idea to pay those off before the mortgage.  Why?  Well, credit cards usually have astronomical interest rates so that outstanding balance will only grow if you choose to put all your money towards your mortgage.


That extra interest on your credit card or auto loan isn't tax deductible, which leads to the next point.


Check for Penalties 


Some mortgages come with a prepayment penalty.  If you're thinking about paying yours off early, then check the fine print to see if it applies, and also run the numbers to see if early payoff makes sense.


Fund Your Retirement Plan 


Before you go paying the mortgage...

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Buying a home is always a big decision, but when you're a first-time buyer it's even more important to get it right. Without home-buying experience to draw on, it's easy to make mistakes you could regret for years to come. Here's what to avoid.

1) Don't Rush the Mortgage

In the excitement of buying your first home, it can be tempting to sign up for the first mortgage offer you're approved for. Being too hasty is a serious mistake which can cause difficulties for a long time to come.


It's a good idea to speak to an impartial mortgage adviser before committing yourself to any deal, but in any case, always bear some simple points in mind.


  • Be very cautious about how much you try to borrow, making sure you leave plenty of headroom in your budget. Owning your own home has many extra costs compared to renting, and you need to leave yourself some breathing space to handle them.

  • Explore your down payment options. The larger the down payment you can afford, the lower your monthly payments will be....
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