JODY RECOMMENDS|Stonegate Farmers Market

Stonegate Farmers’ Market opening is just a month away!

I just love the Farmers Market and I love shopping locally.  Its a great opportunity to meet and support some of our local farmers.  It really makes me appreciate how lucky we are to have fresh grown produce so close by.  Come out and give it at try!  Tuesday afternoons from 4-7  pm.  You won’t be disappointed.  I just might see you there!

Stonegate/Queensway Events

Mimico Waterfront – Yours to Discover

Mimico’s Waterfront – it’s worth exploring

Our Mimico Waterfront is often ignored by many of us that live so close. The trails and parks are great for walking, cycling, jogging, for the photographer buff and the list goes on.  A great outing for the kids on a sunny day.  Really a great destination for anyone!

If you are interested in exploring Real Estate in this area please contact Jody Thompson your Mimico Real Estate Expert.

Should I have an offer date when selling my home?

Conceptual portrait of a business lady with clock being short of time

Conceptual portrait of a business lady with clock being short of time

Many homeowners ask the question – Should I have an offer date when selling my home? An offer date is a specific date that you will entertain offers for your home. It typically is about one week after your home is put on the market. This gives many buyers an opportunity to view your home and decide whether they want to bid.

Often there are multiple bids on a home with an offer date. This is often referred to as a bidding war. The price gets bid up as potential buyers bid against each other.

A bidding war may result in a quick sale of your home at a high price.

However, it is not always rosy. Some buyers will not buy your home because they don not want to participate in a bidding war. In fact you may not get any offers on the offer date, which may lead potential buyers to think that there is something, wrong with your home.

Selling your home is complex and you should consult a reputable realtor on best strategies in selling your home.

What are the top Real Estate mistakes?

Real Estate has been my passion for several decades and have been very good to me. Having said that, I can honestly say that I personally have made ALL of these real estate mistakes at least once over the last 30 years. How many of these top 5 real estate mistakes can you relate to?

1. Overbuilding for the area
real estate mistakes

This home was a 60’s ranch bungalow where the roof was removed and the ceilings where heightened to 18 ft.  A luxurious master bedroom and ensuite bathroom  loft were added.  The exterior of the house was done in authentic stone.  The quality of the renovation was over the top for the neighbourhood and was not recouped when the home was sold.  It was an over build for the area.

2. Too trendy with the decor

real estate mistakes

 I love the look of this space, very trendy, very in.  Today this will appeal to many young buyers.  This color of green is very in today.  It was also in style way back in the sixties with many years where it would have been consider hideous.  Will potential buyers like the green in 5 years?

3. House over location

go train station

You can have a stunning house with all the bells and whistles, however if this is your view…. you will be disappointed with the appreciation of  your home over time.  You can change your house but not the location.  Choose wisely.

4. Jumping too quickly to the Condo Option

condo living

Condo living can be wonderful.  Make sure it if right for you before you make the plunge to sell your sprawling bungalow in the suburbs.  If you are not sure, possibly rent first?

5. Too much trust in your contractor

contractor errors

We all want to have 100% faith in the contractor that we have selected to do our dream renovation.  Make sure that you do your do diligence, check references, see his/her work before you commit.  It is easy to put too much trust in this relationship only to be disappointed.

Best Real Estate Moving Tips and Tricks

Tips for a Seamless Move

Changing homes is extremely stressful, especially because you have to pack and then carry all your belongings from one place to another… It may not be the best fun you’ve ever had, but at least you can make it memorable! For this to happen, you surely need to take baby steps and have a great attention to details!

So, you need to move and you’re excited, until you realize the huge amount of things you have to pack! But don’t worry, you can hit two birds with just one stone – make it fun and effective too!

Even though planning this action with some months in advance may be time-consuming at a first glance, it will get to be less stressful and simpler if you don’t rush! By following these rules your stress level will decrease drastically! So, just enjoy your move!

Moving tips. Helpful checklist!


Main rule
: Don’t take with you the things that you don’t need! Now it is the perfect time for you to have a mass declutter. Take advantage and get rid of the things that you don’t use! They’ll just occupy space in your new home as they did until the present moment, in your old one!

Here are some tips for you:

  • Plan-ahead

After a tiring and stressful period, when you have probably sold your old house, now the time for you to move has finally come! Even though the stress is not over yet, don’t get things too dramatic – there is a way for you to keep everything under control and the safest way is to plan ahead! Get the clear picture of the entire process, and decide when and how you should manage this situation!

A fact is certain – packing up your entire life and your possessions will not be something that you’ll manage to do in one single day, therefore you need to arm yourself with a lot of patience! You’ll certainly need it!

Hint: Don’t panic!

  • Stay organized

More than ever now it is the perfect time for you to show your organizational skills! Write down everything that you have to do and where you put every object. The boxes need to be labeled both with their content but as well with colors assigned for each and every room. Manage your inventory very carefully, you’ll thank yourself later on!

The thrills or frustrations of this whole situation may be disturbing to you, but stay focused! This is what you need now! Staying organized will save you time later on!

Hint: Don’t rush, take it all slow or you’ll end up mixing everything up!

  • Get the right boxes

Planning in advance requires getting boxes of all sizes and shapes! Keep in mind that lighter objects should always be placed on top! What is more, you should also make sure you won’t leave empty spaces inside the box because objects will slide down and you’ll probably have a huge surprise when you’ll start unpacking!

Hint: Shake your boxes to see if any objects are misplaced and be careful not to make the boxes too heavy to lift either!

  • Use colors for labelling

Colors may help you stay organized. Use a different color for every room; markers will be of great help! This way the unpacking process will become much more bearable and simpler too!

Hint: Keep it all visually appealing; you need to remember this entire experience as a step forward for you! Do everything when you are relaxed and fresh!

  • Charity?

Maybe the time to do a good deed has come. You’ll probably stumble upon things you have completely forgotten about, so why not donate them all? You clearly don’t need them. Take your move as a fresh start and don’t bring useless things with you. You’ll just end up throwing them instead of reusing them. No junk, please! Take a big breath and see which objects are pointless to you!

Hint: Don’t throw away things you don’t use anymore, donate them! Others may be in great need of those particular items!

  • Get rid of the dust

Hygiene is important and taking into account that you have to pack everything up, why not cleaning them first? You won’t want to get dust and dirt into your new home. Take it all step by step and make it all right from the early beginning. Think about it – one way or another at a certain point you’ll have to clean up your things so why not now? Chances are you’ll be too tired later on to clean everything!

Hint: A microfiber cloth is highly recommended!

  • Newspapers, anyone?

You’ll need to fill up every box and wrap every object for protection. Therefore, try to purchase in advance enough packing paper!

Hint: When the time for unpacking comes, unpack only by room! Your entire effort to keep it all organized will become useless if you create chaos now!

  • Separate the essential things

When you’ll get to your new place, you’ll firstly need certain objects so make sure you have them all together in a box at a close reach! You wouldn’t want to search for scissors or papers and not find any one of them!

What should you consider? For instance, think about – paper towels, phone chargers, trash bags or toilet paper!

Hint: Make a list with other objects and make sure you have them all in one single place!

  • Pre-clean the new house

moving tips packingBefore getting all your stuff in, try to clean up the house. Once you have the furniture in, it will much more difficult to Q-tip everything! This will save you a lot of trouble!

Hint: Take at least one week to make sure the house is clean and hygienic before bringing in your stuff! You’re looking for a fresh start, aren’t you? Then, make it look fresh!

  • Vertically or horizontally?

Depending on the type of objects you are carrying, pay attention to how you place them! For instance, your plates should be placed vertically! Why? There are less chances they’ll break under pressure!

Hint: Take some time and think about every object you intend to transport, thus you’ll figure out the right place and a way to bring it ‘safe and sound’!

  • Correspondence

Don’t forget to change your correspondence address with at least two weeks prior to the day you move! This way you’ll be sure no personal papers will get into the hands of the wrong people! Check the utilities you’re responsible for and make sure every important person knows how to reach you!

Hint: Don’t forget to make the switch from time!

  • Get help

You are surely not going to be able to do everything all by yourself. Some may call their friends while others may call for professional help. There is always a way for whatever budget you may have, however you may be sure an expert will always be of much more help for you!

Hint: If you choose to do it all by yourself, you’ll need to have nerves of steel and a lot of patience. This entire experience is extremely stressful!

  • Sort, sort, sort

In order to stay organized you surely need first of all to sort all your stuff! You clearly don’t need chaos now because the stakes are high and there are a lot of things going on. Try to be in control of everything and at all times, this way you’ll have a peaceful and exciting move!

Hint: The more time you dedicate to organizing your things, the easier it will be when you unpack!

  • Separate valuables

From another point of view specialists utterly suggest you need to separate your valuables in order not to regret it later on. Among all the things you have to carry, there is enough space for mistakes to happen, this is why it is better to take precautionary measures!

 Hint: Try to stay organized and set your priorities. Your valuables and important papers should always be with you!

Knowing what things need to be done and most importantly when, will save you from a lot of painful headaches! Remember: you shouldn’t let everything on the last day! You’ll panic and you’ll not be able to face up the stress!

When the details of such an important event tend to overwhelm you, take a break! You need to relax and think clearly – a bit of organization will only help you in moments like this one!

All in all, moving may become a really great experience if you know how to handle things! Don’t hurry, this is clearly not the time for this! Take it all step by step and just enjoy!

Is It Time to Eliminate Low Income Housing From Mimico Waterfront?

etobicoke waterfront

The Mimico waterfront is very precious.  Many are questioning whether it makes sense to have affordable housing along the waterfront.  It’s a dilema.  There is a shortage of affordable housing in Toronto so I hate to see one disappear.  Everyone deserves a roof over their head and it is not getting any easier in Toronto.  Having said that, it no longer fits into the landscape.  Here is a recent proposal to waterfront land in Mimico that is located in close proximity to Grand Harbour .

25-Storey Condominium Proposed for 2313 Lake Shore in Mimico February 12, 2015 4:30 pm 

High-rise development is bringing about a massive transformation of Etobicoke’s waterfront, primarily at its east end in the booming Humber Bay Shores community. Other stretches of the Etobicoke waterfront are witnessing growth pressures to a lesser degree, including just to the west in Mimico, where we are now learning about a development proposed at 2313 Lakeshore West.  What do you think?

Mimico Waterfront Condo

Proposed Mimico Waterfront

Toronto first-time buyers could benefit from tax changes

first time buyers

 

First-time investors and home buyers in Toronto could benefit if a recommendation to the city’s Budget Committee is implemented.

The Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) has recommended that the land transfer tax (LTT) first-time buyer rebate maximum and the LTT tax rebate thresholds are adjusted upwards for inflation.

“This rebate has not been adjusted for inflation since this tax was first implemented,” wrote John Lusink, chair of TREB’s government relations committee, in a letter to the Budget Committee.

“Since that time, because of rising house prices, the average LTT paid to the City has increased by a whopping 102 per cent, but the maximum allowed rebate for first-time buyers has been left unchanged. Under the current structure, even a first-time buyer purchasing a below average priced home would not be exempt from Land Transfer Tax.”

Toronto based investors and real estate professionals agree. TREB’s argument makes absolute sense .  I certainly agree with this.
“Since the average price of Toronto homes has gone up significantly since the land transfer rebate was introduced in 2008, it only makes sense that the rebate made available should go up as well.

“Toronto home buyers are getting hit hard with the double Land Transfer Tax and many first-time buyers are being pushed out of the market by these taxes,” he continued.

“With average Toronto home prices up to $610,000 in 2014 from $400,000 in 2008, the government should adjust the tax rate thresholds to account for inflation. At their existing thresholds most buyers are being forced to pay the maximum LTT.”

 

Do I Pay HST on the Purchase of a Home?

There is so much to think about when you are purchasing a home.  It is not something that you do every day so at times it can feel a bit overwhelming.  Most people want to get a handle on all the costs associated with buying a home.  One cost that is often misunderstood is HST.   Do I pay HST on the purchase of a home is a question that could be on your mind.   The big hefty tax HST has been with us now for some time.  Even so, many buyers are confused on HST and Purchasing a Home – when do they pay it and when do they not.  There is good news here.  You do not pay HST when you purchase a resale home.  You also don’t pay HST on rents or condo fees when you own a condo. hst

That’s where the good news stops.  You do pay HST on the purchase of a new home.  However, homebuyers can claim a rebate for a portion of the provincial tax for home with a purchase price under $500,000. Many builders  also may include the HST is the cost of the home.  It is buried but it is still there.

You also pay HST on all lawyers fees, any any fees that you incur in doing a pre purchase home inspection.

This is some  good information to know so that you can properly calculate all the costs in buying your dream home.

If you would like more clarification or any other help with your real estate, Jody can help.  Please click on the link below to get in touch with him directly.  Contact Jody

 

The 5 Biggest Mistakes when Selling Your Home

House For SaleToronto has been a hot sellers market for some time.  So you listed you house and thought it would be a no brainer that it would sell quickly and it didn’t.  What happened?  Even in a hot market it is not an automatic that your house will sell. Listed are the 5 biggest mistakes when selling your home that you don’t want to make.

1.  It’s Priced Too High

Most of us think that there house is worth more than it is.  In a seller’s market, if you have had more than 20 showings and no offer it is likely that you have your home priced to high.  Listen to the feedback that you are getting from buyers going though your home.  They will provide you with excellent advice on the appropriate price point.

2.  People Don’t Know Your Home is For Sale

Just putting your home on MLS is not enough for you to maximize your home exposure and the number of potential buyers that will consider your home.  Understand from you agent how your home will be promoted to ensure that it gets the exposure it deserves.  The more people who see your home, the more likely you will sell it quickly for a good price.

3.  House Does Not show Well

Clutter, odour, and messiness are big detractors.  Potential buyers will only notice the smell or how dirty your home is and not all the wonderful features.  Make sure that your home is spotless, over the top clean and free of any odours before you put it on the market.  Many agents will offer staging of your home.  This is a valuable perk for many home homers.  It is not cheap for the agents to do but definitely will make your home stand out from the rest.

4.  Difficult to Show Your Home 

Your home needs to be available to see when potential buyers want to see it, not when it is convenient for you to show.  If you are inflexible about showing your home, those buyers will just go to another property and you have just lost a potential buyers.

5.  Home Does Not Show Well Online

Most buyers will begin their home search online.  Make sure that your agent is using a professional photographer to take photos of your home.  If you home does not look good online, it will not get shown.

Selling your home is a stressful time.  By avoiding these blunders you can make it just a little bit less stressful and let you make the move  that you are hoping for.

 

What Pitfalls To Avoid When Getting Your Home Ready For Sale

Getting Your House Ready for SaleWhen you list your home for sale, you want it to look it’s best. Right?

Absolutely, however, looking it’s best does not mean your home needs to look like the latest new trendy home you saw on TV.

Buyers want to picture themselves in a home, and highly artistic, trendy finishes can get in the way.

When you’re ready to sell your home, it’s best to put things in pristine, move-in condition and remove all of the individual touches that made your house a home.

After all, your goal is to get potential buyers to picture themselves in the home—and they won’t be able to do that if your decorating style still dominates.

You may want to know what pitfalls to avoid when getting your home ready for sale,  Here are a few of my favourites.

Boldly Painted Walls
Decorators often tout black or another bold paint color as the perfect backdrop to metallic accessories or appliances in modern home design.

The reality is that people prefer the exterior and interior walls of a home to be neutral. Even though repainting is cheap and relatively easy to do, it’s still a pain and buyers might not want to bother.

When decorating, your best bet is to stick to an appeasing hue for the walls and use accessories to provide pops of color.

Wallpaper

Bold, graphic patterns increasingly are being incorporated into interior design, often in the form of wallpaper.

But wallpaper—even if it’s only on one wall—is an extremely personal choice and time-consuming to remove if it doesn’t appeal to the buyer

Consider replacing wallpaper with a neutral paint for broader appeal.

Lavish Light Fixtures

While potential buyers want rooms that seem airy and bright, beware of installing a showpiece light fixture that is too modern or ornate.

Fixtures should enhance your home—not steal the spotlight.

Gleaming Gold

Designers may be mixing silver and gold to give homes star quality, but it might be wise to change out fixtures if they have the wrong metallic sheen.

Gold can give a home an outdated, ’80s feel. Switching out the faucet and door handles with a more appealing finish—such as brushed nickel—is relatively inexpensive and can help make your home appear sleek rather than out of style.

Converted Garages

People want a covered parking space so that they have a safe place for their car—especially in areas where street parking is at a premium. Additionally, people often use their garage as storage space.

If you convert your garage into a space tailored your specific needs, such as a music practice room, it may not suit your potential buyers.

Converted Bedrooms

Like with the garage, people want rooms built for their original purpose.

If you’ve converted an unused bedroom to an office, walk-in closet, or a game room, make sure you can easily convert it back to a bedroom when you’re ready to sell.

Carpets

While designers love to play with the texture of shag carpeting as it feels soft underfoot, the majority of home buyers prefer hardwood floors

People assume carpets trap dirt, germs and odors, and they don’t want to go through the hassle of steam cleaning their home before they can move in. Potential buyers also don’t want to spend time removing carpet to expose hardwood floors.

If someone really loves carpet, it’s much easier for them to add it themselves—after the purchase.

Too-Lush Landscaping

The “outdoor living room” is all the rage, and you may be tempted to build out your backyard into a lavish wild flowers .But potential buyers may be hesitant to buy a home with an overly landscaped property requiring a lot of maintenance.

Focus on creating or maintaining a nice neat outdoor space.

Pools and Hot Tubs

A pool may seem like a luxurious feature, but it can be a big turnoff for buyers.

Pools are perceived to be expensive to maintain and potential safety hazards, especially for families with children. Above-ground pools are eyesores and can leave a dead spot in the backyard.

These sentiments extend to hot tubs, too. Many people see hot tubs as breeding grounds for bacteria, and they are not a feature easily removed from the deck or back yard.

Fancy (or Not) Pet Products

Sales of pet products are expected to increase nearly $3 billion from last year, and there’s an increasing market for luxury pet items.

But even animal lovers don’t want to see another family’s pet paraphernalia in a potential home. Even if your home is immaculate, the presence of pet-related items will give the impression that it’s dirty.

Be sure to remove all traces of your pet—including toys, food dishes and photos—before listing your