Buying First Investment Property.

Thursday May 7th, 2020


Real estate around GTA has been a great investment for many decades, the prices have appreciated over time, if anyone was unlucky and purchased at the peak prior to a correction, given enough time they were able to recover and show significant gains, most people who invested in rental properties have accumulated significant wealth, in reality owning real estate in GTA equals wealth. Why GTA? Why invest in GTA? The answer is actually very simple: the populations is growing, it attracts... [read more]

DT Core - Condo Prices and Trends

Saturday Apr 25th, 2020


The following chart is tracking recent trends in the condominium market in DT Toronto, specifically the following communities: Bay Street Corridor Church-Yonge Corridor Moss Park Waterfront C1 Waterfront C8 To compare apples to apples only one and one plus one units are being tracked. The data is tracked starting September 1, 2019 to illustrate the most recent trends and the impact of Covid-19 on this segment of the real estate. Initially I was going to do weekly chart... [read more]

Markham, Richmond Hill, Vaughan - Condo Price and Trends

Friday Apr 24th, 2020


The following chart is tracking recent trends in the condominium market in Markham, Richmond Hill and Vaughan. To compare apples to apples only one and one plus one units are being tracked. The data is tracked starting September 1, 2019 to illustrate the most recent trends and the impact of Covid-19 on this segment of the real estate. Initially I was going to do weekly chart but the sales volume as of right now is so low that the charts would be meaningless, therefore the charts are... [read more]

TREB April Market Update

Thursday Apr 23rd, 2020


  TREB has issued a market update for the period covering April 1 to April 17, 2020. Highlights: The volume of transactions decreased drastically For all homes the price the YOY price declined 1.5% TREB anticipates a rebound after the lock down is lifted   Our comments: The volume decrease was expected as both buyers and seller are staying on the side lines The overall average price decline was partially caused by significant drop in sales in the higher... [read more]

Assignments Explained In Simple Terms

Sunday Apr 12th, 2020


In this blog I will try to explain basics of assignments, the general terms apply to any region in Canada, some specifics will be related to Ontario and more specifically GTA. What is an assignment. Assignment is when the seller sells the interest in the property (contract with the builder) before they actually own the property (before the seller’s name is on the title). In real estate transaction the assignments can happen for preconstruction and resale, in practise it is very rare... [read more]

Principal Residence Exemptions & Elections 45(2) and (3).

Tuesday Apr 7th, 2020


Very often we are faced with a situation where a person moves temporarily from one city to another, a property becomes a rental unit or a rental unit becomes principal residence. The question is: does a person have to occupy the property all the time for it to be deemed principal residence, and be it exempt from capital gain tax for the period the owner does not ordinarily occupy it? There are certain elections one can make in order to defer the capital gain taxes when there is a change... [read more]

Covid-19 And GTA Real Estate - Factors Pushing The Prices Down And Up

Saturday Apr 4th, 2020


May 13th update. The is a follow up to the article written below on April 4th. Not much has changed in a month, the real estate market hasn’t crashed and the volume remained very low, prices remained fairly flat. The properties are selling but we are experiencing more balanced market albeit with very little volume and very low inventory. The government is hinting that the subsidies will be extend as needed, and new support plans are being introduced. Re-opening of the economy... [read more]

TREB report March 2020, the story of two tales.

Friday Apr 3rd, 2020


  TREB March 2020 Market watch. The monthly stats by TREB have been issued, not unexpected, and pretty much inline with what we see first hand  before March 15, and after March 15. Not every property sells the same, prior to March 15 10 or 20 offers were common, now the properties are selling but in general they are getting 1-3 offers. Volume has been down significantly. DT rental market is the most affected (lay offs, empty short-term rentals etc).   Below is... [read more]

Is The Condo Preconstruction Deposit Safe?

Saturday Mar 28th, 2020


I have already written about condo project cancellations and there have been a number of them in the last few years. Every time a unit is purchased a deposit is made, are these funds safe? There are number of safeguards in place to protect the buyers and their deposits. Tarion offers condo deposit protection up to $20,000, but as we know most deposits would exceed this amount by a large margin. The developer of the new condominium project must be Tarion registered and must enter into... [read more]

Covid-19, Home Owner Relief Summary And Links.

Friday Mar 20th, 2020


  I have compiled information regarding options for the home owner who have faced hardship due to this crisis. I will provide links to various financial institutions, cities and other websites and will provide a brief description. All this is new to everyone and I don’t have all the answers, but hope it will make easier for some people looking for help in these difficult times. Don’t be afraid to ask the banks, city or the utility companies to work with you if you have... [read more]

Status Certificate 101.

Saturday Mar 7th, 2020


The below write up concentrates on Ontario rules but some elements and principals can be applied anywhere. What is a Status Certificate. Status certificate is a document that provides essential information regarding the financial status of the unit and the condo corporation. What’s included in the Status Certificate. Financial statements, budgets, special assessments, liens, arrears, lawsuits, condo declaration, by-laws, reserve fund study, insurance policy and claims,... [read more]

Buying Resale Condominiums - Things To Consider

Saturday Jan 25th, 2020


    I have already written a blog about buying preconstruction condos, in this blog I would like to point out certain details of purchasing a resale condominium, in some aspects buying precons and resale are the same, and differ quite a bit in others. For the most part the approach of the investor and owner occupier will be very similar as well. I will be addressing number of points, some more important than others, all worth considering. Location. This applies to... [read more]

Renting in the GTA

Tuesday Jan 21st, 2020


  Finding a rental property in today’s market of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) can be challenging. The rental market is very HOT! Vacancy rates are at all time low (around 1%) meaning that landlords (property owners) have their pick of who they want to rent to (and for what price). The housing market affects the rental rates. The more landlords pay for the property, the higher their mortgage, the higher the rent. And as it becomes harder to buy a home, with low market... [read more]

What is a bedroom – condo edition.

Saturday Dec 14th, 2019


A bedroom, as most of us would imagine, is a place where one would ordinarily sleep, will have a door which can be shut so one can sleep in peace and quiet, will have a window for a daylight, and be large enough to have a bed. Ontario Building Code describes this in great detail, below are few excerpts: Areas of Bedrooms (1) Except as provided in Articles and, bedrooms in dwelling units shall have an area not less than 7 m² where built-in cabinets are not... [read more]

Why Are Condo Fees So High?

Sunday Dec 1st, 2019


Why Are Condo Fee So High? Condominiums have been the hottest segment of the market around GTA recently, it is partly because of the lack of affordability for freehold housing, as well as changing demographics, lack of available land in Downtown Toronto, life-style choices, just to name few reasons. The amount to be paid for monthly condo fees can range anywhere from $200 for a studio unit in the brand new condominium building to many thousands of dollars for a large penthouse in... [read more]

101 of Preconstruction Condominium Buying

Sunday Oct 27th, 2019


You are thinking of buying a preconstruction condominium, you hear people talking about making a fortune by buying them and you want the piece of the pie. Facebook is full of advertisements for new launches and the graphics look spectacular, so you decide to wait for the next official opening to go in without an agent because you know what you want, right? In this blog I will try to explain as much as possible (and the topic is extensive) about the process and key factors when buying a... [read more]

The First-Time Home Buyer Incentive

Tuesday Sep 17th, 2019


In September 2019 the federal government has introduced the program to assist first time home buyers with a purchase of their home. The program is a bit more complex than the other government incentives I have written about, and deserves to be analyzed and discussed in more detail to highlight not only the particulars of the program, but more importantly to look deeper and determine whether you should or should not participate if you happen to qualify. Program eligibility: You need... [read more]

Home Staging

Sunday May 26th, 2019


                        Staging may be one of the most important projects to prepare your home for sale. It does not require spending a lot of money – just making the right decisions. First impressions are important in any market but especially in the buyer’s market, that is why it is important that your home stands out from others and it is prepared the best way possible. Potential buyers when entering the... [read more]

Buying Renovated Property – What About Building Permits.

Tuesday Apr 16th, 2019


  You are interested in purchasing a renovated property, this gorgeous house in a great established neighbourhood has been completely renovated top to bottom, it just looks great, and is everything you have ever wanted. Do I have anything to worry about? Yes, one of many items you have to check are the construction permits. CHECK IF THE PERMITS WERE OBTAINED. Why is this important? Most major renovations will require some kind of permit, examples of work requiring... [read more]

Buying Land to Build a Dream Home.

Tuesday Nov 13th, 2018


You have found a nice and inexpensive piece of land and decided this is where you want to live, perhaps not only is it a great place for you to call home but also a fantastic investment. Great, now slow down, a lot of research should go into the decision making before dumping your hard-earned money into it, as there will be many hurdles to overcome, and many questions to answer: Question 1. Can I build a house on this piece of land? This will depend on several factors, there... [read more]

Mussleman’s Lake – GTA’s Hidden Gem.

Monday Oct 1st, 2018


Many of us dream of living in the lake community, but think it’s impossible due to work obligations, and the impossible commute from the cottage country. I have been privileged to live in such community and wouldn’t change it for the world, and the best part is I live in the GTA. The Mussleman’s lake community is a small settlement concentrated around the lake, the name comes from Peter and Jacob Mussleman, Mennonites who have settled here from Pennsylvania in... [read more]

Condo Developers - are they all the same?

Tuesday Aug 21st, 2018


Pre-construction condos have been popping up all over GTA, and over the past few decades most people have done very well financially by buying pre-construction condos. Assignments, pre-con flipping, investment units have become the staple of condo purchases vocabulary, and majority of owners and investors alike reaped the benefits of buying pre-construction units. The key word is most, not all. Recently at least 9 condo projects in GTA have been cancelled, the biggest of them being... [read more]

Credits and Government Incentives for the First Time Home Buyers

Tuesday Aug 14th, 2018


Hello first time home buyers. The process of buying the first home is a very exciting experience, but it can be tasking and overwhelming. In order to encourage home ownership and lessen the financial burden various levels of governments offer credits and incentives for first time home buyer, and they can add up to fairly significant amounts. I would like to explain to you the credits, their benefits, what they are and how to apply for them. There are many requirements and rules that need... [read more]