Condo Appreciation, Banks or Brokers, Staging, Foreclosures
Tall white condo against blue sky


DEAR DAVID: Is the appreciation on condominiums as fast as that of detached homes? – CONSIDERNG A CONDO

DEAR CONDO: The short answer is yes, with certain stipulations. In the case of apartment condos (not townhouses), established properties like Seagram’s or Bauer Lofts seem to be pacing with the rest of the market. Some newer locations appear to be struggling, mostly where units were sold at builder’s prices that did not reflect fair market value.

Old or new, condo fees that are out of hand may also impact sale prices. I would suggest that condo purchases be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

DEAR DAVID: Is it better to go with a bank or a broker for a mortgage? –BORROWER

DEAR BORROWER: I tend to work with mobile mortgage specialists from the big banks (who only do mortgages) and a few select mortgage brokers that I trust. This is not a time for surprises. Closing day can be a bit of a nightmare if there is a funding delay because someone has dropped the ball. This rarely happens with major banks as there are checks and balances in place to ensure that all necessary documentation is ready well in advance of closing.

DEAR DAVID: Is staging my home worth the investment? Who pays? – BEST FOOT FORWARD

DEAR BEST: The results are unquestionably better when selling a staged home. With staging, your home will appeal to more buyers and have a higher perceived value. I find the combination of professional staging and photography so successful that I cover the cost of both of these services for almost every new listing.

DEAR DAVID: Can I get a good deal on a foreclosure? – CURIOUS

DEAR CURIOUS: We often hear about “foreclosures” in the media, but in Canada we tend to employ “power of sale”. Power of sale is when a mortgage lender (often a bank) is selling a property to recoup their funds when the mortgage holder (homeowner) has failed to make payments. In our area, power of sale properties command fair market value, with those in disrepair selling for less than comparable ones in good condition.