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Benefits of Making a Larger Down Payment
Posted on Thu, 28 Jan 2016, 10:15:00 AM  in Home buying tips,  Marketing strategies,  My services
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Anyone who is planning on purchasing their first home often takes the time to save for a down payment to ensure that they can obtain a mortgage loan from banks or financial institutions. Many people make the mistake of only putting a minimal amount of money down on a property just to purchase it quicker. Although it can take patience and time, there are several benefits to making a larger down payment upfront.

Lower Interest Rate
Lenders are more likely to offer lower interest rates to home buyers who have a larger down payment when you have a lower loan-to-value ratio, which lower's the risk for the lender. This can allow you to save thousands of dollars over the term of your home loan just by waiting longer to save. Your interest rate will ultimately increase with the number of risks that the loan contains for the lender. Not only will you obtain a lower interest rate, but having a larger down payment means that you're closer to paying off the property in full. The sooner you pay off the mortgage, the less interest you'll pay and the more flexibility you'll have with your retirement.†

Quicker Approval
Those who have a larger down payment are more likely to be approved quicker than the average person when applying for a loan. Having a larger down paymentpayment of at least 20 percent is a sign of borrower strength to lenders and makes it easier for them to trust that you'll make your mortgage payments on time. This can make it easier to begin shopping around for your new home without waiting several weeks or months to hear back from the lender. Although most borrowers have at least one or two risks when applying for a loan, a down payment of at least 20 percent eliminates any risks that may be present.†

Avoid Mortgage Insurance
Lenders often require private mortgage insurance from borrowers who have smaller down payments that are less than 20 percent of the loan. Private mortgage insurance is used to protect the lender if the borrower is unable to make their payments on time during the duration of the loan. You can save even more money by avoiding the mortgage insurance completely with a larger down payment for one less expense.

Protect Yourself from Negative Equity
Many people are unaware that they can develop negative equity quickly when the value of their home decreases due to the state of the economy. This can make it easy to owe more on the property than it's actually worth, which can lead to foreclosure on the home. By putting down a larger payment, you can minimize the risk of having negative equity if the value drops in future years.

Improve Your Odds in Winning a Multiple-Offer Situation
It can be easy to fall in love with a property that other buyers quickly take notice of and also make an offer on. This can easily put you in the middle of a multiple-offer situation as you begin to try to outbid other people for the home, which can reduce your risk of obtaining the property. The seller is much more likely to favor the buyer who has the larger down payment and is already approved by a lender for a home loan due to less risk of the transaction falling through. You'll have more power when it comes to finding the home of your dreams and beating out other buyers to ensure that you get the home of your dreams.


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Why You Need To Declutter Before Moving
Posted on Wed, 13 Jan 2016, 09:50:00 AM  in Home buying tips,  Home selling tips,  Marketing strategies,  My services
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You have purchased your packing supplies and you are ready to start packing for the big move. There is one important step you should not skip over when moving, and that step is clearing out the clutter. Set aside some time every day to go through your belongings and decide what should be donated, sold and discarded.


You may groan at the thought of clearing out the clutter, but it is an important part of the moving process. Here are several reasons why you need to declutter before moving into your new home.

It Lightens The Load: Are you planning to donate items such as clothing, books and coffee mugs after you move into your new home? Why pack up the items you do not plan to keep? You can make packing and unpacking a breeze by decluttering before you even order the supplies. You can save money on packing supplies when there is less to pack, and you can save time by unpacking less items.

It Helps You Depersonalize Your Current Home: Depersonalizing your current home is another part of the moving process. Your potential buyers are going to movingimagine what their own belongings would look like in this space. You can kill two birds with one stone by decluttering while you are depersonalizing. Pack up anything you plan to use or display in your new home, and get rid of anything you do not wish to take with you.

It Makes It Easier To Decorate: Have you accumulated a large amount of decorative pieces over the years? Maybe you have items you purchased on impulse, used for a little while and packed up several years ago. Now you have to decide what pieces to use when decorating your new home. This can become an overwhelming task when you have a large collection. It may be time to donate or sell the pieces that rarely cross your mind. It will make it easier to decorate your new home when you can narrow it down to the pieces you actually want to use. Plus, someone else may enjoy those decorative pieces you did not want to keep.

Saves Space In Your New Home: Your clutter is probably taking up a lot of space in your current home. Do you want history to repeat itself when you move into your new home? You may have more space in your new home, but the clutter will eventually add up. It is best to nip this in the bud before you even start packing your belongings. You will have more space in your new home for the furniture, accessories and the decorative pieces you plan to keep. It also reduces that crammed feeling in both your current home and new home.

It Is Therapeutic: Getting rid of your unwanted items can actually be therapeutic. It allows you to clear your space of anything that is not important to you. Consider getting rid of anything that is not useful or creates a negative atmosphere. Clearing out the clutter also gives you more space to organize the items you do plan to keep. Imagine how good it will feel to look around your new home and only see the items that have a place in your life. You are also helping out the community by donating or selling the items that are in good condition.

Waiting until after your move to declutter will only create more work for yourself. You still need to settle into your new home, and you do not want to worry about clearing out the clutter while you are trying to unpack and decorate. It is easy to depersonalize, pack and unpack your belongings when you get rid of the unwanted items in advance. You can even ask your real estate agent for tips and ideas on decluttering.†

Clearing out the clutter may seem like an overwhelming task, but you are sure to feel good about your new space when you finally get rid of those unwanted items.


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Pros/Cons for renting out basement apartment
Tuesday, 10 November 2015, 10:05:00 AM
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While some basements are unfinished and have an almost creepy look, others are completely finished and have a bathroom in the space. When you have a basement that you rarely or seldom use, you might look into renting that space out to tenants in your area. The amount you make can range from $300 to more than $1,000 a month depending on the size of the apartment and the amenities you offer. Before listing your basement as a rental property, you should take a look at the pros and cons of renting your basement.


More Income

One of the biggest pros associated with renting out your basement is that you can make some additional income. You can use that money towards your mortgage to pay off your home loan faster, or you can use the rental income to build up your nest egg. As long as you choose the right tenant, you'll have a guaranteed source of income every month. If you charge a security deposit equal to one month's rent, you will also have money on hand to cover any damages that tenants might do to the space.

Lack of Privacy

While you may make some money off your basement apartment, you need to ask yourself if you can deal with the disruption it might have on your privacy. kitchenEven if you rent to a quiet individual, you may still hear some noises coming from the basement. If your basement does not have a separate entrance, you'll also find yourself dealing with someone who comes and goes through your home at all hours of the day and night. Making some simple changes to the space can prevent your tenants from disrupting your privacy and home life.

May Require Upgrades

Before you can rent your basement or turn that space into an apartment, you need to ensure that this is something you can do in your city. You will generally need to make some investments to bring the basement up to code. Most areas will not legally let you rent out your basement as a one bedroom apartment unless there are finished walls in place and unless the bedroom itself features a closet and at least one window. You may want to add some soundproofing materials to reduce the noises you hear, and you'll also need to add a bathroom and kitchen or some type of kitchenette. Tenants will usually pay more for a basement apartment that has a separate entrance that does not require they go through your house.

Finding Tenants

One disadvantage that some landlords find is with finding tenants for the property. Most landlords do some type of background check that looks into a tenant's criminal past and financial history. This helps you avoid renting to someone who committed multiple crimes or someone who has multiple evictions in the past. If you aren't sure how to do a background check yourself, you can hire a professional tenant screening company to check on anyone who wants to rent your apartment.

Use Wasted Space

When deciding what to do with your basement, ask yourself what you use that space for and how you actually use it. Do you only head downstairs to do laundry or put items in storage? Renting your basement lets you make use of that wasted space. You can even upgrade your basement to keep your laundry room or a storage area separate from your tenant's space. Looking at the clear benefits and some of the possible disadvantages can help you decide whether you should turn your basement into an income generating apartment within your home.

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Becoming a Landlord: Is It Right for You?
Thursday, 01 October 2015, 09:42:18 AM
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You glance across the street, and there you see it. A "For Sale" sign sits in the front yard of that house that's been empty for months, and it hits you. Depending on the price, that little house could be the perfect investment as rental property.†

You make some calls and sure enough, the house has gone into foreclosure, and the listing price is almost half the value of most of the homes in your neighborhood. Your pulse quickens as you imagine the possibilities. How hard could being a landlord be, especially when the rental is right across the street?

Before you go changing your business cards to read, "John Doe, Landlord," you might want to take a few minutes to consider everything that's involved in becoming a landlord. While it's true that there's definitely money to be made in the rental market, it's just as true that not everyone is cut out to be a landlord.

Being a landlord takes more than just ownership of an empty property. Although it may appear from the outside looking in as though landlords have it made in the shade, it's really not always that easy. Here are the top three things you must be before you ever think about becoming a landlord.

  1. You must be honest.†

When you're responsible for providing a quality dwelling for a family, it's an absolute landlordnecessity that you are trustworthy. Hiding dangerous problems like loose floorboards and faulty wiring won't just get you in legal trouble; it could cost the life or limb of one of your tenants or their children.

Not only is it vital that you make honesty a priority for your tenants' sakes; the other residents in the neighborhood are also counting on you to behave ethically. You must be willing to perform necessary background checks to ensure that you aren't introducing a tenant with a history of drug trafficking into the neighborhood. Is the potential renter a child molester or an ex-con? While you certainly shouldn't hold any animosity toward those who have made terrible choices, you do owe it to your neighbors - and to their children - to refrain from inviting a threat into the house across the street.

  1. You must be personable.†

If you've ever rented before, you know that a mean landlord isn't doing anyone a favor. Are you a people person, or do you fly off the handle pretty easily? If you won't be able to handle your temper if you notice that your renters are letting the grass grow for months or are neglecting the property, you should hold off from even thinking about becoming a landlord.

  1. You must be handy - or at least, you must be good friends with a trustworthy handyman.†

As the landlord, you will be responsible for keeping the property in good condition. Are you confident that you could get things fixed promptly if the AC quits in the heat of the summer, if the heating goes out in the dead of winter or the pipes burst? If you have a hard time keeping your own to-do list caught up, you might not want to add another property to your plate.


Along with these, it's also important that you know how to be both just and merciful. How will you handle it if a tenant becomes delinquent and you need to evict him? Will you have the gumption to turn him out? What if he becomes violent or destructive of your property? Do you know how to give grace to those down on their luck without becoming a doormat for renters with no intention of paying what they owe?

Becoming a landlord is not for the faint of heart. If you've had plenty of experience managing different types of people and you understand what you're getting yourself into, then chances are you could be a great landlord. If you're just looking for some easy money with little effort attached, you might want to ignore that "For Sale" sign and keep right on looking.


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An Analysis of the Londonís Real Estate Sector in 2015
Posted on Tue, 15 Sep 2015, 03:21:06 PM  in Home buying tips,  Home selling tips,  My services
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In recent years, the real estate sector has come under close scrutiny following the recent crises in the global mortgage sector and current international economic events. The real estate industry has a tendency of being particularly cyclical. It goes up or down based on existing economic trends in the country. However, this huge industry continues to generate revenue that runs into billions of dollars.†


The real estate industry is typically divided into two: commercial and residential services. However, it is not uncommon to find lots of management companies and brokerages engaging in both types of service. Additionally, the residential real estate component is quite fragmented.

Property management is a service sector that has been witnessing fast growth and this expansion is bound to continue. This because properties which were over constructed during the previous real estate boom are going to continue being in need of management for some time until they are totally sold.

Contributing Factors

The old and long held adage of “Location, location, location,” continues to hold sway in the London’s real estate industry. Of prime importance towards determining the value of property and its marketplace is location. There are several factors that control the quality and associated value of a location such as access by public transportation, availability of social amenities, the access roads and their quality. Other factors are security, income levels, and state of the surrounding economy.

The Real Estate Industry Key Playersforsale

This industry is basically made up of 3 primary fields: leasing, brokerages and management. It is the brokers who bring the buyers and the sellers together. They are the ones who assist in the negotiations about price and make the necessary arrangements from when a buyer initially shows interest in any property and the final closing. They also play diverse roles in property inspections and appraisals.

Industry Potential Obstacles

The real estate sector in London faces several potential obstacles. Some of the factors are at times beyond the business owner’s control. Such obstacles include local or national economic downturns and changes in the neighbourhood demographics where the property or agency is located. Another factor not within the control of the property or real estate agency is the build-up of houses and properties in the location, what they are used for, and what other properties are available in the same area.

Use of Technology in Real Estate Transactions

For many years to come, the use of modern and emerging technology will continue transforming the real estate field. This is because it is now enabling buyers to carry out online research for both location and properties as well as other local area information. A buyer can now gather all the needed information before making the first move. Such include viewing pictures of the property, getting information about facilities in the area, crime rates, and all manner of statistics.

Online marketing using property pictures and virtual tours are assuming greater significance for real estate brokers. It is estimated that in excess of 90% of buyers employ the internet before they decide to buy real estate.

Growth of Workforce

Industry experts project that the global industry workforce will continue expanding. They however note that the internet could arguably bring down the numbers and ultimately do away with the need for real estate brokers altogether sometime in the foreseeable future.

It’s worth noting that banks are also now representing a formidable potential competitor. Many economies are now allowing commercial banks to actively engage in the real estate sector, especially the commercial component of real estate.

Bottom Line

Despite turbulent and trying economic conditions being witnessed globally, real estate analysts remain confident about the future industry growth. This is one industry that always bounces back after every economic upheaval. People will always need offices, factories and residences. Apart from situations of total war, this one industry you can bank on as we head to 2016 and beyond.


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All information is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by LSTAR. (ie. The data relating to real estate on this web site comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange (IDX) program of the London and St. Thomas Association of REALTORS®. The information herein is believed to be accurate and timely, but no warranty as such is expressed or implied.)

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