The title of this post is a little misleading, because as far as I'm concerned, there's no such thing as "winning" a bidding war. But in markets where demand is high and supply is low, bidding wars are an unfortunate reality (at least for the buyer). So here are my best tips on how to keep a level head and get the right house without blowing your budget.
Before You Bid...
Know Your Limits
Before you consider buying any type of home it's really important to know exactly what you can afford. You need to do a thorough assessment of all your expenses – car, entertainment, groceries, pets – you name it. Knowing how you spend your money will help determine what you can afford.
Get Your Financing in Order
Make sure to get pre-approved by your bank or mortgage company before you put in an offer so you know exactly what you can carry – and how high you can make your offer. If you get into a bidding war situation you need to know exactly where your limit is. The other advantage is that other potential buyers may want to make their offer conditional on financing. If you don't have to do that you have a major advantage.
Do Your Research
Before putting in an offer make sure you've researched everything. I'm talking about the neighbourhood, schools, accessible transportation, traffic – everything. All of these things play a part in the value of your home so you want to be sure you're still getting a good value should you have to go higher with your offer than you initially planned.
Speak to Your Real Estate Agent
Having a good agent who knows and respects your limits is very important. But it's equally as important that you be firm with him or her about where your line is. An agent's job is to research the comps in the neighbourhood and advise you about what they think the house is worth, and what they think it will sell for. (They can't predict the future, but they should be able to come pretty close.) Second, it's their job to help you get what you want for the price you've told them you can afford. It's up to you to be honest with your agent about what your cap is. Make sure you and your agent have a good dialogue about all these things before you jump in head first. If your agent tries to up sell you on the price and encourage you to go beyond your budget, it's time to find a new agent.
Once You've Put in an Offer...
Make a Big Deposit
Making a big deposit on the home can show the seller you mean business. It's best to have your agent look into what the typical deposit amount in the region is (it can vary across the country) so that you have an idea what other potential buyers may do. Then I suggest you put down as much as you can afford. It will go towards your down payment if you get the property, and you'll get it back if you don't firm up the offer. A clean offer with a large deposit in the form of a certified cheque could mean winning the deal over another buyer.
Sometimes winning a bidding war can be as easy as agreeing to the seller's conditions such as closing dates, buying the property 'as is', or even offering to move the closing date up if it works better for the seller. If they've already purchased another property they might be in a hurry. Making it easy for them gives you a better shot at getting the house (even if your offer is a bit lower than the others).
When it comes to buying a house emotions can take over. It's scary, it's exciting, and let's be honest, it's thrilling! But getting caught up in the emotion of it all can lead to bad decision-making and you could get burned. Be strong and stick to your guns. If you don't get this house another one will come along.
#ScottTip – A clean offer with no conditions can be appealing to sellers, but under no circumstances would I ever advise that you waive a home inspection. You may get the house, but not knowing what problems it has may mean you get some very costly fixes along with it.
...from REPMAG.CA, November 14, 2016
Ontario is doubling the rebate on the land-transfer tax for first-time homebuyers to $4,000, but is increasing the same tax on homes that sell for over $2 million.
The government says half of first-time buyers won't pay any land-transfer tax to the province, while the half-percentage point increase on homes over $2 million will affect less than one per cent of the population.
The province takes in over $2.1 billion a year in the land-transfer tax, and the government says any increase in revenues from the increase on luxury homes will help pay for the doubled rebates for first-time buyers.
Premier Kathleen Wynne had said the government was worried about the difficulty faced by first-time buyers trying to get into the housing market, especially in the Greater Toronto Area where the average price is $762,975.
The government also announced it is freezing the property tax on apartment buildings while it reviews how it affects rental market affordability.
The changes to the land-transfer tax are outlined in the Ontario government's fall economic statement, which says that home ownership has become a key factor in many people's long term financial security.
The Ontario Real Estate Association had asked the government to expand the land-transfer tax rebate program for first-time buyers as one way to help more of them get into the housing market.
The city of Toronto has its own land transfer tax, which offers rebates of up to $3,725 for first time buyers.
Ontario's land-transfer tax rises from half-a-per cent on the first $55,000 of a purchase price to two per cent for everything above $400,000. Toronto's land-transfer tax is one per cent on the first $55,000 and two per cent on the rest.
The Canadian Press
...The Windsor Star, Craig Pearson, August 4th, 2016
A day after city council waived development fees in the city core, at least one developer says he’s sold.
Peter Valente, president of Remo Valente Real Estate and the Valente Development Corporation, says thanks to the elimination of development fees, he will soon build a multi-residential building on Ouellette Avenue near Erie Street.
“We’re probably going to be the first ones in with a new residential development there,” said Valente, who predicts he will start seeking approvals for his new construction project in six to eight months. “And I think it’ll be successful.”
Valente sees good times ahead for downtown Windsor, which already has a low vacancy rate — and falling. According to the Canada Housing and Mortgage Corporation, in October 2015 downtown Windsor’s vacancy rate was 6.6 per cent, down significantly from October 2010 when the vacancy rate stood at 15.8 per cent.
Some real estate agents feel the vacancy rate has fallen even further since.
“I don’t think there’s much rental supply downtown right now,” Valente said Wednesday. “If the city is looking to revitalize downtown the first step is new multi-family development, starting with rentals.
“Once you have new residents then there will be demand for a butcher shop, a hardware store, a grocery store and related services.”
Valente would like to see even more incentives for developers, such as property tax breaks for new buildings.
City council on Tuesday waived development fees, which help pay for such things as roads and sewers, roughly between Peter Street to the west, Pillette Road to the east and Tecumseh Road to the south. Rebates of 25 – 75 per cent already existed in those areas, but not many builders took advantage of the reduced costs.
An 82-page report prepared by Toronto-based N. Barry Lyon Consultants Ltd., which went to council Tuesday night, noted that dilapidated housing, fewer schools, higher crime rates and lower socio-economic standing hurt Windsor’s core neighbourhoods.
Unless drastic actions are taken little will change, says the report. Lower property values, higher foreclosures, and vacant properties make a large area less attractive for revitalization and new development.
Ben Klundert, past president of the Greater Windsor Home Builders’ Association, said the waived fees may also encourage his company, B.K. Cornerstone Design/Build, to try developing downtown.
“Some of the areas we may be looking at are in the downtown where we could put a store-front bottom with either apartments or condos or townhomes on the upper level,” he said.
Klundert said the waived fees coupled with the downtown expansion of the University of Windsor and St. Clair College makes the core a suddenly more appealing place to do business.
“The Home Builders’ Association applauds council’s decision,” Klundert said. “We believe downtown is going to be a very underdeveloped area for student housing. Dropping development charges goes a long way to helping people make that decision to build, because you can be much more aggressive with attracting students or first-time home buyers.”
In 2015, the city collected $8 million in development fees. But only a fraction of that will be lost with the newly waived fees, since so few new homes and commercial spaces are built on empty lots in the centre of the city. The report predicted that eliminating the fees would cost the city up to $55,000 a year.
Building a new single detached home elsewhere in Windsor costs $22,976 in development fees. In the city core, the majority of those costs have been eliminated for the next five years, after which council will reassess the issue.
That doesn’t mean there are no costs for development on vacant land, however. Development costs are broken into two categories: hard and soft. Hard costs are for roads, sewers and the like, while soft costs help pay for general government, police, fire, parks, libraries and more.
Developers must still pay soft development fees, which means $1,743 for a new single detached home built on an empty lot in the city core.
“The roads and sewers are already there,” said Tony Ardovini, the city’s deputy treasurer. “But somebody moving in will still use services like libraries, fire, police and parks. Most people build in green areas in the suburbs. These new incentives are only for vacant land in the core.”
Valente Real Estate is Very Proud to be Honoured with the Founder's Award for W.E. Care for Kids
Future of Windsor Real Estate belongs to Seniors, says developer
WINDSOR AREA HOUSING MARKET RED HOT
...am800cklw News - Peter Langille (March 21, 2016)
A longtime Real Estate and Development insider in Windsor says the local housing market is as hot as he's ever seen it.
Peter Valente says a number of factors are increasing prices and the volume of properties being sold. He says confidence in the local economy and a limited number of listings are both causing prices to rise.
Valente says the superheated market has been happening since last Spring: "We're seeing multiple offer situations on houses that are priced properly in certain neighbourhoods. It would be strange if a house comes for sale in this market that's priced properly in a good neigbourhood that doesn't have multiple offers in the first week, and bidding wars."
He says prices are up in both resale and new homes, creating a challenge in the new housing market. Valente says some people are building because they can't find what they want in a resale home.
He says the "100 Mile Peninsula" initiative is having an impact because people moving from the GTA still see this as an affordable alternative.
He hopes values of Real Estate continue to climb locally because it will lead to greater prosperity in the region.
Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at Rivertown Terrace
Celebrating a long overdue revitalization of the first new Condominium building for the City in over 6 years at the Rivertown Terrace, traditional ribbon cutting from left were: Peter Valente, Preident of Valente Development Corporation; Jo-Anne Gignac, Windsor City Counicllor and Drew Dilkins, Mayor of the City of Windsor.
...BizX Magazine, June, 2015
VALENTE DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION recently hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony on the last day of April (a public sales launch happened early in May) for its newly constructed sales office and model suites at Rivertown Terrace, 7485 Wyandotte St. East, Windsor.
"I am very proud to unveil these two beautifully decorated suites -- my team did an amazing job!" exclaims developer Peter Valente.
Enjoying the surroundings inside the "Model Suite" of what is to come in the 50 unit, four storey building are Valente Real Estate agents Rachel Lefaive, Ida Sproule, and Brenda Hawtin.
The planned $10 million development provides for a total of 56 units. There will be six Brownstone suites facing Wyandotte Street East (Phase I construction completed) and a 50 suite four storey apartment building (Phase 2, the "Apartment Suites" break ground soon).
Valente expects occupancy of the units to occur in the Spring of 2016.
"The location was chosen because it is an attractive site in an established area, and within walking distance to grocery shopping, pharmacies, medical services, banks, restaurants, and transit" explains Valente.
It is expected that many of these suites will be purchased by seniors that already live in the established Riverside subdivision, built 40 years ago. Other residents that Valente hopes to attract are people relocating to the Windsor area for retirement reasons.
If you are interested in learing more about the condominiums, visit the developer's website: valentehomes.com.
... Grace Macaluso, The Windsor Star, May 1st, 2015
Peter Valente doesn’t need a crystal ball to see the future of Windsor’s new homes market.
“My personal belief is the future of Windsor real estate are the seniors,” said Valente, president and owner of Valente Development Corporation.
“When the housing market started to turn around four or five years ago, I made the conscious decision to go after that market.”
With this demographic group in mind, Valente launched RiverTown Terrace – the city’s first, new condominium development in almost a decade.
“This is a $10-million project,” he said proudly. “It will create about 160 construction jobs.”
Peter Valente is shown in a condominium unit at the RiverTown Terrace on April 29, 2015, in Windsor, ON. The development by Valente Real Estate is located on Wyandotte Street East near Lauzon Road. (DAN JANISSE/The Windsor Star)
The 63,000-square-foot project sits on a two-acre lot at 8475 Wyandotte St. E. and is being built in two phases.
Phase one, which is currently under construction, is a building comprised of six, two-storey units. In June, construction is set to begin on phase two, which features a four-storey building consisting of one-and-two-bedroom units.
So far, 12 of the 50 units at the four-storey building have been sold, said Valente.
“We think seniors will purchase this as a retirement living choice,” he said. “These are people who want to spend half their time in Florida. They’ll have no maintenance. They can lock and leave their unit, and go to Florida in the winter.”
The two-storey units, he added, would likely appeal to professionals. “It’s like a townhouse building, but the zoning of the property did not allow for townhouses, so they’re brownstones and we had to do vertically divided units.”
The units come with such standard finishes as ceramic floors, granite or quartz countertops, cabinets with crown moulding and stainless steel kitchen appliances.
“I tried to put in upgrades that you’d find in a $700,000 house. It may be a small space but it’s very well finished.”
The location caters to residents who want to be within walking distance of an array of amenities, said Valente.
“If you want to head out to the grocery store, restaurant or bank, you can walk across the street,” he said. “It’s an awesome location.”
WINDSOR, ON. MARCH 11, 2015. -- Matt McShane and Gabe Valente (right) are photographed in front of a new development at the corner of Dominion and Grand Marais in Windsor on Wednesday, March 11, 2015. (TYLER BROWNBRIDGE/The Windsor Star)
..Grace Macaluso, The Windsor Star, March 11th, 2015
A new urgent care centre will be the anchor tenant in a development taking shape at the former site of Christ the King Roman Catholic Church at Grand Marais Road and Dominion Boulevard in South Windsor.
The 7,000-square-foot complex also will feature a pharmacy, medical and X-ray lab and optometrist’s office, said Matt McShane, an agent at Valente Real Estate.
“There are a lot of older baby boomers in South Windsor,” said McShane, adding the complex could also accommodate a family practice. “This will give them the ability to go down the street for care instead of waiting in line at the hospital.”
Local pharmacist John Payne, who will open a pharmacy at the centre, said a group of emergency room physicians will staff the clinic. Payne said the new urgent care centre, which is set to open Aug. 1, will give patients an alternative to hospital emergency rooms.
“South Windsor is a solid community,” said Payne, who grew up in the area. “There are a lot of seniors looking for a local pharmacy, urgent care centre and local doctors in their neighbourhood. “We’re all about convenience.”
The closest urgent care facility is West Windsor Urgent Care Centre, located on Huron Church Road — a transport truck-laden artery many senior drivers would prefer to avoid, said Payne.
“Driving on Huron Church is not an enjoyable experience,” he said. “We will be able to offer health-care services on a one-stop shopping basis.”
More advanced medical cases would be treated on-site, although patients with minor ailments, such as a cough or cold, would also be examined, said Payne.
Although his pharmacy will be competing with a nearby Shoppers Drug Mart, Payne said his drugstore will focus on customer service and patient care.
“What sets us apart is we’re extremely customer-focused,” he said. “We go to great lengths to make sure our patients feel very comfortable and get the service they deserve.”
An additional 4,000 square feet is also available for tenants, and McShane said he is hoping to attract other health care professionals, such as chiropractors or dentists.
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