For Buyers

Toronto Real Estate Board Ordered To Allow Online Access To Selling Prices

Seven years ago, the Competition Bureau challenged the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) policy of preventing member brokerages from making information on selling prices available online. TREB’s position was based upon privacy: many sellers do not wish the selling price of their home to be easily searchable online and, in fact, the Real Estate Council… Read More

Three Sanity-Saving Tips For Moving-In Day

No matter how intensely you prepare for moving day, you may still face problems if you overlook three sanity-defeating challenges. Can you and your partner really think clearly when swamped by distractions, exhaustion, and disorientation? If the ramped-up activity of moving day represents less pressure than a typical day for you, you’ll probably find your upcoming move-in… Read More

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

What To Do Before You List Your Home For Sale

Today’s market presents some very unique opportunities for buyers. With affordability near record highs and interest rates near record lows, many homeowners are making the decision to move up or on. Here a few simple tips to take into consideration when listing your home for sale. 1. Curb Appeal: Buyers make snap judgments about each… Read More

Toronto Market Remains Strong in June

For the first time this year, both sales and selling prices in the GTA were higher than the same month in 2017, ending six months of ‘lower than  last year’ comparisons. This is because the market has been steadily improving throughout this year, while the market fell steeply from May, 2017 onward, after the Ontario… Read More

Home Ownership: Marriage vs Common Law

Do you assume the house or cottage you share with your life partner belongs to both of you, or are you positive you understand who holds legal ownership? Assumptions can be expensive when it comes to money and real estate. “The garden is as much mine as yours,” yelled one homeowner to his spouse when… Read More

What You Should Know About Buying and Selling Real Estate If You’ve Been Out Of The Market For A Long Time

If you’ve owned your current home for many years, you may find that a lot has changed in the real estate world. Understanding what has changed can come in handy when you’re entering the market for the first time in a while. Here are a few of the key ways the real estate marketplace has… Read More

Co-Ownership Becoming Popular

As house prices and interest rates continue to rise, and millennials despair of ever being able to afford a house, the idea of sharing the cost of buying real estate is becoming more and more attractive. On the surface the idea is very appealing – pool your resources with one or more friends and you… Read More

Toronto Market Continues to Normalize

For the third month in a row, average selling prices have increased in the Greater Toronto area. While prices are still significantly lower than this time last year, they are very much in line with the historical trend that existed before the aberrational late 2016/early 2017 bubble came and went.   For example, year-to-date average… Read More

Mortgage Rate Games

Since last week, four of Canada’s ‘Big Six’ banks have raised their posted mortgage rates: TD Canada Trust by 45 bps (from 5.14% to 5.59%) and the other three by 10-30 bps. These rates aren’t ‘real’ in the sense that they are typically about 2% higher than the actual 5 year fixed rate that you… Read More

Millennials Look To Smaller Cities For Dream Homes

A recent ranking of the top “millennial hot spots” in Canada had some surprising results. The country’s biggest cities — Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal — didn’t make the top five, despite their standing as employment and cultural hubs. To determine the best Canadian cities for millennials, research by Point2Homes looked at nine factors: housing affordability,… Read More

Improve Your Chances of Obtaining a Home Mortgage

Securing financing to purchase a new home is one of the most important, exciting, and nerve-wracking financial steps most people will ever take. The government has tightened mortgage lending rules several times in recent years, and banks have become increasingly cautious about making mortgage commitments. Does this mean that you won’t be able to get… Read More

When Does The Seller Have To Move Out On Closing Day?

Most sellers and buyers are at least a bit confused about this question. The standard wording of the Purchase and Sale Agreement says that the Agreement “shall be completed by no later than 6:00 p.m. on the _____ day of ____________, 2011. Upon completion, vacant possession of the property shall be given to the buyer unless… Read More

Five Things You Should Know About Home Inspections

If you’re hiring someone to inspect the home you want to buy, or you’re a seller trying to find out if there are any hidden problems that need fixing before you put your home on the market, here are five things you need to know: 1. You can choose your home inspector. Your real estate… Read More

How To Keep Your Mortgage Approval Approved

You know how tough it is to qualify for a mortgage. Prove you’ve got a long-term job with ample income. A credit score to the moon. Your life’s savings as a down payment. More cash stashed away. A debt-to-income ratio to die for. For some, tax returns for the last two years. You’ve been there,… Read More

Capital Gains Tax And Your Principal Residence

Tax-free profit on the sale of your principal residence is alluring, but it can be elusive. Under the federal Income Tax Act, property owners are entitled to tax-free profit on the sale of their principal residence, provided they follow the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) guidelines. Capital gain is the net difference between the cost of… Read More

Buying Your First Condo

With more than 500,000 condominium units in Canada and one in four new homes built as condominiums, Canadian buyers need basic condominium buying skills to protect them in any market. Too often, condominium buyers fall prey to the “do nothing, just play” sales pitches inherent in lifestyle campaigns presented by condominium developers. Although “condo living”… Read More

How to Make Long-Term Real Estate Decisions

No longer is there an automatic last move for boomers—that is, being moved into a HOME. No longer is there a “last stage” of adult life that dictates an end to independence and to living in a home you love.  Aging in place, or staying in your own home as you age, even if you… Read More

Will New Mortgage Rules Disrupt the Market?

Last October, the federal government introduced mortgage rules that required anyone needing mortgage insurance (less than 20% down payment) to pass a ‘stress test’ to prove that they could afford the payments if mortgage rates were to increase. The Bank of Canada’s posted rate, approximately 2% higher than the rates actually available, was chosen as… Read More

Why You Should Use an Expert to Navigate the Home Buying Process

In a growing atmosphere of the do-it-yourself mentality, some wonder if they should take on the homebuying process on their own. It’s certainly been done but, more often than not, homebuyers turn to the experts when it comes time to making what will often be their most expensive purchase. Here are just a few reasons why it’s a… Read More

Worst Time Of The Year May Be The Best for Buyers

Why is the worst time of the year, often the best time for real estate buyers? The holiday season and the following “worst weather” months are widely considered the worst time of the year for selling or buying real estate. In reality, these distraction-packed months – November to February – carry benefits for determined buyers…. Read More

Financial Don’ts When Getting Ready To Buy A Home

If you’re in the process of buying a home, you’ve probably already met with a lender who advised you on what to do and what not to do during the escrow process. But if you’re just getting ready to buy or plan on doing so in the near future, following a few financial tips can… Read More

Changes Coming To Multiple Representation

Real estate agents represent seller clients through Listing Agreements, and represent buyer clients through Buyer Representation Agreements. These contracts obligate real estate agents to: Always work in the best interests of the client; Protect the confidentiality of the client’s personal information; Disclose all information that could affect the client’s decisions; and Carry out the client’s… Read More

Your Dream Home Wish List

There are millions of homes for sale. How do you know which is the right one for you?  The key to getting just the right fit is to develop a wish list. From the lifestyle you want to live to the style of home that best fits your needs, a wish list is a great… Read More

Toronto Market Continues To Adjust

The increase in inventory levels that began in April, pursuant to the Ontario government’s announcement of it’s 16 point “Fair Housing Plan” aimed at taming Toronto’s runaway price bubble, has continued in June. We now have 2 1/2 months’ supply of homes for sale, as compared with about 1/2 month’s supply in March. This approximate… Read More

Multiple Representation in Selling and Buying Homes

When a home is sold, there are typically two real estate agents involved: one representing the seller (the ‘listing agent’) and one representing the buyer (the ‘buyer agent’). Another common situation is where one real estate agent represents both the buyer and seller, for example, when a buyer without an agent comes to an open… Read More

Resistance To Change When Buying Or Selling A Home

Resistance to change is common for buyers and sellers. This may seem surprising since both buying and selling mean seeking out a move with many related changes, but resistance is common none the less. Buying and selling real estate involve many complex decisions packed full of real estate terminology, all of which are new territory for most… 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?

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

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

Buying a Home For Your Child

It used to be big deal if Dad bought you a car when you were old enough to drive – but now some parents are buying homes for their kids. It’s a great investment and saves them from paying rent, whether they are attending college or university or are striking out into the working world…. Read More

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

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

What Problems Do Home Sellers Have To Disclose?

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

Why You Should Be Investing in Rental Property

Owning a rental property has its benefits. The supplemental income can help offset your mortgage payments and with the growing trend for renting in and around Downtown Toronto, the demand is higher for rental suites. There are tax benefits too, you may be able to deduct from your tax expenses: mortgage interest property taxes insurance… Read More

Demographia Releases Worldwide Housing Affordability Report

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

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

Tree Wins Ontario Court Decision

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

Finding an affluent neighbourhood to live.

Are you someone who wants to be steps to entertainment and fine dining, or are you an art lover? Well, Bloor West Village has its very own shopping district offering both residents and visitors a diverse selection of specialty clothing stores to exquisite restaurants and cafes. This community has it all! If you’re interested in… Read More

Will New Mortgage Rules Slow The Toronto Market?

As of October 17, new mortgage qualification rules will come into effect. These new rules will make it more difficult for many homebuyers to qualify for a mortgage by requiring all insured mortgages to be underwritten based on the Bank of Canada’s Mortgage Qualifying Rate (MQR). The MQR was introduced in 2010 in response to… Read More

How’s Your Sense of Design?

Design is all around us. In our homes, everything from structural elements like roofs and room layout to hardware for doors and sinks is designed. Some argue that the best design is invisible. Bad design calls attention to itself and may frustrate or injure users. When you walk through your house, condominium, or cottage, can… Read More

Making Moving Simple and Organized: It Can be Done!

For many people moving is one big headache and ranks as high on our list of fun as getting a tooth pulled without Novocain. Yet when you’re buying and selling real estate, whether it’s your primary residence or an investment property, moving is part of the job. Decorator Kathryn Bechen has moved 11 times in her… Read More

Essential 2016 Home Buying Skills

Buying real estate is one of the most complex undertakings of your life. Success is much easier to live with than failure, so decide from the start what “success” means to you in terms of purchasing real estate. Then, be prepared to learn everything necessary to achieve it. Savvy buyers take two approaches when preparing… Read More

Get Your Outdoor Living Area Ready For Summer

As with the inside of your home, outdoor living areas need attention and care to keep them looking their best. While you may not need to dust or vacuum your deck and furniture, there are a few maintenance chores that will get the warm-weather living off to a good start. Preparing Your Deck Before you… Read More

Five Pitfalls That Keep Buyers From Finding The Right Home

Buying a home is like searching for a mate. You’ll go on many first dates and in the end, the one that has most but maybe not all of the characteristics that you want, will win your heart. However, first-time buyers and sometimes even serial homebuyers are disappointed by how long the process takes. Yet… Read More

Staging a Home For The Five Senses

Today’s sellers are on the hunt for creative ways to ramp up their marketing. It is a necessity in today’s tough market to have several tricks up your sleeve. The idea is nothing new, but more and more sellers are beginning to discover the power of “home staging.” In today’s article, we will focus on… Read More

Five Pitfalls That Keep Buyers From Finding The Right Home

Buying a home is like searching for a mate. You’ll go on many first dates and in the end, the one that has most but maybe not all of the characteristics that you want, will win your heart. However, first-time buyers and sometimes even serial home buyers are disappointed by how long the process takes…. Read More

Ten Essential Steps to Buying a Home

You’re ready to take the leap and buy a home. If this is your first time, you may want to know what to do to make the process go more smoothly. Here are ten steps you’ll be going through to buy your next home. Check Your Credit Reports and Scores – You get one free… Read More

Five Ways Bargain Hunting For Homes Can Backfire

It’s natural to want to save money when you’re making a purchase as large as a home. You want to buy the best home in the best neighborhood at the best price, and to do that, you may think you have to shop in the bargain bin. FSBOs (for sale by owner,) foreclosures, and short… Read More

Improve Your Chances of Obtaining a Home Mortgage

Securing financing to purchase a new home is one of the most important, exciting, and nerve-wracking financial steps most people will ever take. Up until the financial crisis in 2008, mortgage requirements were quite relaxed, but since then lenders have become more stringent; loan applicants must now meet more demanding requirements to obtain a mortgage…. Read More

4 Ways Your Location Can Boost Or Bust Your Home Value

A few years back, “the Starbucks effect” became a legitimate term to explain the higher real estate values associated with living close to the coffee house. But being within easy striking distance of a Grande Skinny Vanilla Latte isn’t the only thing that can help boost your home value. Then again, not every location can… Read More

New Minimum Down Payment Rules Effective February 15, 2016

The new minimum down payment rules come into effect on February 15, 2016, and will affect homebuyers who:  are buying a home in the $500,000-$1,000,000 price range; and  wish to make the minimum down payment possible. For homes up to $500,000 there is no change – the minimum down payment with an insured mortgage is… Read More

Land Transfer Tax Explained

Purchasers in most large Canadian centres can add Land Transfer Taxes to their list of closing costs. Unless you live in Alberta, Saskatchewan, or rural Nova Scotia, land transfer taxes (or Property Purchase Taxes) are a basic fact of life. These taxes, levied on properties that are changing hands, are the responsibility of the purchaser. Depending… Read More

Understand The Full Costs Of Buying A Home

When you’re looking to buy a home, it’s easy to forget that the purchase price is just one of many costs associated with ownership. These costs can add up and take an unexpected chunk out of your budget. So it’s important to understand the full cost of buying a property. PRE-CLOSING COSTS Home inspection Getting… Read More

Things To Consider When Looking For A Recreational Property

You picture yourself stepping outside your chalet in the crisp morning air, clicking into your bindings and skiing down to the lift to catch the opening run of the day. Or, climbing aboard your snowmobile for an exhilarating day on the trails. For many Ontarians, these idyllic moments are reason enough to own a recreational… Read More

CMHC – Toronto Housing Marking is “Problematic”

The CMHC publishes quarterly reports on the Canadian housing market, in which they evaluate the extent to which there are “problematic housing market conditions” in Canada’s 15 major urban centres. Click here to view their latest report. For CMHC, the term ‘problematic’ encompasses four factors related to the dynamics of the market: Overheating – that… Read More

Don’t Fall For the Wrong Home

When you go shopping for homes in the fall, you have some advantages. Buyer traffic has slowed with the start of schools. Sellers who’ve had their homes on the long hot summer market are weary of trying to sell their homes and more willing to drop prices. Your REALTOR® has more time for you, and… Read More

Canada’s Real Estate Party Isn’t Over Yet

A flurry of new economic forecasts say that despite the impact of falling oil prices and fear of condo overbuilding, Canada’s real estate markets will remain stable in most regions through 2016, and will experience a “soft landing” in Vancouver and Toronto once interest rates begin to rise. “The risk of a market crash is… Read More

How Unfolding Events in China Are Likely to Impact Canadian Mortgage Rates

Dave Larock is an independent mortgage planner. Click on his article below to see why the ongoing turmoil in China is likely to keep our interest rates very low for the foreseeable future. This suggests that our hot real estate market isn’t likely to slow down any time soon. How Unfolding Events in China Are… Read More

Regrets? Canadian Home Buyers Have a Few

With a homeownership rate of about 70 per cent, Canadians continue to show their faith in real estate as an investment. Surveys show that most young people are hoping they’ll be able to buy their own home. But among recent buyers, there are a few regrets — not about homeownership as an investment, but about… Read More

The Top Three Reasons Buyers Choose The Homes They Buy

You may think buyers will love your home because of your extraordinary taste in home furnishings or the incredible job you did with your home addition. Nope, it’s not the décor or the vast add-on that gets them to commit, although they may help. There are three top reasons a buyer chooses to buy a… Read More

Should You Stay Or Should You Move?

Should you stay or should you go? It’s the premise of the popular HGTV program “Love it or List it” and also a dilemma for countless homeowners today. Many of us can relate to the issue raised on the show. But we don’t all have $100,000 and a team of designers to make our old… Read More

What Sellers Should Know About CMA’s

Whether you are buying or selling a home, your real estate professional can give you a snapshot of the local market known as the competitive or comparative market analysis or CMA. These are convenient reports that help sellers choose a listing price and buyers to make competitive offers on a given home. CMA’s are generated… Read More

Five Smart Homebuyer Strategies

We’ve had a sellers’ market, with far more buyers than sellers, for quite a few years in the Toronto market. During a sellers’ market, buyers concede the upper hand to sellers and are more willing to accept higher prices and terms. When homes are in short supply, buyers don’t have the luxury of taking their… Read More

Higher Prices Don’t Deter First-time Buyers

A new survey of first-time buyers in Canada reveals they are more financially savvy than the general population, well-educated, employed and married or in a common-law relationship. Most of them are millennials (34 or younger) and they share the desire of their parents to own their homes. The survey, commissioned by mortgage insurer Genworth Canada,… Read More

Buyers’ Advice: Who’s Got Your Back?

If you’re like some buyers, you may be shopping for a home to buy without using a real estate agent of your own. You don’t trust agents, and you want to shop on your own time at your own pace without some agent pressuring you to buy something you don’t want. They’re just salespeople, right?… Read More

Getting Value Out Of Condominium Amenities

With dozens of condominium buildings competing for buyers in Canadian cities, building amenities have become an important part of developers’ marketing plans. In the first condominium buildings, amenities were pretty much limited to indoor pools and a generic “party room”. Now buyers are looking for fitness centres and entertainment lounges. Developers are marketing lifestyles, not… Read More

More Canadians Are Buying Income Properties

A new student condominium project in Kelowna, B.C. is being marketed as “this year’s hot investment” and “a perfect storm” for property investors. “While most Canadians traditionally invest their funds in GICs, bonds or stocks, your Retirement Savings Plan could include an investment property giving you a far greater return on your investment than a… Read More

Wood-frame Building Changes Create Opportunity And Controversy

A change to Ontario’s Building Code means wood frame buildings can now be built six storeys high, up from the previous limit of four storeys. The move follows similar changes in British Columbia and Quebec, and Alberta may soon follow. The Ontario government says the new regulations “can help make building a home more affordable… Read More

5 Home Projects Only A Professional Should Do

It’s easy for homeowners to get caught up in the world of Pinterest and do-it-yourself blogs. While unique, custom projects can be a great way to personalize or spruce up your home, some projects are better left to professional contractors. Next time a friend or client has a brilliant idea to attempt one of these… Read More

First Time Buyers Cope Without Parents’ Help

When it comes to collecting money for a down payment, the kids are all right — without their parents’ help. That’s the conclusion of a recent study by the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals (CAAMP), which found that since 2010, only 17 per cent of first-time buyers had help from their parents for the… Read More

Toronto Market Remains in High Gear

The Toronto area market surged upward again in October with both prices and sales significantly higher than in October 2013. The inventory of homes for sale was again lower than last year, continuing the higher sales/lower inventory trend that we have seen every month this year as compared with 2013. The blazing hot sellers’ market… Read More

Victoria Lofts

Welcome to Victoria Lofts, an award winning hard loft conversion of the historic Victoria-Royce Presbyterian Church in the sought after Junction neighbourhood. This boutique Heritage building has only 34 units, each one uniquely designed by architect Paul Oberst to blend the 19th century Romanesque Revival architectural features with luxury contemporary finishes. Suite #310 has a… Read More

Small Canadian Cities Tackle Big Infrastructure Issues

“I’m reminded of a meeting I had with a group of mayors not long ago,” Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynn recently told a meeting of the Association of Municipalities Ontario (AMO). “One of them gave a fairly long presentation about how their community needed an investment in infrastructure — then in the very next breath said,… Read More

Canada’s Home Builders Say Taxes Are Putting Homeowners At Risk

Canada’s home builders recently visited Ottawa with a simple message for politicians: taxes on new home purchases are putting all homeowners at risk. The Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) says the hard costs of building a home have increased by about 3.5 per cent during the last 10 years, but that municipal development charges have… Read More

How Will First-timer Buyers Afford a Home?

A recent poll by Vancouver-based credit union Vancity asked potential first-time home buyers how they would get the cash for their down payment. Some said they would take on a part-time job, some thought they would try buying lottery tickets; some suggested they would get married; and others said they would wait for an inheritance…. Read More

Canadian Cities Most Resilient For Investors, Says Report

A city’s resilience is based on it ability to avoid or bounce back from an adverse event, says international property group Grosvenor, based in the U.K. “Canadian cities are the best bet for long-term real estate investment, with Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary taking the first, second and third-place spots respectively,” says the company in a… Read More

Where You Work Should Help You Decide Where To Buy

If you’re entering into the real estate market for the first time, you’ll hear the old adage: location, location, location. That’s three of the key factors… I’m kidding but, location is, indeed, a very important concern. However, many buyers think location is most important because of the surrounding area. So, if the neighborhood is nice,… Read More

Home Decorating For Mass Appeal

The choices you make may affect the sale of your home. One of the advantages of owning your own home is the ability to decorate it and make structural changes the way you like. However, when it comes time to list and sell that same home, those changes may help or hurt you depending on… Read More

Considering Your First Condo?

  With more than 500,000 condominium units in Canada and one in four new homes built as condominiums, Canadian buyers need basic condominium buying skills to protect them in any market. Too often, condominium buyers fall prey to the “do nothing, just play” sales pitches inherent in lifestyle campaigns presented by condominium developers. Although “condo… Read More

Steel Framing Attracts New Interest In Canada

If you played with Lego and Meccano as a child, and have a hand drill and a bag of screws, you can build yourself a new custom home. Well, you’ll also need the backing of the Bone Structure System, a light steel assembly system that is being introduced across Canada after its successful launch in… Read More

How Housing in Canada is Different Than in The U.S.

  When Canadians visit the U.S., or Americans come to Canada, everything looks familiar but feels somehow different. It’s the same in the two countries’ housing markets – there are enough similarities that it feels normal, but drill down a little deeper and you’ll find that the systems have some fundamental differences. When the sub-prime… Read More

Investors Watch Echo-Boomers For Real Estate Trends

In the City of Toronto, there are still construction cranes everywhere, after more than a decade of frantic development. More high-rise buildings are under construction there than anywhere else in North America. Most of the buildings are mixed-use condominium and retail buildings, but there are also several new office buildings underway. It’s part of a… Read More

Canadian Renovation Spending Will Stay Strong For Years

If you’re getting your house ready to sell, chances are good that you’ll be spending some money to fix it up and make it more attractive to buyers. If you just bought a house, you’re likely going to spend some money to decorate it and change a few things that you don’t like. When the… 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

Worst Time Of The Year May Be The Best For Buyers

Why is the worst time of the year often the best time for real estate buyers? The holiday season and the following “worst weather” months are widely considered the worst time of the year for selling or buying real estate. In reality, these distraction-packed months – November to February – carry benefits for determined buyers…. 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

Province To Announce Public Review of Building Process

The Ontario government is set to announce details of a review of the municipal planning and development process Thursday that the GTA building industry hopes will finally help area residents understand the escalating impact of provincial intensification policies. Two consultation papers — one aimed at streamlining the land-use planning process and the role of the… Read More

5 Key Things To Ask When Buying a New Home

Many people will buy their first home from a builder, whether it is a detached home, townhouse or condominium unit. Here are the five questions you need to ask to make sure you don’t make a mistake. What is the builder’s reputation? This may be the most important research you can do before buying from… Read More

Canada’s Census Reveals Changing Housing Market

To see how Canada’s housing market is evolving, take a look at the National Household Survey (NHS), part of the 2011 Census that was recently released by Statistics Canada. The survey shows that while Canada’s homeownership rate has remained at about 69 per cent during the last decade, the market is shifting. Condominiums are taking… Read More

Buyer’s Comfort Zone May Be a Danger Zone

The greatest obstacles to success with any goal can be our advantages. These comfort zones can be dangerous distractions when advancing toward a goal to buy a home or cottage, or to achieve any significant change in life. Your advantages can represent limitations since they offer only familiar possibilities and obvious opportunities. These aren’t necessarily… Read More

Never Sign Rental Contracts At The Door

Ontario consumers will get stronger protection and more rights when dealing with door-to-door sales of water heaters. Bill 55, which passed second reading this month, will give you 20 days to change your mind after signing a water heater rental contract at the door. Suppliers can’t charge fees to remove equipment installed in that time…. Read More

Dogs, Cats and Real Estate

Canadians love their pets – really love them. About 57 per cent of Canadians own a pet, according to a recent poll by Ipsos Public Affairs. That’s not as many as in the U.S., where 67 per cent of households have a pet, but it’s still a lot animals. In Canada, the Ipsos poll found… Read More

Why Do-It-Yourself Real Estate Isn’t Wise

I am all for do-it-yourself projects. If you can save a little money and learn how to do something that will be a useful skill in the future… I say, go for it! But not all projects should be tossed into the pool of do-it-yourself (DIY) tasks. There are a number of reasons why some… Read More

Ottawa’s New Rules Creating Hot Market For Homes Under $1 Million

The hottest new Canadian housing-market niche isn’t stacked urban townhouses or suburban condo towers, but homes of any kind priced just shy of $1-million, since federal government rules began favouring homebuyers paying in the six-figure range over bidders that break the million-dollar mark. The market for homes under $1-million has become “red hot,” agents say,… Read More

Low Interest Rate Party May Be Ending

The interest rate party for borrowers is almost over. After almost five years of historically low rates, we’ve started to see some upward movement in the cost of money. Most people watch the central banks for indications that rates are about to take off. But that’s not where the real action is. It takes place… Read More

Be Careful About Repair Clauses in Home Sale Deals

Most home sale deals are conditional on the buyer being satisfied with an inspection. If the inspector finds problems that are big enough, the buyer usually wants them corrected in order to go through with the deal. As the following case shows, if you are not careful about how you word the repair clause, you… Read More

Junction Gem

Stunning Junction reno retaining traditional elegance character. The open concept gourmet kitchen has granite counters, stainless steel appliances, centre island and heated floors. Walk from the dining room through French doors to a large deck and beautifully landscaped private back yard oasis. The spacious living room has a handsome brick fireplace, French doors and overlooks… Read More

False Grow Op Rumour Kills House Sale

If you learn that your home was once owned by a drug dealer, must you disclose that to a potential buyer when you sell? Donald and Jodi Dietrich bought a home in Winterbourne, Ont. in 2001. They were told by a neighbour several years later that an earlier owner was a drug dealer. In 2007,… Read More

Buyers Must Check Carefully For Defects

Buyers must be very careful to check for minor defects in a home by themselves, as they may not be protected if they find out about it later. One reader complained that after closing, they learned that one of the mirrored closet doors was cracked. When they had first inspected the home, the closet doors… Read More

Buyers Can Lose Deposit Even If Seller Suffers No Damages

If a house deal falls apart because the buyer can’t close and the seller then sells the property to someone else for more, who gets the deposit? Here’s what can happen: In early September 2003, Shankar Iyer and Bala Ramachandran agreed to pay $289,000 for a new home from Pleasant Developments Inc. They accompanied their… Read More

HomeVerified – A New Information Tool For Homebuyers

A new type of home history report is now available on the market, and it has the potential to become an industry standard in every residential house transaction. The report, compiled by HomeVerified (, a company based in London, is available for homes in every major municipality in Canada. Distribution and sales of the reports… Read More

European Housing Concept Promotes ‘Happier, Healthier Living’

Active House, a Danish concept that aims to make houses more comfortable and healthier as well as kinder on the environment, has come to Canada in a 20-unit townhouse development in downtown Toronto. “There are people out there building single homes who are driven toward using net zero energy, for example, but they are not… Read More

Five Pitfalls That Keep Buyers From Finding The Right Home

Buying a home is like searching for a mate. You’ll go on many first dates and in the end, the one that has most but maybe not all of the characteristics that you want, will win your heart. However, first-time buyers and sometimes even serial homebuyers are disappointed by how long the process takes. Yet… Read More

The Pros and Cons of Rent To Own

The changes to the mortgage rules announced by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty last July are making it more difficult for first time buyers to get approved for a mortgage. Other buyers may have good credit but not enough of a down payment. At the same time, landlords are looking for good tenants to rent their… Read More

A Good Time To Buy Income Properties

If the real estate market is headed for a correction, then it presents a historic opportunity for buyers of investment properties. The main reason is that interest rates should continue to remain at historic low levels, even as prices fall. The key thing to remember is that the property must have positive cash flow. Click… Read More

The Appraiser Needs Appraising

The appraisal industry works a lot like the home inspections industry. There isn’t a single set of standards. The skills required to be an appraiser depend on the association an appraiser belongs to. Some associations require a university degree as a first step. Others a business degree. And some don’t require a degree at all…. Read More

CSA May Get Involved in Training & Certification of Home Inspectors

The Canadian Standards Association Group and the National Home Inspector Certification Council have agreed to explore the possibility of having the CSA get involved in training, testing and certification of home inspectors from coast to coast. The two groups are in “very preliminary discussions” to see if they can build “a strong, credible, consistent and… Read More

Don’t Just worry about Grow Houses ~ Flowers can do Damage too!

Everyone is concerned about marihuana grow houses and the damage that they can do, but what about somebody just growing flowers? To a large extent, it’s much the same. The area in the home is dense with flowers. They get watered and they get sunlight 9either real or artificial), but the result is the same…. Read More

Canada’s Recreational Property Trends

“Canadians love a good deal, and there’s no question that there are still some to be had in recreational property markets across the country,” says Elton Ash, executive vice-president of a Brokerage in Western Canada. Canadians also love their cottages, cabins and chalets, and while the recreational market has never slowed down dramatically during the… Read More

Will Toronto Prices Rival Vancouver’s in Ten Years?

Toronto could see house prices hit the stratospheric levels of Vancouver’s within a decade unless ways are found to cool demand or boost the supply of single-family homes, says one of the city’s leading housing experts. Too much concern has focused on Toronto’s condo boom and fears it’s about to go bust when the bigger… Read More

Ontario Homebuyers Fed Up With Bidding Wars

The Real Estate Council of Ontario is feeling the heat from Toronto’s hot housing market with a surge in calls from potential homebuyers upset they’ve lost out — or won — high-stakes bidding wars. About 30 per cent of the 15,000 inquiries the council has had in the last year are from house hunters overwhelmed… Read More

And Now… For the REAL Spring Market

The Toronto area market has been unusually hot during the first 2 1/2 months of this year, due to a combination of low inventory of homes for sale combined with continued very low mortgage interest rates. In February, prices were 11% higher than at the same time in 2011, and so far in March, while… Read More

Stunning Two Bedroom Suite Overlooking Christie Pits Park

With 9 ft ceilings and over 940 sq ft of living space, this sun-filled suite has panoramic views of Christie Pits park from the balcony and from all windows. The open concept plan features a well appointed kitchen with granite counters and stainless steel appliances, as well as generous living and dining areas. There are… Read More

Ottawa Urged to Change Mortgage Rules Again

Ottawa is being urged to drop its warnings about consumer debt in favour of more concrete measures to stop more borrowers from getting in over their heads. With the Bank of Canada expected to keep interest rates on hold for several more months and household debt already at record highs, leading economist Craig Alexander says… Read More

New High Park Area Condo Projects Moving Ahead… Slowly

1844 Bloor St West Anyone who drives along Bloor Street past High Park on a regular basis will have noticed the clump of abandoned and boarded up homes on the north side between Oakmount and Pacific. A plan to demolish these homes and build a condo building has been evolving over the past five years… Read More

Mortgage fees: Understand What You Are Paying For

A mortgage is usually the largest financial commitment a person will make. The interest is far more than any other debt, yet it is troubling that many of the details involved in mortgage applications are poorly explained — if at all — to those applying for the loan. More  via   There are several… Read More

Serial Moving – The Costs Are Very Large

Is there a bigger wealth destroyer than selling and buying houses? The transaction costs will kill you every time. “You are depleting your wealth with every move,” says Vince Gaetano, a principal at Monster Mortgage. Just to be clear, we are not talking about people who fix homes themselves, live in them and then flip… Read More

Four West Toronto Parking Pads Approved – But Not Easily

A parking pad is a parking pad is a parking pad. So argued York West Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti when Parkdale-High Park Councillor Sarah Doucette moved motions to approve three area residents’ parking pad requests, but deny another’s. “I don’t understand how some houses get parking pads and others don’t. I don’t understand politicians who say… Read More

Never Buy A House Without A Home Inspection

Ontario’s hot housing market continues to spark bidding wars and, in many cases, buyers are being advised by agents to make “clean” offers to get the house they want. By “clean”, the agent means an offer without any conditions in order to make it more acceptable to the seller. Big mistake. I constantly hear stories… Read More

Aging Boomers, Immigration To Boost Demand For Housing In Canada

Canada’s rate of homeownership is expected to increase and the future for condominiums looks bright according to an updated analysis of future Canadian housing demand. By 2036, there will be more one-person households in Canada than any other category, due to the aging of the baby boomer generation. But the country is counting on immigration… Read More

Tank, Tankless or Thankless

Is going “tankless” as liberating as it sounds? Is owning a tankless water heater a solid indication that you’re saving money while reducing environmental damage? Your answer to these questions may depend on whether you own or are buying a newly-constructed home versus living in or purchasing an existing, decades-old property. Conventional water heaters heat… Read More

All Time Low Mortgage Rate

It was the mortgage shot heard around the country. The Bank of Montreal fired the opening salvo in a mortgage rate war by offering a 5-year fixed rate of 2.99 per cent, the lowest 5-year rate in modern Canadian history. Friday, other banks starting striking back, with TD Canada Trust and Royal Bank cutting 4-year… Read More

Love The House, Hate The Traffic Noise — There Is Hope!

Depending on the location, whether you’re shopping for a new home or trying to sell your current residence, one of the biggest challenges is trying to reduce street noise. Tony Sola, founder of cautions homeowners and buyers about too high expectations when it comes to reducing traffic noise. “Too many times I have seen… Read More

How Should You Take Title On Your New Home?

If you buy a home with your spouse or another person this year, you will have to decide how to take title together. It can be either as a joint tenancy or tenancy in common. It is important that you first understand the main difference between these two options before making your decision. In a… Read More

Whither Goest The Toronto Real Estate Market?

Our real estate market continues to over perform relative to the rest of the world and, over the past several months, we have been bombarded with predictions about the future of house prices for Canada in general and Toronto in particular. The range of these predictions is really quite staggering, considering that they are all… Read More

Canada’s Low Interest Rates: Good News and Bad News

Canada’s mortgage interest rates have been near historically low levels for years, and because of current global economic conditions, rates are not expected to rise significantly until 2013. If you’re shopping for a mortgage, that’s great news. But an extended period of low interest rates is taking its toll on the economy. Bank of Canada… Read More

Residents Concerned About Roncesvalles Village Development

A proposed development on Howard Park Avenue in Roncesvalles Village is just too big, neighbours say. A collection of properties, mainly auto shops along Howard Park between Roncesvalles Avenue and Dundas St. W., is the site of a proposed 10-story development. via   This is one of three developments struggling to satisfy the concerns… Read More

Learn From Others’ Financial Mistakes & Avoid Your Own

The same financial mistakes that are playing out on a global scale can undermine us as individuals, families, and small businesses. Would you rather make the same financial errors yourself, or simply avoid the mistakes of others? When you watch, read, or listen to news of the European financial crisis, don’t just shake your head… Read More

What Canadians Want in Housing

Winter (and the threat of it) drives Canadians south of the border, not displeasure with their communities or way of life. Why don’t we build more housing attached to covered areas like shopping malls, entertainment centres, and urban underground shopping concourses so we can stay home and get out in all weather? Why aren’t Canadians… Read More

West Toronto Churches Being Converted Into Condos

There are several examples of  turn-of-the-century churches receiving a new lease on life throughout the High Park and Roncesvalles neighbourhoods. In one block of Annette Street alone, there are two places of worship whose interiors have been completely transformed. Click here to view the full article. via   Churches becoming condos. Surely a sign… Read More

Flooded Basement Leads To A Lawsuit – Who’s Liable?

Don and Louise Beauchamp sold their home in November, 2007 and a week before closing in early 2008 the basement flooded. They paid $1,649 to dry out the rug and replace the underpad, but did not tell the buyers. The Beauchamps thought this was a “one off” occurrence and since they had fixed the problem… Read More

Housing Evolution Driving Canadian Real Estate Price Appreciation

Billions spent in new construction, renovation, and infill over the past decade have contributed to a serious upswing in the calibre of Canada’s housing stock, propping up residential average price in the country’s major centres, according to a report released today by RE/MAX. Since 2000, the value of a Canadian home has doubled, rising from… Read More

Conditions in Offers Must Be Taken Seriously

The law says that every condition must be exercised in good faith. You can’t just say “I changed my mind” and walk away from a deal. But in practice, it is not so easy to understand, as we see in the following two cases. Click here to view the full article. via   Many… Read More

Variable or Fixed Rate Mortgage? It’s No Contest

Variable-rate mortgages are so over. Go fixed rate if you’re arranging or renewing a mortgage, and think hard about the four-year term. If you take in all the recent developments in the mortgage market, this is the most logical strategy. Variable-rate mortgages are being sold at the prime rate in many cases right now, which… Read More

Childhood Memories Inspire Christmas Window Displays in The Junction

For the second year, The Junction Business Improvement Area (BIA), of which McGuinty is executive director, will present a Santa in The Junction event, this time boasting as many as 14 magical window displays on Saturday, Nov. 26. Except these storefront windows won’t feature any mechanics, but rather children from the Creative Children’s Dance Centre… Read More

The Joys of Homeownership

Today’s experts spout off the latest statistics about long-term wealth, home values, and interest rates, yet there’s a much more sentimental side to homeownership. In fact, many home buyers are drawn to homeownership for these warm and fuzzy reasons. Owning a home allows you to put down roots, both figuratively and literally. On one hand… Read More

HST Does NOT Apply To The Price of a Resale Home!

An Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) survey reveals that confusion about the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) and buying a resale home has not decreased in the last year despite efforts by the provincial government and real estate industry to educate the public. The survey conducted by Ipsos Reid shows that 58 per cent of Ontarians… Read More

Toronto Housing Market a Shining Star

Still crazy after all these years. The Toronto real estate market has risen steadily since the mid 1990’s – except for a brief decline   in late 2008/early 2009 that was followed by a rapid rebound – and continues to be a bright spot in the world economy. Despite all the bad news and market uncertainty through… Read More

Toronto Condo Market – Too Hot To Handle?

Is there truth to the notion that  you can have too much of a good thing? According to a new report released by Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Research, this is exactly the case with the hot condo market in Toronto, who speculate that this rising star will crash and burn.The authors of the… Read More

Humber Cinema Closes Again

The house lights have dimmed yet again at the Humber Cinema. But it’s unclear if the movie theatre at Bloor and Jane Streets is facing a temporary setback, or has been shuttered for good.A sign on the door of the Humber on Oct. 17 indicated the theatre, which had re-opened last April after sitting idle since… Read More

Stylish Open Concept Condo Apartment at Yonge & St. Clair

Welcome to The Clairmont, a boutique building providing style and elegance in a vibrant midtown location close to Yonge and St. Clair and surrounded by upscale residential neighbourhoods. It’s just a short walk to designer shops, fine dining, cafes, cinemas and services – to be entertained in every way possible. This stylish one bedroom suite… Read More

What’s Your Lucky House Number?

The influx of Chinese buyers in Canada’s major cities has given the housing market a boost, but created a controversy over street addresses. A University of British Columbia study says that in neighbourhoods with a high percentage of Chinese residents, houses with street numbers ending in four are sold at a 2.2 per cent discount… Read More

Bidding Wars Erupt in Rental Market

The market for rental condos is becoming almost as hot as Toronto’s resale housing market with bidding wars breaking out among tenants trying to snag prime units. While some 21,000 units are now under construction in Toronto — 5,707 of them in the downtown core — demand for rental condominiums continues to far outstrip supply,… Read More

Don’t Misjudge a Property by Its Street Face

For real estate buyers, the process of purchasing a home, or cottage, can be overwhelming. Many purchasers, particularly first-time or first-time-in-a-long-time buyers, are relieved that at least part of the buying process is easy—viewing properties. That’s where they make a big mistake. It seems easy: Look at a house from the street, and you either… Read More

Land Transfer Taxes Unfair to Home Buyers

REALTORS are no fans of land transfer taxes, which are paid by home buyers when they purchase a home. We strongly believe that home ownership is something that all levels of government should be encouraging, not discouraging with punitive taxes directly targeted at home buying. That’s why we are calling for governments to re-think where… Read More

Six Ways To Make Sure You Buy The Right House

A year ago I wrote the most common mistake home buyers make is buying with their heart instead of their head — usually because they panic while involved in a stressful negotiation for which they are unprepared. The result is that buyers pay more than they should, or are disappointed later when they find defects… Read More

Investors Dominating Toronto Condo Market

With Toronto’s condo market among the hottest in the world right now — almost 68,000 new units are now in the planning stages or under construction across the GTA — investors are cashing in big time on what looks like a sure bet compared to battered stock markets. Some 45 to 60 per cent of… Read More

Canadian Housing Market Outperforms the Developed World

A Scotia Economics report says Canada’s housing market is cooling, but at a slower pace than most other markets in the developed world. Scotiabank’s latest real-estate outlook said Tuesday that Canada is showing a resilience that few other countries have been able to maintain. “In the majority of the major markets we track in North… Read More

Toronto’s Goldilocks Real Estate Market Continues… For Now

From early 2009 until early this year, the real estate market in Toronto (and in Canada generally) was very strong. Interest rates were at all time record low levels and the economy was improving, albeit rather slowly. There were warnings (sometimes quite shrill) about the likelihood that real estate prices would fall, both because interest… Read More

Will Canadian Mortgage Rules Be Tightened Again?

With Canadian interest rates now on hold for some time to come, the government may move to tighten mortgage rules again to keep the already hot housing market from bubbling over, says the chief economist of Canada’s biggest bank. “As we go forward in an environment of lower rates for longer now, we may see… Read More

34 Southport Condo Meeting Early October

A community consultation meeting to discuss a proposal to build a 25- and 30-storey condo and 14 townhouses on Southport Street will likely proceed the night of Oct. 5 with extended community notification.Etobicoke York Community Council this week endorsed a city staff recommendation to schedule the meeting for lands at 34-50 Southport St. Click here… Read More

Termites Spreading Through Toronto

Termites are causing an estimated $120 million in property damage each year in the GTA by eating through wood structures and dropping neighbourhood property values by up to 25%, according to the Canadian Concrete Masonry Producers Association. Citywide, the infestation has made its way from the north Beach area to East York, along the Lakeshore… Read More

New Homes Are Getting Smaller and Greener

Canadian home buyers want smaller homes with multipurpose rooms and energy saving features, but don’t take away that two-car garage. These were some of the tips that members of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association recently heard from Tim Bailey, general manager of Avid Canada, a research and consulting firm. Bailey presented some results from an annual… Read More

10 Tips For Those Who Have Decided To Buy

Wanting to buy a home and deciding to buy a home are two different things. The first is a desire or a dream. The second is commitment to achieve the goal. Do you want to buy, or have you decided to buy? What are you planning when you think of purchasing real estate, whether it’s a… Read More

Is Toronto Due for a Condo Market Correction?

A condominium-building boom is lifting Canada’s largest city into the same stratosphere as London, Sydney, Vancouver and Miami, but deepening the worries about a potential tumble. Buyers snapped up 1,986 condominiums in Toronto in July, up 28% from a year earlier, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association. Average prices have surged 8% to 9%… Read More

Irresistable Long Branch Bungalow

This spacious 2+1 bedroom bungalow is situated on a gorgeous 50 ft lot in popular Long Branch Village, just a short walk from lakefront parkland and the waterfront trail. There are hardwood floors through out the main floor, updated windows, and a walk-out from the master bedroom to a wood deck and large fenced back yard.  The… Read More

Strong Fall Market Ahead for Toronto Real Estate

The latest data from the Toronto Real Estate Board show that Toronto area home prices and sales are continuing to track well ahead of last year. The average GTA price was $440,150 as of mid August, as compared with $412,186 for the same two weeks last year, and the inventory of homes for sale continues to… Read More

RBC Expects Soft Landing for Canadian Real Estate Market

RBC’s recently released housing forecast for Canada includes a number of interesting points about the Canadian housing market, both currently and moving forward: An increase in interest rates over the next two years will cool Canada’s resale market and slow down home price growth, but won’t cause either to decrease below current levels. Essentially, while… Read More

Older Condos Face Large Repair Bills

There are more than 7,000 condominium buildings in the GTA and some are more than 40 years old. By a conservative estimate, more than 25 per cent of these buildings are in trouble, meaning there is not enough money in the reserve fund to pay for necessary repairs. Click here to view the full article…. Read More

The Real Estate Market Could Get A Boost From Market Chaos

The upside in a global stock market rout may ironically be a healthier housing market – at least in the short term, say economists. “The housing market has nine lives. Every time interest rates are supposed to go down, something happens and it helps to keep the market going,” said Benjamin Tal, senior economist at… Read More

Mortgages: 7 Things You Don’t Want to Learn the Hard Way

Experience is a good teacher, but when it comes to mortgages — whether you’re arranging a new one or renewing — learning by experience can be expensive. The more you understand about mortgages and home equity lines of credit (HELOC) before you sign a mortgage contract, the more you can save in interest charges, lender… Read More

Grenadier Gardens, Super Swansea Location!

Spacious 2 bedroom suite with parking and locker and two huge balconies – only 2 units in the building have a second balcony. A well managed and well maintained building with great facilities, including an indoor pool, two exercise rooms, saunas, tennis court, party room and ample visitor parking. Walk to High Park, Grenadier Pond and… Read More

Stunning 2 Bedroom Suite Across From Park

With 9 ft ceilings and over 940 sq ft of living space, this sun-filled suite has panoramic views of Christie Pits park from the balcony and from all windows. The open concept plan features a well appointed kitchen with granite counters and stainless steel appliances, as well as generous living and dining areas. There are… Read More

Extra-Spacious Three Bedroom Suite

Approx. 1500 sq ft three bedroom suite with 2 parking spots and large terrace. Recent improvements include renovated kitchen with stainless steel appliances, renovated baths and new windows. Well managed complex with brand new elevators and great facilities: huge indoor pool, exercise weight rooms, tennis, saunas, party/rec room with kitchen, and visitor parking. Located acoss from Marie… Read More

The Heart of Swansea

This three bedroom family home has convenient front pad parking and is ideally situated in the heart of Swansea, just a two minute stroll from High Park, Rennie Park, the subway station and the shops and cafes of Bloor West Village. The kitchen features a walk-out to a large deck and a private, fully fenced… Read More

Are Toronto Real Estate Prices Going to Fall?

You have probably seen recent media articles about a coming slowdown in the Toronto real estate market, most notably a front page headline story in the July 16 Toronto Star about the impending “downturn” that made it sound like it’s inevitable that prices will fall over the next year or two. The truth is, it… Read More

Interior Designers Create The Right Starting Point

By the time you’re ready to take possession of the first real estate you’ve every bought, you’ll probably be swamped with advice and design ideas from friends and family who’ve “been there.” Even if you’ve made decisions based on this information and your own research, take a fresh look at your new home before you… Read More

Community-Based Mapping: A Story-Telling Perspective

The adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” explains some of the power of community-based mapping, but it’s only a beginning. This crystallization of the complex into more easily-digested content takes communication a step further to provide otherwise-invisible insight into neighbourhoods and communities. Community-based mapping can be particularly useful if you are deciding which… Read More

Savvy Buyers Know Value When They See It

Suddenly it begins. After all the anticipation of finding your dream home, your buyer agent has called and you’re off to see the first property that may be “it”. You’re excited, but are you really prepared to recognize the best deal when you see it? Whether you’ve shopped for a home before or not, you… Read More

Should Consumers Have Easy Access to MLS Sales Information?

The Competition Bureau is pressuring the Toronto Real Estate Board to break the law by releasing private data on the Internet in an effort to make the market more competitive, the board says. Releasing such information would be a “reckless” move, said the organization in a strongly worded statement Friday in response to new charges… Read More

Are Canadian House Prices a Bubble Ready to Burst?

Canada’s housing market is a bubble ready to burst as valuations have “lost touch with fundamentals” and household debt is at a record high, says a report by Capital Economics. The independent research firm’s report says it fears that house prices could fall by as much as 25% over the next three years. “House prices… Read More

Why It’s the Best Time Ever To Be a Canadian

We are Canada. At 144 years we are neither young nor old, as nations go. And nations do come and do go, it bears remembering. You don’t have to be very old to appreciate that the world map that occupied a corner of your childhood classroom is a relic of another age; that borders once… Read More

Are Condo Prices Due for a Correction?

Are too many condominiums being built in Toronto? Analysts have been sounding warning bells for more than a year that the market is being seriously overbuilt. But so far, sales and prices have been chugging merrily upward. According to the Building, Industry and Land Development Association, last month was the best May ever for sales…. Read More

The Rules for Bidding Wars in Buying a Home

Multiple offers or bidding wars continue to happen all over the GTA. Buyers, sellers and real estate agents need to be aware of what to expect. To create the atmosphere for multiple offers, it may indicate on the MLS listing that interested offers are to be submitted in three days. The seller hopes this will… Read More

First Time Homebuyers – Most Men & Many Women Go Solo

The 2011 TD Canada Trust First Time Homebuyers Report found that 45% of Canadians will be buying their first home independently (rather than with a co-purchaser).  In fact, nearly six-in-ten men (57%) will buy on their own, along with 33% of women. While people buying independently don’t have to compromise with anyone about the features,… Read More

How Affordable is Housing in Canada?

One way to look at if Canadian housing is affordable is to compare it with other similar countries or economies and see how we fare. Demographia publishes an annual comparison of housing affordability for metropolitan markets in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK and the US.  Demographia measures affordability through a ratio of median… Read More

Do Homebuyers Need “Lemon Insurance”?

Used car buyers get more consumer protection than resale home buyers. When you buy a used car you can check whether there are liens registered against the vehicle, or whether the car has required major repairs following an accident. The vehicle then has to pass a safety check before the registration can be transferred. Resale… Read More

Toronto Market Looks Toward Summer

The resale housing figures for the first two weeks of June have been released by the Toronto Real Estate Board; the charts below summarize this information. (The sales figure was derived by extrapolation.) These data show that the Toronto area market remains very strong, with prices almost 10% higher than last June, and total sales… Read More


This gorgeous two bedroom/two bath suite is situated next to lakefront parkland and with panoramic views of High Park, Grenadier Pond, Toronto skyline and  Lake Ontario.  It’s close to Bloor West Village & Roncesvalles Village shopping, the downtown streetcar is at the door, and there is easy access to major highways & Pearson Airport. The… Read More

Does Title Insurance Eliminate Need for Survey?

Since title insurance was introduced in Canada in the early 1990s, it has been marketed as an inexpensive replacement for a property survey. But land surveyors and some lawyers say that consumers in a real estate transaction are putting themselves at risk by not getting an up-to-date survey, even if they have title insurance. Property… Read More

Rising House Prices Create More Canadian Millionaires

Rising housing values are helping to create more wealthy people in Canada. A study by the Deloitte Center for Financial Services says the number of millionaire households in Canada will grow from 1.745 million to 2.413 million by 2020, an increase of 38 per cent. As Michael Nairne of the National Post pointed out, the… Read More

Don’t Wait Too Long to Buy Your First Home

Looking back my biggest money mistake was waiting too long to buy a house. I also bought Nortel stock and lost money, but missing out on long-term housing price gains was far more costly. The irony is that at the time, in my 20s, I was an economist at the federal housing agency CMHC specializing… Read More

Your Oasis by the Lake

This warm & welcoming family home is situated on a quiet one-way street, just 1/2 block from Lake Promenade and lakefront trails & parkland. The home was totally rebuilt from the basement up in 2003, and over $200,000 in renovations & improvements have been added since 2004. The newly completed custom designed kitchen has sleek… Read More

Why Home Inspections are Worth the Money

Almost every resale home purchase is conditional on the buyer being satisfied with the results of a home inspection. But what does satisfied mean? When can a buyer back away and when are they just using the inspection as a convenient way to find a loophole when they get cold feet? Inspection conditions are not… Read More

The Best Condo Buy When It’s The Best Fit

Don’t buy a condominium out of desperation or frustration because you can’t afford your dream house. A condo should not be a consolation prize. Buyers should purchase a condominium with deliberate intention. A condo should be the obvious choice when the buyer understands how and why condominiums offer a viable real estate ownership option. Then, with… Read More

The Junction and Riverdale Work Toward Carbon Neutrality

Although the official launch parties won’t take place until next month, both Riverdale and the Junction neighbourhoods have been selected by Project Neutral to work toward becoming the first carbon neutral urban communities in the country. The result of a competitive process in which community members applied for the opportunity to participate in the environmental… Read More

Soft Inflation Data Make Interest Rate Hikes Less Likely

Softer than expected inflation and retail sales data from Statistics Canada reduced some of the imperative for the Bank of Canada to raise interest rates and also knocked the Canadian dollar lower on Friday. Markets had feared more inflationary pressure after March’s 1.1 percent month-on-month rise, which pushed the annual inflation rate to 3.3 percent,… Read More

Toronto Spring Market Continues to Blossom

The resale housing figures for the first two weeks of May have been released by the Toronto Real Estate Board; the charts below summarize this information. (The sales figure was derived by extrapolation.) These data show that the Toronto area market continues to shine, with prices approximately 8% higher than last May, which was itself… Read More

It’s A Renters’ Market For Condos in Toronto

A flood of condominiums in the Greater Toronto Area market means that rent increases have been slowing while prices have been escalating. High prices and lower-than-expected rents are not a good recipe for investors, who buy an estimated 45 to 60 per cent of all new condominiums in the Toronto market, according to the study… Read More

Electric Airport Shuttle Trains Could Run Like A Surface Subway

Electrifying the city’s new airport train service in time for its 2015 opening would be the necessary first step in creating an above-ground subway connecting the downtown with the region, says the Clean Train Coalition. In a report being released Monday, the CTC recommends the province abandon its elite, business-class concept for the Pearson-to-Union Station… Read More

High Park Blooms Into Spring

The 2011 High Park cherry blossoms were in full bloom this morning, but the real show was the sheer volume of photographers who came out to shoot them. Droves of professionals and amateurs alike descended upon the park sporting every camera type under the sun — from digital to film, DSLR’s to point and shoots,… Read More

Canada: A Land Of House-Rich Millionaires

We are a cocky lot in Canada about our wealth with millionaires apparently abounding everywhere. Our confidence probably got another boost with a report from the Deloitte Center for Financial Services saying there were 1,745,000 households in Canada with more than $1-million in assets in 2011. Not bad, but should some of these people really… Read More

Why You Shouldn’t Sell Your Home Yourself

Allison Philpot sold her home using a For Sale by Owner marketing service. She listed her home for $419,000, and was able to create a bidding war after her first open house. She received a top bid of $429,000, which she accepted. Unfortunately, the Buyers later terminated the deal, relying on a condition in the offer. The… Read More

When Can You Evict A Tenant For A Family Member?

John from Toronto wondered if he could get rid of a problem tenant by letting his son to live in the apartment and how long his son would have to live there before he could rent it to someone else. The question shows the confusion, as well as the lack of trust, on the part… Read More

Home Buyer Beware When Going It Alone

Many people who go it alone when buying a home turn up at open houses or contact the seller’s agent directly, thinking they can save half of the commission and get a better deal. I’m not so sure it’s that easy. These buyers do not understand that the seller’s agent is working solely in the… Read More

What Canadians Need to Know About Buying U.S. Real Estate

A recent survey conducted for BMO Bank of Montreal says that one in five Canadians are interested in buying property in the United States. According to the National Association of Realtors, 23 per cent of international buyers were from Canada last year – making us the largest group of foreign buyers for the past three… Read More

Competitive Tips for Home Buyers In A Sellers’ Market

As a buyer in a competitive market, how can you be competitive? First, and perhaps most importantly, be ready to buy. Readiness is not impulsiveness, however. Before you begin your home search, be clear on your objectives. This means knowing your budget (and how much wiggle room you really have), what amenities are must-haves, and… Read More

High Park Condo Development on Bloor Street

After years of boarded-up windows and stagnation, a proposal for the redevelopment of the site bounded by Bloor Street, Oakmount Road and Pacific is underway. Development company Daniels Corporation is proposing to build a staggered 14 storey condominium building that would have 364 units. The parts of the building adjacent to a street would be… Read More

What’s The Life Expectancy of Your Home’s Components?

One way to prepare for the costs of owning a home beyond the mortgage payment, insurance and taxes, is to know the life expectancy of your home’s components. Such knowledge doesn’t supersede the use of a home inspector when buying a home, but it can help you develop a savings plan so you are prepared for the… Read More

Should You Buy First or Sell First?

Scott and Elizabeth McNeil plan to buy a larger home in the future as their family grows. But first, they have to sell their existing one. It’s a simple strategy used by move up buyers everywhere. Take the money you’ve invested in the first home, and then buy another one. But for some buyers, it… Read More

Higher Loonie Suggests Rates Won’t Change Soon

The higher the Canadian dollar climbs on broad-based weakness in the U.S. dollar, the less likely the Bank of Canada will be to resume interest rate hikes. This assessment from Scotia Capital economists Derek Holt and Karen Cordes Woods means there is a greater risk the central bank will remain on the sidelines throughout 2011… Read More

Junction Residents Work To Create Heritage District

Saving a century-old home on High Park Avenue from demolition last spring was the catalyst for the Junction Residents Association (JRA) and the West Toronto Junction Historical Society (WTJHS) banding together to pursue a Heritage Conservation District in their neighbourhood. “The key to heritage districts is people working together,” Architect Catherine Nasmith told her audience that… Read More

Canadian Consumer Confidence Depends on Housing Market

Canadians are feeling positive about their personal finances following the recession, but most of that optimism is based on the soaring value of their homes – a glow that could evaporate quickly if the housing market slumps. In the latest Consumerology Report, a quarterly survey conducted for Toronto advertising agency Bensimon-Byrne that tracks trends in… Read More

The Heat Goes On

Since the beginning of April, the Toronto real estate market has shifted into an even higher gear. Prices for the first two weeks of April averaged $483,165, 12% higher than the same two weeks last year; up until the end of March, prices were tracking about 4-5% ahead of last year. This is perhaps not… Read More

High Park Jewel

This tastefully renovated family home has laneway parking at the rear and is situated on a quiet tree-lined street in a popular High Park neighbourhood. The open concept living/dining room features dramatic exposed brick, a cozy fireplace, rich hardwood floors, and stained glass window accents. The stunning master bedroom has a cathedral ceiling, two skylights… Read More

Distinctive Swansea Centre Hall Detached

This elegant Bloor West Village detached home has a distinctive side centre hall plan and a rare private drive. While there have been many updates, the early 20th century charm and character remain intact, including French doors, rich wood trim, crown moulding and stained/leaded glass accents. The extra spacious living room has a graceful bow… Read More

Go From Drab to Fab: Hot Decorating Tips

Every homeowner eventually wants to make a change, but if you’re like many people you haven’t a clue where to begin. Just like fashion styles, interior designs change with the times as well. So, if you’ve been in your home for a long time and are ready to sell or are just ready for a… Read More

Absolutely Stunning High Park Home

Enjoy fabulous renovations combined with early 20th century charm and character. The 2nd & 3rd floors underwent a total  renovation/reconstruction in 2009/2010 “from the bricks in”, with all new mechanics, floors, walls and ceilings; all new roof surfaces; top quality windows; and exquisite finishes including custom cabinetry, millwork and built-ins in the new bathroom, master bedroom,… Read More

Canadian Homeowners Tackling Household Debt

The last 10 years have seen a spectacular boost in home equity in Canada. More than half of the increase Canadians’ net worth since 2000 has been from home equity. The wealth of homeowners has been growing in recent years, while that of renter households has declined, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC)…. Read More

Home Renovations May Put Children At Risk

Canada’s $44 billion renovation industry has been the fastest growing part of the housing sector for the last 10 years, but it is risking the health of those living in the houses under construction — particularly children — says a report by the Canadian Environmental Law Association   (CELA). Renovation activities including energy retrofits, if… Read More

First-Time Buyers Move To Get In Ahead Of Higher Interest Rates

Driven by the threat of higher interest rates down the road, first-time buyers are contributing to strong upward momentum in residential housing markets across the country. The RE/MAX First-Time Buyers Report, highlighting trends and developments in nineteen major Canadian centres, found that low interest rates and balanced market conditions have provided significant impetus in 2011,… Read More

Should I Accept This Offer On My Home?

Today’s market can be a difficult one for many sellers to navigate. And while your real estate agent can advise you, the ultimate decision of what offer to accept is entirely up to you. This decision can come with quite a bit of pressure. Even in the most favorable of markets this can be a… Read More

Toronto Area Prices Up 5% in March

The Toronto Real Estate Board reported 9,262 transactions in March, the second best March result on record, though still 11% below the all-time record set in March 2010.  The average selling price for March 2011 was $456,147, up 5% over last March. Here’s a brief video from Jason Mercer, the Toronto Real Estate Board’s Senior Manager… Read More

Banks Boosting Mortgage Rates

Several of Canada’s big banks are raising most of their fixed-term mortgage rates ahead of the busy spring real estate market. Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD-T85.85-0.29-0.34%) said the biggest increases will be for mortgages with terms of five to 10 years, which will all go up by 0.35 of a percentage point starting Tuesday. View full article…. Read More

Home Prices Rise for Second Consecutive Month – Teranet

According to the latest numbers the correction of housing prices late in 2010 seems to have been a short-lived phenomenon, as for the second consecutive month prices increased overall in four of six Canadian metropolitan markets. Canadian home prices in January were up 0.4 per cent from the previous month, according to the Teranet–National Bank… Read More

Who Pays When a Rented Hot Water Tank Leaks?

Rachel Moses is a lawyer specializing in litigation. But she found she was outgunned when asking Direct Energy to pay for damage to her basement caused by a leaking water heater. “I was told I should make a claim through my home insurance. I made it very clear that I would not do that,” she… Read More

Buying Your First Home in Toronto

More than two-thirds of Canadian households are homeowners. The homeownership rate has been rising steadily since the end of the Second World War, through several real estate cycles – including a period when mortgage interest topped 20 per cent in the 1980s, and the more recent era with extremely low rates. For most Canadians, a… Read More

Toronto’s Budget Plans Clarifying

Lest anyone still think the next year is going to be an easy one for the City of Toronto, Joseph Pennachetti can set you straight. Pennachetti is Toronto’s city manager, hand-picked by former Mayor David Miller, and now answering to a very different boss in current Mayor Rob Ford. And there will be a big… Read More

Toronto City Hall Pulls The Plug On Free Downspout Disconnection

The city has reneged on a promise to provide free downspout disconnections for almost 900 homeowners in North York.In a budget-cutting move on Feb. 23, the city voted to end this free service as of March 1. Over 7,000 Toronto households on the waiting list are now to pay out of their own pocket. What’s… Read More

Spring Awakening at Grenadier Pond

Just retired from the department of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Toronto, Ann Zimmerman has responded to our inquiry: how does a pond awaken in the spring? The Grenadier Pond ice is peeling back from the shoreline. A scrim of algae is painted a pretty green atop a breakaway collar of ice…. Read More

Front Yard Parking Debate To Hit Toronto City Hall Again

Political observers will get a perfect test case Wednesday to see how much of a shift has taken place at Toronto City Hall.York South-Weston Councillor Frances Nunziata is asking council’s public works committee to fix odd situations where residents who otherwise meet all city requirements can’t get a permit for a front yard parking pad… Read More

How To Buy Your Kids a House in Canada

Many Baby Boomers have paid-for homes, while their grown children are contemplating entering the housing market. Instead of letting them rent during their first foray after leaving the nest, it’s tempting to buy a second “investment” property with Junior as the main tenant. Fully 10% of Canadian parents are considering this, according to TD Canada… Read More

Hot Toronto Market May Get Even Hotter

Price and sales figures for the first two weeks of March were released by the Toronto Real Estate Board this week. These data show a continuation of the strong growth in prices seen in January and February. Prices are almost 5% higher than in the same period last year, and the market remains very tight,… Read More

The World’s 12 Most Overpriced Real Estate Markets

Property prices in the U.S. may have fallen 2% in February, but many homeowners around the world are in the midst of a massive housing bubble. Prices continue to be pushed up by the traditional formula: excessive demand, inadequate supply, and easy lending.The Economist has broken down which markets are most overvalued, by comparing rental prices… Read More

Variable Rate, Fixed Rate or Both?

Aware of all the potential changes that are coming in the next few weeks and a strong realization of the material impact that they could have on the mortgage marketplace, there is great focus on and conversation about what mortgages should look like now and what the wise choices for consumers are. Knowing that the… Read More

Social Media is Not a Toy & Other Underestimated Trends

“Social media is not a toy, but a powerful catalyst for societal change by individuals with individual goals and dreams.”  When I first said this, years ago in a speech to business leaders—long before social media and its sites became part of common speech and daily activities—it seemed as revolutionary (and to many as laughable)… Read More

Hot Trends In Bathroom Redesign

You may not know it yet, but your bathroom is begging to be redone. It dreams at night of the latest trends, colors, and fancy new gadgets. It talks with the tub about its most heartfelt desires. Maybe its time to make your bathroom’s dreams come true! Okay, so your bathroom doesn’t have a mind… Read More

Why Provincial Rent Increase Rules May Be An Election Issue In Toronto

Toronto MPP Cheri DiNovo wants to make changes to the way residential rents can be increased that will make it almost impossible for a landlord to raise the rent above the guidelines without the approval of the Landlord and Tenant Board. DiNovo, who sits for the NDP in Parkdale-High Park, has introduced a private member’s… Read More

Saving Money by Saving Water and Energy

If you have energy-saving devices such as programmable thermostats and low-flush toilets, chances are that you own your home, have a water meter and have higher levels of income and education. Even though saving energy also means saving money for anyone who owns or rents a home, a report by Statistics Canada shows that there… Read More

Focus On Local for Real Estate Prices

Canadian property owners intent on following real estate price fluctuations using mainstream media reports from centres across Canada may be searching too far afield for the information they need. Local details should be more significant than national patterns. Local real estate professionals and local news are excellent resources regarding real estate prices on specific streets,… Read More

Palladium Signature Suite in the Heart of Thornhill

This luxurious 2 bedroom, 2 bath suite enjoys unobstructed sunset views of the tree-filled grounds from a large private terrace. It’s like living in the midst of a forest! Recent updates include high end stainless steel kitchen appliances, rich engineered hardwood flooring, and top quality organizers in all closets. The spacious master suite has a… Read More

Jane Street LRT Goes Off The Rails

Don’t expect light rail along Jane Street anytime soon.While the TTC, mayor’s office and the province continue to deliberate over plans for the Sheppard subway line in the east, and the Eglinton Crosstown light rail, the proposed Jane light rail line is effectively off the table, says TTC chair Karen Stintz. “There’s no funding now… Read More

Canadian Real Estate Market ‘Moderately’ Overvalued: BMO

The Canadian housing market is “moderately” overvalued, but a significant correction is likely not in the cards, says a report by the Bank of Montreal. The ratio of average resale prices to personal incomes is currently 14 per cent above the long-term mean, suggesting that prices have gotten ahead of incomes, says BMO economist Sal… Read More

One Bedroom Condo in Davisville Village

A bright one bedroom unit in Greenwich Terrace, an intimate boutique building in the vibrant Davisville Village neighbourhood, just steps to subway, parks shops. Sunny south exposure with a large tiled balcony and a panoramic view overlooking a tree-lined green space. 9 ft ceilings throughout, rich hardwood flooring in bedroom & living/dining room, elegant slate… Read More

Low Mortgage Rates Keep Toronto Homes Affordable

Housing affordability is improving in Ontario thanks to lower mortgage rates and softening demand. According to a Royal Bank of Canada report released Thursday, after four consecutive quarters of steep decline, housing affordability gained traction in the fourth quarter, thanks to bottoming mortgage rates and a slowing demand via The Toronto real estate market… Read More

Vesuvio Pizzeria Doing Well In The Junction

There is still room for improvement, but the West Toronto Junction is a far cry from the crime riddled neighbourhood it once was in the mid-1990s, say Piera and Ettore Pugliese, owners of Vesuvio Pizzeria and Spaghetti House, a fixture on Dundas Street West near High Park Avenue since 1957.”I think we’re doing well, really… Read More

Why Toronto Area Real Estate Prices Will Keep Going Up

A recent report from Capital Economics, which has received wide coverage in the media, predicts that Canadian real estate prices need to fall by 20-25%. This conclusion is based on the assumption that real estate prices tend to be determined by affordability as measured by the ratio of house prices to income. The chart below… Read More

The Junction Is Booming Again!

Prone to booms and busts throughout its tumultuous history, the Junction, whose retail strip runs parallel to a commuter rail corridor in Toronto’s west end, was an absolute ‘Boomtown’ in the 1950 and ’60s and is once again experiencing an upswing more than five decades later, according to the local Business Improvement Area (BIA). via… Read More

CMHC Forecasts Modest Increases in Real Estate Prices & Sales in 2011

Existing home sales will be in the range of 398,500 to 485,500 units in 2011, with a point forecast of 441,500 units. In 2012, MLS®2 sales will move up and are expected to be in the range of 406,300 to 519,700 units, with a point forecast of 462,900 units. Mr. Dugan also noted that the existing… Read More

Canadian Inflation Rate Remains Low

For the past two-and-a-half years, policy makers have sought to explain why Canada, a country with sound economic fundamentals and a rock-solid banking system, was pulled down by the global spread of the U.S. financial crisis. As a new threat bubbles up in much of the world, though, there’s no need for excuses. The latest… Read More

Toronto Real Estate Market Still Going Strong

Late last year, the consensus view was that the Toronto real estate market would slow down in 2011 and that prices, while continuing to rise, would do so more modestly. There were even some that expected prices to fall this year. Well, there’s not much sign of a slow-down in the market so far. Average… Read More

Hampshire Heights Bungalow

This spacious three bedroom bungalow is situated on a quiet tree-lined street in the Rosethorn/John G Althouse school district, just a 15 minute bus ride from the Kipling subway station and with easy access to major highways, airport and downtown Toronto. This meticulously maintained family home has generous room sizes, refinished hardwood floors and updated… Read More

Fee or Free: Is That The 2011 Real Estate Question?

What have you learned so far in 2011? Yet another year stretches ahead full of clean-slate potential. What are you going to accomplish in the remaining 10 months? Are you determined to make this a pivotal or springboard year, or are you going to wait and see how things turn out? If you don’t stop to… Read More

Low Inventory of Homes for Sale Keeps Real Estate Markets Strong

Housing markets have been remarkably hearty over the past decade and the stage is set for a better than expected 2011.  Inventory has proven to be an effective form of market self-regulation, providing both an ideal climate for price escalation and a shelter in periods of softer home-buying activity.  As a number of city centres… Read More

Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle Your Closet

It’s really no secret. We are a nation of consumers. Watch television for just one evening and you’ll know of a dozen sales and promotions happening in your local area. Whether it’s retail or sale, there are more than a handful of us that have consumed our ways to a stuffed closet. Call it early… Read More

Top 10 reasons to attend the National Home Show

1 Inspiration: “To renovate your home, to do landscaping and decorating, to (make it happen), you’ve really got to get inspired. And that’s what our show does,” says show manager Denise Hayward. In fact, more than half of the visitors at the 2010 show said they were attending primarily to find renovation ideas and inspiration,… Read More

Stunning Sunnylea Townhome

This fabulous executive freehold townhome is situated in the sought-after Sunnylea neighbourhood of West Toronto, close to the Islington subway station and with easy access to major highways, Toronto airport and downtown Toronto. The well-appointed chef’s kitchen has stainless steel appliances, granite counters, tumbled marble backsplash and a cozy breakfast area next to a bay… Read More

Optimistic Forecast for Real Estate Sales and Prices in 2011

The Canadian Real Estate Association has boosted its forecast for 2011 existing home sales after a stronger-than-expected hand-off from 2010. CREA now expects sales via its Multiple Listing Service to hit 439,900 units, representing an annual decline of 1.6%. In 2012, national sales activity should rebound by about 3% to reach 453,000 homes, it said…. Read More

Banks Raise Fixed Term Mortgage Rates

A rise in bond yields has prompted TD Canada Trust to raise some of its fixed-term mortgage rates by as much as a quarter of a percentage point. CIBC followed late in the day with similar rate hikes. “When bond yields go up it means the cost of funding for the bank has risen for… Read More

How to Successfully Navigate The Changing World of Mortgages

The world of mortgages is changing. To paraphrase the old Joni Mitchell song, most consumers will not know what they’ve got until it’s gone. They won’t realize that by the time a mortgage is paid off, borrowers have paid two or three times the original amount borrowed – the mortgage principal – to buy real… Read More

Will We See the End of the Toronto Land Transfer Tax?

During last year’s election campaign, Rob Ford promised to repeal the hated Toronto Land Transfer Tax. As reported by Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB)  president Bill Johnston in today’s Toronto Star, realtors have been fighting against this unfair tax since it was first proposed in 2007, with strong support from the public. Earlier this week, TREB… Read More

Fabulous One Bedroom Condo in Davisville Village

Greenwich Terrace Gem! This intimate boutique building is situated in vibrant Davisville Village, known for its excellent recreation facilities, outstanding shopping districts and active night life. Just a short walk to subway & parks! This fabulous one bedroom apartment has a sunny south exposure with a large balcony and tranquil panoramic views overlooking a tree-lined green… Read More

2011 Toronto Real Estate Market Off to a Good Start

Results for the first two weeks of January show that real estate prices in Toronto are remaining strong. The average selling price for the Greater Toronto area was $413,565, approximately 5% higher than the average price of $395,307 for the first two weeks of January 2010. Sales volume remains low, with total sales of 1,563… Read More

Long-term Future is Bright For Canadian Condos

Drive around any major Canadian city and you’re likely to see lots of new condominium buildings under construction. You may wonder who is going to buy and live in those condos – and the answer is, everyone. In 2006, when the last Census was held, the number of owner-occupied condos in Canada was more than… Read More

The X Factor-Why Making An Offer Should Be Based On Value To You

Some people love negotiating and others hate it. Regardless of which side of the sold sign you fall on, the best possible deal is what both buyer and seller want. Arriving at that price can be a lesson in frustration or even cause a complete shut-out. So what’s the X factor? In real estate, many… Read More

Selling And Buying All At Once?

For many people this can be very stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. And that’s a good thing because a lot of people find themselves in the position of needing to sell and buy all at once. If you’re in this situation then you know that timing and money are two critical issues. What… Read More

Open House Sunday Jan 9 2-4 pm at 346 Park Lawn Rd., #5

This freehold executive townhome has more than 2800 sq ft of luxurious living space on 4 levels. Situated in the upscale Kings Pointe enclave in desirable Sunnylea, it is just a short walk away from Humber River parkland and jogging/biking trails, and access to major highways downtown is easy. The gourmet family size Kitchen Includes… Read More

Homeowners Benefit from Mortgage Industry Trends

There are some people who will drive around to three or four different gas stations, looking for the cheapest price. Others will spend forever trying to pick out a new pair of shoes. But when it comes time to get a new mortgage, Canadians are pretty complacent, and it’s costing them a lot of money…. Read More

Roncesvalles Village Neighbourhood in West Toronto

The Roncesvalles Village neighbourhood, originally known as ‘Howard Park’, was annexed into Toronto in the 1880s. While the neighbourhood is very diverse, attracting people from all backgrounds, it is well known as the centre of the Polish community in Toronto, with prominent Polish institutions, businesses, shops, restaurants and St Casimir’s Catholic Church located on Roncesvalles… Read More

High Park Neighbourhood in West Toronto

The High Park neighbourhood is home to a wide range of people. Its highly regarded schools including Humberside Collegiate attract many families with school age children to this neighbourhood. High Park contains numerous rental opportunities that are popular with singles and couples. There are also a handful of senior’s accommodations within this neighbourhood, including the… Read More

Should I Keep My Home On The Market During The holidays?

Most top Realtors agree that taking your home off the market during the Christmas season is a mistake. There may be fewer buyers, but they are more serious, and because there is less competition, you may have a better chance of getting a good offer than during a busier season.

Toronto Real Estate Prices Remain Strong

Toronto area selling prices for the first half of December are higher than in November, which is unusual for this time of year. This suggests that the spring market in 2011 will once again be strong, supported by continued low interest rates and a paucity of homes for sale.

Swansea Village in West Toronto

Swansea Village is the only Toronto neighbourhood that has its own community run Town Hall. Swansea is also the only Toronto neighbourhood to have a lake, a river, and a pond as it’s natural boundaries. Swansea’s hilly terrain, winding roads and many mature trees accentuate the storybook houses that line the residential streets of this neighbourhood. 

Open House Sun Dec 12 2-4 pm at 346 Park Lawn Rd., #5

This freehold executive townhome has more than 2800 sq ft of luxurious living space on 4 levels. Situated in the upscale Kings Pointe enclave in desirable Sunnylea, it is just a short walk away from Humber River parkland and jogging/biking trails, and access to major highways downtown is easy.

Open House Sat/Sun Dec 4/5, 2-4 pm, at 346 Park Lawn #5

This freehold executive townhome has more than 2800 sq ft of luxurious living space on 4 levels. Situated in the upscale Kings Pointe enclave in desirable Sunnylea, it is just a short walk away from Humber River parkland and jogging/biking trails, and access to major highways downtown is easy.

Sunny Centre Hall in The Valleys of Thornhill

This exceptionally bright, 2 years new, Madison built home is situated in the prestigious Valleys of Thornhill neighbourhood in Vaughan, Ontario. The spacious centre hall plan features an eat-in kitchen with a walk-out to a large fenced yard; a main floor family room; a formal living/dining room with hardwood floors; and four bedrooms including a master with ensuite bath.

Luxury Sunnylea Townhome

346 Park Lawn Rd., #5This freehold executive townhome has more than 2800 sq ft of luxurious living space on 4 levels. Situated in the upscale Kings Pointe enclave in desirable Sunnylea, it is just a short walk away from Humber River parkland and jogging/biking trails, and has easy access to major highways, airport &  downtown.

Village Players’ 37th Season in Bloor West Village

On Friday, November 19, we attended the opening night of Laura at the Village Playhouse theatre in Bloor West Village just east of Runnymede. Laura is a classic whodunit based on Vera Caspary’s novel of the same name.

Toronto Real Estate Market Stabilizing

Evidence is accumulating that the Toronto area real estate market is returning to normal after a wild roller coaster ride that began in late 2008 when the financial crisis hit the world economy like a tsunami. Prices and sales volumes fell from late 2008 until early 2009; rebounded sharply upward from early 2009 until mid 2010; fell again during this past summer; and have rebounded again since September.

Bloor West Village

Visit Bloor West Village, located in West Toronto Ontario, view homes for sale, view community information, walk scores and more!

Toronto Real Estate Market Shifting Into High Gear Again?

Toronto area real estate prices rebounded sharply in September, and the trend has continued through the first half of October. The latest data from the Toronto Real Estate Board show an average selling price for the Greater Toronto area of $444,644, very close to the all-time high average price of $446,593 reached in May of this year.

A Goldilocks Toronto Real Estate Market?

A Goldilocks Toronto Real Estate MarketA broad  consensus seems to be emerging about the present & forecast state of the world economy: no double dip, but very slow and uneven growth for  at least the next couple of years. This, combined with low interest rates for the foreseeable future, means that the real estate market is “just right”.

Toronto Real Estate Market on Track for a Soft Landing

The fall market in the Greater Toronto area kicked off with a flurry of new listings, and prices are slightly higher than they were at this time last year. Considering that the market was extremely hot in the fall of 2009, this is a very positive sign, indicating that the market continues to be quite healthy.

Detached Rebuilt Home in Swansea

63 Lavinia Front of HouseThis gorgeous ravine-like property is situated on a quiet Swansea street within easy walking distance of Bloor West Village shops & cafes, Runnymede subway station, High Park, and Rennie Park & Community Centre.

Stately Bloor West Village Centre Hall

20 Morningside Photo of Front of HouseThis extensively renovated Bloor West Village home is located across from Swansea’s Rennie Park, an ‘off the beaten path’ gem of a park that sits right next to High Park, Toronto’s biggest and best city park.

1+1 Bedroom in Tridel’s Luxurious Essex

5229 Dundas St. West - View of BuildingThis sun-filled 1+1 bedroom suite has sunset views from the west-facing balcony and approximately 811 sq ft of living space, including a completely separate den/office that can easily be used as a second bedroom. The facilities in this highly regarded Tridel complex are exceptional.