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5 Reasons NOT to Move to Milton from Mississauga

It’s Sunday morning and you are surfing MLS while shopping for knock-off designer goods on Alixpress. While contemplating that new pair of size 11’s, you notice the house beside you is up for sale and is going for a handsome price. In fact, the value may have gone up by 100k in the last couple of years and you could really use that dough to move to Milton. But hold on just one moment, as I am here to provide you with the top five reasons NOT to move to Milton from Mississauga.

5 – No Celebration Square

Celebration Square is a place like no other.  From young Egyptian kids pretending they are Lionel Messi to young mommas doing yoga, the square is a microcosm of all that is good about Mississauga. Let’s face it, Milton has nothing like it. In fact, I heard that local MILTONIANS get together to watch old black and white movies in a farmer’s field on Thursday nights (bring your uncle Cleatus and get a free bag of popcorn).

4 – There is no 5/10 in Milton

Let’s face it, Milton is a suburbia. Even the “downtown” core of Milton is faceless and lacks the grit and character that the intersection at 5 and 10 has. I mean, where else on earth can you buy a shrimp burrito, a massive shawarma, Biriyani and pho all on one corner!

3 – Marilyn Monroe vs. a Water Tower

The only towers in Milton are eight stories high and they’re either a water tower or condos that are occupied with pensioners that will call the cops at the first sign of any music featuring Drake.  The Absolute towers are a treasure to Mississauga not only for their architectural design, but also because of the fact that they are inhabited by young people that couldn’t care less if you are “Rollin’ through the 905 with your woes.”

2 – No Downtown Core 

Now how many times can you end up at EddieO’s? While Mississauga does not have a downtown core similar to Toronto’s, it has a ton of great areas with independent shops and character. Just go for a walk around Clarkson, Port Credit, Streetsville, Cooksville and Malton to check out the individuality that each area has. Now, compare that to the string of big box stores disguising themselves as “designer outlets” that Milton has and you will be bored to death.

1 – No One Works in Milton

Unless you are rounding up criminals in the prison or working at the outlet mall or the insulation company, chances are you are on the highway commuting to Mississauga or on the Go-Train commuting to Toronto for work.  Do you know how frustrating traffic can be in the GTA? I saw a guy on the 401 lose a mattress that was strapped to his car last week and try to retrieve it during rush hour! One thing you can never buy is time, so even if you are sitting on $100k, is it worth that extra 50 hours a month commuting?

You will be NEVER EVER be allowed back and will be branded forever as a traitor. I’m joking. We will always welcome you back home where you belong — in Mississauga.

Source: Insauga.com    Randy Chiasson on August 4, 2015

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Don’t hibernate this winter – Get out and buy

Most Canadians typically embrace an annual hibernation as temperatures drop in January and February – but you could be missing some great real estate investment opportunities.

December, January and February are known to be the quietest months of the year for real estate activity, as consumers prepare for the holidays and subsequently stay in and pay off their credit cards.

But Ontario-based investor Gillian Irving said there are a lot of deals to be found at this time of year. “When it’s quiet, you want to get out and look at the market,” she said.

Todor Yordanov, an investor and sales representative at Right at Home Realty, said that this January has been different than previous winters. “There is still a shortage of listings, but buyers are out looking and buying despite some cold days,” he added. “The market has not slowed down at all.”

For instance, Yordanov listed a property on January 1 and the phone started ringing the same afternoon. “We had three open houses that were attended by well over 40 people and 30-plus agents brought their clients. All this resulted in six offers just nine days after the property went on the market. The property ended up selling for $66,000 above asking.

“With the new reduced mortgage rate we all expect 2015 to be a very strong market for sellers, and buyers as well,” he continued. “There are still many great properties out there. You just need the right agent to help you navigate through this maze of choices.”

A few weeks ago, CREW wrote about a TheRedPin.com analysis, which found that January 20 is the day for rock-bottom real estate prices, adding that investors and first-time homebuyers should take advantage of the holiday hangover at this time of year.

“Consumers can see as much as a $20,000 discount and business picks up towards the third week of January,” said Rockham Fard, co-founder and chief marketing officer at TheRedPin.com.

“That extra $20,000 could help them with any repairs needed for the property or similar developments.”

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Open House Etiquette for Home Buyers – Open House Do’s and Don’ts

Relator Showing House to Young Family - Ariel Skelley/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images

Open House Etiquette for Home Buyers

A favorite pastime of many people — whether in the market to buy a home or simply curious — is to attend a Sunday Open House . In fact, checking out open houses is almost a religious experience in California. Everybody goes to open houses.

If you’re wondering about the proper open house etiquette or have questions about the role of the agent holding the house open, here are suggestions to help make your open house visit productive.

Agent Roles at Open Houses

Because not all real estate agents host open houses in the same manner, you can’t always be certain who will answer the door. Could be the listing agent, a neighbor, a buyer’s agent or even the seller. One thing is for certain. You do not need to ring the door bell or knock, unless there is a sign posted instructing you to do so. Open the door and walk in. If you don’t see an agent, call out “hello,” just in case the agent is, um, otherwise occupied in a private room.

Here are types of agents you may encounter:

  • Standing at the front door to greet you. This type of agent will shake your hand, introduce himself or herself, get your name, hand you a flyer and say, “Go on through at your own pace.” The agent might even follow you to point out features and answer questions you didn’t realize you had.
  • In the driveway, asleep behind the wheel of her car. This agent might leave the door ajar and never get up to greet you. Free free to go inside anyway. Make a note of the agent’s name and promise yourself you will never call this company nor the agent.
  • Reading a book in another room. The non-engaging type agent will say, “There is information on the counter. If you have any questions, let me know.” Generally, this is an agent who didn’t really want to hold open the home but is doing it so she can tell her seller she did.

Is the Open House Agent the Listing Agent?

The best way to find out if the agent holding the open is the listing agent is to ask. You can’t always count on the fact that the agent’s name will be on the For Sale sign or that the agent will be wearing a name badge. Sometimes two agents co-list a home. If you buy through this agent, and your state allows it, you could find yourself in dual agency.

More often than not, the agent holding the listing open will not be the listing agent but an associate agent. This agent will be hoping to represent a buyer to buy that home or, for that matter, any other home.

Open House Home Buyers With Agent Representation

If you are already working with an agent, you should pass on this information to the agent hosting the open. Realtors are required to ask buyers if the buyer is working with another agent, but sometimes they have a memory lapse.

The easiest way to inform the agent you meet that you are working with another agent is to walk in with your agent’s card in hand. Just give it to the other agent and say, “This is my agent.” Armed with this information, the agent at the home will not try to solicit you.

Open House Home Buyers Without Agent Representation

If you have not yet decided on an agent, let the agent at the home know that you are still shopping for a buyer’s agent. Maybe you will want to interview the agent to determine if you want to work with that person. Ask the tough questions to get the right answers.

Open houses are a good way to find an agent because you will meet face-to-face. You can witness the agent in action as well.

Open House Buyers Who Stop on a Whim

Often, buyers will drop in on an open house simply because it is open. Maybe it’s a home that you’ve often admired on that street and are curious to see what it looks like inside. If that’s the case, just tell the agent you have no inclination to buy. You can still tour the home. And who knows, more than one person has decided to buy a home because they unexpectedly and immediately fell in love with the house.

Neighbors Who Visit Open Houses

You might think the agent doesn’t want you to come to the open house if you are a neighbor, but actually, the agent would love to show the home and get your feedback. Neighbors are a great source of information. In addition, you might have a friend or coworker who could be interested in the home. So don’t feel embarrassed to admit to the agent that you are “a neighbor from down the street.”

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It’s all over now, baby boomers

Carlos Barientos III was born at 6:45 p.m. on the evening of Dec. 31, 1964, a few miles northwest of Honolulu. This year, he will turn 50, quite possibly making him the last member of the U.S. “baby boom” to do so. The generation that once seemed to define for the world the energy, excitement, and even irritating nature of youth will officially be “old” – even if, some might say, not entirely grown up. But what does this really mean?

The “baby boomers” are the generation that grew up in the United States, in particular, but also in Europe, Canada, Australia, and elsewhere, after the Second World War, when rapid economic growth was accompanied by rising birth rates. Those born during that 19-year period – from 1945 to 1964 – were part of the largest, most prosperous, best-educated and, some might say, most indulged and indulgent generation that the world has ever seen.

From sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll to the civil rights movements to the dot-com and housing bubbles, for better or worse, the boomer generation has shaped modern society. And with one of its younger members currently in the White House, and others at Downing Street, the Élysée Palace, and the German Chancellery, it will continue to do so for years to come.

But there are stark differences within the boomer generation. Early boomers – beginning with Kathleen Casey-Kirschling, whose birth one second past midnight on New Year’s Day, 1946, has made her a minor celebrity – grew up surrounded by the hippie counterculture, the music of the Beatles and Bob Dylan, and the Vietnam War.

By contrast, Mr. Barientos and the other boomers of 1964 grew up playing video games and listening to disco music – or, if their tastes were closer to those of Mr. Barientos, the heavier sounds of Gary Moore, Thin Lizzy, and Van Halen. In fact, Mr. Barientos, who owns and run his own guitar shop with his father, does not readily identify himself as a baby boomer; he feels closer to the “Generation X” that followed.

But Mr. Barientos’s interests are not all that set him apart from the likes of Ms. Casey-Kirschling. While many of the early U.S. baby boomers are now comfortably retired, enjoying the benefits of Medicare, Social Security, and tax-free Roth IRA disbursements, Mr. Barientos is still in his prime – and concerned about his retirement.

By 2031, when Mr. Barientos and the rest of the baby boomers are retired, more than 20 per cent of the U.S. population will be at least 65 years old, compared with only 13 per cent in 2010. As a result, the old-age dependency ratio (the number of people aged 65 or over relative to the working-age population) is set to rise from 1:5 to 1:3. This will intensify pressure on state pension funds and health-care systems considerably.

As Mr. Barientos puts it, “It’s not like my dad’s generation, where you worked a job for a certain amount of time, saved some money, and then stopped working.” Instead, he explains, “we just do what we can … and keep moving forward.”

Not that Mr. Barientos would swap places with his father. “I think I’ve been blessed in comparison to previous generations,” he says. “Even compared to older members of my generation, I haven’t had to fight for my freedom. I didn’t have to go to Vietnam. I’ve been able to benefit from the hard work of people before me.”

Definitions of the postwar baby boom vary by country. Mr. Barientos’s claim to be the last U.S. boomer rests on Hawaii’s position as America’s most westerly state in a time zone two hours behind the Pacific coast. It also means, though, that he lives a life that is somewhat different from that of many of his peers on the mainland. “The food, the language, the weather – Hawaii isn’t like the rest of the U.S.,” he notes. “The first time I left Hawaii, I was 25 years old. I went to Maryland to visit a friend for two weeks and ended up staying five years because I loved it so much.”

If he had the money, Mr. Barientos says he would probably be a “snow bird” – spending summers on the U.S. mainland and winter in Hawaii. “There are things I’d like to do with my family that we just can’t do here, such as [going to] museums, amusement parks, or large sporting events.” He could not leave permanently, though – there are too many things to enjoy at home. “I love the people, the culture – pretty much everything.”

When Mr. Barientos and his family spill out onto the beach to celebrate New Year’s Eve with the whole neighbourhood, one of the last things he will think about is his age. “I don’t have time to be worrying about that!” he says.

What about his status as the last of a generation? “I don’t know whether I’m the last baby boomer or not,” Mr. Barientos muses. “If there was anyone born in Hawaii later than 6:45 on December 31, 1964, then they’ve got me beat. But, you know what, if it means I get to meet some new people and talk about it, then it’s definitely cool.”

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