New Condo Buyers: Beware of HST and Capital Gains Tax

When a new condo is purchased,  HST of 13% must be paid, as only resale real estate is exempt from HST. In most cases, the builder includes the HST in the purchase price, so the buyer doesn’t have to come up with a huge cash payment to CRA in addition to their down payment. In… Read More

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

What Problems Do Home Sellers Have To Disclose?

House Problems

When you’re in the process of buying a home, it can be very easy to get caught up in the esthetics of the structure — such as the marble countertops and hardwood floors. But elements such as foundations, wiring, plumbing, and heating and cooling systems are just as important, if not more so. So, if… Read More

Tree Wins Ontario Court Decision

Big Tree

Backyard disputes over property boundaries and trees growing on or near those boundaries are not uncommon. In what’s being called a “landmark decision” by the winning lawyer, an Ontario court has ruled that trees with trunks that grow across private property lines cannot be cut down without the consent of both landowners. “This ruling prevents… Read More

Canadian Cottage Owners Need A Succession Plan

Ah, the great Canadian cottage dream….lazy days in the summer relaxing by the lake….watching the kids swimming or learning how to water ski. Or enjoy your own ski chalet, hosting happy family dinner gatherings after a day on the slopes. Canadians love their recreational properties and demand for cottages and ski chalets keeps pushing up… Read More

Real Estate Fraud In Canada

Real Estate Fraud

March was Fraud Prevention Month in Canada, where governments and finance companies worked together to shine a light on various scams. This year First Canadian Title (FCT) says the “dirty little secret of real estate fraud” is when one family member commits it against another family member. FCT sells title insurance that covers real estate… Read More

Taxing Misconceptions

We’re stuck in an annual “money rut” that is not doing anyone any good. The emphasis on investing for future security and minimizing income tax is crammed into the first third of the year. During the remaining two-thirds of the year, consumers are encouraged to spend, especially during December. Is there any wonder that debt… Read More

Meaningful Change Coming To Home Inspection Industry

Today anyone can call themselves a home inspector in Ontario. That is a scary proposition since most consumers depend on the opinion of a home inspector before making one of the biggest purchases of their lives. More than 1,500 home inspectors operate in the province yet there are no mandatory training or technical standards for… Read More

5 Key Things To Consider When Buying a Resale Home

The decision to buy a house is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make. Here are five key things to keep in mind: 1. What is the seller telling you about the house? Sellers used to provide disclosure statements, telling buyers about the condition of the home and disclosing problems. These days, lawyers… Read More