Real Estate

Virtual Reality Has Made Its Way to Via Capitale du Mont-Royal!

A new technology has been introduced at Via Capitale du Mont-Royal : an innovative system have arrived at the agency’s offices!

Réalité virtuelle (VR) Via Capitale du Mont-Royal

AD: You master the art of living. We master the art of selling.

This system creates a totally immersive experience where customers can view properties that are already built or exist only as floor plans! This advanced technology may turn out to be very useful for the future of real estate.

Via Capitale du Mont-Royal is proud to offer such a unique and exciting service to our clients. As a matter of fact, we will be the first real estate agency in Montreal to offer this advanced technology!

The innovative virtual reality technology will allow customers to visit and discover properties in a 3-D and 360-degree visualization as if they were right there in person! For this technology to work, the agency’s offices will be equipped with a powerful computer, two television sets, and one virtual reality headset. This system will allow people to visit listings without having to travel to the actual locations, which means customers will be able to view several properties in a day. It will also be possible to list your property for sale as a virtual reality tour!

If you’re curious and want to experience virtual reality, come see us during the Mont-Royal sidewalk sale from August 24 to 27—you can try this incredible cutting-edge technology at our kiosk located by our agency. You’ll get the opportunity to discover homes that have been rendered in virtual reality! For more details, visit the RU event page.

Feel free to share this exciting news and bring some friends along!!

Property Renovations: What to Invest in Before Selling Your Home

This week on CIBL’s Les Oranges Pressées, our discussion will be based on an article from La Presse titled Renovating for Better Sales: Where to Invest, and What to Avoid. Using it as a guide, we will go over the most advantageous renovation projects for a home seller.

Home Expansions

Getting a return on an investment from a property expansion is not always guaranteed and can depend on many different factors. For example, the expansion of a home in the suburbs is not recommended because of neighborhood standards. If you start modifying your property, it will no longer correspond to the square footage of surrounding homes, and you’ll risk losing the capital gain on your investment. On the other hand, in some Montreal neighborhoods like Ahuntsic, the demand is quite high, so the money spent on expansion projects has a higher probability of being recovered.

 

Basements

Many believe that unfinished basements are a perfect opportunity for future owners to design a space to their liking. However, it is strongly advised to finish the space before the sale, since y­oung families purchasing their first homes rarely have the necessary funds for such renovations.

 

Flooring

A house’s design and interior decoration are often the product of fashion trends. Updating out-of-fashion materials without spending excessive sums will play in the seller’s favor since these types of renovations guarantee a recovery of investments.

 

Swimming Pools and Landscaping

If you decide to launch yourself into the construction of an in-ground pool, keep in mind that you will never secure a total return on your investment. The cost of installing an in-ground pool is estimated at $50,000, while the return will only get you between $10,000 and $15,000. Although we can’t quantify the luxury and moments of happiness that come with owning an in-ground pool, be aware that future potential buyers will have their own expectations and notions of luxury!

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Expanding Your Property: At What Cost and Why?

This week on Les Oranges Pressées on CIBL, we’re talking about property expansions by way of additional floors or new basements. This kind of renovation is increasingly common, but it’s always best to get informed before taking on such a sizeable task.

Zoning

Although the majority of neighborhoods in Montreal authorize expansions, certain districts regulate these types of renovations. For example, the Plateau Mont-Royal borough applies a tax equivalent to 10% of the land value. For a property of $150,000, that means a sum of $15,000 must be paid to the borough.

Costs

According to architect Yves Perrier, owners must plan $175 per square foot for the addition of a new floor. This value can vary depending on the type of work to be done, and may even increase up to $200 per square foot. Whether it’s adding a floor or a new basement, home expansions are always an expensive investment. That said, one positive aspect is that costs are returned without fail at the time of resale since new additions increase property values.

These new additions represent much more than a simple expansion—they are the perfect opportunity for architects to put their expertise to work, providing homeowners with a new and improved lifestyle. This massive investment is worthwhile not only in terms of profits but also because it creates a new living space for the current family and all future owners.

Home expansions often occur with the arrival of a new family member. However, real estate market prices can deter families from purchasing new and larger properties. A simple solution is to extend a floor or design a basement. The fact that many families have carried out such expansions, and haven’t moved since goes to show how advantageous these large investments can be!

Between adding a floor or digging a basement, there is no one expansion better than the other. It really all depends on personal needs. In both cases, the best advice is to keep a natural light in mind, that is to say, to take advantage of the construction work and open up the space to let in as much light as possible. Buyers are fond of this type of renovation, which will in turn balance out the costs of the work done!

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Investing in a Semi-Commercial Property: A Good or Bad Idea?

This week on Les Oranges Pressées on CIBL, we will be discussing investments in semi-commercial properties and whether they are worth the effort. Every real estate agent will tell you: there’s a big difference between buying a condo or duplex, and acquiring a property that is half commercial. Although Montreal has interesting commercial strips, it’s always a good idea to do some research before diving in.

Property Access

Becoming a commercial property owner is not as easy as owning a fully residential property. In the first case, you must dispose of funds equivalent to approximately 35% of the sale price of the property in question. Luckily the CMHC (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation)—whose mission is to assist Canadians seeking housing—can be of use to you if you decide to open your business at the ground level and live upstairs! In this case, the CMHC can provide you with insurance and fifteen down payments.

A Long-Term Investment

Leases for semi-commercial properties are of longer duration than residential buildings and are therefore excellent long-term investments. However, you must pay special attention to the quality of the commercial premises. In fact, some commercial strips found in Verdun, the Plateau Mont-Royal, or Hochelaga-Maisonneuve are characterized by neglected commercial buildings. Back in the day, shopkeepers did not necessarily live above their shops, which resulted in unkempt properties. But this trend has recently taken a turn, and shopkeepers are now increasingly living above their businesses.

Two Opportunities

When purchasing a semi-commercial property, two possibilities are available to you: you can either build your commerce on the ground floor and live above it, or you can live above and rent the commercial space to another business. In the second case, pay special attention to the price! Make sure to offer a reasonable rent to allow a business to settle in. Determine whether a shopkeeper would be compelled to move into your building. If this is not the case, the investment becomes much less interesting for you too! Also take into consideration the period between tenant occupancies, since a vacant space means additional fees and expenses for the property owner.

The acquisition of a semi-commercial property is a profitable and guaranteed investment if you plan to live there and establish a commercial business. Moreover, it protects you from rent increases! On the other hand, choosing to rent the space to another business can be tricky, since in this case, you will have to depend on finding tenants who will agree to your set prices.

In both cases, it’s important to conduct a market study to identify the trends of the commercial strip you will invest in. Bankers are a great resource on the subject, so feel free to consult with them when applying for your loan.

Do you have any real estate questions ?  Call or email us with your questions and we will make sure to answer all your questions.

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Real Estate Purchase: Financing Terms

Real-Estate-Purchase-Financing-TermsFor many of us, buying a home is a major and significant event in our life, more of a rite of passage than a simple administrative and financial procedure. The road to achieving this milestone can feel uncertain and is often full of obstacles and surprises. And yet, there’s nothing to it! Beyond its symbolic meaning, buying a property is actually quite simple—at least on paper. The various steps are very clear and well-defined.

No need to panic, just read the article below and you’ll learn everything you need to know about real estate purchases, and who knows, maybe you’ll feel ready to take the plunge yourself!

Buying and financing a property in 7 steps:

1. Assess your mortgage affordability:

At this stage, the simplest step is to visit a financial institution and speak with a mortgage advisor, who can then help you determine your ability to repay a mortgage loan. Your advisor will establish the amount you are able to put toward repayment each month. Various online tools are also made available to you through different banking and financial institutions, and can help you calculate the estimated costs. This first contact with the world of mortgage loans will give you a clearer picture of the process, and will help you move on to the next step. You’ll have a better idea of your budget, which will guide you in your search.

2. Determine your down payment:

The math is simple: the bigger your down payment, the less you’ll need to borrow. In Quebec, it is recommended to have a down payment equivalent to at least 20% of your property’s value. Thanks to this down payment, you’ll qualify for a conventional (meaning uninsured) loan, which will help you avoid extra costs. However, be sure to properly assess your needs and budgets, since there can always be unexpected surprises or expenses to take into account. The 20% down payment can come from various sources, such as donations, inheritances, liquid assets, investments, or even your RRSPs. If you don’t have the 20%, the law requires banking institutions to obtain mortgage loan insurance from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) or Genworth Financial Canada. In this case, a mortgage insurance premium must be paid. The smaller the down payment, the higher the premium.

3. Anticipate additional costs:

Remember that there are many additional expenses related to purchasing a home. Here are some of the biggest expenses—be sure to keep these in mind!

    • Mortgage transaction fees: inspection fees, taxes on the mortgage loan insurance premium, and federal and provincial sales taxes (with the purchase of a new house)
    • Property taxes: municipal and school taxes, welcome tax (Quebec), etc.
    • Other expenses: moving costs, home insurance, labour, etc.

4. Request a preauthorized loan:

Getting preapproved will lend more credibility to your purchasing offer and will increase your negotiating power. You can speak with a mortgage loan advisor at your financial institution before you even begin your search.

5. Find your property:

And that’s it: you’re all set! Time to spring into action! Determine what type of housing you want (house, condo, duplex, etc.), and where (city, countryside, suburbs), and then start your search! You can do it on your own by looking through various websites or newspapers, but you can also get a helping hand by consulting with a real estate agent.

6. Make your purchase offer:

Found a real gem? The house of your dreams? Then it’s time to get down to business and make your purchase offer. Your offer must contain the following information:

    • The purchase price
    • The property’s transfer date
    • The transaction’s included and/or excluded assets
    • The conditions relating to the purchase offer (inspection, etc.)

7. Obtain your mortgage loan!

The much-anticipated (and sometimes slightly dreaded) moment has arrived! Thanks to all the previous steps, this final stage should technically be nothing more than a simple formality. Now that you’ve found your ideal home, it’s time to go back to see your advisor so you can make your dream a reality.

Here are the highlights of this final stage:

    • During your first meeting with your advisor, you were able to assess your needs and establish a mortgage financing solution best suited to your budget. You were also able to determine if you should resort to a mortgage insurance (to reiterate, this is only necessary for buyers with a down payment of less than 20% of the value of the property. See step 2.)
    • Then, for the funding application, you’ll need the following documents:
        • The purchase offer
        • The confirmation of employment and income
        • The confirmation of down payments and assets
        • The assessment of loan insurance needs
        • Any other required documents (e.g. lease, proof of other income, etc.)
    • To ensure a fair market value of the property you wish to purchase, it is important to conduct an assessment. The appraiser will be contracted by the bank and certain fees will be involved.
    • Your loan has been granted! You’re going to be a homeowner!
    • You now have to formalize everything with a notary. The seller must provide the notary with:
        • The location certificate (there may be unique cases where the certificate is not provided by the seller)
        • The municipal and school tax accounts
    • On your end, you will need to sign:
        • The deed of sale
        • The mortgage deed
        • A document certifying the adjustment of municipal and school taxes
        • The credit agreement
    • The bank has transferred the funds to the notary to pay the seller. You’re now officially a homeowner!!!
    • Following this final step, your advisor will continue to look after you and will be there to address all your questions and needs, so don’t hesitate to get in touch.

A Neighbourhood Love: The Village

From the Gay Village to the Quartier des Spectacles, and passing through the downtown area of Ville-Marie, Maurice Nantel shines a light on Montreal’s dazzling beauty.

Along with Place des Arts, the Gay Village shares the title of Quebec’s most significant cultural centre. A stroll through this neighbourhood will quickly show you why! On top of being one of the largest gay neighbourhoods in the world, the Village highlights urban diversity and a uniquely colourful visual style.

Village were a small city in itself where people go to live the good life.

The neighbourhood is home to all of Quebec’s francophone television stations—such as Radio Canada, TVA, and Télé-Québec—as well as many radio stations, which contribute to the cultural vitality of the neighbourhood. Adding to this landscape and diverse visual identity is the Molson Brewery, one of the oldest industrial companies in Canada.

Elements that may seem contrasting actually create a rich harmony in the unique area of the Village, which spans all the way to the Quartier des Spectacles. Thus, it is possible to gather oneself in the stunning St. James United or St. John The Evangelist churches, then head east for a bistro-style gastronomic feast at 1000 Grammes, to finally cap the night with a one-of-a-kind cabaret show at Cabaret Mado.

Life is sweet when wandering through the Village’s pedestrian-only Aires Libres, or when letting yourself get carried away by the hypnotic lights of the Place des Arts corridor. Even in the depths of the Place des Arts metro station, creativity is all around you! Just look up and you’ll notice a carefully designed architectural style, as well as several works of art. As for Beaudry’s metro exit, the columns were designed in the shape of a rainbow, evoking the iconic symbol of LGBTQ pride, and making you feel the warm atmosphere of the neighbourhood! In short, it’s Montreal in all its diversity!

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The Meaning of Real Estate Symbols and Traditions

This week on our Les Oranges Pressées radio show on CIBL, we are having fun travelling and discussing real estate traditions. One of the most known superstitions revolves around the idea that a broken mirror can bring about seven years of bad luck. Yet very few people know that the spell can be broken by burying the shattered mirror pieces under moonlight. Stories dealing with superstitions are abundant in the world of real estate, and each one has a specific meaning according to its country of origin.

Exterior Symbols

In Anglo-Saxon culture, a red door signifies that homeowners have successfully paid off their mortgage. While long ago in the United States, a red door was seen as a welcoming sign for travellers, indicating a secure location where globetrotters could rest in full tranquillity. In China, the colour red symbolizes good luck and is seen as an entry point where the chi—a fundamental concept which forms and animates life in the universe—can enter a home.

The lion statues spotted throughout Montreal and its greater area also have their traditional histories. In Vietnam, they protect and empower people. In China, they act as guardians, defending homes against accidents and theft. For Buddhists, lion statues are said to bring peace and prosperity, while in Italy, they symbolize power and prestige. In Quebec, homeowners traditionally place one or two lions in front of their house once their mortgage is paid off. Whether placed in front of a door or by a staircase, the lion remains true to itself as a symbol of honour, respect, and power, and can even be seen in popular buildings in Paris and New York.

Interior Symbols

In certain cultures, tripping while walking up a staircase is seen as a sign of good luck or a possible upcoming wedding. In contrast, stumbling while walking down the stairs or crossing paths with someone signifies bad luck. Apparently crossing your fingers is the only way to ward off this spell!

Even less known in popular culture are superstitions surrounding brooms! According to tradition, when moving into a home, one must always have a new broom and some bread on hand. When leaving an old property, it is also customary to burn all your old rags, to bring good luck to your new home. In England, placing a broom behind your front door will deter people with ill intentions from entering. In Sicily, placing a broom outdoors on the night of Saint Jean-Baptiste will bring about good luck and chase away evil spirits. At one time, people would even hang a broom in front of their main entrance to indicate the presence of a young girl to marry in the house. And finally, saving the best for last: in certain customs, placing a broom on the ground in front of your guests signifies that time has come for them to leave! Who would have thought that a broom could mean so many things?

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Buying Before Age 30

Acheter immobilier avant 30 ansThe tightening of mortgage rules, announced by the Federal Government last fall, caused quite a stir and has raised a lot of concern. For buyers, generally speaking, this means that they must either save a bit more or set their sights on a more affordable home.

But let’s take a closer look at the impact on buyers under the age of 30. Burdened by the reimbursement of student loans or other debt, and faced with entry-level wages, must they give up their dream of home-ownership?

 

The good news is, the answer is NO! Owning a home before age 30 is still possible.

Here’s how:

Firstly, it is important to save! Indeed, for both first-time and seasoned buyers, a down payment is still required! Ideally it should represent as much as 20% of the value of the property. However, there is no need to panic should that not be possible. Mortgage loan insurance is available from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) or from Genworth Financial Canada. The down payment is then set at a minimum of 5%.

Additionally, one must set aside 3% of the value of the house to cover start-up costs (notary, welcome tax, renovations, etc.)

The question is, how does one save that much money? Here are a few ideas:

  • Collect spare change, that is, put aside all the coins from your daily errands. You’ll notice small change adds up quickly!
  • Automate, or rather, set up a monthly automatic transfer of a fixed amount to be deposited into a savings account, and include this in your budget.
  • Avoid wasting: buying used items, making your own lunch, and clipping coupons are all ways to avoid spending uselessly.

Another important point to consider when aspiring to home-ownership, is paying one’s debts! In fact, all debts will be considered when calculating borrowing capacity.

Furthermore, the fewer debts there are to pay, the more money there is available for saving. The debts to be reimbursed first and foremost are consumer loans (credit card or credit margin, personal loan, etc.)

Regarding student loans, accelerated payments are rarely advantageous since student loans are usually amortised over a period of 10 years, the applicable rate is low, and interest payments are tax deductible. This surely makes some people happy! So consider paying off all of your credit cards!

These are the fundamental principles to consider for any aspiring home-owner under age 30. You’ll find more information in the blog article Desjardins, Comment acheter sa première maison avant 30 ans.

Change your address in 5 minutes

You found your property, everything is signed, and all that’s left is to move! Regular movers will argue that it’s insignificant, but changing your address is often quite physical, and can be an administrative burden due to the numerous steps necessary to ensure that everyone knows your new address!

changement adresse MovingWaldo

Have a good night’s sleep and don’t worry about your upcoming move, we discovered a wonderful service that will make your life easier! It’s MovingWaldo, a free and practical website, which was created here in Quebec!

The way it works is simple, you just need to let MovingWaldo know your new address. Then, choosing from their directory of over 500 suppliers, select those who need to be alerted to your change of address. Verify everything, give your approval, and you’re done! You’ll have load­­s of time to prepare your housewarming party!

Don’t hesitate to explore the MovingWaldo website, which also offers useful tips and tricks to help you manage your move in the most effective manner. We bet that our customers will appreciate this new service, which is both helpful and fun! One final piece of good news and then we’ll let you move in peace. MovingWaldo is currently holding a contest for those who are not renewing their leases this year!

adresse via capitale

 

Professional Liability Insurance Fund of the Quebec Real Estate Brokerage

Spring has finally arrived! And like many people at this time of the year, real estate fever has taken hold. A desire for change and novelty drives you to seek out a completely different living environment- a new home. You may be wondering if taking on a broker to help you in the sale or purchase of your next property is really worth it.

In the “For” column you have many useful benefits: expertise, efficiency, time-saving, access to a network of real estate professionals, etc. But there’s one factor you are probably unaware of that you absolutely must add to that list. And that’s the FARCIQ !

What exactly is the FARCIQ ? It stands for Fonds d’Assurance Responsabilité professionnelle du Courtage Immobilier du Québec. In English it means the Professional Liability Insurance Fund of Quebec Real Estate Brokerage. FARCIQ is responsible for dealing with public claims as well as instructing license holders of the process for managing their titles. The FARCIQ therefore ensures the professional liability of all real estate brokers and mortgage agencies in Quebec.

Its role is divided into three parts:

• First, it provides protection in the event of misconduct, error, negligence or omission that may be committed by a brokerage licensee in the course of his or her professional activities.

• Secondly, it ensures compensation for the resulting loss when professional liability occurs.

• Finally, it addresses the needs and concerns of the brokers with respect to their liability insurance while helping them to prevent risks associated with professional mistakes. It also provides them a service that offers assistance and advice to answer all their questions and cover all their cases. No matter what your buying or selling situation may be, you can be assured that your broker will have the right information and knowledge to ensure that your transaction takes place in the best possible conditions.

In addition, this insurance, mandatory since 2006, is reserved for real estate brokers or mortgage holders who possess a permit issued by the OACIQ (Organisme d’autoréglementation du courtage immobilier du Québec), a self-regulating body for Quebec Real Estate Brokerage. This organization legally protects the public that uses Real estate brokerage and mortgage services.

That’s why, when you’re dealing with a professional broker, you (and all your transactions) get double protection! Reassuring isn’t it?

That should tip the balance on the “For” side!

For more information, visit:  www.farciq.com