My Agent Mike

Hi! I'm Mike Rapkoski.

Sales Representative, Keller Williams Referred Urban Realty Inc., Brokerage

I have spent the past 18 years assisting clients build their wealth through making wise choices with their real estate buying and selling. I am passionate, dedicated and committed to providing world class service to my real estate clients.

29 October 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Hey Mike we want to sell our home (part 1)

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Today I had a listing appointment with past clients of mine who purchased a house with my assistance four and a half years ago. They were first time buyers back then and I still remember vividly on the night of our offer presentation the frantic nerves and anxiety as the reality of being involved in a multiple offer situation (media slang would be bidding war) was quickly settling in.

That night almost five years ago we ended up competing against six other interested buyers (yes the house was purposely listed below market value to attract such a scenario) and our offer ended up being the one chosen by the sellers as the best offer.

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25 October 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Changes Approved by Canadian Real Estate Association

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Today somewhere in Newfoundland member real estate boards across Canada voted 97% in favour to the rule changes set out  by the competition bureau in its investigation into the “monopoly” of the CREA.

So what does this mean now? Mainly that licensed real estate agents can now offer services and fees similar to what FSBO (for sale by owner) companies have been offering to sellers who have opted not to use the services of a real estate agent to list their home or property for sale. It’s important to note that even though the seller in the past has tried to sell privately, in most instances a fee was paid to the agent representing the buyer. So in essence, a real estate agent was involved in selling the house, just not in listing it. Let’s see the future of FSBO companies now that a seller can get more exposure for the same expense by using a licensed real estate agent! Now were talking monopoly!!

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24 October 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Ottawa ponders further tightening of mortgage rules

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Garry Marr and Paul Vieira, Financial Post

The federal government is once again looking at tightening rules in the Canadian mortgage market, according to a source close to the situation.

Finance officials are set to meet in Ottawa on Monday with some of the country’s leading economists for pre-budget discussions and the subject of whether to tighten housing regulations may come up.

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19 October 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Buying a new loft or condo? Caveat Emptor!

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Recently I have been dealing with a higher than average amount of frustration regarding brand new lofts and condos purchased by both clients and myself (yes even a real estate insider is not totally void from some mishaps).
A little background information…every year I typically assist a half dozen or more clients with the purchase of brand new construction of either lofts or condos in the downtown Toronto area. The new condo/loft real estate market has been a busy one alongside the robust market conditions being experienced in the resale market. Pre sales that were written three to four years ago are being completed and coming into the marketplace in 2010.

18 October 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Choices and information overload

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I was speaking with a colleague last week about TD Bank’s switch to collateral-charge mortgages and the anticipated affect it would have on TD’s mortgage business. Would this monumental change increase the banks mortgage portfolio or would the lender become out of favour with independent mortgage brokers who may look at this move as an attack on their business model? “I don’t know I replied” and truthfully, I don’t much care. What I mean by this is that as a respected real estate professional my focus is on my client and their needs. New products that a bank comes out with to increase their business is good for competition. Competition leads to choice, and more choice is better in the end for the consumer. I get this and I think its great. We all are consumers in one way or another on a daily basis. Part of what I do as a real estate professional is to make sure I am up to date with current finance options that are available to my clients and that would be of the ultimate benefit to them. Personally I get my mortgage information from two sources and neither one is the newspaper. The first is a very well connected mortgage broker whom I’ve been associated with for over 15 years. The other is a personable and connected bank manager whose employer doesn’t use the services of outside mortgage brokers. Both are active committed professionals in their fields and communicate regularly with me on the goings on in the mortgage finance world. There is too much information coming at us on a daily basis that it would be impossible for anyone to try and master the many areas of complexity that make up the entire real estate market. But by working with an active, committed real estate professional (yes I mean me) who has aligned them self with like minded mortgage brokers/banks, real estate lawyers, home inspectors and various other trade professionals the consumer can be assured that all areas they need advice and guidance in when buying or selling a home, is covered in an exceptional way.

11 September 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Housing Bubble…to be or not to be?

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The day before the last Bank of Canada interest rate announcement CP24 news reported that 80% of economists now think the BofC would be raising the bank rate the following day with most agreeing by 0.25 basis points. Others felt 0.50 basis points would be the outcome and the small minority thought no rate adjustment would be taken. I make mention of this point for two reasons: 1) to highlight that opinions varied widespread with economists (most of whom work for competing banks) on what path the BofC would be taking on a topic that receives much heated debate. And 2) that mere days leading up to the rate announcement the forecasts by said economists were all over the map on what the outcome would be!

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11 August 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Making an Offer

When it comes time to make an offer you will require current market information and assistance in drafting your offer. You will need a Real Estate Professional. A Real Estate Professional will communicate your Offer to Purchase to the seller, or the seller’s representative, on your behalf. Sometimes there may be more than one offer on a property at the same time. A Real Estate Professional can guide you through this process. Firm Offer to Purchase Usually preferable to the seller because it means buyers are prepared to purchase the home without any conditions. Conditional Offer to Purchase Usually means there are one or more conditions on the purchase, such as “subject to home inspection”, “subject to financing” or “subject to sale of buyer’s existing home”. The home is not sold until all the conditions have been met. Acceptance of Offer An Offer to Purchase is presented to a seller who may accept the offer, reject it, or submit a counter-offer. The counter-offer may be in reference to the price, closing date, or any number of variables. Offers can go back and forth until both parties have agreed to terms or either side ends the negotiations.

Posted via email from michaelrapkoski’s posterous

16 June 2010 ~ 0 Comments

The Future of Rent in Toronto Three Years From Now

I was reading an article the other day that was discussing the high volume of new condo sales during the first quarter of the year (January-March) in and around highly desirable rental (living) neighbourhoods. A little background first. Brand new rental apartment buildings have been a void in Toronto pretty much since the 1970’s and from what I hear was mainly caused by broken promises, higher taxes and the proverbial knife in the back of developers by all levels of politicians (should we be surprised). Condominium development starting springing up in the 1980’s and over the last 6 or 7 years has become an attractive alternative for those looking to rent in trendy locations along with better features (ensuite laundry, underground parking, storage space) and building amenities. With these condos came “new” rental stock that raised the price of rent over traditional 30 year old apartment buildings. Now the spread between old and new was anywhere from $100/month more to several hundreds more and the reasons for were obvious. Now back to the article I was reading. What was being discussed is that with the present high cost of condo units being purchased today by investors (quoted as somewhere around 50% of all sales) would come market rents in the $2,000 per month range for a 1 bedroom condo (which currently can be had for between $1300-$1600 per month without parking) in three years time when these units are built. Alarm bells were going off in my head on many levels in trying to see the logic with this theory. As someone who personally owns rental properties and some of which are condos, I can tell you this is very wishful thinking. Many people have jumped in to the real estate investing market (and many on a whim after watching an infomercial or attending a weekend workshop) with grand illusions of making easy money. After all it must be a good investment if the nice sales person in the builders model suite says it is. Now I’m not blaming builders entirely but lets face it, they are the reason the Fed’s had to step in and change the mortgage rules to help cool the heated housing market (which it has succeeded in doing so). Greed is the real blame here and a more probable scenario will be in three years time there will be a glut of condos flooding the market from misinformed and maybe misguided investors that will stunt price growth and possibly even lower it! Actually something very similar is happening right now albeit probably not as bad due to the lower number of investor units currently for sale across the GTA. I hope I’m wrong because if not we may see rents and values decrease in price which is not good for condo owners and investors alike.