It’s no secret that for the real estate market in Mississauga, 2015 was a year of significant growth. However, more often than not, a growing market also means tight competition and rapidly increasing prices. Because this can seem daunting for a homebuyer, we decided to talk to Jeff O’Leary, a local realtor with more than eight years’ worth of experience and insight into how to find the perfect home.
1. How would you describe the current real estate market in Mississauga?
Just like the rest of the Greater Toronto Area, the current real estate market in Mississauga is a strong one, with an increase in the number of sales while, at the same time, very limited listing inventory. In all of the neighbourhoods, the average sale price for homes has risen, as there are still more buyers than homes available for sale.
2. Have you noticed new trends in the market, and if so, how are they affecting home buyers and sellers?
I have observed that more and more buyers consider finding a turn-key and updated property as a must have. Most of my buyer clients are averse to considering homes that require even simple cosmetic issues like dated flooring or cabinets. They are also willing to pay more for an updated home in this strong market. This can be a fantastic opportunity for home sellers who have kept their home updated over the years, or who hire the right professionals to help them prepare their home for sale to ensure it appeals to these buyers.
3. What are some of Mississauga’s best kept secrets?
Many people who don’t live in Mississauga see the city as an endless sea of builder sub division houses. The city’s best kept secret is how many distinct neighbourhoods we have, which boast different housing styles, amenities, demographics, and lifestyles. Our history is one of many Villages that came together to form Mississauga. My personal favorites are Streetsville, Port Credit, Clarkson, Sheridan, Lorne Park, Mineola and Gordon Woods. I don’t think people realize how many gorgeous old neighbourhoods Mississauga actually has.
4. What are some of the Quirks of the Mississauga real estate market?
We are a very multicultural city, where the minority populations are actually the majority, with approximately 50% being of visible minority. I don’t think this is something most other markets in Canada experience. In Mississauga, you will find neighbourhoods that are predominantly Asian, South Asian, Eastern European, etc., and some that are very mixed. It’s part of the village lifestyle and understanding that the neighbourhood should be a part of your home search in Mississauga.
5. How can one find the right neighbourhood in Mississauga?
Research: It’s really important to make a list of what you want in your new home as well as the amenities you want in your neighbourhood. I truly believe you are looking for a lifestyle as much as, if not more so, than a roof and four walls. Then do some research online including looking at the city website as they offer a lot of info about services, parks and rec, culture, and so on. If you have kids, you might want to look at school reports and have a good idea of what schools offer the services you want, such as French Immersion, etc. Find out the GO train locations and schedules if you need to commute. Basically, decide what you need to have near you to live your life, and then start looking at the neighbourhoods that can provide these resources to you. Then you can consider the house style and your budget and make adjustments from there.
Re-con mission: I strongly encourage buyers to go drive and walk around the neighbourhoods that they are most interested in, BEFORE actually looking at homes. There’s so much about a Village that you can’t tell from an MLS listing. If you care about what the neighbourhood looks like, curb appeal, how well the homes are upkept, if there’s kids on the street for your kids to play with, and all those kinds of intangibles, then exploring these areas beforehand will save you a lot of stress and wasted time. There is nothing worse than a buyer thinking they found their dream home, only to feel the stress of knowing nothing about the area and having to make a quick decision as to whether or not to offer on the home.
6. Are there any other insights you would like to share?
I think I’ve touched on it throughout the interview, but to stress that Mississauga is not homogenous in any respect. There is so much variety in this city that there is something for everyone, but you have to know where to find it. Too many of my clients came to me because their past realtor found them a beautiful home, and then it wasn’t until after they moved in that they realized the location didn’t fit their desired lifestyle, so they wanted to move and get it right this time. Mississauga is a huge city, and it is critical that when doing a home search, you spend as much time learning the Villages as you do looking for that beautiful new home.
About Jeff O’Leary
When he is not busy selling or procuring homes as a representative for Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Signature Service, Jeff likes to spend his time alongside his family. A lifelong fan of baseball, Jeff has in the plans an extensive road trip on the trail of the Toronto Blue Jays.