March 2022 Real Estate Newsletter
Thursday Mar 17th, 2022
As we start heading into the spring market, inventory will likely increase and hopefully provide more opportunities to buyers – especially for those in the market for a condo under 500k. Prices will continue to remain high and interest rates will remain the same for the foreseeable future. The only area where prices are not as competitive seem to be high rise condos in the downtown area. It could be because many have high condo fees that cost well into the 600’s/month or higher. My opinion: Once we get this pandemic behind us and people start heading back to their offices downtown, restaurants and business can remain open, RedBlacks games and other events can resume without restrictions - high rise condos in the area will become more in demand. For now, the suburbs remain as the hot spot.
Hot Condos under $500,000
The condominium market has become an incredibly hot commodity for many investors, first time buyers, relocators, and downsizers. The bulk of the action is in the suburbs from Orleans to Stittsville, Hunt Club to Barrhaven and anywhere in between. The majority of these hot condos are older 1970-1980’s two storey ‘row-unit townhouse’ style condominiums that typically offer 2-3 bedrooms, 1.5 bathrooms and a basement. The condo fees range from $200-600 per month and cover most exterior maintenance, landscaping, building insurance, 1 parking spot and visitor parking, snow removal and water. Another popular condo style is the ‘stacked’ condo which are typically built in the late 90’s or newer and continue to be built by several builders. These condos consist of 4 units together in one section. The two inner doors will lead to the upper units and the two outer doors lead to the main/lower units. Each unit is a 2 storey – the upper units have the living/dining and kitchen in one area and the bedrooms on the upper. The main/lower units have the living/dining and kitchen on the main and bedrooms in the lower/basement. The units all have a rear balcony with the main/lower units having access to ground level. Another version of the ‘stacked’ condos features 6 units on one end and 6 units on the other end. The 2 inner units go up to one level, the 2 outer units stay on the main and two lower units are accessed below grade through their own entrance to a one level unit each. These are great starter homes for any first-time buyer or an investor. The market for these types of condos have increased significantly with most of them selling well over $400,000.
Key Buying Tips
The real estate market is fast paced, and timing is always of the essence. Make sure you are fully prepared that way when the right home comes along, you can move on it quickly. Here are few tips to help get you started:
Pre-Approval – Its important to know your budget and how much you can get approved for. Getting a pre-approval is not a guarantee however it will help you target homes that are your price range. You will also know how much your monthly payments are, the interest rate, and how much money you will need for a down-payment.
Avoid Taking on More Debt – Try to avoid taking out a new loan, credit card, or making a large purchase such a leasing or financing a car until after you have purchased and closed on your new home. The more debt you have, the higher your debt-to-income ratios goes up. This will work against you when trying to get a mortgage as you will be seen as a higher risk by the banks or lenders.
Co-signer – This is especially important if you have bad credit, low income, or self-employment. Be prepared for the worst-case scenario and have a plan B. Perhaps mom or dad, maybe a relative or friend can be your backup. Typically, 1-2 years after your purchase, you can re-apply for financing and have your co-signer removed from the loan or apply for a new loan all-together.
Follow these keys steps and you will be on the fast track to successful home ownership.
As always, it would be my pleasure to assist you, your friends and family with any Real Estate needs. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions!