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As technology evolves and improves over time, online home listings get more sophisticated. With features such as 3D home tours now available, it is now possible to view a home and go through the entire home purchase online. This is especially pertinent now, given the current situation surrounding COVID-19 and the stress on social distancing. While many online listings are packed full of great photos and lots of information, going through the home buying process virtually and being unable to view a property in person may leave some things overlooked, as they are not as obvious through a screen.
Here are four things to take into consideration when viewing a house virtually.
3D & Virtual Tours
If doing a physical walk-through of a property isn’t an option, 3D and 360 tours can be a great alternative to give you a feeling of what it would be like to walk through a home. Many realtors now offer 3D tours or virtual walk-throughs for their listings, so now is a great time to take advantage of those! 3D tours are great for allowing you to view a property from the comfort of your own home, while also giving you the freedom to virtually navigate your way through the property. This will give you a chance to get a feel for the floorplan and layout of a home without having to actually set foot on the property.
With the current situation, many realtors are also offering virtual video walk-throughs of their properties that are currently on the market. Many realtors have asked the seller to film a walk-through of their home that they are then able to share with prospective buyers. Utilizing these virtual tours are a great way to get a feel for the property you are looking at and can be useful for helping potential buyers narrow down the different properties they may be interested in.
Analyze the Photos
Many realtors work with professional real estate photographers to take photos of their listings. This is a great asset to potential buyers as the photographers know the best ways to show off the different rooms in a home. Make sure you take a look at all of the photos and spend some time noting where windows are and what rooms look like they will get the best natural light. Another good thing to consider when looking through the photos is how your own furniture will look in the space. If the photos of the home are furniture free, allow yourself to mentally place furniture where you think it may look best. If the property is staged, take into consideration where different furniture pieces are placed and how you could change the furniture layout to work for you and your style.
Take Note of Potential Fixes/Renos
While buying a new construction or newly renovated home is great, some people look for fixer upper’s that they can make their own. If you’re looking at a property online that may not be quite your style or that needs some upgrades, take note of those. See what elements of the home work for you and which areas you would consider renovating or giving some TLC in the future.
Remember that your realtor is going to be the expert, so don’t be afraid to give your realtor a call to chat about a listing you are interested in and get their thoughts. And remember, paint colour is an easy, relatively inexpensive change that make a huge different in a home!
Consider the Outdoor Space
One thing that many people forget to take into consideration when viewing a home online is the outdoor space. Whether this be a small balcony or a large backyard, outdoor space is definitely something to try to get a feel for when viewing a home virtually. Take account of what furniture you may need to fit into the space or invest in, what sort of maintenance will be involved in the upkeep of the outdoor space. Many realtors ask their sellers to try to have two photos of the exterior of the home, one from the summer and one from the winter. This allows potential buyers to get a feel for what the exterior of the home will look like in every season.
When it comes to house hunting online, there are lots of things a potential buyer can do to get a feel for a property by simply utilizing the tools that are available online. Realtors are also a great resource to lean on, as they often have lots of information on the property that may not be included in the MLS.
If you are looking for a new place to call home or an investment property, contact us to further discuss.
Courtesy of REMAX.ca
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As the coronavirus pandemic unfolds, it continues to change the way people work and live. The outcomes of the situation have affected Toronto real estate and surrounding areas. Due to the market lag effect we likely won’t know how much the market will be affected until further down the line.
The real estate industry is considered an essential service by the Canadian government. Therefore, agents continue to guide buyers and sellers through their real estate journey, limiting and even eliminating in-person meetings. Here’s what we know is happening in the Toronto real estate market currently:
Market activity during coronavirus pandemic
February and early March showed signs that the Toronto housing market would continue to see growth and typical spring home-buying activity.
Population growth and low unemployment rates at the time were contributing to an active market. It seemed buyers were still drawn to single-family homes in the GTA, with year-over-year sales growth and listings on the incline.
However, unprecedented circumstances mid-way through March due to coronavirus are expected to cause a shift in trajectory.
According to the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) sales reached 8,012 home sales through March 2020 which is up 12.3 per cent compared to 7,132 sales in March 2019.
Average home prices are high in this city, sitting at $987,787 for Toronto property in March. Yet, average selling price in March remains above last year’s average, which indicates demand for homeownership is persistent.
This data suggests that there is market activity, but it is also evident that the number of sales in the second half of March was impacted by coronavirus.
With measures such as social distancing and non-essential business closures, home searching may slow down to a degree as more people take precautions and follow social distancing bylaws.
This does not mean that the market will come to a complete halt. Despite these challenges, there will always be a need to purchase or sell a home, such as those experiencing divorce, are in the middle of an estate sale, and other circumstances. There are important reasons why the real estate industry will continue to operate and support the Toronto market.
The Canadian government is taking steps to help businesses reduce layoffs and keep employees on the payroll. For those with job security and a down payment ready, the effects of the virus won’t be an obstacle to entering the market.
A potential slowdown of bidding wars
New immigrants and family formations have contributed to rising housing demand in Toronto. Supply and demand play an important role in the state of real estate markets. Low inventories and a shortage of listings in the city often spur bidding wars between homebuyers. This can make it more difficult for buyers to enter the market, as competing offers are a common occurrence due to tight market conditions.
Yet, recent shifts could discourage people from listing their homes in the short-term, with fear of not getting the best price under current conditions. While homebuyers may take a wait-and-see approach for when the market recovers. If sellers hang in there, less competition could make this a prime time to purchase a home.
However, buyers and sellers may be surprised at how easily consumers are embracing technology to continue activity in this market. Having open houses may not be necessary, since agents can leverage online 360-degree virtual listings, panoramic images and floor plans to give the buyer the experience of an open house without being there in person.
To stay connected to your real estate agent, apps and video calling services help maintain open lines of communication.
Leverage low interest rates
As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the Bank of Canada has reduced its benchmark interest rate to 0.25 per cent from 1.25 per cent. This is the lowest the rate has ever been.
A recent announcement to ease the mortgage stress test to give buyers more purchasing power was put on hold due to the pandemic. However, assuming the change eventually comes into play, the new stress test would factor in actual mortgage rates rather than the current posted rate system.
The good news is that this could be the perfect time to enter the market and purchase a home. Now that mortgage rates are lower, buyers can borrow more money at a decreased interest rate making their mortgage payments more affordable.
Another benefit is that homebuyers will have more housing options to choose from. Since they can qualify for more financing, it can be used to purchase a home with more of the features they desire.
First-time buyers also have the advantage of not having to sell a property in order to access the equity required to purchase a new home.
With interest rates at an all-time low, this can be considered a good time to purchase a home. Yet, the challenge will be for real estate agents to facilitate home-buying activity during this time. Here are some strategic ways the Canadian real estate market can continue during coronavirus.
Toronto real estate continues to experience housing market activity. While the coronavirus pandemic may affect the market in the short-term, we expect it to rebound when social distancing measures loosen, and we return to some normalcy. For now, it is important to take necessary precautions while participating in the market during your home-buying or selling journey to maintain health and safety.
Courtesy of REMAX.ca
19 Howard Rd
Square Footage: 1100-1500
Hobbyist Dream Home! Located On A Large Lot In Beautiful Huron Heights. 3 Bed & 3 Bath Home With Spacious Open Concept Main Floor Layout. Private Rear Yard With Lots Of Parking Offering Great Space For A Car Enthusiast, Hobbyist Or Small Buisness That Needs Room For Equipment. Close To Hwy, Schools, Parks & Shopping. Great Opportunity For A First Time Buyer Or Downsizer Looking For A Bungalow With Fewer Stairs. Home Is Also Equipped With Built In Elevator.