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RRSP Home Buyer's Plan - detailed explanation in simple terms.

Friday Jul 9th, 2021

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We have been asked on many occasions about the RRSP Home buyers plan and thought it would be a good idea to explain the details from the beginning to the end of how it works, and what to do. What is Home Buyers Plan. A home buyers plan allows you to withdraw up to $35,000 per person (if you are a couple you can withdraw up to $35,000 each, for a total of up to $70,000) for the purchase of the qualifying home for yourself or for a related person with a disability. You can only withdraw... [read more]

What is a den, or let’s talk about +1.

Saturday May 22nd, 2021

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When looking for your next condo you often see numbers such us 1+1, 2+1, 1+2 where the first number represents the number of bedrooms, and the second number represents a den. We have already discussed what is a bedroom and the alternative solutions often used in condos, now let’s talk about the dens. A den, or the number that comes after “+” as it turns out, and unlike other spaces in your house or a condo is not regulated by the Ontario Building Code and that is why we... [read more]

Selling a condo in GTA.

Sunday May 16th, 2021

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Selling a condo in GTA. If you want to sell a condo in GTA our first question would be if you must do so, as we have already pointed out in another blog we think the real estate in GTA will do very well over the long period of time, hence if you are able to financially, and want to be a landlord (many people buy a condo as their first property and then move into a freehold as their lifestyle changes) consider keeping your condo as long as it’s a good condo in a good building. If we... [read more]

Understanding The Reserve Fund & the Reserve Fund Study.

Friday Jan 1st, 2021

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In our previous blogs we have explained step by step process of buying resale condominiums, and deeper into the most important document associated with the purchase, the status certificate, in this blog we would like to take it even further and explain one of the most important aspects of the status certificate, the reserve fund study, in more details. What is a reserve fund. In the nutshell the reserve fund are money put aside every month for future repairs and replacements, it is... [read more]

Condos Allowing Short Term Rentals DT Core

Tuesday Oct 27th, 2020

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People who are interested in living in or investing in DT condos are often asking which building do, and which once don’t allow short term rentals. The truth is the majority of the condos don’t permit short term rentals and it is stated in their bylaws, of the buildings who are not allowing them there are some who enforce it strictly, and others that don’t. City of Toronto at the end of 2019 implemented new rules and regulations for short term rentals, there are certain... [read more]

Buying A Property With Basement Rental Potential.

Saturday Aug 29th, 2020

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  GTA’s real estate market has been very expensive for many decades and it is often very difficult to get into the market, and as we wait to save more the price increases tend to outpace the savings. In the last 20 years the price corrections have been few and far between, with few hiccups along the way the prices are going from expensive to even more expensive. One way to get into the market is to find a place with a rental basement potential, yours truly have done it with our... [read more]

Buying First Investment Property.

Thursday May 7th, 2020

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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]

Assignments Explained In Simple Terms

Sunday Apr 12th, 2020

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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

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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

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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]

Is The Condo Preconstruction Deposit Safe?

Saturday Mar 28th, 2020

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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]

Status Certificate 101.

Saturday Mar 7th, 2020

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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

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    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

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  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

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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: 9.5.7.1. Areas of Bedrooms (1) Except as provided in Articles 9.5.7.2. and 9.5.7.3., 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

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Why Are Condo Fee So High? Condominiums have been the hottest segment of the market around GTA until Covid hit, it was 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. In this article we will look at why are condo fees so high. The amount to be paid for monthly condo fees can range anywhere from $200 for a studio unit in the brand new condominium... [read more]

101 of Preconstruction Condominium Buying

Sunday Oct 27th, 2019

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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

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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

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                        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

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  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

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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

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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

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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

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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]

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Kate Kozikowski – 2020 President’s Club Award