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Braden White Eager for Virtual Reality to Open Toronto to the World

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Toronto, Canada, January 7, 2016 – Braden White (www.BradenWhite.com), a real estate representative of Chestnut Park Real Estate Ltd., one of Toronto’s leading luxury real estate brokerages, is excited for emerging technology that will allow the viewing of Toronto properties through the use of virtual reality devices. The ability to remotely view a property will be a convenience for local real estate buyers and will also serve to open up Toronto’s market to consumers worldwide.

For obvious reasons, buying property abroad is always trickier than doing it locally. There is only so much that photography can provide, and buyers may be unable to get an accurate sense of space or feel of a room from two-dimensional images alone. Touring software has helped bridge this gap; functioning similarly to Google Street View, this software remains limited by effectively showing images only. More advanced three-dimensional scans also exist, but still place a degree of distance between the viewer and the scene. (Source: Posadzki, A., “Virtual reality to offer foreign buyers a glimpse into Canadian real estate,” Global News, December 21, 2015; https://globalnews.ca/news/2412729/virtual-reality-to-offer-foreign-buyers-a-glimpse-into-canadian-real-estate/.)

“Virtual reality changes how homebuyers look at potential purchases,” notes Braden White. “This technology places buyers in a more immersive environment that lets them have a personal experience with the property by touring it as if there in person.”

This technology will allow Toronto—already a global city—to attract even more attention from foreign buyers. The ability to “step foot” into a home from across the world will allow both local and international buyers to have a more informed experience.

“There is always a suspicion, when dealing with an image, that some trick has been used to make the property seem better—whether a wide-angle lens or outright manipulation,” explains White. “Virtual reality removes that by letting the buyer go through the property on their own two feet, so to speak.”

Braden White is a licensed real estate sales representative with Chestnut Park Real Estate Ltd., one of Toronto’s leading luxury real estate brokerages and an exclusive affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate in Toronto. He is a committed advocate for his clients and has extensive knowledge of the ins and outs of buying, selling, and leasing properties across Toronto. More information can be found at www.BradenWhite.com.

Toronto, Canada, December 18, 2015 — Braden White (www.BradenWhite.com), a real estate sales representative of Chestnut Park Real Estate Ltd., one of Toronto’s leading luxury real estate brokerages, is evaluating the announced increase in minimum down payments for mortgages that will be put in place in 2016. The rule change affects how much money needs to be put down when trying to qualify for mortgage insurance from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The CMHC is the largest provider of mortgage insurance in the country.

Technically the increase in the minimum down payment—which will go from 5% to 10% for mortgages over $500,000—only affects the insurance payments between banks and CMHC. However, banks have traditionally passed premium increases on to borrowers, which has led people to believe this change will be no different.

Since the increased rate will only affect the amount of the mortgage that is over $500,000, the down payment on a $750,000 home under this rule would become $50,000. That breaks down to 5% of $500,000 plus the 10% on the leftover $250,000. Houses priced at over $1 million will be unaffected by the change since they already require a mandatory 20% down payment. (Source: “Bill Morneau tightens mortgage rules on homes over $500K,” cbc.ca, December 11, 2015; https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/morneau-home-ownership-finance-1.3360610.)

“The change is not being made to help lower the nation’s housing prices directly. Instead it appears to be targeted towards people in certain cities who are trying to enter the housing market with low initial equity,” Braden White explains.

Whether the rate increase will have this desired effect is going to take time to assess. The higher rates are to begin in February of 2016. In the meantime, January housing sales are expected to see a temporary jump as people scramble to make purchases before the higher down payments kick in.

“In actuality, this change is telling first-time homebuyers that they need to build up more savings or put more money down before they enter the real estate market,” White concludes.

Braden White is a licensed real estate sales representative with Chestnut Park Real Estate Ltd., one of Toronto’s leading luxury real estate brokerages and an exclusive affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate in Toronto. He is a committed advocate for his clients and has extensive knowledge of the ins and outs of buying, selling, and leasing properties across Toronto. More information can be found at www.BradenWhite.com.

Braden White (https://BradenWhite.com/), a real estate sales representative with Chestnut Park Real Estate Ltd., one of Toronto’s leading luxury real estate brokerages, is advising first-time home-hunters that the current state of the city’s housing market means that renting may be in their best interest. The announcement comes on the heels of a report by the Economist, which stated that Canada has the largest price difference between the costs of buying a house and renting one.

“This is not true across the entire country, of course,” says Braden White. “Real estate markets are highly dependent on individual cities but the prices of property in urban centres like Toronto and Vancouver have contributed to this topping national average.”

The current trend of rising real estate prices in such areas have left some observers worried about who will be hurt when the real estate market experiences an inevitable correction, but so far, predictions of when these corrections will occur have not panned out.

“Property values continue to go up within Toronto and most of the GTA, meaning that there are still opportunities for people to enter or leave the market while still earning a return on their investment,” White explains. “But those who are more concerned about simply finding their first home and who have limited access to funds for a down payment may feel that they are being priced out of the market.”

As rental prices have not increased at the same rate as purchasing prices, the answer may be to shift expectations. Braden explains that real estate agents can help customers find rental properties just as much as they assist in finding purchasable ones.

“Furthermore,” White adds, “a realtor can assist in the drafting of the lease agreement and will ensure that their client’s rights are protected.”

Braden White is a licensed real estate sales representative with Chestnut Park Real Estate Ltd., one of Toronto’s leading luxury real estate brokerages, and an exclusive affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate in Toronto. He is a committed advocate for his clients and has extensive knowledge of the ins and outs of buying, selling, and leasing properties across Toronto. More information can be found at https://bradenwhite.com/.

Braden White (www.BradenWhite.com), a Toronto luxury real estate sales representative with Chestnut Park Real Estate Ltd., is weighing in on first-time home buyers about how they can make their initial down payment on a property.

“The down payment is the first big hurdle, the rite of passage towards owning that first home,” says Braden White. “The good news is that the government provides several programs to help overcome this challenge and let people make what is most likely the biggest purchase of their lives up to this point.”

Programs for first-time homebuyers include the Home Buyers Plan (HBP), which permits the withdrawal of up to $25,000 from a person’s Registered Retirement Savings Plan to build or buy a qualifying home. Using the HBP requires a written agreement to purchase and live on the property within a year, but couples buying together can each make their own withdrawals for a combined benefit. (Source: “What is the Home Buyers’ Plan?” Canada Revenue Agency web site; https://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/hbp/, last accessed November 18, 2015.)

In cases where the down payment is below 20% of the home’s value, there are also certain mortgage insurance plans that can be taken advantage of. This helps mitigate overall costs and ease entry into the real estate market.

“The increased cost of homes across the Greater Toronto Area has impeded many potential home buyers,” White concludes. “That makes programs such as this and the HBP increasingly valuable both to new entrants and repeat buyers.”

Braden White is a licensed real estate agent with Chestnut Park Real Estate Ltd., the exclusive affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate in Toronto. He works to find ideal and affordable housing and rental options and aids sellers, buyers, and renters. To contact Braden White, call 416-925-9191 or visit www.BradenWhite.com.

Toronto, Canada, November 9, 2015 – Braden White (www.BradenWhite.com), a Toronto luxury real estate sales representative with Chestnut Park Real Estate Ltd., is weighing in on the need of Torontonians looking to buy property to sign a buyer representation agreement (BRA) with their agent rather than go without a contract.

A buyer representation agreement is a contract that sets out the terms of the relationship between the client and the agent: this includes details about the properties that will be shown, commission details, duration, and other key elements. A BRA also formally begins a broker-client relationship and ensures a broker will respect confidentiality and heeds the client’s wishes. (Source: “The Buyer Representation Agreement,” Toronto Real Estate Board web site; https://www.torontorealestateboard.com/buying/buying_&_selling/buyer_agency.htm, last accessed November 5, 2015.)

“The agreement enables clients to know that they are getting guaranteed, dedicated service and enhanced assistance from their agent and brokerage based on a contractual agreement. However, some buyers don’t truly understand the purpose and benefits of a BRA,” says Braden White. “The problem is that some agents don’t always fully explain the purpose of a BRA and the benefits that it provides to both the buyer and the agent. There are also many cases when the client signs the BRA without fully reading all of the details. The lack of explanation by an agent combined with the negligence of signing a contract without fully reading it by the client can cause problems for both the client and the agent.”

The best approach to sign a BRA as soon as a client has decided to work with an agent for the long run and sign it before any offers are made on a property. This prevents feeling pressured and gives time to properly understand and make changes to the agreement.

“The key is to recognize that a BRA is a contract that is used to protect not only the agent but the buyer. It ensures that the client receives the services they expect and that the agent receives the appropriate compensation for the services they provide,” White concludes. “Being clear and working out these terms formally in a BRA enables clients to receive dedicated service to improve the results of their search for a new property.”

Braden White is a licensed real estate agent with Chestnut Park Real Estate Ltd., the exclusive affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate in Toronto. He works to find ideal and affordable housing and rental options and aids sellers, buyers, and renters. To contact Braden White, call 416-925-9191 or visit www.BradenWhite.com.

Braden White (www.BradenWhite.com), a Toronto luxury real estate sales representative with Chestnut Park Real Estate Ltd., is weighing in on his firm’s September report on the state of the city’s housing market.

According to the report release by Chestnut Park Real Estate, September was a record-breaking month for the Toronto real estate market, with 8,200 properties sold. This is the most sales in that month since the statistic was first tracked by the Toronto Real Estate Board. (Source: “Toronto Real Estate Market Update | September 2015,” Chestnut Park Real Estate Ltd. web site, October 13, 2015; https://www.chestnutpark.com/blog/2015/10/toronto-market-update-september-2015/.)

“The average sale price for a property has gone up as well.” says Braden White. “This September the average selling price was $627,395. In 2014 it was $574,424, so that’s a 9.2% increase on top of 200 extra sales.”

The September results bring Toronto’s annual total up to 80,331 properties sold. This has not yet broken the 2007 record of 93,193, but it is quickly approaching. The main obstacle to breaking the record is that there are potentially not enough properties to satisfy the rising demand.

For example, the reason that the average detached home is going for over $1.0 million is because there are so few properties available. Detached, freehold, and semi-detached homes are in constant short supply right now.

“Without a significant increase in available properties, sale prices are expected to continue to rise and set up October to be another record-breaking month,” White concludes. “With 16,165 properties listed for sale at the end of September, the city’s demand can be met until near the middle of December if projections hold true.”

Braden White is a licensed real estate agent with Chestnut Park Real Estate Ltd., the exclusive affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate in Toronto. He works to find ideal and affordable housing and rental options and aids sellers, buyers, and renters. To contact Braden White, call 416-925-9191 or visit www.BradenWhite.com.

Braden White (https://bradenwhite.com), a real estate sales representative with Chestnut Park Real Estate Ltd., is offering insights for homeowners looking to purchase a property in need of home improvements.

In recent years, DIY projects have become more popular, especially with the surge of home improvement realty TV shows educating the general public on how they can complete their own renovation. However, White warns homebuyers that these home improvement shows are not necessarily a true depiction of reality and that there is a lot to consider before buying a home that needs significant improvements.

“There is a lot of pride associated with being able to fix up a dilapidated space,” says White. “However, more often than not, most homeowners who decide to take on a large DIY project underestimate the actual cost involved, as well as the amount of time it will take to complete the work. This can be a costly and unpleasant mistake.”

Before deciding to purchase a property that requires substantial work, White recommends that homeowners think carefully about whether they have the necessary budget, time and patience needed to make it through a DIY project. Not thinking this through could potentially result in a negative experience both emotionally and financially.

“If you are considering a minor project such as changing the paint colour or rejuvenating the dated garden bed at the front of your home, you may not need the assistance of a professional,” says White. “However, if you are considering a larger DIY project such as renovating the kitchen or upgrading all of the plumbing in your home, you should seriously consider the option of hiring an experienced contractor who has the knowledge, tools, staff and insurance to complete the project properly and in the least amount of time.”

Alternately, homebuyers can also consider the option of purchasing a move-in ready property. White points out that opting to purchase a home that doesn’t require renovations can help homebuyers avoid unexpected costs associated with a DIY project gone wrong and enables them to keep more money in the bank or allocated to other investments.

“You can ask your agent for referrals for qualified contractors if you need assistance with your DIY project,” White concludes. “Or if you are considering a move-in ready property, you should make sure your agent does their research in order to ensure you aren’t overpaying for a newly renovated house. You don’t want to end up with a loss when you decide to sell down the road.”

Braden White is a licensed real estate sales representative with Chestnut Park Real Estate Limited. Prior to entering the world of real estate, Braden owned and managed a successful boutique design and build firm located in Toronto, Canada. More information can be found at https://bradenwhite.com.

Toronto, Canada – September 30, 2015 – Braden White (https://bradenwhite.com/), a real estate sales representative with Chestnut Park Real Estate Ltd., is weighing in on how Toronto is on track for breaking previous property resale records.

At the current rate, 102,000 property resales are expected to occur by the end of the year. The current record for property resales within the city stands at 93,193 in 2007. That record was nearly surpassed last year, with sales totalling 92,783 properties. (Source: Kapches, C. “Toronto Real Estate Market Update – August 2015,” Chestnut Park Real Estate Ltd. website, September 23, 2015; https://www.chestnutpark.com/blog/2015/09/toronto-real-estate-market-update-august-2015/.)

“In any one of Toronto’s trading areas, there have been sale increases—5.7% higher in August alone compared to last year,” says White, who notes the developments compiled in Chestnut Park’s analysis. “The only type of property that hasn’t seen an increase is for detached and semi-detached properties, but this is more due to lack of inventory rather than lack of demand. Most of the sales this year have been from condominium properties as a result.”

Ten percent of August’s sales were priced at $1 million or higher, which is unusual for this time of year, according to White. Traditionally, August is considered a slow month for high-end real estate sales, although over one hundred properties sold this month went for $2 million or more.

“The high volume of sales also corresponds to an increase in prices,” concludes White. “Detached properties in Toronto’s central core remain the most expensive across the GTA, with an average price of $1,703,337. Despite these levels of pricing, properties are consistently being sold for within one percent of the asking price.”

Braden White is a licensed real estate sales representative with Chestnut Park Real Estate Ltd., one of Toronto’s leading luxury real estate brokerages and an exclusive affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate in Toronto. He is a committed advocate for his clients and has extensive knowledge of the ins and outs of buying, selling, and leasing properties across Toronto. More information can be found at https://bradenwhite.com/.

Toronto, Canada, September 18, 2015 – Braden White (www.BradenWhite.com), a Toronto luxury real estate sales representative, with Chestnut Park Real Estate Limited, is weighing in on the increasing trend of residents of the GTA renting rather than buying a residence. Braden White is also commenting on how realtors can assist clients with locating the right rental property, as well as the benefits of using an agent.

The climbing price of finding a home in major Canadian cities like Toronto and Vancouver has led to a shift towards renting apartments and condominiums. According to a study by independent condo industry analytic firm Urbanation, condominiums now make up approximately 99% of new rental supply in the Greater Toronto Area. The study also saw an increase in favour for purpose-built rentals—apartments built for rent rather than for sale—due to their being well managed and secure. (Source: Wintrob, S., “For Rent in Toronto: Swank new apartments (and — surprise! — they’re not investors’ condo units),” The National Post, March 1, 2015; https://news.nationalpost.com/homes/for-rent-in-toronto-swank-new-apartments-and-surprise-theyre-not-investors-condo-units.)

“However, when it comes to well designed, functional and high quality rental properties with great amenities and a good location, there is currently more demand than supply,” says Braden White. “This is why realtors, who are normally associated with the purchase and sale of homes, are also valuable as agents for finding rental properties. They can also assist landlords with finding good tenants, negotiating the rental terms and ensuring that the landlords’ rights are protected.”

Realtors possess experience and connections that allow them to find available properties that meet their clients’ specific needs. They also have access to TREB’s Multiple Listing Service (MLS), an electronic database that is the sole listing for roughly 75% of condos. Access to TREB’s MLS is given primarily to real estate agents rather than the general public and, when used properly, lets an agent quickly scan a large number of listings, both those that are available for rent, as well as properties that have recently been rented. This allows the agent to look out for their client’s best interests by making informed recommendations regarding the cost of rent for the specific property their client is interested in.

“By using an agent to find a rental property, the client will have access to valuable information in order to make an educated decision while their agent ensures their rights are protected,” says White. “The best part is that there is no cost to the renter as the landlord typically pays any commission due to the agents involved with the transaction.”

Real estate agents are not only valuable to renters but also to landlords. Agents are able to provide valuable real estate information to landlords in order assist with determining the monthly rent and can assist with advertising and showing the property, as well as negotiating the rent. White points out that there is typically a fee for this service but the money spent is usually well worth the results that a good agent can deliver.

“The rental market is here to stay. With home prices as high as they are today and young professionals having extremely high student debt along with the fact that salaries are not increasing at the same rate as the pricing in the housing market, renting is becoming more and more popular with young professionals as they work their way up.” White concludes.

Braden White is a licensed real estate agent with Chestnut Park Real Estate Ltd., the exclusive affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate in Toronto. He works to find ideal and affordable housing and rental options and aids sellers, buyers, and renters. To contact Braden White, call 416-925-9191 or visit www.BradenWhite.com.

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