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Read the latest news from James Benson

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...

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Earlier this year the Province of Ontario revised building code requirements to allow for more wood frame buildings, up to six storeys. Prior to this the code rules only allowed four storeys as the maximum allowable height. This new update will give developers and contractors alternatives to the traditional steel frame construction that has become all too common. Ultimately, it will increase the supply of apartment rentals and condos, which is food for the market and future buyers…providing...

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Everyone has a different definition of what a luxury home is. Some home buyers may think a beautifully landscaped backyard with a pool. Others think of a home with a movie theatre and bowling alley. Every client is different. Some may value their outdoor space just as much as the interior of their home. One common element is that a luxury home has to offer something unique,...

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Recently, I purchased an investment property and a client was asking me more about it. I figured that this would be a great blog topic for a few reasons.

 

First of all, everyone always wants to talk about investing in real estate. It’s a topic that genuinely fascinates just about everyone I have ever worked with. People want to invest, yet are held back by a number of factors.  Although a lack...

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It’s no secret that real estate is an exciting and lucrative way to build wealth. Many people in the GTA, after seeing their homes rapidly increase in value, decided to diversify their portfolio to include real property investments. Between multi-unit dwellings, rental condos, and commercial spaces, there is no shortage of options available. So what makes someone a great investor? There is...

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Gone are the days when real estate marketing was limited to a few newspaper ads and a sign on your lawn. At present, access to information is key, and an experienced agent knows how to get the message out. With the advancement of technology, a property’s listing can reach far and wide in no time at all.

 

Online presence has now become the single most important marketing tool. Every day, people log onto the public MLS site to browse new listings in their favourite neighbourhoods. It’s...

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For some people, mortgages can be a little confusing. The good news is that there are plenty of qualified professionals around to help. Every borrower comes to the table with a different scenario, but once the paperwork is in place, you will be ready...

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Ever considered investing in real estate, but are not sure if you have what it takes to become a landlord? Frankly, property management is not for everybody - particularly, if it is hands-on. Property managers not only need to have the time to make themselves available on short notice, but also the people skills to deal with tenants. The good news is, you CAN invest in real estate, without the hassle.

We present to our clients a unique opportunity to build equity, while leaving the entire property...

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Do you have what it takes to be a landlord?  Although everyone has heard about the horror stories of tenants who wouldn't pay or left the place a mess, the truth is, most renters are actually great people just looking for a nice location to settle in.  They will be happy to pay their bills on time and treat your rental unit as if it were their own home.  As an...

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Obtaining a detailed report about the home you are about to acquire provides some peace of mind and allows you to buy with confidence. If you have purchased a home before, you may already be familiar with the home inspection process. Here are five things you need to know the next time you get a home inspection:

Home inspectors can provide an in-depth...

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The weather is warming up, and so is our local real estate market. Homes are now selling extremely quickly, and competition is alive and well. Buyers are already out in full force. Despite a frigid start during the first quarter, sales transactions are up over 10% in comparison with last year's. Inventory may still be quite low, but sellers simply tend to wait until spring...

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Are you the type of buyer that loves the idea of moving into a brand new home? From the day you sign the paperwork in the sales office, you get to experience the excitement of seeing your home rise from the ground. There is something exciting about being the first owner of a brand new home.

 

Did you know that your Realtor can help you through the process? In fact, there are...

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For the first time ever, the Bank of Canada dropped their overnight interest rate to .75%. Finance experts who believed rates were as low as they could go were blindsided. Most people in the industry had actually been anticipating an increase, so it’s no wonder that the news caught everyone off guard.

 

All mortgage lending...

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2014 was an incredibly busy year in the Toronto real estate market. According to TREB, there were nearly 93,000 transactions reported last year. That's almost 6,000 more than the previous year. Competition was fierce and prices rose significantly. For all home types, the average price increased by 8.4% in 2014.

 

The population in the GTA continues to climb, and most new residents choose to become homeowners if it is within their means. Buyers are displaying a high level of confidence in the...

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Most people who own a home also own a mortgage. Mortgage financing gives us the ability to purchase our ideal home long before we actually have enough money to pay for it. With today’s low interest rates, many people have stretched their purchasing power to buy a home, but are well aware that low borrowing rates may not last forever. Paying off your mortgage aggressively while money is cheap will put you in a favourable position with less mortgage debt once it's time to renew, potentially, at...

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Another year has come to an end and the holiday season is in full swing. Hopefully, you have been able to take a break from work and the structure of your regular routine to put your feet up and enjoy the company of family and friends. Everywhere we look are signs of the season, and despite the cold weather, it is a great place to be. We spend weeks anticipating the holidays, but they seem to fly by so quickly.

 

Most of us find ourselves in a place of reflection during this time of year. We...

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Purchasing a home is an emotional decision and an intense process for many buyers. First-time buyers, in particular, sometimes lose sight of the most critical things as they sort through properties and weigh out their options. It’s extremely important to work with a REALTOR who understands your objectives and can help you make the right choices so you end up with a home that you are happy with for years to come. Here are four of the biggest regrets that many first-time buyers experience:

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Investment experts may have strong opinions, but the one piece of investment advice that they all agree on is the value of starting early. How do you plan to save for retirement? Most people rely on RRSPs and TFSAs as a major part of their portfolio. While these are important components of a retirement plan, don’t underestimate the value of including real estate holdings.

 

Let’s say you are planning on retiring twenty years from now. During your golden years, you intend to downsize...

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The number one reason why people shy away from owning rental properties is their fear of dealing with problem tenants. Everyone has heard the stories of bad tenants who won't pay, and the lengthy process of forcing an eviction. The truth is, most tenants are responsible and easy to deal with.

 

A rental application is a standard requirement for all landlords. In it, potential tenants are required to provide information about themselves, their current living situation, employment details and personal...

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The local real estate market has proven to be a safe and profitable place to invest. In fact, even investors outside of Canada see the Toronto area as a highly desirable place to own properties for income purposes. We have seen prices continue to rise even with a steady supply of inventory to satisfy all the motivated buyers. Purchasing an investment property requires buyers to consider a completely different list of criteria then they normally would if they were buying a home for themselves.

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