Buying a new house or condo can be exciting but also overwhelming in many ways! Firstly there are a lot of financial calculations you must do. Secondly, there is a volume of complex terminology related to the homebuying process, like legal terms and conditions, warranty’s or inspections, and understanding floorplans and designs. Add to the list the time you spend researching neighbourhoods, schools, or the best Toronto builders or developers to make sure they have a reliable track record. And once you settle on the property, the challenge is how to layout your furniture, or what new furniture to buy and how the interior design might need modifications. Of course we recommend a good Realtor who can help you with all these things based on their professional qualifications and experience in the market. However sometimes its good to do your own home work in advance and so here are some of the top Real Estate Apps that we think are very useful for property buyers (and in many cases Sellers too, who need to be up to speed on market trends).
Arguably the most popular and most trusted real estate App/site in Canada, you need to register your free account and start saving your favourite properties (which you can later narrow down and then share with your Agent). Realtor.ca is owned and operated by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) so it provides very accurate information, unlike some other sites which can be out of date. REALTOR.ca provides consistently reliable listing information for residential, commercial and rental properties across Canada. You can get neighbourhood demographics, with overviews on average education, population growth, and household incomes, all very useful to help you decide the most important thing: “Location! Location! Location!”. You are also able to get information via location-based GPS data so on your next Sunday drive, or walk or bike, you can see whats for sale around you. Other cool features are the mortgage calculator, social sharing, neighborhood demographics, and ability to connect with local REALTORS®.
House Sigma features Home value estimations for all available listings in Toronto and the GTA. Although it cannot replace a licensed professional appraisal, or the skills of a good realtor, it does give Buyers consistent “ball-park” home valuations and identify similar nearby sold listings. This is the same type of data your Agent will use to help determine their final listing price for sellers and a good offer price for Buyers! Many of these Stats are available on other sites and platforms, however this Appsite is very well laid out and easy to navigate. It includes some calculations for you like Median Sale Price and Average Days On Market, as well as the “Sold” versus “Active” Listings (a free account is required). A Cash flow calculator is also available for free for all users. The App is available on the iTunes app store and Google Play store.
This is one our top recommended Apps for clients and Google Editors choice for “Top 5 Home Buyer Apps). It helps Buyers quickly get up to speed on all the costs and is very easy to use. It will help you figure out a fairly accurate answer to “How much can I afford to buy?”. The Canadian Mortgage App (CMA) has received many five-star ratings on the AppStore and Google play. The interface is very clean and organized. You can start with entering the home listing price, then add the property taxes and your down payment (available in both percentage and amount). This is very handy because you can quickly play around with different deposit structures like 5%, 10% 20% or 30% and see how this impacts your monthly mortgage payments (you can pick some mortgage rates and the term of repayment and more. The app is loaded with information to help you calculate exactly what you need. You can even factor in income from a tenant, or other variables. Additionally, it can also calculate first-time homebuyer rebates and land transfer taxes based on location. There is losing costs like Land transfer tax, Home inspection costs, Moving Costs, PST on CMHC, Appraisals, Legal fees and Final adjustments can also be determined in the closing costs screen.
Another good App to consider is MyHome Planner made by the highly reputable Tarion Corporation, a crown corporation set up by the Government of Ontario as a watch dog to ensure that Builders provide warranties on new condo and house construction (check that your builder is listed as one of the licensed builders accepted by Tarion). Consider this App as your virtual personal home buying assistant because it offers you reliable advice, information, and organization skills needed for the home buying process. For brand new condos its especially helpful! The App can coach you on an important step of the Pre-Delivery Inspection (PDI) prior to getting the keys. It will also guide you through registering your warranty with Tarion which needs to be done within a few months of moving in, and then at year 1 and year 3 and year 7. The “MyHome” tool, can be used to manage your warranty coverage in the years ahead and not omit a report on critical milestone dates during the 7 year warranty process. MyHome Planner also helps you with scheduling, reminders and valuable info to ensure nothing is forgotten. You can do some research on the builders you like and where they are proposing to build new homes or condos as Tarion regulates new home builders. If your builder’s name does not appear in the Directory, then they are not building legally!
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