Selling your home – the open house day!

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If you’re selling your home in Brampton, you know that on any particular weekend, you are competing with hundreds of other open houses. Although open houses do not draw the same crowds as they used to in the 80’s before the advent of MLS.ca, they are still an opportunity to get potential buyers into your home. If you’ve committed to an open house, you want ensure you make the best first impression! Here are 5 tips on how to make the most of your open house.

  1. Make sure your house is tidy and the little problems are fixed. This may seem obvious to most of you, but there have been countless times where I’ve walked into an open house that was far from ‘showing’ form. Clean up the important rooms such as the front hallway where people first walk in, the kitchen, the master bedroom, and all the washrooms. Gleaming tiles, clear windows, and polished hardwood make a great impression. Make sure leaky faucets are fixed, squeaky spots on floors are taken care of, and walls should be freshly painted or super clean.
  2. De-clutter your house. You may find the trinkets and flea market figurines cute, but that’s your personal taste. Buyers may not share your love for Snoopy. Put away things that line up the counters and crowd your cabinets. Remember, the idea is to make as much space as possible. The more space is perceived, the better chance you have of snagging a buyer.
  3. De-personalize. Put away the family photos and take down the kid’s pictures from the fridge. You want buyers to feel like it’s their home, not yours. The only way potential buyers can picture themselves in your home is without you in it!
  4. Add those little touches. There’s a reason why showroom homes look so great. Bring out the fresh towels and stage your bathroom. Prop up all your pillows and make the bed with new sheets. Make sure your home smells inviting – a subtle fragrance from a pleasant air freshener will do wonders! Buyers notice all the little details, so you should too!
  5. Hold a pre-open house. If you plan on holding your open house from 12pm – 4pm, why not hold an early open house at 11am for your neighbours? Your neighbours will feel great for the invite, while your real estate agent can focus on serious buyers during the actual open house.

An open house doesn’t have to be a scary event. With proper preparation and a little sound advice from your real estate agent, you may just find the perfect buyers for your home!

Trash collection in Brampton

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If you’ve recently purchased a home in Brampton and are new to the city, maybe you aren’t quite sure what days the trash is collected and what the guidelines are to garbage day. The map above indicates the different regions of Brampton and what days correspond to trash removal.

What do you put on on garbage day?

  • Remember to put your garbage, full blue boxes and grey boxes out at the curb by 7 a.m. on your collection day, but not before 7 p.m. the night before.
  • For ease of collection, please keep your blue box, grey box and garbage separate at the curb.
  • For safety reasons, do not include hazardous waste (i.e. paint, propane cylinders or motor oil) with your garbage.

What about special items?

Bulky Items – Place at curb for collection on normal collection day. No arrangement for pick up necessary

Large Appliances - Picked up by appointment only. Call the Region of Peel at 905-791-9499 to arrange for pick up

Christmas Trees - NO PLASTIC BAGS and free of tinsel, ornaments and tree stands

Remember, properly disposing of your waste both helps the environment and keeps Brampton beautiful for everyone!

For more detailed information of Peel Waste policies, click here.

Do you want to buy this house?

Here are some photographs I took today of a new listing. If you’re interested in seeing other pictures of homes for sale in Brampton, please contact me. Brampton is a fantastic place to find affordable town homes, semi-detached, and detached houses in the Greater Toronto Area, and with all the new housing developments in the north end of the city, there is a home for every type of buyer!

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Land transfer taxes: What are they?

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If you’ve ever bought a home in Brampton or anywhere else in Ontario for that matter, you’ve probably paid a land transfer tax with your closing costs. But if you’re a new home buyer, you may not know what a land transfer tax is.

Essentially, when you purchase a home, the Province of Ontario will apply a special levy known as the land transfer tax. It is quite easy to calculate, and is based on the property value. You will pay:

Up to $55,000 X .5 % of total property value
From $55,000 to $250,000 X 1 % of total property value
From $250,000 to $400,000 X 1.5 % of total property value
From $400,000 up X 2 % of total property value

You can also click here to calculate your land transfer tax online.

The City Of Toronto has recently approved new land transfer taxes just for the municipality of Toronto that are set to take place on February 1, 2008.

The land transfer tax will work as follows:

  • one-half of one per cent on the first $55,000 in property values
  • one per cent on the next $345,000 in property values
  • two per cent of the value residential units exceeding $400,000 for residential transactions
  • one and a half per cent on the remaining value of up to $40 million and one per cent above that on commercial properties

A rebate of up to $3,725 will apply to first-time purchasers of homes. This means a full rebate for first time buyers of homes valued at $400,000 or less. If you would like more information on this, click here. You can also visit the City of Toronto’s Municipal Land Transfer Tax page.  These new taxes do not affect Brampton.

But no matter where you buy, keep in mind that you must pay this land transfer tax when you purchase a property, so remember to budget this tax in your closing costs so there are no surprises at the end!

When exactly am I prohibited from parking on Brampton streets?

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The City of Brampton has two guidelines when it comes to parking.

  1. You can not park on a street between the hours of 2am – 6am.
  2. You can not park your car for more than a three hour period.

If you wish to apply for a parking consideration, you may do so online here instead of having to call in your plate number. The City Of Brampton will allow you to submit your information for a parking consideration and park your car up to 14 days in a one year period. Keep in mind that the overnight parking prohibition does not exclude the weekends, so if you’re visiting friends at a late hour or plan to stay over, make sure to sign up for that parking consideration!

Can you really buy a house with zero down?

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You’ve heard it before, and you’ve seen the ads. A bank advertisement showing happy couples embracing in front of a new house with a sold sign prominently displayed on the lawn behind them, and a caption that reads “100% Mortgage Program.” But is it really possible to buy a home in Brampton with absolutely no money down?

The short answer is, YES, but…………

Before you even think of walking into the bank to sign up, ask yourself if you have the 3 following things:

  1. Spotless credit that has been well-established.
  2. By well established, I mean you will need to have at least 2 years under the belt with a major credit card company like Visa or Mastercard.
  3. Steady employment with at least 2 years on the job.

Even if you did qualify for 100% mortgage plan, it may not be the best plan for you. If you’re thinking of buying a house in Brampton or anywhere else, speak to your lending institution or mortgage broker about what would best suit your financial needs. ScotiaBank currently offers a zero down mortgage plan, and you can find more information right here.