Read the latest news from James Benson
September 25, 2016
The Big Decision – To Buy or Sell First?
Buying and selling real estate at the same time requires a good deal of coordination – especially when we are talking about your primary residence. Remember how it was so easy when you bought your first home? All you had to do was give your landlord notice and arrange for a moving truck following closing. Now that you are a seasoned homeowner looking to make a move, things are a bit more complicated. Which comes first – the purchase or the sale?
September 8, 2016
My Top Tips for Buying a Home
Summer is in full swing here in Toronto, but the end is near. The Canadian National Exhibition has ended and the back to school sales are happening everywhere. As we move into the fall season, I figured it would be a good time to pass on some tested and tried tips on choosing a home you will love for years to come.
Moving to a new home is a huge step, however it doesn’t have to be too life-altering. To begin, you have to ask yourself some important questions which include:...
August 28, 2016
How to know When it’s the Best Time to Sell Your Home
As a realtor with years of experience, me and my team get asked quite a bit when is it a good time to sell a home. When we get this question, it reveals a few key details about the prospective seller…that they have outgrown their home; or the opposite and wish to downsize. It could also mean that the seller wants to sell his home for top dollar. So when we get asked that question, we typically answer with…The best time is often when the demand is high and the supply is low.
August 22, 2016
Buying vs. Building Your Dream Home
For most people, getting the opportunity to own their dream home is just that – a dream. But it doesn’t have to be. In this day and age the possibility of owning and building your dream home is well within your grasp. The biggest decision you’ll be faced with is whether you should build your dream home from scratch or scour listings to find the home that meets your needs and wants. Obviously, either buying or building can get you into the house of your dreams, but they are...
July 31, 2016
What is best for you? Condo or House
When making a decision to purchase a new home, many buyers face the long standing question: single-family house or condo? The decision is a difficult one and depends largely upon your lifestyle and needs. It is no secret that condos, especially in big cities, can be lighter on the bank account. But making a decision like this based only on cost isn’t always the best idea.
For many, a detached home with a two-car garage, backyard and white picket fence is the ultimate real estate...
July 3, 2016
Why People Love Toronto
While so many North American cities continue to suffer from job losses and declining populations, Toronto continues to thrive. With a population estimated to be in excess of 2.8 million and a total metropolitan area population in the neighbourhood of 6 million, Toronto remains the most populous city in Canada with a robust economy and thriving real estate market. The western cities of Calgary and Edmonton may have had faster growing populations during the energy industry’s boom years,...
June 19, 2016
Where to Begin? A Guide for First-Time Real Estate Investors
Single-Family Homes – Over the past several years, Toronto’s robust housing market has witnessed annual double-digit percentage increases for detached and semi-detached single-family home selling prices. Recent figures released by the Toronto Real Estate Board show that the average selling prices for detached and semi-detached single-family homes in the GTA for 2015 were $802,005 and $574,104, respectively. Historically, single-family homes in the GTA have exhibited strong...
May 25, 2016
Should Sellers Obtain an Appraisal?
Most of today’s sellers in the GTA are very knowledgeable and eager to do whatever it takes to extract as much money as possible from the sale of their home. With a little coaching and prodding, they are willing to work closely with their Realtor to unclutter, clean up and stage the home to attract qualified buyers. Sometimes, they are willing to take additional steps, when necessary, to gain a competitive edge over other sellers fighting for the attention...
May 8, 2016
How Demographic Trends Drive Toronto’s Real Estate Market
While the winter of 2015-2016 may have gotten off to a weak start in Toronto with unseasonably mild weather, the same cannot be said of the City’s real estate market, which remains strong. According to Toronto Real Estate Board President Mark McClean, “It is clear that the handoff from 2015 to 2016 was a strong one. This is not surprising given that...
April 25, 2016
The Role of Financing when Buying your Home
When you are ready to purchase your next home, or even your first home, you should be prepared by knowing and understanding the lending process and what you need to do to make sure you are in the best financial place possible to make the leap. Having been a real estate agent for many years, I understand that the process of buying a home doesn't end when you find the perfect house.
If you are buying a home for the first time the first step is to ensure your financial readiness. This means...
March 27, 2016
What You Need to Know About Real Estate Disclosure
When putting your home on the market, it’s usually preceded by a few months of making much needed home improvements. Nothing fancy but possibly a few new coats of neutral paint, fixing the leaky faucet or shampooing the rugs. The goal is to show the property at its best, but sometimes our underlying intention is to hide some of the real problems that may be present.
As a realtor, it’s my job to help my clients navigate when buying a home by double and triple checking disclosure...
March 13, 2016
The Ins and Outs of Choosing a Stager
For those who don’t know, home staging is the act of preparing your home for sale with the goal of making the home appealing to the highest number of potential buyers – through good décor, and layout. The art of staging is a unique talent that comes with education, experience and a certain je ne sais quoi. Your home is likely the biggest investment you will make in your lifetime, so when building the team to sell your biggest...
February 29, 2016
Toronto’s School System - All About Choice
The search for a new home can be somewhat different when the criteria include finding a home in a community with good schools. When searching for a new home, parents should always keep in mind that one of the most important decisions a parent will ever make is selecting a great school, which is the right fit for your child. However, rising property values in the Greater Toronto Area make...
February 7, 2016
The Contract is Signed, Now What?
Selling your home is a major milestone and accomplishment; it means you can now move on to your dream home or simply the next stage in your life. The signing of a real estate contract brings a mix of relief, anticipation and potential challenges. However, while you’re caught up in the real estate process from listing to negotiating and all that falls in between, some...
January 24, 2016
Buying a Fixer Upper?
So you’ve decided you want a home that has a bit of character, with a traditional style in a more mature neighbourhood. After searching far and wide, you’ve found something that has most of the things you want, but there’s just one thing – it’s a fixer upper! Many home buyers prefer a more...
January 10, 2016
3 Tips for a Painless Closing
The process of buying and selling a home is not an easy one, but as you prepare for a clean closing, just know that the end is near and you will soon be living in and enjoying your new home. Before you can enjoy though there are a few important tasks that need to be done before you can start life in that new home. Here are a few tips to keep in mind before closing...
December 27, 2015
Selling Your Home During the Holiday Season
Most realtors would advise you not to sell your home during the holiday season, but their reasons for that may be more personal than professional. Without a doubt, selling a home over the holiday will mean that you have to put a bit more effort into the process knowing that you may have to sacrifice family activities and occasions during the festive season. However, there are still plenty of reasons to put your home on the market during the holidays, here are my top three.
December 16, 2015
Toronto Housing Expectations for 2016
According to the most recent RBC Economic Outlook, Canada’s economy was pushed into a higher gear n the latter half of 2015, and this momentum means good things for the housing industry as we move into 2016. Although the Canadian dollar continues to dip, the housing outlook remains positive. In Ontario, the ongoing shortage of single family homes for sale in and around...
November 22, 2015
The State of the Toronto Real Estate Market – By the Numbers
The real estate market in Toronto has grown leaps and bounds in the last 20 years, especially in the last five years. Sales have skyrocketed with homes in the downtown core selling for more than imaginable, some 10, 15 and even 20 percent above asking price. To date, the market in Toronto shows no signs of slowing down,...
November 8, 2015
What You Need to Know as a First Time Buyer
Working with first time home buyers is always a special experience for a Realtor. Throughout my career I have had the opportunity to work with many, and their excitement, joy and curiosity is infectious - making the experience an especially enjoyable one for me. Working with first timers, it’s always my priority to make sure that they are well informed before making the big decisions. My ultimate goal is to use my expertise to put them on the right track towards owning a home that is ideal for...