This week we bring you a very informative session with Megann Willson who is a is a Five-Star Certified Real Estate agent, at HomeLife/Realty One Ltd. in Toronto’s exclusive Cabbagetown district. She bought her own first home during a recession, when interest rates were at their peak of 21%, and hasn’t looked back. Read on to get the important nuggets of wisdom she shared last week.
Tell us about your journey to become a real estate expert and what motivated you to choose this field?
Megann started her career in real estate out of her passion for doing what people are mostly afraid of. She was advised by her friend to try it out and she thought why not? Megann eventually took a few courses and kick started her now 4 year long career in real estate. She purchased her first home as an investor when interest rates were at 21%! Since then, she has learned a lot by constantly studying the real estate market with a habit of quickly dispensing things that won’t work and passing on proven buying and selling strategies on to her clients.
What’s the secret sauce when buying or selling in the current market? Is there a best time to do so?
Megann advises that people should only sell if they must or sell if there is really a need to sell as the market is rapidly changing. She also noted that Canada’s real estate market is very different from other countries like US or UK, our market is more rigid because banks are required to try and get repossessed properties sold at its actual worth as opposed to just selling out of desperation. This makes the market very stable and on the other hand more difficult to qualify for mortgage. Plan to hold or own your property for at least 5 years to avoid disappointment. We are in a recession and things are slower this season, but there isn’t such a huge decrease in prices as people make it out to be. The GTA market is still very much in demand and there is still a shortage of supply for the foreseeable future. The most important thing is to manage expectations whether you’re buying or selling.
Bonus tip: having a property that has a basement apartment that could be rented out can serve as a passive income that can help with the mortgage payment. Rentals have also gone up quickly in this market as well.
How much of an impact is the rising interest rates having on People’s buying decision this season?
Megann confirmed that it is making it a little harder for people to decide- especially first-time homeowners as most people are worried what their property will cost over time. The mortgage stress test is also making it more difficult for individuals to qualify. It is still possible to buy a home now people just need to work on saving more and being disciplined. Also, couples benefit from have two incomes to pay the bills over singles buying a property.
What advice can you give our community as they try to navigate the buying and selling market during these unprecedented times?
With a great agent, buy and sell when you are ready and don’t try to time the market. Be sure to use an experienced agent as they are always worth every penny. Megann added that an expert would guide you through what needs to be done before selling or buying in the most cost-effective way possible. Be flexible but focused when buying as well. Bonus tip: when selling, only renovate as much as you are required to without spending a dime more!
Megann can be found on linkedIn @Megann Willson and on other social media platforms @Movebravely. Feel free to reach out to her if you need help or advice on real estate. If you want to get financially organized before buying your next home, reach out to us at Info@askjackie.ca and be sure to tune in to our next live session.