Investing in a Kitchener condo and other questions from the chat widget

brokerage

I had to turn my chat widget off, not because I don’t enjoy the random questions and conversations from random strangers, but because I am currently traveling and I’m not maintaining my most normal routine.  My normal routine is to have the chat widget turned on in the background when I am at my desk doing other work.

brokerageGetting on the MLS

If you are selling privately, can you still get an MLS number? I was pretty sure you can but my banker says you cannot.

You can

I’m surprised my banker did not know this. Thank you.

The catch is you have to pay for it.

How much?

I don’t know. Maybe $500. You have to hire a realtor who does mere postings.

Firing my Realtor

My agent has refused to give me a Termination of Listing form.

What are you going to do?

He has put down my home and I would like to move on with another agent from a different real estate company. Is it possible?

Yes. You should contact his broker with your complaints and concerns.

brokerageInvesting in a Kitchener Condo

Hi Keith, I am interested to get your opinion on buying a condo in Kitchener. There are loads going up at the moment in the downtown area and this is where I would be looking to purchase a buy2let, 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom unit. Thoughts?

Kitchener is booming and a better investment option than Waterloo.

Yes I believe so, especially with the rail development going in and the fact that the Liberal government made a specific mention of this area in their election campaign. More people commute in from Toronto to Kitchener than visa versa

I agree, except for the commuting direction. is that correct?

However I am focusing on the older condos as I believe the newer one’s returns are not there. If an older condo is purchased that is well run and has a sizeable war chest, I believe that there is more juice to be squeezed. Especially when you have 2 bedroom condos going up on Duke Street for well over the $260K Mark. So my question is, having read your articles on the site,

A) would you purchase a condo as a buy2let?

B) which condo in your opinion offers best bang for buck?

I wouldn’t buy a condo with a buy2let option. I don’t trust the math with these builders and developers. Also, new condos in the region are over-priced, over-valued. The builders are profit-taking. I would not buy from a builder. There are some other newish resale condos near the LRT line that you could consider. Are you familiar with the ones on Mill Street?

Totally agree. I would also of as far to say that the older condos were built in a a time when people took more pride in their craft and generally are a lot larger than the new builds. From my research, the population is generally lazy. People do not want to maintain yards. They want fast internet and good cafes to go to and have their coffee. People will not be buying in the future. There is a shift renting as it is in Europe. As increasing debt and student loans in addition to people getting married later in life and they don’t need a house with lots of upkeep. This all points in my view to a condo lifestyle which is more prevalent in any tech city – and that is what Kitchener is poised to become – a tech city once it gets a high speed train between Toronto and Kitchener.

Yes. I’ve lived here long enough to experience how much we have already changed.

I’m not familiar with the ones on Mill Street.

I’ll send a link. Just a sec. Link 

Thanks for the link. I will look into these. I’ve seen some units for sale on Mansion Street. Mansion Lofts and on Ellen Street near the library. The one on Ellen Street is electric heating as you have pointed out in your article.

Mansion is a troubled building. I think the fees are really high. Ellen is pretty good.

Are either a good purchase? Troubled in what way?

A few years ago, the unit owners all got hit with a huge special assessment. The builder put in the wrong windows and they all had to be replaced. I think everyone had to pay about $7000 over the next several years.

So the windows have been changed already? Ah, I follow. Their condo fees went up due to replacement of the windows. I went to look at one on Sunday. 2 bed. Asking $298K. And one on Ellen Street

Yes that was a couple of years ago. The condo fees are near $500/month.

The one on Ellen Street, I feel is a better purchase.

brokerageNegotiating your Realtor’s commission

If I don’t have an agent to purchase a house, will I get a little lower price than the listing price

I hope you know what you are doing if you are not going to use an agent. First of all the listing price is irrelevant. Second, most agents have special agreement with their sellers that if they list and sell the property the commission rate is lowered.

So it is possible?

Anything is possible

Ha ha

It sounds like you have the confidence to bargain hard and you know what the market price is, right?

Is it common nowadays that the buying agent gives a portion of his/her commission back to the buyer? I mean for some but not all buying agents.

It not that common, but not unheard of either. You seem to be overly concerned with commission. You could really concentrate on neighbourhood. Location is the most important thing about real estate

Another condo investing question

Quick question

Sure

I heard someone talking about investing in condominiums. What does that mean exactly? I have heard a few ideas

It is a good way to start investing in real estate. Turn key. The condo corp takes care of all the maintenance so all the landlord has to do in find the tenants and pick up the rent.

Yes that is what I heard. I am reading your article about the price ranges and that says that it is a good time to buy. Is that recent information?

I think that one is October last year.

Ok then. Thanks

brokerage2Lawyers and the LTT

I want to know what the lawyer fee and land tax for the house we bought for $775,000.

There are many LTT calculators online. Just google land transfer tax calculator for that.  Lawyer fees with be about $900.

Where, oh where?

Where should I buy a house in KW?

Great question. Tell me what’s important to you.

<$500, 4 bedroom, 2 car garage, near good school

Ok. I think we have a number of houses and neighbourhoods that you will like. Anything else?

No

Would you like me to send you a list of houses that are in good neighbourhoods or would you just like me to point out some neighbourhoods to consider.

Ok. Just point out the good neighbourhoods.

Eastbridge, Columbia Forest, Clair Hills, Brigadoon, Beechwood, Beechwood Forest are all good.

Commissions misunderstood

When do I pay the realtor’s commission? When I buy or sell or both?

You pay when you sell only.

OK. And property tax is when I buy?

You mean land transfer tax?

Yes. Sorry

Yes.

brokerage8Rentals

Wondering about the house rental market in Waterloo

Except for the student market, the house rental market is good.

I have a townhouse near university. I am currently looking for new tenant. Not getting as much responses as before.

Yeah. There is an over-supply of student housing.

Would it be a good idea to go to short term rental model?

I had a bungalow on Air bnb for a while and that was pretty good.

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