As If Bidding Wars Weren’t Bad Enough – Now We Have Escalation Clauses

The super-hot Toronto area market has been rife with bidding wars over the past 1-2 years, as buyers have greatly out-numbered sellers in competing for the dwindling supply of homes for sale. These competitive auctions can be a nightmare for buyers, as the bids are “blind”, meaning that competing bidders only know how many other… Read More

Is Your Basement Apartment Legal?

Is Your Basement Apartment Legal

There are thousands of basement apartments in Toronto, and the vast majority of them are NOT legal. There is a lot of confusion as to what it means for a basement apartment to be legal, and what is required to make it so. If you are thinking about buying a house with an illegal basement… Read More

Renovating? Recoup Your Investment When You Sell

  Before you pour your savings into a new kitchen and a rainforest shower for the master, think about whether or not you’ll be able to recover your investment when it comes time to sell. If you have equity in your home, you can make improvements, but don’t go over the limit of what other… Read More

Will The Ontario Fair Housing Plan Slow The Toronto Market?

On April 20, the Ontario government announced a 16 point package of measures designed to “help more people find affordable homes, increase supply, protect buyers and renters and bring stability to the real estate market”. Interestingly, if predictably, none of  these measures are designed to help or protect sellers or landlords. The key points are:… Read More

Moving On… Packing Up The Memories

Senior Couple Packing

You have decided to downsize.  You no longer want the responsibility, expense or maintenance of a family home; it is too big now that the kids are gone and you want to start relaxing.  You have found the perfect spot.  It is smaller, but you don’t need as much space.  You don’t need to maintain… Read More

New Regulations Coming to Cool Hot Toronto Resale & Rental Markets?

New Regulations

The recent federal government budget contained no new measures to curb the real estate market, however, rumours are flying that such measures might soon be coming to Ontario. For example: A vacant property tax is being considered for the City of Toronto. The number of vacant units in Toronto has recently been estimated to be… Read More

Demographia Releases Worldwide Housing Affordability Report

House Values

Demographia recently released it’s 13th annual report on housing affordability in 406 metropolitan housing markets in nine countries: Australia, Canada, China (Hong Kong only), Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States. Demographia uses the following housing affordability ratings based on median house price divided by median household income: Affordable 3.0… Read More

The Offer: There’s More To It Than Just The Price

Fixating on price in real estate may cost you the deal: Sellers who decide that a specific dollar figure will buy their home and won’t budge from that bottom line may sell themselves short. Buyers who drop out of a transaction for a property they love because the seller’s counter-offer shocks them may be quitting… Read More

Top Six Mistakes Sellers Make

House for Sale

While a seller doesn’t control the real estate market, his actions can significantly contribute to how long their home takes to sell and how much it is sold for. Not Cleaning & De-Cluttering: It may seem obvious, but real estate agents everywhere are nodding their heads in agreement as they read this. Inviting potential buyers… Read More

Untangling the New Mortgage Rules

The Federal Government has made two recent changes to the eligibility rules for government-backed insured mortgages: Effective October 17, all borrowers seeking high ratio (less than 20% down payment) mortgages must qualify based upon the Bank of Canada’s five year fixed posted rate (also known as the ‘Mortgage Qualification Rate’ or MQR). Presently the MQR… Read More