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How To Know What Home Is Right For You

Finding the right home is important because it provides comfort and security, is a significant financial investment, can enhance your quality of life, allows for personal expression, and contributes to long-term happiness.

Here are a few reasons why finding the right home is important:

Comfort and security:
A home that fits your lifestyle and meets your needs can provide a sense of comfort and security. It's important to find a home that feels like a safe haven, a place where you can relax and recharge after a long day.

Financial investment: Buying a home is often the biggest financial investment people make in their lifetime. Finding the right home can ensure that you are making a wise investment that will appreciate over time and provide you with long-term financial stability.

Quality of life: Your home is where you will spend a significant amount of time, and it can have a direct impact on your quality of life. Finding a home in a location that meets your needs, such as proximity to work, schools, or recreational activities, can greatly enhance your daily life.

Personal expression: Your home is also an expression of your personality and style. Finding the right home allows you to create a space that reflects your unique taste and provides a sense of ownership and pride.

Long-term happiness: Ultimately, finding the right home is important because it can contribute to long-term happiness. A home that meets your needs, provides comfort and security, and reflects your personal style can create a sense of satisfaction and contentment that lasts for years to come.


3 Selling Strategies for Move-Up Buyers

According to a RE/MAX Canada survey of Canadians, 16% said they want to enter the housing market or sell in order to “move up.” The high cost of real estate has made entering the market a challenge for many first-time homebuyers, but thanks to well-timed purchases and considerable equity gains, move-up buyers are in a great position right now, making shopping for a “forever home” feel like less of a stretch.

When you bought your first place, chances are you were young, strapped for cash, and prepared (or at the very least, warned) to make some concessions. “You can’t have it all,” they said. “So where will you take the hit – price, location, home style?” Move-up buyers, on the other hand, typically has some savings and equity to work with, making their next move less of a compromise and more of a thoughtful selection.

But move-up buyers face their own set of challenges that call for a carefully considered strategy. Here are three options for the smart move-up buyer with a plan!

1. Sell First, Buy Later

This strategy is ideal for the move-up buyer who doesn’t want to get stuck paying two mortgages simultaneously. Selling the existing home eliminates the risk of having to carry two mortgages if you don’t sell your existing home in time. It also reduces the chances of having to reduce your asking price if the sale isn’t happening quite quickly enough for your liking. This is a good option for move-up buyers who are banking on the proceeds of their sale to fund their new (and likely more expensive) property. By selling first, you’ll know exactly how much money you have to purchase your next home.

2. Buy First, Then Sell

If homes in your area of choice are selling faster than the “For Sale” signs can hit the front lawn, also known as a seller’s market, the “buy first” strategy might be the way to go. By buying your new home before selling your old one, you won’t feel rushed into settling for a sub-par property or having to seek alternative temporary accommodations while you shop the market. This move-up buyer still lives in their existing home, allowing them the flexibility to shop around and continue looking until they find that perfect place, without any added inconvenience or pressure. This move-up buyer typically requires a bridge mortgage.

3. Time and Align Your Purchase and Sale

When all is said and done, this move-up approach is the most ideal, but getting there is another story. Aligning your purchase and sale closing dates can be tricky. Remember that there are three dancers in this tango – you, the person you’re buying from, and the person you’re selling to. You’ll also have to move out and move in on the same day. In this scenario, time is your best friend and flexibility your savior.

This means you’ve planned ahead – you’ve researched neighborhoods, gotten pre-approved for a mortgage, and you’ve started the organizing and de-cluttering process well in advance.

Your move-up strategy will depend on a number of factors, such as your financial situation, current housing market conditions, and your personal comfort level. Plan ahead and get the right advice to ensure a smooth transaction at both sides of the offer table. Reach out with your questions, it would be a privilege to Make A Difference For You and I love to help!

Sam Chaim⁠ - Your Point Man in Real Estate
Making A Difference For You
Re/Max Realtron⁠

Watch Video
Source: 3 Selling Strategies for Move-Up Buyers | Re/Max


How to Renovate Your House on a Budget

Sitting down and planning a home renovation can quickly become overwhelming when costs start adding up. Even with a budget, you’ll likely find yourself going over which is why it’s crucial to add in that 10-20% contingency fund. It’s totally possible to renovate affordably if you invest a bit of time and effort. Here’s how to renovate your home on a budget without sacrificing quality.

Increase Efficiency, Not Size

Storage can be a problem and needing to renovate to gain more can be costly. Recognizing and equipping the room for maximum utility will save you from having to remove walls entirely. If it’s vital to enlarge the size of the room, inquire if it’s at all possible to remove a wall instead of creating an addition. This helps will that brand-new feeling and improves flow without costing a ton. Be sure to check if the wall you want to remove is wall-bearing (if so, it will be more difficult to move and will cost you).

Refinish Instead of Replace

As a homeowner, it’s easy to get caught up on the cosmetics and when something looks worn down and old, instinct is to rip it down and start over. There is, however, ways to refresh a space without completely redoing it. A fresh coat of paint goes a long way; you can add an accent wall with a splash of a fun colour or keep things neutral throughout with lively décor.

Kitchen backsplashes have become increasingly easier for homeowners to install themselves which would help revamp the space. A runner down the hallway or on stairs can hide large marks and give new life to high-traffic areas. Fresh caulking around a tub can go a long way in making your bathroom look new and old furniture can be spruced up by refinishing the wood or reupholstering the material. The possibilities truly are endless.

Reuse and Recycle

What you’re tired of in one space might refresh another. Kitchen cabinets can be used in a basement kitchenette or in the garage and knobs and light switches are easily interchangeable. Simple rearranging can completely change the look and feel of a room without costing a dime.

If you are willing to put in a little time, to reap big savings, search online or thrift stores for items at a fraction the price.

Are there disadvantages of recycling? Several contractors will not work with salvaged items, or homeowner-supplied items in general, because they don’t want to assume the liability if something goes wrong. However, if you are doing most or all of the work yourself, you can find plenty of materials simply by looking around a little bit

DIY When Possible

It’s always worth doing at least some of the work yourself. There are plenty of jobs that can be done, such as demolition, painting, sanding, or insulating to save yourself some money.

But before you begin, make sure you have a plan. If you are not specific about what you want both with yourself and any contractors, you will end up costing yourself more money by potentially performing renovations that you don’t end up loving.

Reach out with any questions anytime! It would be a privilege to serve as your Realtor.

To A Good Life!⁠ ⁠

Sam Chaim⁠ - Your Point Man in Real Estate⁠
Making A Difference For You⁠
Re/Max Realtron⁠
(416) 543-7252⁠⁠

Watch Video
Source: How to Renovate Your House on a Budget | Re/Max | February 17th, 2023


Before heading into the long weekend...

I want to say a massive THANK YOU to the most incredible clients in Thornhill & Toronto!

The year has had a good start and as we approach the Spring market, I can feel it getting busier. You deserve the best experience and being prepared prior to listing will help keep you ahead of the curve when the Spring market arrives.

What’s in it for you?

  • A Fun Client-First Experience
  • Quality Advice
  • Home Staging w/ Erin Lazer (
  • Professional Photography & Videography
  • Refined Listing & Marketing Strategy
  • Systems to keep you updated & in charge

When you’re ready, call/text (416) 543-7252, send me a DM, or email I love to help!

Happy Family Day and as always....To A Good Life!


Buying a Historic Home: What You Should Know

For homeowners, a historic home is a unique opportunity to live in a local piece of history. They do, however, have issues that newly constructed homes do not have. Committing to a historic home is a big decision and you should be informed of the care that will be required.

What is a Historic Home?

They’re 50+-year-old residential buildings with some sort of heritage value and include private homes, commercial buildings that consist of residential units, landmarks, and entire districts or neighborhoods depending on criteria. The criteria is at least 50 years old (with some exceptions) and meet 1 of 4 criteria:

- It is connected to significant historical events.
- It is connected to the lives of one or more significant individuals.
- It is considered an embodiment of a particular master or historic style.
- It has provided or is likely to provide important historical information.

Historic buildings can be found everywhere and some neighborhoods are even designated as historic areas. They can be a competitive market so as a homebuyer you’ll want your finances in order prior to house hunting.

Benefits of Owning a Historic Home

  1. You’ll be the owner of a piece of history and for some homebuyers, it’s an emotional investment.

  2. Passion for history, architecture, and one-of-a-kind features is appealing to some.

  3. You’ll be a part of a community committed to preservation. Buying a home in a historic area means joining a community of homeowners aiming to preserve the character and history of the district, even with costs and certain limited property rights.

  4. Financial assistance is available for renovations. There are programs available to help fund them

  5. Look into a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC), purchase plus renovations mortgage, a second mortgage, or refinancing your mortgage.

Things to Consider Before You Buy

  1. Get ready for hard work! The older the home, the more often than not means it was built before modern construction techniques. Lots of love, care, and regular maintenance will be necessary.

  2. Get ready to pay more! Historic districts have higher price tags and even higher prices when modern amenities like central air conditioning have been added; even at a good price, you’ll likely invest in upgrades and renovations and materials will be more expensive.

  3. Restrictions on Renovations. Historic homes have their own real estate laws and regulations designed to preserve local history, such as not changing the interior layout, preserving outdoor spaces, and only using certain materials on the house’s exterior. With the stipulations, you may find it more difficult to do maintenance and renovations.

  4. You Can’t Modernize Everything. Historic homes have lasted through numerous decades and owners, there will often be a clash of décor elements inside the house. Preservation laws that impact interior and exterior elements often don’t apply to décor.

Historic homes are not for everyone but bring a ton of satisfaction if you’re up for a challenge! An experienced, reliable home inspector with experience working with historical homes goes a long way and will be able to detect signs that you and I might miss.

Reach out anytime with questions or for a referral! It would be a privilege to serve as your Realtor.

To A Good Life!⁠ ⁠

Sam Chaim⁠ - Your Point Man in Real Estate⁠
Making A Difference For You⁠
Re/Max Realtron⁠
(416) 543-7252⁠⁠

Watch Video
Source: Buying a Historic Home: What You Should Know | Re/Max | January 10th, 2023

What Is A Balanced Market?

In recent years, home sellers have had the advantage but since the market conditions are expected to shift, questions may be arising about what a balanced market is. During the peak of the pandemic, cities across Canada experienced extremely high home prices, from single-family residential properties in highly populated areas to townhomes in rural communities.

Homebuyers had to overcome bidding wars which resulted in some buyers ditching best practices, including home inspections. The market swiftly changed to a seller’s market due to unprecedentedly low mortgage rates. The Bank of Canada (BoC) continues to raise interest rates and the housing market in Canada is moving towards a balanced market. So, what does this mean?

To A Good Life!⁠ ⁠

Sam Chaim⁠ - Your Point Man in Real Estate⁠
Making A Difference For You⁠
Re/Max Realtron⁠
(416) 543-7252⁠⁠

Watch Video
Source: What Is A Balanced Market? | Re/Max | January 14th, 2023


2022 Federal Budget Excerpts for Buyers & Homeowners

Great news is that there were no big surprises that will immediately impact our real estate markets in the April 7th budget. For now, let’s focus on Budget announcements that could touch us as Buyers, Sellers or Homeowners. There are some specific initiatives put forward that will help more Buyers get into the market which in turn will sustain future market resiliency for Sellers.

While the 2022 Federal Budget must still receive Parliamentary approval, here are key proposals within the Budget that touch on our housing markets:

1. Introduction of a Tax-Free First Home Savings Account (FHSA) - Designed to help First Time Home Buyers, Taxpayer Account Holders will be able to contribute up to $8,000 per year towards the purchase of a first home. An FHSA combines the features of both an RRSP and a TFSA.

• Like a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), contributions will be eligible for an income tax deduction and the money will grow tax free inside the account.

• Up to $40,000 can be contributed, and then be withdrawn to purchase a first home, without tax consequences.

Details are sure to be released soon as the FHSA plan is expected to launch in 2023.

As a thought – Wouldn't it be wonderful if the FHSA and RRSP Home Buyers' Plan (HBP) could be combined into a super-sized down payment for a First Time Home Buyer purchase? But it's likely not possible. So, it seems to be a future choice of the HBP or the FHSA. Advantage going to the FHSA, because repayment is not required, as would otherwise be if using the HBP.

2. Doubling of the First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit. This income tax credit applies to a qualifying “first home” purchased during the tax year. The updated credit increases from $5,000 to $10,000, which will put $1,500 back into a Buyer’s pocket. This increase is set to be available for the 2022 tax year.

3. Doubling the Home Accessibility Tax Credit. Individuals can receive 15% in tax relief on up to $20,000 in eligible renovations (up from $10,000) for a tax deduction of up to $3,000. Generally, eligible expenses are for updates that assist seniors, or those entitled to the Disability Tax Credit, to make their homes more accessible.

4. Introduction of a Multi-generational Home Renovation Tax Credit to help families create a multi-generational home. Starting in 2023, this refundable credit would allow families to claim 15% of up to $50,000, to a maximum of $7,500 for eligible renovation and construction costs incurred to construct a secondary suite.

5. Extension of the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive, which allows eligible first-time home buyers to lower their borrowing costs by sharing the cost of buying a home with the government. This Plan has been extended to March 31, 2025.

6. Support of Rent-to-Own Projects to help make it easier for renters to get on the path of home ownership while renting.

7. Modification of the Principal Residence Exemption (PRE) – New tax rules for “property flipping” aimed at individuals who sell their principal residence within 12 months of purchase. According to the budget, the measure would apply to residential properties sold on or after January 1, 2023.

Two things that were surprisingly left out of this budget were the rumoured reintroduction of 30-year amortization for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)-insured mortgages for first-time home buyers. And the reduction of the mortgage insurance fees charged by CMHC. However, if home prices and/or interest rates continue on the upward trajectory, these programs could easily be re-visited.

Questions? Want to know more about market activity in your  neighbourhood? I always invite your calls.

To A Good Life!

Sam Chaim - Your Point Man in Real Estate
Making A Difference For You!
Re/Max Realtron⁠

*Federal Budget information as above outlined is pending parliamentary approval. Details gathered at the time of release are presented for information only and may be altered or adjusted by the time the Budget is approved & then implemented.


The Canadian Government’s Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP)
The Canadian government’s Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) lets you borrow money from your RRSP if:
1. you're a first-time homebuyer; or
2. you’ve lived separately and apart from your spouse or common-law partner for at least 90 days and started living separately and apart anytime in the preceding 4 years as a result of a relationship breakdown (conditions apply).
If you’re looking to buy, build or maintain your primary residence, you can use this money for your down payment, closing costs, or both.
You can withdraw up to $35,000 from your RRSP per calendar year. Spouses or partners may also each withdraw up to $35,000 per calendar year — $70,000 in total. The borrowed funds must be in your RRSP for at least 90 days before taken out. Withdraw the money no later than 30 days after the closing date.
You can borrow money from your RRSP tax-free if you pay it back to your RRSP starting no later than the second year after the withdrawal date. Pay back the full amount within 15 years, through regular payments. Every year, the government sends you a statement summarizing what you repaid and what's outstanding.
Want to discuss how this impacts your home buying decision? Contact me with your questions and to find the answers your looking for.

To A Good Life!

Sam Chaim⁠ - Your Point Man in Real Estate
Making A Difference For You!
Re/Max Realtron⁠