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Consider a fixer-upper as home prices rise

Ontario Real Estate Asso­ci­a­tion says home own­er­ship can still be a reality

With the aver­age price of Ontario homes on the rise to almost $360,000, and higher in some cities, the Ontario Real Estate Asso­ci­a­tion (OREA) rec­om­mends poten­tial home­buy­ers look beyond “turn-key” prop­er­ties that are move in ready and con­sider homes that are in need of renovation.

Every­one wants a house or condo that will be per­fect the minute they move in so they only have to do the min­i­mum amount of work to it,” says Bar­bara Sukkau, pres­i­dent of OREA. “But with the price of houses con­tin­u­ing to rise, and some buy­ers des­per­ately look­ing for a fam­ily home in a seller’s mar­ket, it may not be an option for all buy­ers. Buy­ing a prop­erty that needs work can be a way to save on the over­all cost even when you fac­tor in the cost of an exten­sive ren­o­va­tion,” says Sukkau.

OREA rec­om­mends poten­tial home­buy­ers work with their Real­tor to iden­tify prop­er­ties that will build equity after improve­ments are made but still remain in bud­get. Together with their Real­tor, home­buy­ers should research what the top homes in the neigh­bour­hood sell for before buy­ing a fixer-upper.

It doesn’t make sense to invest $100,000 worth of ren­o­va­tions in a prop­erty if the other homes only sell for fifty thou­sand more than what you bought the house for,” says Sukkau. “Buy­ing a house that needs ren­o­va­tion should grow equity — not become a prop­erty that’s too expen­sive for the neigh­bour­hood when you want to sell.”

Sukkau says there are other ben­e­fits to buy­ing a prop­erty that needs ren­o­va­tion, such as the fact that HST does not apply to the price of a resale home, unlike newly built homes, which can save a home­buyer thou­sands of dol­lars. Also, the fed­eral gov­ern­ment cur­rently offers grants up to $5,000 to own­ers who want to make their home more energy effi­cient. If an older home needs new win­dows or a new fur­nace, then home­own­ers can apply for the grant for this cost. And finally, ren­o­vat­ing a home lets the home­buyer add their own per­son­al­ity to the space and deter­mine what’s most impor­tant to them. Newly built homes, while beau­ti­ful, can have a cookie-cutter feel and look very sim­i­lar to the other homes in the neighbourhood.

No mat­ter if a home­buyer decides on a fixer-upper or a prop­erty that needs no improve­ments, accord­ing to Sukkau the most impor­tant thing is for poten­tial home­buy­ers to know their bud­get and stick to it. “Before look­ing at any home, dis­cuss with your Real­tor what your bud­get is for both the prop­erty and any pos­si­ble ren­o­va­tion. Even though it is dif­fi­cult, remain emo­tion­ally detached when look­ing at homes, and if a prop­erty is beyond your means, then move on to the next one,” says Sukkau.

Con­tact Lau­rin Jef­frey for more infor­ma­tion – 416−388−1960

Lau­rin Jef­frey is a Toronto Real­tor with Cen­tury 21 Regal Realty. He did not
write these arti­cles, he just repro­duces them here for peo­ple who are
inter­ested in Toronto real estate. He does not work for any builders.


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