Buying a House In Today’s Market

I find it interesting when people talk about “Canada’s housing market” as if it is one homogeneous entity.  Of course when one thinks logically about the concept it seems ridiculous.  How good such a massive area, with completely different geographical and economic factors, be summed up by one headline?  Inevitably then, any headline that refers to “Canada’s housing market” is really talking about Toronto, maybe Vancouver and Montreal, and possibly a dash of Calgary and Edmonton thrown in.  The other places really aren’t represented well at all.  If it is tough to broadly describe Canada’s housing market, it’s even tougher to give generalized advice to everyone, but the question of when to enter the housing market is on a lot of people’s minds right now.

The new norm in Canada up until the end of 2012 had been homes going on the market, and then coming off of the market a week later while fetching 10-30% above the asking price.  That’s a pretty incredible precedent, and realtors were able to capitalize on the momentum by saying, “Get in now before you can’t afford a home anymore. Oh, and by the way, make sure and take advantage of low mortgage rates before they’re gone too.”  As we’ve seen in the months since Mr. Flaherty reversed the Conservative position on mortgage lengths and a few other housing-related pieces of regulation, this is definitely not the norm anymore right across Canada.  Depending on where you live, the headlines might say that housing is holding steady, or that it is in the middle of a pretty big reversion to the mean (namely in B.C.).  So how to play a deflating housing market and how low can it go? Continue Reading

Why You Need to Get a Home Inspection When Buying a Home

It can cost anywhere from $200-$500 for a home inspection, depending upon the type of property you are buying and where it is located. In attempt to save money, many new homeowners forgo the inspection as a way of reducing closing costs. This can be a bad idea – pound for pound, a home inspection is one of the most valuable services when you’re purchasing a new home.

A home inspection is your last chance to have repairs made before closing

Most existing homes and even many brand-new ones require at least some level of repair. In their excitement to buy a certain property, home buyers often overlook repair issues preferring to move ahead with the purchase as quickly as possible. It’s only after the closing, when moving into the new property, that buyers begin to realize the mistake they made.

One of the advantages of a home inspection is that the property is being carefully evaluated by a trained professional who has no interest in the particular outcome of the sale. He’s going in and looking at the property specifically to find what is wrong with it. And as a professional he’s in a better position to find hidden flaws than most home buyers are.

home inspectionsWhen those flaws have been identified and documented by the home inspector, you as the home buyer will have an opportunity to have them repaired before you take ownership of the property. It’s much easier to have repairs done in advance of the closing than it is to go back later and have them done after the fact. Once you close, it will usually be too late to have any repairs made by the sellers.

Potential negotiating advantage

An often overlooked advantage of having a home inspection performed is that it can give you some strong bargaining chips in negotiating or re-negotiating the sale price of the property. If your sales contract is contingent upon a satisfactory home inspection and flaws are reported, you can often use this to your advantage. Continue Reading

Passive Income: How to Get It

I had a wise friend once tell me that no one really can become wealthy through their day job, and that people usually become wealthy through money that they put away from their day job, through passive income.

I think it was the same wise friend who recommended that I read The Wealthy Barber, so obviously this friend knew what he was talking about.  Ever since he said those wise words to me, it had become my intention and goal to acquire money through passive income and become (one day) financially independent.

First off, it would be helpful to define the term passive income.  Passive income, according to Wikipedia, means income acquired on a regular basis, with little effort to to maintain it.

Basically, with passive income, you earn more while working less.

So how does one acquire passive income?

passive incomeThere are a few common ways in which people can acquire passive income.  Some of these involve a little effort to begin with and some of them require more capital (investment) to begin with.  Some people may have the time to invest in creating passive income, and some people may have the money to invest in creating passive income.  It’s usually one or the other.  Depending on the resource you have (time versus money), your ideal passive income stream may differ (or it may be a combination of both, which is also nice).

The commonly known three passive income streams are: Continue Reading

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