For Sellers

The Best Home Renovations For The Biggest ROI

Preparing your house for sale can often require an investment to bring it up to current standards and help it compete in the hot real estate market. Especially if you’ve lived in the house for several decades, you may be blind to your home’s shortcomings. Here, we examine the top home renovations to ensure your… Read More

Back To School Free Ice Cream Event

Mark your calendars for Monday September 7 (Labour Day)! Our ice cream truck will be making 5 stops in High Park, The Junction, Bloor West Village and Swansea! We will have free ice cream cones plus a draw for a chance to win an iPad!         Here’s the truck stop schedule: 12:00… Read More

Falling Rents May Impact House Prices

A recent report from Capital Economics highlights falling rents in Canadian cities, especially Toronto and Vancouver, and points out that this could have a significant knock-on effect on Canadian house prices.   The report identifies several reasons why rents are falling: The surge in unemployment due to COVID-19 lockdowns has hit low-wage earners the hardest,… Read More

No Nosedive Ahead for Canadian Real Estate Prices: RE/MAX

Canadian real estate kicked off 2020 with a bang, but there are conflicting opinions as to how we’ll finish out the year. Canada’s federal housing agency has warned that average house prices could fall by up to 18 per cent over the next 12 months – a dismal prediction that’s being challenged by RE/MAX based on market… Read More

Coronavirus Threatens Survival of Toronto Small Businesses

The Broadview-Danforth Business Improvement Association (on behalf of dozens of Toronto BIAs) recently surveyed 561 small business tenants and 137 landlords across the city as to how the Coronavirus lockdown has affected them. A majority of the respondents (61%) said that they would not survive over the next 3 months without rent relief, and 76%… Read More

Canadian Government Supporting Mortgage Market

Soon after the COVID-19 lock-downs began last month, signs started to appear that the mortgage market was headed for a credit freeze, where mortgage lenders would be unable or unwilling to keep lending to homebuyers. A credit freeze would likely crash the real estate market – if mortgage lending isn’t possible, home sales would collapse… Read More

Airbnb Bylaw Is Now In Effect in Toronto

Early in 2018, the City of Toronto approved the regulation of short-term rentals in Toronto. However, the resulting zoning bylaw amendments were immediately appealed to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT). Almost 2 years later, on November 18, 2019, the LPAT issued a ruling dismissing the appeal and upholding the bylaw amendments. The new bylaw… Read More

Millennials’ Financial Future Different From Previous Generations – KPMG Poll

Giant consulting firm KPMG recently conducted a survey among 2,500 Canadians, including 1,000 millennials, aimed at exploring what retirement will look like for Millennials. The key findings of the survey were: More than three quarters (78%) of all Canadians believe that home ownership is an investment for financial stability in retirement. Because one’s principal residence… Read More

Luxury Toronto Real Estate Sales Over $5 Million Increasing

After a soft start to the year, sales of luxury Toronto real estate is on the upswing, surpassing 2018 trough levels. Year-to-date sales in the GTA of freehold and condominium properties priced in excess of $5 million topped 100 units between January and October 31. This is up 8.5 per cent from the 94 sales… Read More

Annual CMHC Survey Shows Homebuyers Are Upbeat

Every year, CMHC conducts a survey of Canadians across the country to find out the thoughts, attitudes and behaviours of homebuyers. The 2019 survery includes 1,385 first-time and repeat homebuyers in every region of the country in both English and French. All participants had undertaken a mortgage transaction in the past 18 months. Highlights of this years survey include:… Read More

Federal Election – Housing Platforms

Here’s a quick summary of what each of the federal parties are promising/proposing for housing in Canada: Conservative Party Make the mortgage qualification stress test less stringent, and eliminate it completely for renewals to keep banks from gouging borrowers on renewal with uncompetitive high rates. Allow first time buyers to obtain 30 year amortizations to… Read More

Many Canadians Are Financially Stressed – BDO

BDO Canada is part of a large global network of firms that provide debt solutions for people in financial difficulty. They publish a study called the ‘BDO Canada Affordability Index‘. Here are some of the key conclusions from the latest study: More and more Canadians are taking on debt in all forms: 57% carry a… Read More

Home Sellers: The Curse Of The First Offer

Sometimes when everything goes right we have trouble accepting that fact. Perhaps nowhere is this phenomenon more clearly illustrated than in the case where a seller receives a good offer right away. The annals of real estate are well stocked with stories of sellers who refused to take a good, but not perfect, first offer,… Read More

New Mortgage Qualification Rules – More Unintended Consequences

As previously reported here, the B-20 ‘stress test’ mortgage qualification rules (requiring buyers to qualify ‘as if’ the mortgage rate were 2 points higher than it actually is) has resulted in a significant reduction in the number of real estate sales across the country. In turn, this caused an unintended knock-on impact on economic activity… Read More

Interest Rates Unlikely To Rise In 2019

The latest data from Statistics Canada shows that GDP has actually fallen in four of the past six months, suggesting that, after the longest (if one of the weakest) recoveries ever, we are heading toward a recession within the next year or so. Click to view monthly GDP chart This is why the Bank of… Read More

Canada Is A Haven For Money Laundering

There’s a lot of ‘dirty money’ in the world, and many complex schemes to ‘launder’ this money and convert it into ‘clean’ funds. Real estate is a very popular venue for such laundering, particularly in Canada, as we have some of the weakest laws in the world to defend against money laundering. A recent report… Read More

Trends Cost Sellers Money

Every new and widely-adopted trend changes what’s considered “standard.” When this happens in real estate — inside or out — a seller’s non-trend or off-trend house or condominium unit may become “substandard” in buyers’ eyes. Sellers who expect top dollar for their property must ensure it makes an on-trend impression with homebuyers, especially millennials. In… Read More

Toronto Considering Land Transfer Tax Increase

In early 2007, the City of Toronto instituted a Toronto Land Transfer Tax (on top of the Ontario Land Transfer Tax) as a way to increase revenues while avoiding large (and politically unpopular) increases in property taxes or decreases in expenses. This tax applies only to properties in the “Old Toronto” 416 area code. For… Read More

I Want To Sell My Home – How Much Work Should I Do?

You’ve started looking for a new house, and you’ve seen a couple that you like. Your present house has served you well, but the last major renovations were done almost 20 years ago. How much work should you do to get the house ready to put on the market as soon as you buy the… Read More

Torontonians Say The City Isn’t Doing Enough To Increase The Supply Of Housing

In a recent survey, Forum Research found that 69% of Toronto residents feel that the City should be doing more to increase the supply of rental housing across the city. As previously reported, there is a rental housing crisis in Toronto due to the influx of new residents, declining affordability (forcing would-be buyers to rent),… Read More

The Critical First Two Weeks of Marketing Your Home For Sale

Real estate agents share their listings with other real estate agents in the multiple listing service (MLS) under certain rules of cooperation and compensation. One of the rules of cooperation is that each agent make a new listings available to other MLS members within 48 hours of signing the listing agreement with the seller. This… Read More

Toronto Homes Among the Most Overvalued in the World

The Economist magazine has published a very cool interactive chart that allows you to see at a glance how home prices in major cities around the world compare to each other over the past 20 years, and how ‘overvalued’ they are in terms of the ratio of price to household income. As you can see… 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.

Rental Housing Crisis in Toronto

The vacancy rate for rental apartments in Toronto is about 0.5%, average monthly rents are increasing at an accelerating pace, and the supply of new rental units is far behind the number of new renter households being created each year. Clearly the Toronto rental housing market is in a crisis. The causes of the problem… Read More

Highlight Specialty Rooms When Selling Your Home

Many homeowners understand the importance of making their kitchen, master bedroom, and bathroom stand out when it comes to selling their homes. But helping buyers see other areas of the home that are designed for special purposes, such as a media room, kids’ study hall, or art studio can also generate a lot of buyer… Read More

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

What Sellers Should Know About Pets And Showings

Buyers and their agents need to feel welcome to look at the property at their leisure without danger or distractions. So while you adore your sweet-tempered pit bull rescue, he could turn territorial, barking and growling at potential homebuyers. And it could cost you the opportunity to sell your home. Think of buyers as guests… 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

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

Eight Signs It’s Time To Move Up

The starter home. It was so cute and quaint and sweet when you bought it, right? But, that was before kids and dogs and overnight quests and holiday dinners that require mathematician-level logistics to finding everyone a seat in a dining room that bursts at six people. Let’s face it: It’s probably time to move… 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

What Not To Do When You Are Moving

Whether moving across town or across the country, packing up and moving can be stressful, costly and full of surprises. From shady movers and inaccurate price quotes, to overpacking or not allowing enough time to get the move set up, every step of a move has the potential for mistakes that can make a move… Read More

Tech To Attract Affluent Home Buyers

HGTV reported 46 percent of consumers see smart-home technology as important for their current and future residences. But luxury homebuyers are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice. According to Digital Interiors, 94 percent of buyers surveyed would sacrifice 1,000 square feet of living space for more technology in their new home. Oversized houses are no… Read More

Maximize Your Selling Price… Minimize Your Expense

There are two parts to how to get the highest possible price for your home while minimizing the cost of getting your home ready for the market… that is, putting the most money in your pocket. The first is correct pricing; the second is spending money only on those things that will add more value… 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

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

Selling Your Home Over The Holidays? Don’t Be A Curb Appeal Scrooge

If your house is currently for sale or if you’re considering listing it, you may be wondering whether you should bother at all with holiday decorations this year. In a word: yes. But there’s more to it than that. There’s a long way between Scrooge and The Griswolds. It’s hard to argue with the fact… 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

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

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

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

Renovating? Recoup Your Investment When You Sell

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

Will The Ontario Fair Housing Plan Slow The Toronto Market?

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

Moving On… Packing Up The Memories

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

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

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

Demographia Releases Worldwide Housing Affordability Report

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

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

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

Top Six Mistakes Sellers Make

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

Untangling the New Mortgage Rules

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

10 Tips For Decorating Your Home For Sale During The Holidays

If you’re planning to put your home up for sale during the holidays, you have a lot of things to consider – most importantly, how to price it right to attract buyers during this busy time of year. But home staging is always a concern when selling a home, and during the holidays, it becomes… Read More

The Top Five Moving Mistakes You Can Make

Whether moving across town or across the country, packing up and moving can be stressful, costly and full of surprises. From shady movers and inaccurate price quotes, to overpacking or not allowing enough time to get the move set up, every step of a move has the potential for mistakes that can make a move… Read More

Mistakes That Decrease The Value Of Your Home

When you’re getting ready to sell your home, you don’t want to make any mistakes that can decrease the value of your home. However, sometimes sellers unintentionally do. That’s because what a buyer sees as a mistake is not always the same as what a seller considers a mistake. But when you’re selling your home,… 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

10 Tips To Get The Most Money When You Sell Your Home

When you are getting your home ready for the market, think in terms of making improvements that will add more value than they cost. Here are some of the highest value-for-money improvements you can make: 1.   De-Clutter And De-Personalize. Your home should look almost sparse to give the best impression of available space to… Read More

How To Make Your Home Picture Perfect

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. That’s why getting the right photos of your home are critical. Before having your home photographed or, in some cases, videotaped, you’ll want to make sure that it’s in the best possible shape. But what exactly does that mean? Getting your home ready for a photo… Read More

Moving With Young Children

Are you happy and excited about selling your home? Or are you dreading the sorting, packing and other chores? Your attitude is contagious to little children. If you look at moving as an exciting adventure full of fun, new possibilities, then you’re halfway to getting your children on board for the ride. Most children don’t… 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

Detach To Sell Your Home

Selling their home can feel like they’re cutting off their right arm for some sellers. They feel a sense of loss, and go on an emotional ride that takes them plummeting into the uncertainty of a move and another new home. Even if there’s excitement building about the new place, leaving behind their home and… Read More

Advice For Sellers: Spend A Little, Raise The Value A Lot

Your real estate professional is probably advising you to declutter, stage your home, plant new flowers, and make numerous repairs and updates. You may be reluctant to get started because of the costs, but improvements like these can actually make you more money when you sell your home. According to a survey done among 600… Read More

The Five Biggest Turn-offs For Homebuyers

A lot of sellers don’t listen to their real estate agents, so we’ll tell you what your agent wants to say, but can’t say to you and this is it – your agent can’t get you the price you want unless your home is in pristine move-in condition. That means no sticking drawers in the… 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

Six Fall Homeselling Tips

You may think that fall isn’t the best time to showcase your home, but you’d be wrong. Yes, fall days are shorter, with fewer hours of daylight for buyers to see your home. There may be many days of grey skies, rain, or early snowfall. But autumn has a unique appeal that’s all its own…. 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

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

3 Key Pre-Offer Home Seller Actions

Sellers who wait until they’re faced with a buyer’s offer to purchase before initiating three key actions, may be forcing themselves to make too many decisions at once and too quickly. Most of us are nervous about decision making. Many lack confidence in their ability. Yet, sellers will be faced with quickly making multiple financial,… Read More

Sellers: Ramp Up Your Curb Appeal

Curb appeal is one of the most important factors in selling a home, and one of the most difficult to quantify, but one thing is certain — homes sell for more money when they have it. It’s common knowledge that drive-up first impressions count. Buyers want to be charmed and excited about a property as… Read More

Landscape Tips To Attract Buyers

A functional and beautiful kitchen, flowing floor plan, plenty of storage, and spacious master bathroom will help win buyers’ hearts. However, often before they see those areas, they see your landscape. It’s the curb appeal theory that I’m talking about. Some buyers will decide based on the look of the outside of your home whether… 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

The Five Biggest Turn-offs For Homebuyers

  A lot of sellers don’t listen to their real estate agents, so we’ll tell you what your agent wants to say, but can’t say to you and this is it: your agent can’t get you the price you want unless your home is in pristine move-in condition. That means no sticking drawers in the… Read More

Best Renovation to Add Value? Income Suites

What’s the best renovation project if you want to add resale value to your home? Most of us would say improving the kitchen or bathroom, but the correct answer is adding an income suite, says Scott McGillivray, a real estate investor, contractor and the host of Income Property on HGTV Canada. McGillivray was recently the… Read More

Moving With Young Children

  Are you happy and excited about selling your home? Or are you dreading the sorting, packing and other chores? Your attitude is contagious to little children. If you look at moving as an exciting adventure full of fun, new possibilities, then you’re halfway to getting your children on board for the ride. Most children… 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

Renovation Projects That Add Value To Your Home

Selling your home for more money is always top importance for sellers. However, sometimes they don’t know how to add value to their home. Not all remodeling and maintenance projects increase the value of your home. Some may not even provide equal return on investment, at least not initially. Think solar. That may take a… Read More

Buyer Loses Lawsuit Over ‘Haunted Building’ Joke

A lawsuit in Kitchener surrounding the sale of an office building was thrown out of court when the buyer who had complained about ghosts on the property could not provide any proof. The lesson is that if the history of a property matters to you, whether it is murders, suicides or rumours of paranormal activity,… 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

How To Keep Your Home’s Purchase Price Secret

Many buyers would like keep the price they are paying for their home off the public title record. It can be done if you pay the land transfer tax in advance. The tax is usually paid by your lawyer, but you can do it yourself as long as you include these documents with your request:… Read More

What Your Home Insurance Won’t Cover

If you’re selling your home and the buyer asks whether you’ve had a fire or there has been other damage to the house, just tell them and avoid trouble later. In an unusual case revolving around this principle, Zahid Shah, a Brampton man who was sued by the buyers of his home for withholding that… 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

7 Reasons Why Your House May Not Be Selling

Selling a home isn’t as simple as planting a sign in the ground any more. It involves preparation, timing and strategic advice. If you don’t do all of the above, do not be surprised when your home does not sell while others in the area are doing so. Here are some common mistakes: 1. Good… Read More

Smoking At Home Reduces Property Value

A recent survey of Ontario real estate agents in Ontario found that smoking in a home could lower the value of your property by up to 30 per cent. The survey was sponsored by Pfizer Canada and besides the obvious damage by staining walls and carpets, it can leave a smell that is very hard… Read More

Seven Seller Slip-ups That Send Buyers Packing

Sure it’s a sellers’ market, but that doesn’t mean it’s a fool proof market. Sellers who approach the market like a cocky kid who thinks he or she knows it all will soon learn the real estate world isn’t his or her oyster. If you want to sell your home quickly for the maximum sales… Read More

Patio Appeal May Add Value To Your Home

Depending on where you live, a patio might not be the kind of thing you think about during the cold, and maybe snowy, winter months. But a patio is what many people enjoy on a sunny warm afternoon. It just feels good to sit outside and sip some iced tea or lemonade. That’s the picture… 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

Not All Renos Have A Positive ROI

Homeowners plan renovations for different reasons. Sometimes it’s because they’ve seen a friend’s new kitchen or something on a design show that sparked their imagination. Other times it could start with a repair that turns into a complete makeover. But by the time the renovation is finished, most homeowners will want to know how much… 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

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

Five Must Do’s Before You List Your Home

Deciding to list your home for sale is a momentous time. It means you will be moving on to a new stage of life, no matter if you’re moving up or sizing down. Take a moment to look over these tips for what every seller should do before they put their home on the market…. 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

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

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

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 To Deal With City Hall On Zoning Changes

For many people, their first experience with local politics is when someone on their street wants to make a change to their house, or even knock it down and rebuild and so they need a zoning change which is called a minor variance. They may want to build two semi-detached homes or a triplex where… Read More

Disconnect Your Downspouts – It’s The Law!

Toronto homes built before the 1960’s generally had their downspouts connected to the sewer system. That may have been a good idea at the time, but now it’s become a major problem. As the city has grown, the capacity of the sewer system has become seriously strained, especially since much of the city has combined… 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

Real Estate Agent Sues Seller For Staging Costs

A Toronto man is reeling after his real estate agent sued him when he pulled his house off the market. It’s a modern day real estate cautionary tale with the usual lesson – get everything in writing. Including who pays for the staging of a house that never winds up being sold. Click here to… 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

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

Use Paint To Manipulate Mood

Painting your home is a great way to enhance the appearance of your home, especially when it’s time to sell. But don’t just slather on a fresh coat for the sake of upgrading – choose colors that will enhance your mood. When it’s time to sell, anything that you can do to improve the mood… Read More

Canadian Boomers Ponder Retirement, Mortgages and Moving

Looking at the largest and most wealthy segment of Canada’s population, several major banks have been researching what the baby boomers are planning to do as they head to their retirement years. Studies have looked at their mortgage situation, whether they plan to downsize or move out of the province or the country and exactly… 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

Your Home’s Sale Price is Private Information

A few years ago, the federal Privacy Commissioner ruled a home’s sale price is personal information and cannot be advertised or disclosed without the permission of the buyer and the seller. This is what privacy legislation is all about — protecting your personal information. The lesson is that if you do not want to see… 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

Wire Your Home to Sell

Home buyers are ga-ga over gadgets. A survey by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) says home security systems, home theater-wired systems, home automation management systems and energy management systems are hot selling points. “There is a strong relationship between home technologies and the real estate market. While the market needs to recover before home technologies… 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

Advice For Sellers: Stay Calm During Negotiations

After much soul-searching and working the numbers, you’ve decided to put your home on the market. You may be selling to change cities for a job or are needing to downsize. Regardless of the reason, this is a big and important decision! Now the time has come: you have received an offer on your home…. 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

Will An Open House Help To Sell Your Home?

Open houses will lead to more exposure for your home and more feedback from potential buyers. On the other hand, since we have so much information available to buyers on the Internet, such as video tours of the entire home, wouldn’t it make more sense to wait for a truly interested buyer to schedule 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

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

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

Top Five Mistakes Home Sellers Make

It can be a tough market for selling a home, but those conditions can get even worse if sellers aren’t careful. While a seller doesn’t control the real estate market, their actions can significantly contribute to how long and how much their home is sold for. Underestimating Cleaning Up: It may seem obvious, but I… Read More

Should You Sell Your Home Now or Later?

Most property owners intend to enjoy their real estate as long as they want to, and then sell it for the greatest possible profit — ideally tax free — with the minimum amount of hassle, in the shortest possible time. Sometimes this works out. Sometimes it doesn’t. How can owners stack the deck in their… 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Improvements That Help To Sell Your Home

Most sellers know of some repairs that need to be made to their home, and a lot of sellers have many items on that list, but not all repairs are equal or, rather, not all home improvements rank high in the buyer’s mind. Finding out which repairs will help you sell your home helps you… 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. 

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.

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.