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Detached home with 1.7 Acres Lot

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First-time home buyers' tax credit

What is the first-time home buyers' tax credit (HBTC)?

The HBTC is a non-refundable tax credit for certain homebuyers who acquire a qualifying home after January 27, 2009, that is - closing after this date. Read more here -->


Buyer Articles

No Time Like the Present to Buy a Home

If you are tired of renting and have always wanted a home of your own, now is an excellent time to take the home ownership plunge. Attractive mortgage interest rates, government incentive programs and an excellent supply of homes for sale are making the dream of home ownership possible for more would-be buyers. Read more-->>


Buying a Property. a Sound Investment In Your Future

Why use your hard-earned cash to pay the landlord's mortgage when you could be using the rent money to buy a property or home of your own? That's a question many people ask themselves when they start thinking about moving out of the rental market to ownership. Read more -->>

What is Flipping a property

What is Flipping a property

“Flipping” is the buzzword of the year in real estate – flipping books, flipping articles in the newspaper, and even flipping shows on TV! What is flipping a house, how does it work and how you can profit?

Flipping simply means buying a property and reselling it quickly, as opposed to holding on to a property long term as a rental. Flipping comes in several varieties, most of which are legal and profitable, some of which are not.

Flip Strategy #1: Buy, Fix and Flip

Let’s start with the most common form – the good, old “fix ‘n flip”. This process involves buying a property that needs work,

fixing it up, then selling on the “retail” market, that is, to a person who will live in the property. This method is tried and true, and works very well. You can easily make $15 – $50k on one deal, depending on your market and how good you are at finding bargains.

The danger in fix and flips is either paying too much or underestimating repairs. Be very conservative in your fix–up costs and length of time it may take to resell. Also, make sure you include in your analysis the cost of paying a real estate agent to sell the property.

Flip Strategy #2: Buy, Refi & Lease/Option Rather than sell the fixed up property for all cash, sell for terms. Once you have completed the rehab, refinance the property at its new appraised value. If you did the math correctly, you should have little or no money in the deal. Sell the property on a lease with option to buy. The rent payment from your tenant/buyer should cover your mortgage payment (if not, consider an interest–only or adjustable rate loan that is fixed for 3 years). When your tenant exercises his option to purchase, you reap a larger profit, since you don’t have to pay a broker’s fee. If the tenant exercises his option after 12 months, you benefit from a lower capital gains tax rate.

Flip Strategy #3: Buy & Flip “As Is”
Don’t like to do fix–up work? Consider selling the property “as is” as a light fixer upper. If the local real
estate market is hot, you should be able to sell the property in poor condition just a little below market. This is especially the case with houses in “transitioning” neighborhoods. Make sure, of course, that you acquire the property sufficiently cheap enough that you can sell it below market quickly and still profit.

Flip Strategy #4: Wholesale
Strategy #1, the fix and flip, is very popular, which means there are a lot of investors looking for rehabs. You can buy the
property cheap and sell it for just a few thousand dollars more to another investor without doing any work. You won’t make nearly as much as the rehabber, but you will realize your profit quickly.

Flip Strategy #5: Pre-construction

In very hot real estate markets, prices are appreciating as much as 2% per month. If you time things right, you can put a contract on a pre-construction house or condominium, then flip it to someone else when the development is complete.

If it takes 12 months for the development to be complete, and the condo price is $500,000, you could make $100,000 or more in one year! Of course, the opposite is also true. You could end up losing money if the local economy tanks and you end up with a worthless condo that you can't sell for more than you paid. Use this approach very carefully.

Flip Strategy #6: Scouting

The Scout is an information gatherer, so not technically a property flipper. He is the "bird dog" who finds potential deals and sells the information to other investors. Many people get started as a Scout for other investors because it does not take any cash or prior knowledge to look for distressed properties.

The Scout finds a property for sale, gathers the necessary information, and then provides this information to investors for a fee. The fee will vary depending on the price of the property and the profit potential. The Scout can expect to make $500 to $1,000 each time he provides information that leads to a purchase by another investor.

Flip Strategy #7: Illegal flipping

Okay, I am NOT advocating this approach because it is illegal. Illegal property-flipping schemes work as follows:

Unscrupulous investors buy cheap, run-down properties in mostly low-income neighborhoods. They do shoddy renovations to the properties and sell them to unsophisticated buyers at inflated prices.

In most cases, the investor, appraiser, and mortgage broker conspire by submitting fraudulent loan documents and a bogus appraisal. The end result is a buyer that paid too much for a house and cannot afford the loan. Since many of these loans are federally insured, the government authorities have investigated this practice and arrested many of the parties involved. As a result, the public perceives is flipping to be illegal.

The fact is, "flipping" (as I described in the beginning of this article) is NOT illegal. Loan fraud in the process of flipping is what is illegal. So don't confuse the two. The other six ways to flip are very legal, very ethical, and very profitable!

What to do after moving in to your home?

What to do after moving in to your home?

The first week

- Install new locks.

- Make extra sets of keys.

- Buy a fire extinguisher for the kitchen and garage. -

Install or check the batteries in the smoke detectors.

Who's Taking Pictures? The first 6 months you will notice people taking pictures of your house. They are real estate appraisers. When you had an appraisal for your purchase, the appraiser had to take photos of similar home sales. Lenders require photos of comparable sales used in an appraisal. Now your house is being used as a comparable on appraisals being done for other sales or refinancing.

Keep Your House In Shape

- Make repairs and do preventative maintenance as needed early on.

- Keep an eye open for termite droppings and wet wood condition.

- Keep rain gutters and downspouts working properly to drain water away from the house.

Home Safety Check List

- Install good sturdy handrails.

- Service all heating equipment.

- Install carbon monoxide detectors.

- Use anti-skid material under area rugs.

- Install smoke detectors in key locations.

- Install an automatic night light

- Keep fire extinguishers handy in kitchen and garage.

- Keep medicines, poisons and firearms in child secured cabinets.

- Properly store paints, solvents and gasoline in a well-ventilated area.

- Provide rope or chain ladders on upper stories if there is no fire escape.

-Start A House File Keep all important house related papers, title insurance, loan information, property insurance, etc. in a central "house file" system. Important: save all receipts for any home improvements for later "possible" tax write-offs.

Thinking Of Adding On?

- Always get permits.

- Don't over improve for the neighborhood.

- Use professionals to maximize your investment.

- Addition should blend well with the existing architecture. Well-planned and executed remodeling jobs are a good investment and some specific home improvements even can increase the value above the initial cost. Any owner contemplating an addition and/or change to his or her property should first check with the appropriate county or municipal building department to avoid any building code violations, which will generally render a seller's title unmarketable.

Consider limitations of your neighborhood. It makes more sense to add on to the smallest house than to further improve the largest one in the area. Ultimately, the decision should be based on individual needs, the extent of work involved and what will add the most value.

Know Your Neighborhood

After you are settled in, introduce yourself to your neighbors and invite them over.

Most people want to know who their neighbors are, but most are shy about making that first introduction. Break the ice first and introduce yourself.

Get involved in the neighborhood, watch program. In areas of high crime, community watch programs organized by homeowners can lower the crime rate and rid a neighborhood of graffiti.

These improvements also can enhance property values. Knowing your neighbors is why people enjoy living where they live

Moving Checklist


Use this helpful checklist as a reminder of the things you need to do before you move.

Book the movers. You can choose to have the movers pack everything, or just the breakables, or you can pack yourself. It's agood idea to obtain estimates from several different companies.

If you rent your present home:
Give necessary written notice to your landlord and make arrangements for the return of any monies you have on deposit.

At Your New Home:
Make arrangements for the gas and electric utilities, water softener, telephone and cable TV to be connected on the day the sale closes.


•Get Change of Address cards from the post office and send out well before moving day.
•Have the post office forward your mail to your new address.
•Cancel any contracted services and pre-authorized cheques.
•Inform gardening, dry cleaning, garbage pick-up, newspapers, magazines, diaper and other home services. Arrange for service at your new address.
•Obtain a letter of introduction from your current branch to help establish new accounts. Transfer trust or bank accounts and securities.
•Cancel or transfer social, athletic, civic, religious or business affiliations and memberships.
•Arrange for transfer of medical, dental, prescription and optical records.
•Collect all items out for cleaning, repair or storage. e.g. fur coats, dry cleaning.
•Make special arrangements for the moving of perishables, such as plants.
•Make special arrangements for the moving of your pets.
•Dispose safely of all flammable liquids as it is illegal for movers to carry them.
•Change the address on your driver's license(s) effective the day of the move.

Type of Homes, Condominium

Type of Homes, Condominiums

Generally available types of Homes are - Apartment, Condominium, Townhouse, (Detached) Home. The major differences between

these types of Homes are Ownership and Responsibility.


A type of property intended for permanent residents who lease a specific space or unit for Rent. 
Individual units in a multiunit structure that have joint ownership of commonly used property like sidewalks, hallways, stairs, and lawn 

A dwelling unit containing having 2 or more floors and attached to other similar units via shared walls. 
Single-Family Home - A detached and stand alone housing unit designed and maintained for occupancy by one or more families.

Your Team

Your Agent
A successful purchase starts with the right representative. In fact, once you’ve selected the best agent to represent you, it is likely that he or she can recommend other professionals to join your team, taking more of the responsibility off of your shoulders.

Lender (Appraiser)
A bank is not just a bank. Having the right backer can be extremely important – it is your money we’re talking about after all! Make sure that your lender and financial representative is someone with whom you feel comfortable, and be wary of any lender who promises you more than you think you can reasonably afford. Your lenders may or may not require an independent appraisal, and typically will make arrangements for the appraisal themselves.

Your home purchase is far too important a transaction to skimp on legal representation at the risk of leaving yourself open to costly future issues. Find a lawyer who is willing to take the time to answer your questions and who specializes in real estate law.

Home Inspector
No home inspection is 100% guaranteed, but a few hundred dollars to catch a major problem now is certainly better than many thousands to correct that ‘surprise’ down the road. Ask your agent for a recommendation.

Planning some renovations? You’re not the only one! The home renovation industry is booming, and in some markets, booking a contractor must be done months in advance (that’s a long time to go without a kitchen). Don’t let finding the right contractor slip through the cracks – planning ahead will almost certainly make your renovation smoother, and you contractor will appreciate the advance notice. 

Your Plan

1.  Find the right representative

Even if you’re not quite ready to buy, your buyer’s agent can be an absolute wealth of information, and can often offer ‘scoops’ on local developments you might not have know about otherwise.  Speak to your agent first and he or she can be helping to guide you right from the start.

2.  Find out what your price range is
Online mortgage calculators are a good place to start, but as you get closer to being ready to buy, there is no substitute for a written mortgage pre-approval.  Just speaking to your lender is an extremely worthwhile venture – this is the only way to really get an in-depth picture of your overall financial picture and to discover exactly what you can reasonably afford to spend on a home (and possibly on renovating).

3.  Find out what your local market looks like
The internet can be incredibly valuable in doing preparatory research.  Start with your agent – he or she can direct you to valuable resources and immediately start e-mailing you real estate listings that may interest you (or at least give you a better idea of what your needs and wants are).

4.  Find out what your true needs and wants are
Compose a needs/wants list that takes into consideration your local market conditions, your price range, and the advice of your real estate agent.

5.  Find your dream home!
Once you’re ready to act, you may be surprised by how quickly you can make a decision.  Armed with your pre-approval, a little market knowledge, and your needs/wants list, call your real estate agent, hit the pavement, and when you see ‘the house’, put in an offer. 

With the right team behind you, it really can be that easy!

Your Calculator

Let us help you find out what you can afford! Our mortgage calculator will help you determine loan amounts, mortgage qualification, or whether you should be renting or buying.

Complete the fields below (e.g., Cost of Home, Down Payment, Monthly Income) and click Calculate Now. To view the different results of your calculation, click on the various tabs. To mail yourself a copy of your results, click the Receive this Detailed Analysis link.

Required Fields
Term In Years:     
Interest Rate:      %
Cost of Home:  $
Down Payment:  $  
Annual Insurance:  $  
Estimate Insurance to 0.43% of Cost
Annual Property Tax:  $  
Estimate Tax to 1.2% of Cost
Monthly Income:  $
Monthly Debt:  $
Optional Fields
Gross Debt Service Ratio (GDS):     
Total Debt Service Ratio (TDS):     
Condos Fees:  $
  Receive this Detailed Analysis

Your Monthly Payments
Loan Amount:
Loan Insurance (%):
Total Loan (Mortgage) Amount:
Principal & Interest:
Homeowners Insurance:
Property Taxes:
Condo Fees:
Monthly Loan Insurance (%):
Total Monthly Payment:
Income Needed to Qualify for the Mortgage
Total Monthly Loan Payment:
Total Monthly Debt Payment:
Monthly Loan Insurance (%):
Qualifying Income of % GDS Ratio:
Qualifying Income of % TDS Ratio:
What You Can Afford
We are using the % ratio.
Cost of House:
Down Payment:
Loan Value:
Monthly Principal & Interest:
Monthly Insurance:
Monthly Property Tax:
Monthly Condo Fees:
Cost of House = [(Monthly income x Debt Ratio) – monthly tax – monthly insurance – condo fee] /
(monthly interest rate/ function of interest rate)
Monthly Rent: $
Annual Rental Increases:  %
Monthly Renter Insurance: $
Savings or Investment Rate:  %
Planned # of years in home: 
Yearly appreciation of the home:  %
Annual home maintenance:  %

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