Monday, December 26, 2005

The Do's and Don'ts - Home Mortgage

The Do's and Don'ts - Home Mortgage
Buying a home will probably be the biggest and most important investment of your life. The costs of owning a home (Annual mortgage, taxes and insurance) can vary from 25% to 40% of your gross annual income.
To ensure that home ownership is a pleasant experience and that you won’t end up in an unmanageable situation, you must take steps to protect yourself. This means getting information to act prudently and get the best deals, whether its purchasing a house or negotiating your mortgage. Talk to family, friends and real estate professionals and read any pertinent material. The effort you take will save you money and heartache.
Read the entire article at my website

Do: Get a pre-approval before shopping for a home.
Getting pre-approved means that you have the loan to purchase your house. Your lender has gone through the detailed process of reviewing your income, assets, credit history and other relevant information to see if you fully qualify for the loan. Usually, there is little or no cost to get pre-approved by mortgage companies. The advantages are many when you get the pre-approval first.

Sticking To Your Budget: When you go shopping for a house, you will have a set budget based on the amount you have been approved on your mortgage. This will help you stay within what you can comfortably afford and not stretch your finances too thin.

More Negotiating Power: If the seller knows you have been pre-approved, he or she will be more willing to negotiate with you. They won’t have to worry about the transaction not going through because you did not get the mortgage. Because you are dealing from a position of strength, you can probably lower their asking prices by a few thousand dollars.

No Time Is Wasted: You will not be wasting your time shopping for houses that you won’t be able to get a mortgage on. Besides, most good real estate agents will not show you homes until you are pre-approved. They don't want to waste your, their, or the seller's time.

Don’t: Abide by verbal agreements
Always remember in any dispute, written contracts always carry more weight than verbal agreements. For example, if the realtor mentions that the light fixtures are included with the home but is not put in the contract—the written contract will always override the verbal contract.

Don’t: Blindly going to a lender that is referred to by a realtor.
We earn our commission once the transaction is closed. We can help with recommendations, but you should always shop around yourself. Always do your research before committing yourself to a lender. You should be shopping for a loan with at least three mortgage companies before you make a decision. Getting better terms will translate to thousands of dollar savings over the life of your mortgage. Ask me for advice or questions you may have regarding financing.

Don’t: Automatically go to the lender with the lowest rate and also not getting a written good-faith estimate.
The quoted APR (Annual Percentage Rate) by a prospective lender is not the only consideration to go by. You must ask the lender what fees were included in the calculation of the APR. Fees can be appraisals, Private mortgage insurance and loan processing. The one that quoted the lowest APR might not include all the required fees in processing the loan. If you do sign with that particular lender, you might be paying unforeseen fees or learn that you will be paying extra points. You might not be getting the best rate after all.

To compare rates, you should ask for a written GFE (Good Faith Estimate) of closing costs from several lenders before submitting your application. With a few GFEs to compare, you can learn what fees are incorporated and find out which lender is more forthcoming regarding the costs of your transaction. The lowest APR is not always the best rate but the lenders that are most thorough in disclosing their fees. Usually within 3 business days after receipt of your completed loan application, your mortgage company is required to provide you with a written good-faith estimate (GFE) of closing costs.

There is no substitute for asking friends and family for referrals and for interviewing prospective lenders. You must be comfortable with the loan officer and their institution that you will be dealing with and know they are working in your best interest. The cost of the mortgage is not your only criteria.

Do: If you’re getting a rate lock, get it in writing.
When your mortgage company informs you they have locked your rate, get a written statement specifying the interest rate.

Do: Use professional inspectors when buying a home, never take the seller’s word that repairs have been made.
Inspection reports will protect you from paying out for any unforeseen repairs after you purchased the house. These reports will highlight repairs that might have to be done on the property. Using these reports, you can negotiate for better pricing or have the seller do the repairs. There are property, roof and termite inspections.

After the seller agrees to do the repairs, make sure your inspector verify that the work is completed prior to close of escrow. Never assume that everything will be done as indicated.

If you are buying a new home, you won’t require the service of a professional inspector since you are with warranties on most equipment.

Don’t: Waiting right before the closing to start shopping for home insurance.
The moment your offer is accepted, start shopping for insurance. This will give you time to find the best rates and conditions.

Do: Read the documents before signing them.
As soon as you can, review the documents you’ll be signing at close of escrow, including copies of all loan documents. By doing these, you can highlight certain points and have your questions answered promptly. If you sign the documents in a hurry, you probably won’t get this opportunity.

Don’t: Assume moving plans go like clock work, plan for possible delays.
There is nothing worse than being caught in a bind where you don’t have any contingency plans. These situations will cost you money and grief.

Imagine a scenario; it's Friday afternoon and you are moving from your current residence to your new home over the weekend. Everything is packed and the new people are moving to your old residence the same day. What would you do if you found out that morning the home transaction got delayed because your loan was not processed on time. The deal will close the following Wednesday and not on your moving day. So what would you do???

To avoid this situation, please ensure that all mortgage documents are in place, at your lawyers office well in advance of the closing date.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Typcial closing costs when buying a home

Consider closing costs when buying a home
Read about all the closing costs when you buy a home here

Buying your first home is an exciting process. You determined how much home you can afford, you saved your down payment, you and your REALTOR found the perfect home and your offer was accepted. While the purchase price of your home is the largest cost you will encounter, there are other costs to prepare for when buying a home.

It’s a good idea to budget some extra cash to cover the cost of obtaining a mortgage and “closing” your real estate transaction. Here are some of the extra cost items you should consider:

Appraisal fee
Mortgage lenders will usually loan a percentage of the home’s purchase price or the market appraisal of the property, whichever is lower. The appraisal is either done by someone on the lender’s staff or by an outside professional approved

Monday, December 19, 2005

New Feature! See all my Mississauga and GTA listings on Google Maps

I have just added all of my listings to google maps. Now you can see where my listings are located on the map as well as have direct links to more details and pictures of all my listings. See the new google map page here

Friday, December 16, 2005

Public Open houses on my listings for Saturday and Sunday December 17th and 18th

You may see that I am having 5 open houses this weekend on Saturday and Sunday. Please follow these linkgs to see the Public Open Houses on my listings this weekend - Saturday & Sunday December 10th and 11th, see them all here or quick list here

These will be the last public open houses for this year.

I wish you and your family all the best over the holidays and a very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!

Lawyer Joke suitable for the Christmas season

Courtesy of Stu's Cartoons

What would life be without a little lawyer bashing at this festive time of year. I sent this to my lawyer and he was mildly amused.

"Santa Claus, the tooth fairy, an honest lawyer and an old drunk are walking down the street together when they simultaneously spot a hundred dollar bill. Who gets it? The old drunk, of course, the other three are mythological creatures."

Being an Engineer, I found this funny.

A lawyer and an engineer were fishing in the Caribbean. The lawyer, wanting to start a conversation with the gentleman next to him, said "I'm here 'cause my house burned down and everything I owned was destroyed by the fire. The insurance company paid for everything." "That's quite a coincidence," said the engineer, "I'm here 'cause my house and all my belongings were destroyed by a flood, and my insurance company also paid for everything." The lawyer pondered the engineer's plight for a moment and, looking somewhat confused, asked, "How do you start a flood?"

And finally, another good lawyer joke...

A man walked into a lawyer's office and inquired about the lawyer's rates. "$50.00 for three questions," replied the lawyer. "Isn't that kinda steep?", asked the man while dolling out the $50.00. "Yes," answered the lawyer, "what's your third question?"

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

What you can do to improve your bottom line while your home is being shown to a prospective buyer.

This page shows you what you can do to improve your bottom line while your home is being shown to a prospective buyer.
How to Help Agents when they are Showing Your Home
Let the agent sell your home. It is usually much better if you are not there during the showing, the prospective buyers can talk openly with the agent, who is well versed in handling objections and calming nerves.

Children, pets and adults can keep buyers from feeling at ease while they look through a home. For showings, please be out of the house if possible.

Turn off the television and stereo, even background music can be distracting.

Turn on all lights for the entire showing. Open drapes in the daytime, close them at night.

Strong cooking or smoking odors can ruin a sale. Make sure your home is fresh for showings. Create pleasant aromas by opening windows, putting out fresh flowers, or baking bread or cookies a bit before the showing.

Have a lock box installed and leave your home in "ready to show condition" whenever possible.

Use an answering machine or another message system available so messages can be left regarding appointments.

Make sure that the feature sheets of your home are left in a conspicuous place. If your supply is getting low, let me know and I will drop some more off.

Remove and replace major items not included in the sale if you feel this is necessary - you don't have to remove small things - e.g.: dining room chandelier or the occasional window covering

Often it is difficult for Agents to schedule appointments precisely. Expect Agents one half hour either way of the scheduled appointment time.

If your for sale sign is vandalized or dislodges, please let me know right away and I will have it corrected.

Be sure to put valuables away. Although theft problems are extremely rare, you are always better safe than sorry.

Of course, there are " Mark's 5 WRITTEN Guarantees " just in case you are not convinced yet that Mark is the right Agent for you!

Here is the complete list of 79 ideas and suggestions to get you more money when you sell with more tips on what to do before and during a showing :-)

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Real Estate Glossary of Terms and Definitions

You will find some common and not so common terms used in real estate in Ontario, Canada and in the United States. I hope you find this useful. If you have any questions or require further information, please email me.

Real Estate in Mississauga Complete Real Estate Glossary at my website

Friday, December 09, 2005

Public Open houses on my listings this Saturday and Sunday

You may see that I am having 5 open houses this weekend on Saturday and Sunday. Please follow these linkgs to see the Public Open Houses on my listings this weekend - Saturday & Sunday December 10th and 11th, see them all here or quick list here

Thursday, December 08, 2005

What is the Importance of a home inspection?

A home inspection prior to purchasing a home or condominium can bring peace of mind when you sign the sales contract. Knowing what to expect both inside and out will help you make an informed decision about the value of the home and the future upkeep.

A home inspection accomplishes two important goals. First, it gives you a chance to determine the condition of the house, its structural soundness, and the condition of its mechanical systems. Second, it brings any problems to the seller's attention at a time when they can be resolved before closing a sale.

If you sign a contract before inspection, consider including a clause that the sale is conditional upon a satisfactory structural inspection, and specify when the inspection is to be carried out. That way, you are protected.

What do they do?
A comprehensive inspection includes a visual examination of the structure from top to bottom, including the heating, air conditioning systems, the interior plumbing and electrical systems, the roof and visible insulation, walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors, the foundation, basement and visible structure.

Following the examination, the inspector will provide a report that not only points out possible defects or areas of concerns, but also the positive aspects of the structure as well as the type of maintenance that will be necessary to keep the home in good shape.

Even the most experienced homeowners lack the knowledge and expertise of a professional inspection firm. For example, watermarks in the basement may indicate a chronic seepage problem, or simply may be a result of a single incident.

A professional assessment will provide complete information about the condition of the property you are considering and will help avoid any unpleasant surprises after the sale. In addition, a home inspector can remain totally objective, while you as a prospective home buyer may be emotionally involved.

The inspection fee for a typical single-family house can vary depending upon the geographic area. The particular features of the home such as size, age and special structures will be taken into consideration. A decision to have a home inspected is a good investment. You might save many times the cost of inspection by being aware of defects, maintenance requirements, and upgrading requirements. In our area home inspection fees are approximately $300 and up, plus GST, of course.

Good decorating should not sell you on a house. Remember, you're also buying structural and mechanical systems. Walk through a house twice before you hire an inspector. The first time, look at the rooms, the floor plan, and envision your own decorating ideas for the house. The second time, go back and look at the condition of the walls, doors, appliance, and plumbing. If the home still looks good after two visits and you're getting serious about the purchase, hire an inspector.

Inspectors should be licensed in building-related fields; architects, contractors, and structural engineers are good examples. When interviewing a potential home inspection firm, carefully inquire about the specifics of their work and company. Ask how long they have been in business, ask for references from previous customers. Find out what type of insurance they carry and do they guarantee inspections?

What will I get?
A home inspection usually lasts about three hours. Professional inspection companies will be happy to answer all your questions. Avoid firms that issue only a verbal report. The report should be in narrative form, not just a checklist of items inspected. The home inspector should also issue a written report with accurate cost estimates for any major defects discovered during the inspection. You may find it valuable to accompany the inspector as he goes through the house.

Property inspections are not limited to residential properties. Many inspectors help homeowners with analysis and solutions to specific problems such as energy conservation, wet basements or cracked foundations. Inspectors also inspect work upon completion to ensure that a contract has been properly fulfilled.

If you are considering purchasing a home, the Ontario Real Estate Association (and Mark) advises that you invest in an inspection by a reputable and qualified inspection firm. Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions you will make. Know what you are buying and what your future upkeep obligations will be.
Read more about home inspectors at my website

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Five properties all on open house today in Mississauga

I am having 5 open houses on 5 of my listings this weekend on Sunday December 4th from 2-4 pm, see them all here
Thank you and have a nice day!

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Should I buy a Resale Home or New Home from the builder?

It can be a difficult decision whether to purchase a resale home or a new home from a builder.

Although new homes typically have a higher sales price than comparable existing homes, buyers are willing to spend more up-front with an understanding that part of what they are paying for is assured low maintenance costs. A builder's warranty, along with brand-new roof, appliances, furnace, and other operating systems that make major repairs unnecessary, work together to counteract possible slower appreciation initially.

Buying New Versus Resale
In today's highly competitive market there is a vast array of choices to be made when deciding on the type of dwelling you wish to reside in. Below is a comparison of the advantages and disadvantages of buying a new home versus a resale home.

Advantages of a New Home
One of the primary advantages of buying a new home is the ability to decorate your home from the beginning exactly the way you want.

You can pick all the colors, which range from paint to carpet. You can also make the tile and cabinetry selection for the kitchen and bathrooms.

Often, new homes will have more modern conveniences, better insulation and can be more energy efficient.

Disadvantages of a New Home
Unfortunately, with a new home purchase you should be prepared for the on-going construction you will find around you. Chances are that your grass and lawn will not be in, your driveway will be gravel and your street will turn into a sea of mud whenever it rains or snows. If things are going to go wrong with a newly constructed house, they will appear in the first one to two years. As the house settles you may find cracks appearing in the walls of the basement, especially near any windows in the basement, make sure you get them fixed right away. Also, you should not finish your basement in a new home for at least a couple of years, just in case cracks and leaks develop.

There are additional expenses associated with new homes that you will not typically find in a resale home. For example, you may have to spend additional money for appliances, curtains, drapes, central vacuum, humidifiers, decks, fencing, electric garage door openers, finishing the basement, walkways, outdoor lighting, indoor light fixtures, trees, shrubs, gardens and landscaping, children's play sets, swimming pool, air conditioning, etc.

Closing costs are typically higher for new homes. The purchaser will pay for such additional costs as the New Home Warranty Program, tree planting, utility hook ups and paving of the driveway.

Usually, when you buy a new home, you don't have an opportunity to see the actual layout. All that is provided is a blueprint and in many cases the end product may be a disappointment to the purchaser because of changes that the builder or sub-contractor does not follow or does themselves. Additionally, there is the uncertainty as to who will be your neighbours.

Advantages of a Resale Home
The major advantage of buying a resale home is that you are moving into an established neighborhood. Your lawn is green, your shrubs are growing, your driveway is paved and your trees are well enough established to give your street a feeling of permanence. Often, most extras are already present, such as appliances, curtains, drapes, central vacuum, humidifiers, decks, fencing, electric garage door openers, finishing the basement, walkways, outdoor lighting, indoor light fixtures, trees, shrubs, gardens and landscaping, children's play sets, swimming pool, air conditioning, etc.

Read the Entire Article at my website at this link

In summary, a resale home can cost less, be more conveniently located, you know the area and amenities and have less risk involved. A new home can be constructed to have the exact style and features you desire, but usually with much higher costs, limited locations, and more risk.

In today's market place both new and resale homes are selling briskly. Once you've evaluated the pros and cons of each alternative, you can make an intelligent, educated decision as to which option is best suited for your particular needs.

Ultimately, the decision should be based on your needs and wants, your family and/or children, your tolerance for risk and the unknown and ultimately your budget.

Read more about buying new or resale

Read the Entire Article at my website at this link

Monday, November 28, 2005

When is the best time of year to purchase my home?

Average price graph from 1995 to date
When is the best time of year to purchase my home?
The best time of year to make your purchase is dependant upon many factors, including your personal situation, the local real estate market conditions and the general state of the economy. My experience says that the best time to purchase your home 'was yesterday' and I'm not kidding. You must get into the market as soon as you can, mainly to begin reducing your mortgage rather than paying your landlord which in turn increases your equity and allows you to move up to a larger home within a few shorts years. This is one of the secrets to real estate.
You may see a very interesting and regular pattern of price changes in the marketplace and this will give you an idea of the market peaks and valleys during the year.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Detailed description and names & addresses of some of the highrise Condominium Buildings in Mississauga

This page and the page at the link below will show you pictures and give a detailed description of the names and addresses of some of the highrise Condominium Buildings in Mississauga

If you are looking to purchase a condo anywhere in Mississauga and you want me to send you active (or sold) listings in a particular building(s), please go to this link and I will send you all the current condos for sale in a particular building.  I can send you sold properties too, all you have to do is ask.  Your choice!

Do you want information on a condo building in Mississauga?  Click here and I will send you listings for any condo building in Mississauga

Can you show me a detailed description with photos of some of the Condo Buildings in Mississauga?

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

What is the difference between Tax Assessment and Property Taxes and the Mill Rate?

Purchasing a House: Property Taxes, Assessment & Market Value
Property Taxes are a lien on the land and as such are a secured debt to the municipality. As is the case with every municipality of the Province of Ontario, assessment are based on the prior years' market value and are levied against the property owner. Property Taxes are determined by multiplying the tax rate by the assessed value of the property provided for by MPAC.

Tax Rate (formerly called a mill rate) is the factor which, when multiplied by a property's current value assessment, determines the amount of property taxes to be levied against that property. The tax rate is determined after City Council approves the budget, which includes the total amount it needs to raise from taxes. City Council determines the current year tax rate usually by April 30 of the current year.

House Value There are numerous ways to determine the value of a home. An evaluation is a skilled estimate of a property’s market value, in accordance with recent sales of analogous properties, location, square footage and construction class. This service varies in cost depending on the price of the home. A comparative market analysis is an informal estimate of market value performed by a real estate agent based on similar sales and property attributes. Most agents offer free analyses in the hopes of winning your business. You also can get a comparable sales report for a fee from private companies that specialize in real estate data or find comparable sales information available on various real estate Internet sites.

Peel Region Tax Rate and Property Tax Calculation

The tax rate in the Region of Peel consists of three components. There is an area municipality portion (City of Mississauga or City of Brampton or Town of Caledon), a Region of Peel portion, and an education portion. Each of these portions is related to the budgetary needs of the area municipality, the Region of Peel and the provincial decision on education funding requirements.

The tax rate is expressed as a percentage of a property's assessed value. A tax rate is set for each class of property.

The tax rate multiplied by the assessed value, results in the amount of property taxes payable for the year. For example, if the residential tax rate is 1.053507% and the assessed value is $292,500, the property taxes would be $3,081.50

Variation between market value and appraised value:

The estimated value of a house is a certified appraiser’s opinion of the worth of a home at a given point in time. Lenders require appraisals as part of the loan application process; charges may vastly as per the location, area, and vicinity of the property. Market value is what price the house will bring at a given point in time. A comparative market analysis is an informal estimate of market value, based on sales of comparable properties, performed by a real estate agent or broker. Either an appraisal or a comparative market analysis is the most accurate way to determine what your home is worth.

Standards for estimating a house’s value:

Appraisers use several factors when estimating a home’s value, including the home’s size and square footage, the condition of the home and neighborhood, comparable local sales, any pertinent historical information, sales performance and indices that for value, based on sales of comparable properties, performed by a real estate agent or broker. Either an appraisal or a comparative market analysis is the most accurate way to determine what your home is worth.

Standards for estimating a house’s value:

Appraisers use several factors when estimating a home’s value, including the home’s size and square footage, the condition of the home and neighborhood, comparable local sales, any pertinent historical information, sales performance and indices that forecast future value.

House Value:

A home ultimately is worth what someone will pay for it. Everything else is an estimate of value. To determine a property’s value, most people turn to either an appraisal or a comparative market analysis. An appraisal is a certified appraiser’s estimate of the value of a home at a given point in time. Appraisers consider square footage, construction quality, design, floor plan, neighborhood and availability of transportation, shopping and schools. Appraisers also take lot size, topography, view and landscaping into account. A comparative market analysis is a real estate broker’s or agent’s informal estimate of a home’s market value, based on sales of comparable homes in a neighborhood. Most agents will give you a comparative market analysis for free. You can do your own cost comparison by looking up recent sales of comparable properties in public records. These records are available at local recorder or assessor offices, through private real estate information companies or on the Internet.

(data provided from NewsGator Online)

Read more about Property taxes and assessments in Region of Peel

Back to FAQ's for Mississauga Real Estate

Monday, November 21, 2005

How to find the right home in Mississauga, Ontario

Looking for a home can be an intimidating task filled with many questions. What home do I buy and where? Who do I go to for help? And how do I know if I am making a good purchase?
There's no one "right way" to go about finding a home. But here are a few tips that may make the process a little easier and remove some of the anxiety associated with making what is, for most people, their largest single purchase in life.
The first thing to do is determine what type of home you want or need.

This would include the size, number of bedrooms, location and special features such as a garage, fireplace, fence, dishwasher, hot tub etc.
You'll also want to consider such things as proximity to schools, community centres and play and sports facilities, public transportation, hospitals, libraries and shopping areas and your workplace. These factors are important to you and your family.
Since your home is probably your single largest investment, you'll want it to be as attractive as possible to purchasers when you're ready to sell. So keep in mind the features you think will make it attractive to potential buyers in the years ahead.
Finding a real estate agent to handle your purchase is important. Talk to a few agents with different companies who know the area where you're looking to buy. A real estate professional can show you homes in your price range in the areas you like that meet your particular needs and budget.
With so many homes to choose from, how do you know if what you're going to buy is good value?
It's very important to inspect the structure and grounds of the home you're thinking of buying and look around the neighborhood to be sure it's an area where you want to live.
Get a copy of the land survey from the seller to check the boundaries of the property to make sure they are clear of encumbrances and walk around the property yourself to make sure there are no surprises.
You'll also want to tour the neighborhood and see the house at different times of the day or on weekends to check traffic patterns and noise levels that could affect your decision to buy.
When you find a home you like, inspect it yourself carefully for such things as structural defects, signs of water damage, lack of water pressure, faulty plumbing or inadequate wiring.
You may want to get an inspection done by a professional home inspector before you buy. A professional may uncover problems that you wouldn't notice.
A good inspector will check the house from the basement to the roof, including the heating and cooling systems, plumbing, walls, ceilings, insulation, electrical wiring, foundation, ventilation, doors and windows, and septic and sewer systems.
An inspector will determine if any repairs are necessary. If possible, plan to go along with the inspector during his inspection. You could pick up some valuable information that will help you in the future with the maintenance of your house. Your real estate agency can likely refer an inspector if you don't know of one yourself.
Some careful planning can help to ensure that you get a good-quality house that will meet the needs of you and your family in an area you like for a price you can afford without any nasty surprises after you take possession.
For more information on homeownership, please visit Genworth Financial Canada's website at
- News Canada

Great Rental located at 6650 Falconer Drive for rent $1295 per month

Great Rental located at 6650 Falconer Drive for rent $1295 per month
Located near Creditview and Eglinton

Great Quad Townhome In Excellent Complex-High Demand Quad Unit Seldom Offered - Similar To Detached Home - Excellent Fenced Yard With Large Deck Backs Green space + Kids Playground-Best Location In Complex- Shows Very Well, Many Extras & Upgrades, Large 4 Bedroom Converted To 3Bdrm

Centrally Located In Excellent Complex Near Creditview and north of Britannia, Super Location Walk To Malls, Community Centre, Bus Service Close, Excellent Landlord
Fridge, Stove, Built in dishwasher, Washer, Dryer, All Elf's & Window Coverings, Central Air Conditioning, Newer 4 Piece Bath, Newer Renovated Kitchen, Ceramic Floors & Newer Casement Windows & Appliances Are Nearly New, Newer Furnace& Electronic Air Cleaner, Wainscotting In Hallway, Filter Kitchen Water, Finished Basement
Top Quality Main Bath, Mostly Fresh Paint With Neutral Decor, Large Deck, Cable Tv + Water Included In Rent - Condo Corp Allows Owners To Park 2nd Vehicle In Visitors, Great Home And Area!

More details and pictures of this property

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Three properties of mine on open house November 20, 2005 today

Outstanding Executive End unit townhome located in Central Mississauga

Pictures and details of this great home
Great end unit townhome, located near Highway 10 and Dundas in the heart of Mississauga close to schools, shopping, Cooksville GO station and more
this Sunday November 20th 2-4 pm

Completely finished top to bottom

Excellent Fully Detached Home in Meadowvale

Pictures and details of this home
Excellent Detached home located Derry Road and East of Winston Churchill, near Meadowvale GO Station on Copenhagen Road
located in Meadowvale - (follow the link below to see pictures and more details for this property) within minutes of the Meadowvale and Erin Mills Town Centre's, schools, parks, transportation and community center
this Saturday November 19th and Sunday November 20th 2-5

Completely finished top to bottom

Excellent Link Detached Home in East Mississauga

Pictures and details of this home
Excellent home located at East of Cawthra just north of Burnhamthorpe, on Torino Crescent located in East Mississauga - (follow the link below to see pictures and more details for this property) within minutes of schools, parks shopping, one bus to Subway, Square One shopping centre, transportation and community center
this Sunday November 20th 2-4 pm


The 13 Absolutely Unbreakable Laws of Success

The 13 Absolutely Unbreakable Laws of Success

These laws apply to any person and for anything and everything you do in life.

The 13 Absolutely Unbreakable Laws of Success by Brian Tracy

1. The Law of Control: You feel good about yourself to the degree to which you feel that you are in control of you own life.

2. The Law of Responsibility: You are completely responsible for everything you are and fore everything you become and achieve.

3. The Law of Direction: Successful people have a clear sense of purpose and direction in every area of their lives.

4. The Law of Compensation: You are always fully compensated for whatever you do, positive or negative.

5. The Law of Service: Your rewards in life will always be in direct proportion to the value of your service to others.

6. The Law of Applied Effort: All things are amenable to hard work.

7. The Law of Overcompensation: If you always do more than you are paid for, you will always be paid more than you are getting now.

8. The Law of Preparation: Effective performance is preceded by painstaking preparation.

9. The Law of Forced Efficiency: The more things you have to do in a limited period of time, the more you will be forced to work on your most important tasks.

10. The Law of Decision: Every great leap forward in life is preceded by a clear decision and a commitment to action.

11. The Law of Creativity: Every advance in human life begins with an idea in the mind of a single person.

12. The Law of Flexibility: Success is best achieved when you are clear about the goal but flexible about the process of getting there.

13. The Law of Persistence: Your ability to persist in the face of setbacks and disappointments is your measure of your belief in yourself and your ability to succeed.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

FAQ - What should I do first - Buy my Home or Sell first?

This image is copyright by Mark Argentino - I made it!
Often I get asked this question - the answer is not simple. There are two situations you probably want to avoid. The first is situation is if that you find and buy your dream home before you've sold your current home, you may be faced with carrying two mortgages for a while, this can get expensive. The other situation is that you have an excellent purchaser for your existing home before you've found your next home, thus, you may find yourself living at your in-laws for a few months if convenient closing dates can not be negotiated. As you can see, this can sometimes become a tricky situation.

So how do you manage? It's Easy. Do your homework, research the market ahead of time and have a good idea about the neighbourhood and type of home you're looking for. It's also critical to do an honest evaluation of your family's needs and budget. You must also be very honest with yourself and even a little conservative when you estimate the current value of your home. It would be much better for you to make your purchase based upon an estimate of your sale price that is five thousand dollars less rather than ten thousand dollars more.

Speak to me first to discuss this decision in detail and I will give you a feel for the current market conditions and the best choice for you to make. Also, you should start your new home search as soon as we put your current home home up for sale. This will give you some idea of what to expect with your purchase and some peace of mind.

You also may have the option of 'bridge financing' in the event that the closing dates for your purchase and sale are not the same. You have to have your current home sold firm before you can go to the bank to get bridge financing, but this is a viable option and this is one option that is used by many of my clients.

The next two options depend a great deal upon the current market conditions and often are either not acceptable to the other party we are dealing with or cost you too much money for the peace of mind. Typically, these two options only work if the market is slow.

You may have another option, depending upon the market conditions. If you've found a home to buy before you've sold your current one, sometimes you can use "sale of your current home" as a condition on your offer. If you don't sell your house within a fixed period of time, you can choose not to go through with your purchase. This, however, is a difficult (if not impossible) condition for many vendors to agree upon and you may find that you have to give up some of your price negotiating leverage in order to attain some peace of mind.

Another item to consider is this. It is much easier to purchase your next home than it is to sell your existing home. Almost anyone can buy a home in a few days, whereas you may have to try for months and endure immense pressure with an unsold property on your hands.

Purchasing a home before you sell could cause some stress, especially if you need an exact amount out of the proceeds from your sale. If you've found a purchaser before you've found your next home, (and again depending upon the market conditions at the time) you may be able to use "purchase of a new home" as a condition when you sign back the agreement. Again, it will only be for a fixed time. Even if you have not found the ideal next house by the time the deal closes, you may still wish to proceed with the offer. As a buyer with a "sold house" you will be in a better position to negotiate price.

If you are more worried about where you will live once you have sold, one of the best options is to buy your next home home first, but have a longer closing. If you purchase a home today with a closing that is 90 days or even a little longer, we should have no problem finding you a home with that much time to work with. The downside to this option could be that the market 'softens' after you make your purchase and you end up have to take less money on your sale than you had hoped.

If you are more concerned about your sale and the price you will sell for, then one of the best options is to sell first with a long (3 to 4 months) closing. This way you:

know the exact amount of money that you will have in your pocket for your next home purchase
you will know the closing date you need and you can make a 'firm' offer to purchase which will allow you to possibly get your next home at a lower price
it usually causes the least stress in the family and
it allows you to maximize your sale price and get your next home at the lowest price, so it's a financial win-win!
This is the option that most of my clients choose and is often the BEST option.
As you can see, as long as you do thorough research and preparation work ahead of time, you can reduce if not avoid the stress involved with the decision of buying and selling your home.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

What do I need to do to make my home more saleable and improve my sale price?

These 79 Ideas and Suggestions will Help You Improve Your Sale Price by $1000 TO $5000 - These are ways to help you sell Your Home (some are Quick Easy Fix Ups) Faster and for Top Dollar!
SETTING THE "STAGE" these are some preliminary thoughts...

You will profit by using some ideas I have compiled in the list below. Beyond the obvious considerations of location, size, present condition and design of your home, buyers look for special qualities that appeal to their emotions.
It is your job to prepare the groundwork, to "set the stage" for a buyer to fall in love with your home. Think of what has made your home so special to you and try to highlight these features. Although no home is perfect, you must try to become aware of its shortcomings. Once you do, you have the opportunity to accentuate the positive and eliminate the negatives by making your home more visually appealing.
Read the entire article about ideas and suggestions at my website

For example: a long dark hall will appear shorter if wall papered in vertical pastel stripes; or by hanging a few pictures on the walls and installing inexpensive lights above them, you will stop the buyer's eyes along the way. The monotonous tunnel effect will be immediately eliminated!
I've compiled this list of 79 suggestions and ideas to improve possible problem areas in your home. Selling your home, though rarely a "fun" experience, can be a painless and profitable one if both you and I put in the effort. It is this cooperative venture that will meet your goal of selling your home fast, with the least amount of inconvenience and at the best price and terms for you.
Copyright © A. Mark Argentino, July 16th, 1996. NOTE: Real Estate AGENTS and Web designers are warned that Absolutely NO unauthorized reproduction of this site or any other web pages contained herein, by any means, without the written consent of the author is permitted. International Intellectual and Property Copyright; 1996 through to 2005 A. Mark Argentino; originally copyrighted in Mississauga, Ontario as of Tuesday, July 16th, 1996

Mark's job is to provide you with all the information you will need to make the best decision for you and your family. To receive Mark's monthly newsletter, just E-mail him.
Of course, there are " Mark's 5 WRITTEN Guarantees " just in case you are not convinced yet that Mark is the right Agent for you!

Guaranteed Real Estate Service-"My reputation depends on it!"

A. Mark Argentino! Send Mark an E-mail
back to top


1. Make those minor repairs - no matter how minor.
2. Whatever the season, do some spring cleaning.
3. Have a yard sale or pack away in boxes those items that clutter.
4. Create the illusion of spaciousness.
5. Give your rooms a light, bright look.
6. Use colour and lighting to draw attention to your homes best selling features.
7. Disguise unsightly views- remove heavy curtains, let the light in.
8. Eliminate unpleasant odors.
9. Avoid eccentricities- remove those beaded curtains!
10. Accessories can make or break a room- avoid clutter.
11. Display photos that show your home during other seasons.


12. Create a welcoming spot in colour- flower pot, paint front door.
13. Invest in a new doormat.
14. Open curtains, have sparkling windows.


15. Create a dramatic focal point - e.g.., flowers, poinsettia, antiques.
16. Add spaciousness with a well placed mirror.
17. Improve floor appearance here, if nowhere else (except kitchen).
18. Clean out your coat closet.
19. Create the illusion of an entry hall if you have none-narrow table, open bookcase, railing, its own lighting area.


20. Treat these rooms as if they were stage settings-games room suggests good family life, a guitar is warm, a dictionary, half finished crossword puzzle- let the buyer imagine living in your home.
21. Highlight your fireplace, decorating the mantle or above with picture.
22. Improve traffic flow in these rooms.
23. Draw attention to exposed beams or a cathedral ceiling.
24. Don't let the TV dominate or be the focal point of the room.


25. Set the scene by setting the table and add a centerpiece.
26. Make a large dining room into, say, a dining room and a small library or add a desk.
27. Visually enlarge a small dining area-remove leaves, place against wall, remove extra side chairs or large pieces.

Back to top


28. Use props to set the scene- open cookbook, basket of eggs, bunch of carrots on a cutting board, ceramic mixing bowl with whisk, etc.
29. Make it smell great- simmer Christmas brew, bake bread, bowl of lemons, fresh coffee, cinnamon sticks etc.
30. Expand your counter space, store small appliances, use a movable cart.
31. Create more storage space-neat organized shelves, hanging pot rack.
32. Accent kitchen windows-plants, bird feeder outside window.
33. Make small kitchen appear larger-repaint white (walls recede), light curtains, mirror.
34. Highlight an eat-in area, set the table, fruit as a centerpiece.


35. Make it cheerful and appealing.
36. Double duty- corner table or chair, sewing area, set the stage.


37. Make them safe- lighting, clutter-free, rail, carpet or runners secure?
38. Add visual interest- plant stand on landing, wallpaper can narrow.
39. Improve appearance of stair treads, clean or paint.


40. Create a master bedroom "suite" effect ("Large is Better")- avoid busy patterns, small desk, chair with lamp, etc.
41. Tackle your closets, clear clutter, clear floor, organize shelves, smell.
42. Add storage boxes under the bed if you need more storage.
43. Depersonalize teenagers rooms- at your own risk!


44. Create a look- plants, glass bowl of shells, pictures, fresh towels, magazine rack, etc.
45. Colour- grey and rose, all white- add some accent colours.
46. Invest in a new shower curtain and/or bath mat.
47. Improve (not replace) your floor covering, scrub and clean.
48. Put out fresh towels and soap.
49. Add a pretty dish of potpourri.

Back to top


50. Make it as pleasant as possible- erase all signs of dampness or mildew.
51. Increase wattage of all bulbs to brighten up.
52. Set it up as a games room or teen room -Ping-Pong table, bright posters.
53. Highlight a workbench area, dust, clean and organize.


54. Fix up driveways for first impression impact.
55. Enlarge and improve appearance of garage with lights, clear floor, organized shelves.


56. Avoid an overgrown, unkempt look- prune, cut lawn, edge carefully.
57. Mark property boundaries if fences or lines don't exist.
58. Use flowering plants to dress up your yard.
59. Draw attention to special trees- flowers at base to draw eye in.
60. Play up flat areas- badminton set or volleyball net.
61. Set up a backyard living/dining area- picnic table or rocking chairs.
62. Let your pool help sell your home- clean, open earlier or close later, if winter, have photo of pool in summer, draw up a pool information sheet including costs, upkeep time, installation date, pool size and pool items included with your home.
E-mail Mark by clicking here or phone him at 905-828-3434

Back to main menu
back to top


63. Be willing to show your home (practically) any time -yes it's an inconvenience to show your home at dinner time, but if the people buy your home, isn't it worth a re-heated dinner?
64. Have a family game plan for last minute showing- dust the table, put the dishes in the dishwasher, have kids clean their rooms, hide those damp pantyhose hanging on the shower rod - don't dare apologize about the condition of your home! (This will start buyers out on a negative)
65. Air out your home an hour before showings- smell better, wide open windows on a nice day with a gentle breeze ruffling your curtains.
66. Set your thermostat at a comfortable temperature -this is not the time to economize.
67. Light a fire in the fireplace to set the mood.
68. Turn on lights in each room- brightens up your home.
69. Put pets out and send children to play at the neighbours (if possible).
70. Keep out of sight when your home is being shown- buyers feel uncomfortable when you're around. The benefit is they can more easily imagine the house as their own when you're not around.
71. Never volunteer information (you won't be there if you follow the previous tip). Resist the urge to tell them how great it is to have a bus stop out front for your children, as you may learn later that the prospective buyers have no children, work the evening shift and love to sleep in late in the morning.
72. Don't be compelled to apologize for what you may see as one of your home's weaknesses, you may be moving because of the traffic noise of that newly built highway, yet the buyer may be moving in your area because of the very proximity of the highway for quick commuting. Let the salesperson do the job of selling.


73. Draw up a floor plan if you don't have one- it's a visual selling tool and they'll remember your home much better after they leave.
74. Some purchasers want to know what your heating, electricity, water and sewer costs are per month and also sometimes want to see warranties on appliances. Have this information available if asked.
75. Tell everyone you meet that your home is for sale- why keep it a secret, word of mouth is a strong selling aid.
76. Remain optimistic, it's easy to get discouraged after your home has been shown ten or twelve times, but you've done everything to make your home more salable, so don't take it personally. Keep in touch with me, I'll be continually updating you as to market activity. Remember someone is going to walk through your front door and fall head over heels in love with your home. After all, you did.
77. Don't be afraid to accept your first offer. If you've priced your home right, we may get an offer in the first week that is very close to the asking price. Don't panic and think your home is under priced, it means that the prospective buyers appreciate your home and want it badly.
78. Don't forget that every buyer wants to feel that he has got a "deal"- that is one reason you built bargaining leeway into your price in the first place.
79. Don't be afraid to call me any time with what may seem to be the smallest of questions. That's what I'm here for, to service you and get your home sold in the quickest time, with the least amount of inconvenience, and at the best price and terms for you.

This list has come from my personal experiences and some books I have read over the years. I hope you have found it helpful and if you have any ideas, please let me know and I'll add them to the list.
Read the entire article about ideas and suggestions at my website

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Blogs should have some humour

What would a Real Estate blog be without the occasional humour?

Agents in my office see that I spend a great deal of time on the computer answering client emails and internet requests and updating my website. I am known as the computer genius in our office. Thus I get asked many questions when anything computer or internet related comes about.

A pet peeve of mine is that many of the agents in my office often ask me absurd or completely 'off the wall' types of computer and high tech real estate related questions.

For about 3 years now, well before Google was the Icon that it has become, people in my office now know what my well known answer is now... Why don't you "Google it!"

Monday, November 14, 2005

FAQ How long do you think it will take to sell my home?

Every house is unique. I've had homes sell within hours of listing on the market and sometimes it takes months to sell or never sell at all. I believe there are three primary reasons why a home does not sell.
First is price. If the home is overpriced the qualified buyers may never see it because it is priced out of their budget. Those who can afford the home will be comparing it to homes that are properly priced and therefore have more features or benefits. Your home could be priced accurately but be valued much higher than the average home in your area. The farther above the average home value in your area you are, the fewer buyers there will be and the longer it can take to find your buyer. Just be careful of agents and the high price tactic.
The Second reason a home may not sell is lack of consistent promotion.

A home seller may think all they need to do is put an ad in the paper, put up a sign, build a web site and the world will beat a path to their door. The MLS is one of the main sources of buyers. You can read about marketing of your home in detail. The more marketing that I do, the greater the chances I will find a buyer quickly.
The third reason a home does not sell is timing Timing in life is critical and in real estate "timing is everything". The right buyer for your home may be in the market right now, when we start properly promoting your home the buyer may find you immediately and buy your home right away. Although some people will tell you if your home sells too quickly you are under priced, this is not necessarily true. Timing your entry into the market with the buyers’ readiness can lead to a quick sale. In contrast, if there is no buyer for your home at the time you come on the market, then you will likely have to wait until your buyer does come into the market.
As a home seller you can control the price of your home and I will control the marketing of your home. Unfortunately, neither of us can control the timing.
To continue reading about selling your home, you may go to my section about the selling process

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Beautiful Executive Detached Bungalow on Saginaw Crescent in Lorne Park

Gracious Ranch Home In Lorne Park With Great Curb Appeal And Gleaming Hardwood Floors.
Large Living Room With Fireplace And Separate Dining. Recently Decorated And Updated.
Lower Level Family Room And Office With 'Space To Grow' For Your Family's Needs.
Move-In Condition.
Fridge,Stove,Elf's,Broadloom W/Laid,All Draperies,Central Air Conditioning(2002),Hi-Eff.Gas Furnace(2002),Sump Pump(2001),200 Amps,Roof(2002), Garden Shed.
This home is very nicely upgraded and decorated throughout
Ceramic Flooring in entrance foyer
Immaculate & clean throughout
Quality Construction
Strip Hardwood flooring in Living and Dining Rooms and all bedrooms
Great kitchen with walkout to huge rear yard and gardens
See all the pictures and details here

Fridge, stove, built-in dishwasher, washer and dryer included
Central air conditioning, roughed in central vacuum
Master bedroom features a large semi ensuite bathroom with window, large closet
Basement has a partially finished recreation room with New Gas Fireplace, large office and partly finished storage area, small dry bar and plenty of other storage space, laundry area and door to garage
Electric Garage Door opener plus remote controller

Other features, upgrades and extras in this home include:
Gracious Ranch Home In Lorne Park With Great Curb Appeal And Gleaming Hardwood Floors.
Fridge,Stove,Elf's,Broadloom W/Laid,All Draperies,Central Air Conditioning(2002),Hi-Eff.Gas Furnace(2002),Sump Pump(2001),200 Amps,Roof(2002), Garden Shed.
All upgraded light fixtures throughout the home are included
All Blinds and window coverings and vertical blinds on French Doors walk out from kitchen are included
hot water tank (rental tank)
Excellent Family Home In Very Desirable Area of Lorne Park
Bright Open Concept,Great Location, Shows well
Property is 84.86X133 Feet deep
Fabulous Location Minutes To schools Parks, Schools, Great access to QEW,Minutes walk to to Schools & Transportation and all amenities!

This home is only a short distance to parks and schools, elementary and separate schools, and children's playgrounds and parks, Lorne Park and more... this area has most amenities you will ever need within a short distance!
See all the pictures and details here

Friday, November 11, 2005

Links and Pings to and from this Mississauga Real Estate Blog

Search Popdex:

Weblog Directory


Subscribe in NewsGator Online
Subscribe in NewsGator Online

Web Blog Pinging <br />Service

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Just Listed at 4258 Torino Crescent in East Mississauga

Large & Spacious Detached home (linked underground at the basement)

Excellent Family Home In Great Area

Immaculate & Clean Throughout

This home features many upgrades, updated and renovated top to bottom

The following systems or items were replaced new in the year shown in brackets - Cac(04), Furnace(04), Shingles(03), Fin Bsmt(05), Driveway Re paved(03), New(04)Porch Enclosure, New(03) Ceramics & Strip Hardwood installed, New 2Pc Bath (03), News 4Pc bathroom (03)

Approximately 1500 Sq ft

Very deep and wide Lot - fenced and gates

Front entrance foyer through to kitchen features new (04) ceramics and powder room

Strip hardwood flooring in the living and dining rooms

Renovated and updated kitchen, huge eat in area with sliding glass doors leading to covered patio and private large rear yard

Master bedroom features new (05) broadloom and his and hers closets

Other two bedrooms feature new (05) broadloom and large closets

Main bathroom was redone in (03) with new deep soaker tub, new tiles on wall and floors, new cabinets and quality Moen faucet

Basement was just finished and features quality laminate flooring, a large wet bar and area plus a second area at the rear of the basement for computer or craft work

Separate laundry room off the recreation room

Quiet Area & Street!

Included are Fridge,Stove,Washer,Dryer,built in dishwasher

Central Air Conditioning

Furnace and central air conditioner replaced in 03

Shingles replaced in 03

Double car wide driveway with no sidewalks - easily park 4 cars in driveway

Drive way was re paved in 02 with fresh asphalt

Almost all doors have been replaced in the home with quality doors, including the front exterior entrance door and the porch enclosure door

All Blinds & window Coverings included

All Elf's(ex .dr.) and upgraded Broadloom included

Premium upgraded large hot water tank, purchaser to assume rental

Ceramic Tiles In Foyer, Kitchen & all Bathrooms

Bi Shelves and Mirrored Closet Doors++

Bright Open Concept,Great Location, Shows very well

From the MLS listing:

Features: Excellent Family Home-Awesome East Miss Area.This Home Is Finished Top To Bottom With Quality Strip Hardwood&Ceramics,2Pc&4Pc Renovated,Ceiling Fans,Double Drive&No Sidewalks-Park 5 Cars,Open Concept Home,Huge Kitchen Family Size,Huge Yard,Interlocking Stone Front Walkway,Quiet Crescent In East Miss.

Extras and inclusions: Fridge,Stove,Bidw,Washer,Dryer,Cac(04),Furnace(04),Shingles(03), Fin Bsmt(05),Driveway Repaved(03),All Blinds&Window Coverings,All Electric light fixtures(Ex-Dr),New(04)Porch Encl,New(03)Ceramics&Strip Hardwood,2Pc Bath +++Renovated&Updated,Mirrored Closet Doors,4Pc New(03)

Other description: Great Location-One Bus To Subway,Close To Parks,Schools,Shopping Highways,Church,Original Owner,Linked U/G,Very Private Lot-Many Trees&Newer Broadloom,Show Anytime,Great Home&Area.Show & Sell.

This home is a short walking distance to shopping centre, elementary and separate schools, soccer field and children's playground and parks, close to Square One Shopping Centre indoor regional shopping mall, minutes to Central Community center with ultra-modern library, indoor swimming pool, recreation center, close to skating and hockey rinks, high schools, Hospital, and only one bus to the Subway at Kipling and mo re.. this area has most amenities you will ever need within a short distance!

See all the pictures and more details on this home

November 2005 Mississauga Real Estate Newsletter

My latest Mississauga real estate newsletter just hit the newsstand. Market volume and prices are up!

You may read the newsletter here.

There is more data here

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

October Average TREB (Toronto Real Estate Board) Sales data is in!

2005 Moves Ahead
The market continues to hum along and 2005 will likely be a banner year.

TORONTO - Monday, November 7, 2005--With two months to go and 73,514 properties having changed hands through the TorontoMLS system, TREB President John Meehan announced today that 2005 is currently running just ahead of the 10 month total (73,202) recorded last year. “The residential resale market could exceed the record 83,501 transactions seen in 2004,” said the President. “This year may well put in Toronto’s best annual performance ever.’

There were 7,174 properties sold in the month of October alone, Mr. Meehan went on to note. This is up eight per cent over October 2004, and the second best total for the month ever recorded. Meanwhile prices rose to $342,450, a one per cent increase over September and up six per cent over the $324,215 recorded in October of 2004.

See the Graph and Read More

Monday, November 07, 2005

FAQ: Should I lock in my mortgage rate? Review of Short term or long term Mortgages

Question: I am not sure what I should do with the length of the term of my mortgage? Should I go long or short?
Answer: This is a question asked more than any other. Everyone wants a definitive answer to it. Of course, anyone that claims they can predict future interest rates is somewhat foolish or is making it up. I am neither ... so (as you already know my answer.) it depends. It depends on YOUR outlook for the future:

If you see a generally low inflation environment in the months ahead then you should stay as short of a term as you can, get the 6 month variable rate at 1.5%. You save a great deal on interest and the odds are with you (For if you locked in for five years at say 5.25%, the prime rate would have to rise to over 7.00% from the current 3.75% before you were to pay the same interest as a five year rate. This could be a huge savings to you over the long term.

If you are not sure whether inflation or deflation are coming in the months ahead, then you may wish to play it safe by getting a variable open maximum flexibility ... or analyze the TD product where you pay ¼% over prime but the maximum interest is capped at 6.25% or so for 5 years. Other banks offer some such product as well, such as the BOM which offers a 3.65% variable rate capped at 7.15% for 5 years or the long term/short term mortgage from Scotia bank.

If you believe inflation will be back then you may want to go long go for ten years ... Today’s best 10 year rate at about 6.75% is lower than the US - 15 year rate at 7.09% - and you can get out after 5 years (by law) with only a 3 months penalty. If rates go much higher (in an inflationary environment) or back to previous highs, the long term at this low rate will make your home attractive to future buyers.

You may see a graph showing the spread between short and long term mortgage interest rates and you will see that the wider the gap the greater the savings in going with a short term mortgage!

Read the entire article

Friday, November 04, 2005

Flipping Houses - What are the pitfalls and areas to consider?

Is buying and flipping a house in Mississauga is the right thing for you to do?
Good Investment?
What is Flipping?
Good Planning is Essential
Acquiring property
Renovation Plan
Selling Your PropertyConclusion

Good Investment?
The hottest investment going these days is flipping property. Investors are making huge profits buying luxury properties before they are finished and then selling at a profit before actually taking possession. Most make more moderate profits buying distressed property and improving it.
Experts disagree on how safe an investment flipping is. Economist Tucker Hart Adams claims that this practice has created a housing price bubble by artificially inflating property values. She says that the bubble must pop. Other exerts claim that even if the market values have been grossly inflated and may be at risk, other markets will be relatively unaffected because the market inflation here has been small.

Read the entire article

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Executive End Unit Townhome in Central Mississauga

Awesome Townhome near Hurontario and Dundas

Large & Spacious Extra Wide End unit townhome
Excellent Family Home In a Great Area
This home features many upgrades and is only a year old
Approximately 1300 Sqft
Very private and wide Lot - fenced on two sides and backs inside of complex
This home is exceptionally bright and is an upgraded model from the builder and is called the "Special Wide End Unit" and is about 4 feet wider than most of the other end units in the complex, which makes it much more spacious and very bright and roomy throughout
Bright Open Concept, Great Location, Shows very well

Read More and See pictures

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Anxiously awaiting Toronto Real Estate Board Stats for October

Many of us are anxiously waiting for TREB (Toronto Real Estate Board) to release the stats for October. Most are predicting the 'typical' rise in prices, while some are predicting a slight drop due to softening of the market. Regardless, it should be interesting to see the results.

If you want to see the sales figures for September, browse to TREB and click working with a Realtor and then highlight Market Watch

If the past 10 years are any indication, see how average prices fluctuate during the year here, there are probably about 4 to 6 weeks of good fall market left for this year. It will be interesting to see if the market continues as it has all year or has a softening as some are now predicting.

All the best,

Historical Average Prices and Mortgage Interest Rates

I have a Excel file that has all the Historical Average selling prices for the Toronto Real Estate Board and for average 1 and 5 year mortgage interest rates

You can take the data and produce very nice graphs showing how prices or Canadian interest rates have changed and compare the two.

Please email me if you want me to send you the data file.

Thank you,

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Has the market peaked and should I sell? Mississauga Real Estate FAQ's

Should I sell my investment property and cash out today - Has the Mississauga or Toronto market peaked?

I get asked this question often. There is no simple answer.
I know how you feel that it's tempting to cash out, prices are so high. This is a difficult question to answer precisely as really, nobody can predict what will happen in the future. Many are now thinking that the market may have peaked in the GTA, but only time will tell.

There have been a few articles written in the press lately about the over-abundance of condos currently on the market and more coming on stream in the next 2 to 3 years. This could potentially create a supply problem and prices could soften in the condo market. Regardless, if you have equity in your investment property, then I would understand that you may wish to take out the equity and move it to other investments that may give you a higher return over the next 5 years or so.

Over the past 3 to 5 years or so the rental market in Mississauga has been very soft and I have noticed the quality of tenants has dropped significantly. This is due to our extremely low interest rates and many people that would have otherwise rented, purchased instead. The vacancy rate in the GTA is very high and this has impacted investment properties.

I help clients with many of their rentals per year and I am finding it much more difficult to find good quality tenants over the past few years.

Even if we have a correction in our market, I don't think it will be too significant. We are not in a boom similar to the investor fuelled boom of the mid to late 80's so I think (and hope) that we will not ever see the bottom fall out of the market the way we did in '89 to '95.

So there you have it. I am sorry I cannot predict the market more accurately for you. When push comes to shove, you will have to make the final decision.

See how average prices have escalated since 1995, we may be near the end of a 10 year increase.

All the best, and if you want more information, please email me.
Back to FAQ's in real estate

Mississauga Gasoline prices below 90 cents per litre

I guess it was only a matter of time, but the gasoline prices in Mississauga are yo-yo 'ing again, but at least they seem to be heading down as opposed to up!
On October the 8th, prices were in the mid 90's and we all thought we had hit the jackpot.

The photos below show prices under 90 cents per litre, actually saw a price at 88.8 cents per litre.

Two nights ago I was coming home from two late appointments and saw the price on October 25th at the Petro Canada at the corner of Cawthra and Rathburn at 80.4 cents per litre. Yes, you are reading that correct, 80.4 Today, I drove past the same station and the price was back up to 89.9 cents per litre.

All the best,

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Current State of the Real Estate Market in Mississauga

September seemed to be a continuation of the great summer market and it appears we should be in for a strong fall market. It is difficult to predict where the prices will go, (can they go any higher?) but, if patterns over the past years are any indication, prices will escalate again this fall.
Seems the prediction above that I wrote last week came true. Now that the September sales numbers are in the record books, you can read more about the increase in sales last month in this article.
I hope that everything is going well for you and that you receive this in good health.
I wish you all the best! Mark

7,000 Plus! September Home Sales Break Record
Wednesday, October 5, 2005 -- The Toronto Real Estate market continued its record breaking ways in September, with 7,326 sales transacted through the TorontoMLS system, Board President John Meehan reported today. "This figure is up 11 per cent over last year (6,588 sales), and up eight per cent over sales in September 2003 (6,751), which was our previous best September."
The President went on to note that, with 66,480 sales year-to-date, 2005 has closed to within a single percentage point of the 2004 nine-month total (66,668). "If the fourth quarter market performs as well as the previous three months," said Mr. Meehan, "there is a strong possibility that 2005 could end up as the best year ever."
The President went on to note that prices strengthened considerably in September, with the average rising five per cent to $338,267 over the August figure of $323,255. In addition, the year-to-date average, at $335,267, is up seven per cent over 2004.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Mississauga gasoline prices over the past few years with pictures

Mark Argentino Mississauga Real Estate Blog

Mississauga gasoline prices over the past few years
This page is for fun and interest. You may click any of the photos below for a full size and more detailed picture.
I know that you likely have gone through the same emotional swings as you have watched the gasoline prices "yo-yo" for the past years and escalate to incredible peaks in the recent past. I have started to keep an eye on prices as they reach these unprecedented levels and will report them below.
As well, you will find a glimpse of prices around the world on this page and graphs showing how much more we are paying for gasoline compared to the average US price.

I took this picture the first time that I had ever seen gasoline over 70 cents per litre at the corner of Erin Mills Parkway and Credit Valley Road, the date was October 27, 2003 the price that day was 71.1 cents per litre. I still recall how astonished I was that the price had gone over 69.9

As an aside, I fill up at Esso about 95% or more of the time. The reason for this is multifold.

  1. Back when Esso originally introduced the speedpass (I think it was 1999) I thought that the convenience of pointing an object connected to my key ring was much better than going into the store to pay with a credit card.

  2. As well, the speedpass was connected to my Visa and I would get Esso points and Visa points at the same time. Since I am on the road very often, as you know I am a real estate agent, I put about $2500 to $3000 of gasoline in my vehicle per year and I thought that the points would add up over the years.

  3. Another reason for using Esso is that there is an Esso located at the corner of Credit Valley Road and Erin Mills Parkway, about .4 km from my house. Again, very convenient.

  4. Another reason for me going to Esso (in general) is that they have Royal Bank banking machines and I bank with the Royal, so cash withdrawals were convenient. For anyone who lives north of Dundas or south of Britannia in the Erin Mills Area knows, there are zero branches of the Royal Bank (BTW-as an other aside, RBC is installing a branch near the corner of Eglinton and Plantation Woods - yeah!) in this entire area, so Esso is the most convenient location to obtain cash. This is called cross marketing by Esso and it brings in many customers who would otherwise go to competitor gas stations were it not for the Royal Bank banking machines.

  5. Probably, one of the most important reasons that I go out of my way to use Esso is the fact that they have Tim Horton's coffee. Many would agree with this fact and this is likely the number one reason why a large percentage of customers fill up with gasoline at Esso, Tim Horton's and convenience. Again, brilliant cross marketing on the part of Esso.
So there you have my 5¢ worth! What are your preferences and reasons for using one gasoline station over another, price, convenience or other? I would love to hear your opinions on this subject too

Less than 2 years later and for the first time I saw gas at the corner of Erin Mills Parkway and Credit Valley Road over $1 per litre was on August 13, 2005 with the price posted at 101.9 cents per litre. Poor Esso across the street had to blank out their large sign and their price was posted on the small A frame board at the side of the road. I was amazed to see this high price and absolutely outraged at the same time.

Hurricane Katrina made landfall in late August of 2005 and caused gas prices to escalate and in late September then Hurricane Rita made landfall on September 24th of 2005 and prices began to rise up to the stratosphere! This sign is from a gas station in Quebec.
Days during Rita making landfall it was reported on that the price fro a litre of gasoline was$1.76 per litre at Port Colborne Shell Gas station. People in my office and my wife's office were reporting that gasoline on the morning of September 23rd was $2 per litre in Barrie and by the afternoon of Friday the 23rd of September prices were heard to be as high as $2.50 per litre at some stations.

This is from August in the USA. Too bad the people from the US don't realize what a great deal they are getting, at USD$2.33 per US gallon, and if 1 gallon [US, liquid] = 3.7854118 liters and the dollar conversion is 1.00 US dollars = 1.17 Canadian dollars that works out to about
The price of USD$2.33 per US gallon is about CAD$2.73 per US gallon and divided by 3.7854118 liters per US gallon equals CAD$0.72 per litre, that's worth repeating, 72 cents per litre, what is so 'unreasonable' about that price

This is from a sign in Germany, price is Euro per litre, at a conversion of 1.00 Euros = 1.40 Canadian dollars this would be about CAD$135 per litre for regular, about CAD$1.79 for super

Now this is about where I would like to see our gasoline prices!

On Friday October 6th, 2005 the prices around Mississauga were all below $1 per litre again, in the high 90's. We all felt as if we were getting the deal of the decade

Toronto Gas Prices

This chart shows the average Toronto gas prices compared to the average gas prices in the USA for the 3 months surrounding the hype and hysteria of the late summer and early fall of 2005

Gas prices over the past 3 years

This picture shows the price on October 8th, 2005. It shows the price at the corner of Credit Valley Road and Erin Mills Parkway Esso at 95.5 cents per litre.

I have not logged the actual prices on Friday's or weekends compared to during the week, but my feeling is that gas stations often will raise the price on a Friday and keep prices high until at least Sunday morning. This is even more true for a long weekend, the price of gasoline usually is raised and stays high for any long weekend that I remember over the past few years. I cannot recall a long weekend where prices dropped, until the weekend of Thanksgiving in 2005.

It's incredible and just goes to prove that just when you think you have the yo-yoing of gasoline prices figured out, "they" go ahead and throw us another curve ball.

To be continued with more current information in the future

Your comments, questions and suggestions are always welcome!

So there you have my 5¢ worth! What are your preferences and reasons for using one gasoline station over another, price, convenience or other? I would love to hear your opinions on this subject too,

Monday, October 10, 2005

Switched blog to my server

Mark Argentino Mississauga Real Estate BlogI just switched my blog to my server at not sure if this is better, but I imagine it likely is. Does anyone know if this is preferred over having my blog at a fee hosted site?

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!


Sunday, October 09, 2005

TREB (Toronto Real Estate Board) Average Single Family Historical Home Prices and trends for Toronto and Mississauga

TREB (Toronto Real Estate Board) Average Single Family Historical Home Prices and trends for Toronto and Mississauga
Graph of TREB Prices

7,000 Plus! September Home Sales Break Record
Wednesday, October 5, 2005 -- The Toronto Real Estate market continued its record breaking ways in September, with 7,326 sales transacted through the TorontoMLS system, Board President John Meehan reported today. "This figure is up 11 per cent over last year (6,588 sales), and up eight per cent over sales in September 2003 (6,751), which was our previous best September."
The President went on to note that, with 66,480 sales year-to-date, 2005 has closed to within a single percentage point of the 2004 nine-month total (66,668). "If the fourth quarter market performs as well as the previous three months," said Mr. Meehan, "there is a strong possibility that 2005 could end up as the best year ever."
The President went on to note that prices strengthened considerably in September, with the average rising five per cent to $338,267 over the August figure of $323,255. In addition, the year-to-date average, at $335,267, is up seven per cent over 2004.

Below is a Graph showing TREB Historical Average Price Data
The graph below shows a graph of sales price data obtained directly from the Toronto Real Estate Board showing the average selling price of single family homes from 1985 to date in our GTA marketplace.
Note the historical trends for spring and fall price increases, where spring typically has a larger increase compared to the fall.
The benchmark for changes in price is chosen to be the average price of homes at the last height of the market, which was $273,698 in 1989.
If you want the actual values of prices for every month going back to January 1995, I have them, and would be pleased to E-mail them to you upon request.
See the Average Price Cycles from January 1995 to Date - a very interesting cyclical pattern is clearly seen!
You may also see the average mortgage interest rates back to 1979
Send Mark a request for the actual prices of homes since 1995 or you can call Mark now at 905-828-3434