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

Is it a good time to invest in an income property?

income property

You may be wondering is it a good time to invest in an income property? This is a question that I get asked all the time. Prices have been on the rise in Toronto and surrounding area and may potential investors question whether they have been priced out of the market.

The answer to this question is …. it depends.   It is more about investing in the RIGHT property than it is timing the market. This is not dissimilar to the stock market. If you buy good stocks in good companies it has proven to be a good long investment

The same goes for income properties.   Buying the right income property is and has always been an excellent long term investment.

The right income property is one that generates positive cash flow. This means that when you take the revenue in generate in rent and subtract all your expenses (mortgage utilities, and taxes) you are generating monthly income. The monthly income is your cash flow.

There may be more opportunity in smaller communities such as Guelph, Barrie, Cambridge and St Catherine’s to generate positive cash flow. In these smaller communities prices have not increased at the same pace as Toronto, however rents are not too dissimilar to Toronto. Therefore generating a positive cash flow may be easier.

I look forward to previewing a few of these communities and the opportunity for attractive income properties’ with you. In fact, one that I find the most attractive is Guelph where properties are more affordable and rents relatively high.

What is the Condo Reserve Fund?

condos in urban setting

Condo Reserve Fund – Why is it important?

You’re buying a condo.  What is the condo reserve fund that your lawyer is referring to?

The Condominium Act requires all condos to maintain a reserve fund for major repairs of common elements of the condo.  This could be things like fixing broken equipment in your gym, or repairing the lobby or hallways in your condo..

The Reserve fund is funded by the a portion of the maintenance fees you pay each month as an owner of the condo.  If you sell you unit the amount of your unused reserve fund contributions are not refunded to you and remain n the fund.  As common areas will deteriorate over time, the reserve fund will consist of payments from existing owners and previous owners.

An inadequate reserve fund can have devastating financial consequences for the owners.  In fact, there was a situation in Ottawa where the major brick work had to be done, the fund was not sufficient and resulted in each home owner faced a huge cost.

Anyone buying a condo unit should carefully review or have your lawyer review the status certificate to verify the state of the reserve fund before committing to the deal.  You don’t want to be caught with any nasty surprises.

 

What is a real estate deposit?

Successful business lady smiling at the camera while working in office

I’m buying a home and want to understand what is a real estate deposit and what do I need to know about it.  Here are a few questions that I hear often.

1.  When must a deposit be paid under the standard Ontario Real Estate Contract?

In Ontario, the standard contract gives buyers two choices: you can pay your deposit when you present your offer to the seller or you can agree to pay within 24 hours of the seller accepting your offer.  Most buyers prefer the second option.  If you are in a bidding war you are typic

2.  How is a deposit different from a down payment?

A deposit is the funds that you agree to pay on signing an purchase agreement.  It will be part of of your downpayment when you close on your house.  Your down payment is the total amount that you put into your house on closing.  The difference between the purchase price and your down payment is your mortgage (the amount that you agree to pay a lender for your home over time)

3.  How much should my deposit be?

There is no set rule on how much the deposit needs to be.  Some sellers identify their expectations when they list their home.  Some real estate agents suggest 5% is a strong deposit.  Sellers will view a higher deposit as a stronger offer. It may sway a seller to accept your offer over anothe offer with a lower deposit.

4.  Under what circumstances would I lose my deposit?

If you decide not to close on your home after signing a binding contract, you will lose your deposit.  (you also stand to lose far more than your deposit, so be careful)

5.  What happens to my deposit when I close on my house

Your deposit will be included in money that you have paid towards the purchase house of you home.  Your lawyer will take care of this.

Are you Ready to Invest in Real Estate?

RE INVESTING

When it comes to property investment, timing is everything. Ultimately, choosing the right time to enter the market will have a significant impact on the long-term success of your investment.

This is a great list of five things you will need to be truly ready to make the plunge.

  1. You are financially ready. You have saved enough for the downpayment and you have also established your emergency fund. Your credit history is good and you are able to meet all the financial obligations.
  2. You Understand the carrying cost of owning a home. You have a clear picture in your mind of the the monthly costs associated with owning this home including dollars for ongoing maintenance and it fits within your budget.
  3. You have done your research. You know the neighbourhood of your future property or have consulted a good real estate agent that knows that area that you are thinking of investing in.
  4. You have chosen a good agent to help you with your search. Buying in the Toronto market is not easy.  A good real estate agent will guide you to properties that represent good value in current market conditions and help you get hte property at market prices.
  5. You have a time horizon of at least 5 years. No one can predict where the market is heading.  You want to make sure that you are not going to need the money that you are investing in this home in the short term.  Like all investments, you want to be in a position where you can sell market when your investment has appreciated not being forced because you need the cash.

If you can check “yes” to this list – go wild and have fun with your investment opportunity.