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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day!

Enjoy your day!

104 Ch de l'Ile, Ile-Cadieux - Sold!

104 Ch de l'Ile, Ile-Cadieux
Listed at $889,000
Sold in 55 days!
Diane & Paul Laflamme
Royal LePage Village

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

International sales continue to climb in the U.S. market

NAR: International sales continue to climb in U.S. market
WASHINGTON (June 11, 2012) – Due to low prices and the relative weakness of the dollar, international buyers continue to identify the U.S. as a desirable place to own property and make a profitable investment.

According to the National Association of Realtors® 2012 Profile of International Home Buying Activity, total residential international sales in the U.S. for the past year ending March 2012 equaled $82.5 billion, up from $66.4 billion in 2011. Total international sales were evenly split between non-resident foreigners and recent immigrants.

The survey asked Realtors® to report their international business activity within the U.S. for the 12 months ending March 2012.

“Today’s advantageous market conditions have drawn more and more foreign buyers to the U.S. in recent years, signaling how desirable and profitable owning property in this country can be,” said NAR President Moe Veissi, broker-owner of Veissi & Associates Inc. in Miami and 2002 president of Florida Realtors®. “Low housing prices, a good inventory condition and increased buying power with today’s exchange rates help attract international clients.

“Foreign buyers also have the advantage of working with a Realtor. Realtors who specialize in serving international clientele have a truly global perspective; they know what hurdles foreign buyers face when purchasing property in the U.S., and have the expertise and knowledge that comes from working with clients from different cultures and real estate practices.”

International buyers bought homes throughout the country, but four states accounted for 51 percent of the purchases – Florida, California, Texas and Arizona. Florida has been the fastest growing destination of choice, accounting for 26 percent of foreign purchases. California was second with 11 percent and Texas and Arizona accounted for seven percent.

Proximity to the home country, the presence of relatives and friends, the convenience of air transportation, and climate and location are all important considerations to prospective foreign buyers. Locations on the East Coast generally attract European buyers, while Asian buyers tend to purchase on the West Coast, particularly California.

Florida attracts a diverse set of international buyers including South Americans, Europeans and Canadians.

Meanwhile, Texas remains popular among Mexican buyers. Within markets in an individual state, it is not unusual to find concentrations of people grouped by nationality.

“Foreign buyers recognize that owning a home in the U.S. has many benefits, both financial and social,” said Veissi. “Many purchase property as an investment, vacation home or to diversify their portfolio. In addition, many recent immigrants view homeownership as an important accomplishment. They believe that being a homeowner is one of many ways they become established in the U.S. and attain stability, security and a sense of community.”

International buyers came from all over the globe, but Canada, China (The People’s Republic of China including Hong Kong), Mexico, India and the United Kingdom accounted for 55 percent of all international transactions, according to the survey. Canada and China remain the fastest-growing home countries. Canada accounted for 24 percent of international sales while China accounted for 11 percent, up from nine percent in 2011. Mexico was third with eight percent of sales and India and the U.K. both accounted for six percent.

Forty-five percent of international purchases were under $250,000. In addition, there appears to be a gradual increasing trend toward purchases in the $250,000 to $500,000 price range. In 2012, this range accounted for 30 percent of purchases, up from 28 percent in 2011. The average price paid by an international buyer was $400,000 compared to the overall U.S. average of $212,000.

Several reasons account for why the average international home price is higher than the average overall price. The international client is typically wealthier than the domestic buyer and is looking for a property in a specialized niche, for example, a larger property suitable for multi-generational living or a property that establishes the individual’s presence and standing in the community.

Many homes purchased by foreign buyers are used as a primary residence. Vacation and rental use are also major reasons for a purchase. More than half – 66 percent – of survey respondents reported international buyers purchased detached single-family homes. About half of international buyers, 52 percent, preferred to buy in a suburban area and about a quarter, 23 percent, bought in a central city/urban area.

Sixty-two percent of international purchases were all cash, which has increased since 2007. International buyers still experience many financing challenges when purchasing a home in the U.S.

In fact, among transactions that failed, Realtors reported that in 26 percent of the cases financing issues were the problem. The difficulties facing foreign buyers in trying to obtain a mortgage include lack of U.S.-based credit history and hurdles in meeting mortgage requirements. Other reasons for not purchasing properties were cost/taxes/insurance and immigration laws.

Twenty-seven percent of Realtors reported having worked with international clients this year. Fifty-two percent of Realtors reported that international transactions accounted for one to 10 percent of their total transactions, while 27 percent reported that they made up more than 10 percent of total transactions. Realtor specialization on the buyer’s side of the market – such as foreign language capabilities, cultural affinity or orientation with the prospective purchaser and experience in explaining the U.S. real estate – appear to be important in working with foreign buyers.
© 2012 Florida Realtors®

Ronald M. Chazan
Licensed Real Estate Broker Associate
Licensed Mortgage Broker & Consultant
(561) 479-1446

Friday, June 8, 2012

1146 Rue des Sittelles is Sold!

1146 Rue des Sittelles, Saint-Lazare
Listed at $365,000
Sold in 45 days!

Paul & Diane Laflamme
Agents immobilier
Royal LePage Village
Hudson bureau - 450.458.5365
Dollard des Ormeaux - 514.684.1141
Cell Paul - 514.793.4514


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

New show builds on trend of single, female buyers

 New show builds on trend of single, female buyers


Single women are saying "I do" to mortgages.
"No man. No dual income. No problem," is the tag line of the new HGTV show Buy Herself, which documents the increasing trend of women buying homes solo.
Host Sandra Rinomato, a certified real estate broker, author of Realty Check: The Real Scoop on Real Estate and award-winning Canadian entrepreneur, says women are investing in property with or without a partner.
It's a trend that's certainly being seen in the nation's capital. In 2009, the majority of singles making first-time purchases in Ottawa were women aged 25-30, according to the most recent First-Time Homebuyers' Report by Royal LePage.
"Women are buying real estate because they equate it with financial security," says Rinomato.
Growing up, she didn't think of her financial future.
"I was raised as a young, Italian girl to think that the man was going to take care of all that stuff."
But after her first marriage ended, she became a certified real estate agent and realized owning her own house was a realistic goal. "I didn't think that a failed marriage was something that I had to use as a road block. I didn't want it to stop me from carrying on with my life."
So she made a bold decision to buy a house by herself. Now, years later, Rinomato owns four houses with her new husband and one on her own.
Leo Maiorino, a mortgage agent at Mortgage Brokers Ottawa, says single women fit into the real estate market today just as well as anyone else.
"The demographic has changed in terms of employment and getting out into the workforce ... You have a lot more major breadwinners amongst females out in the corporate world," he says, adding that the number of single female buyers has certainly increased since he entered the business 27 years ago.
Another Royal LePage report, focusing on female buyers in Canada, found that in 2007, 30 per cent of single women were homeowners, as well as 45 per cent of divorced or separated women and 64 per cent of widowed women.
Maiorine says it's much easier for men and women alike to get a mortgage today because mortgage insurance companies such as Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. allow people to take out a mortgage with a smaller down-payment.
"When I first started, people needed to have a 25-per-cent down payment - now they can buy a property with as little as five-per-cent down," he says.
The smaller down payment is not the only factor contributing to good buying opportunities in Ottawa.
Ron Desjardins is vice-president at PMA Brethour Realty Group, a real estate firm that works with builders in Ottawa and Toronto. He says the real estate market in the nation's capital doesn't suffer from the boom-bust cycle that most major cities endure.
"In Ottawa we're like the Rock of Gibraltar - we have a market that is very, very stable."
Ottawa also benefits from the country's current low interest rates and the First-Time Home Buyers' Tax Credit, which can be claimed by anyone who bought their first home after Jan. 27, 2009. In 2011, this tax credit could have been up to $750.
Desjardins says the plethora of opportunity has been recognized by some Ottawa builders, who now target single buyers in product, location and pricing. Traditionally, single buyers in Ottawa have looked into condos inside the Greenbelt. The central location is convenient and condominiums offer a safe and maintenance-free opportunity for young adults.
But Desjardins points to condo flats and stacked condos now being built in suburbs such as Barrhaven. He notes that buyers are often young, single women looking for a home in a familiar neighbourhood.
"They can get into that suburban condo product at a more moderate price point and they're close to their parents for Sunday dinners," he says.
Young women are buying property across the country, but Ottawa offers an advantage, he says. "We are a white-collar town - We create lots of opportunity here in Ottawa for well-educated professional women to get very good paying jobs, which gives them a better opportunity, if they're so motivated, to make an investment in purchasing real estate."
Maiorino doesn't see a lot of men buying a house independently; more common is a few single men collaborating together to sign a mortgage. He rarely sees this collaboration with women.
Erica Lychak, 30, recently bought a townhome in Nepean. She says she had always assumed taking out a mortgage on her own wasn't possible, but changed her mind once she did some research. After renting a one-bedroom apartment in the west end for four years, Lychak decided to make the "scary" transition from renter to owner.
"As you live in a place longer, your rent increases and it got to the point that the rent payment was equal to, if not slightly more than, what a mortgage payment might be," she says.
Lychak, who is a financial services officer at the Business Development Bank of Canada, says buying a house with one income was daunting, but exciting.
"I look at short-term pain for longterm gain," she says. "You're putting in now for the longer-term investment."
For Rinomato, as a real estate agent and broker in Toronto, she worked with a variety of female clients who were buying property on their own. These women inspired Buy Herself.
Viewers first saw Rinomato as host on the popular HGTV series Property Virgins, where she assisted first-time home buyers in the real estate process. Now, Rinomato is offering her advice to single woman. It's fun, she says, because the women don't need to compromise with a partner.
But Rinomato warns that a buyer's wish-list can get them into trouble. Buyers have to be realistic about their needs, wants and budget and she often has clients who want extra space just for holidays or other celebrations.
"I think you really need to analyse truthfully what your lifestyle is; what property will suit your need 99 per cent of the time."
And there is one thing a buyer should never sacrifice, she says - location.
"Location affects your lifestyle so much and people sometimes underestimate it for the sake of getting that extra bedroom or a den. Sacrifices should come in space on the interior, because people always overestimate what they really need."
Rinomato hopes her new show is fun, informative and gives people the confidence they need to invest in property, whether it be with a partner, friends or individually.

Buy Herself airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on HGTV.