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Posts in Buying opportunity

Toronto Community Housing sales update

May 11th, 2016 Posted by Buying opportunity, Toronto Community Housing Corporation No Comment yet

**UPDATE** May 30.2016 – TCHC currently has no houses on the market.

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Beautiful Birchmount Rd Detached Home **SOLD**

July 1st, 2014 Posted by Buying opportunity, Hot Listings No Comment yet

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We have just done a significant price reduction on this fantastic property! It’s truly a unique house -loaded with recent renovations (kitchen, bathroom, home theater), landscaping and a new pool, this house accommodates all aspects of life: family, entertaining and relaxing!

The home features four bedrooms, three bathrooms, a fireplace and hardwood throughout. There’s also a separate front entrance with a foyer, closet and office – great for receiving business guests. The lot is approximately 90 feet by 100 feet – an unusually broad frontage that allows for a large driveway, an attached garage, and a wide backyard. 

The house sits just around the corner from Rosetta McClain Gardens and Scarborough Heights Park, so there’s no shortage of local green space. The local elementary school is Birch Cliff PS (JK-8); high school is Birchmount Park CI – and they are both just a couple of blocks away. This great location offers a blend of suburban space and quick access to the core: two local buses make a short trip to the subway line, or you can drive straight downtown via Kingston Rd/Eastern Ave. 

The King Edward Private Residences – bright 1+1 corner unit! **SOLD**

March 6th, 2014 Posted by Buying opportunity, Condos, For Lease, Hot Listings No Comment yet

The King Edward Hotel is a world famous Toronto landmark. Just three floors of this iconic building have been converted to condos; the rest continue as one of the city’s classic hotels. This relatively small conversion will bring new meaning to the idea of an ‘exclusive’ condo location in Toronto.

Just as you would expect, the finishes inside the condo conversion are fantastic, and the layout is well thought out. One of just a few units with a discrete den, it’s also at the south-east corner of the building, which allows for five windows, making the space extra bright and creating a sense of open airiness.

Downstairs is the opulent lobby, offering elegant common areas, luxury services, and fine dining. Step outside to King St East, and you are right in the heart of the financial district. From here you’ll be able to walk to almost anything – work, restaurants, entertainment, you name it!

While there are a few units on the market now (typical for recently incorporated condominiums), I expect that this building will soon become one of the most sought-after spots in the city. There are fewer than 150 private residences in the building; once the initial turn-over is complete, they will be hard to come by. If you are looking for a condo option that could offer you a bit of long-term peace of mind, you owe it to yourself to take a look at The King Edward Private Residences.

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Rosevear Ave: Three bedroom starter – SOLD!!

May 7th, 2013 Posted by Buying opportunity, First-time buyers, SOLD!! No Comment yet

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This three bedroom home is perfect for a first-time buyer. Located just off the Danforth between Main St and Victoria Park Ave, it has been steadily improved over the last few years. The home now features a new kitchen with stainless steel appliances, new hardwood on the main floor, brand new broadloom up the stairs and throughout the second floor, updated 2nd floor bath, and a main floor laundry room off the kitchen. (Full list of improvements available.)

The location offers quick access to shopping, public transit, local parks and schools (Secord ES, D.A. Morrison MS, East York CI, Danforth Collegiate and Tech. Catholic: St Brigid). The basement has both front and back separate entrances, and the front pad parking is legal. All together, this house is a tremendous value.

Awesome condo listing: (Off the market)

March 21st, 2013 Posted by Buying opportunity, Condos, Hot Listings No Comment yet

Last summer I had 510-1 Cole St on the market. That was a bit of a slow time for condos, so the owner leased it for the winter. It is now back on the market!

After selling two condos last month (not bad for February!) – one of which got competition – I believe that the condo market is showing signs of life. As I often say, price is super important, no matter what the product: it has to be right. By slightly reducing the price for this unit I believe we are offering tremendous value to a market that is still somewhat wary, but also showing confidence in the quality of the offering. In short, I think this is a fantastic unit, in a great building, at an excellent price.

Check out the listing page for full details, and call me if you would like to go see it!

Condos vs. houses

October 10th, 2012 Posted by Buying opportunity, Condos, First-time buyers, Housing, In the media, Market Commentary, Mortgage pre-approval No Comment yet

As I have noted recently – and as has been widely reported in the media – there are two very different markets in Toronto real estate these days: condos and houses. Houses continue to increase in value, due in large part to relatively low supply, but I believe also because they appeal to a broader demographic. Condos, on the other hand, are in great supply (with many new projects situated downtown), often appeal to a different demographic (e.g. folks who can get by in 2 bedrooms or less and don’t want a yard), and have become the ‘whipping boy’ for a whole host of critics (banks, politicians, the media, etc.). It short, it ain’t a great time to be a condo in Toronto!

For those reasons, it’s understandable that buyers have become wary of condos. However, if a condo suits your lifestyle, and if you see the investment value (building equity, capital appreciation, potential income holding down the road) you shouldn’t allow yourself to be scared away. You know (at least, you *should* know…) your financial and life situation better than anybody else, so you can make your own call. Look at this period as an opportunity.

The market is somewhat ‘sideways’ these days – not going up, but not likely to go down much, either. Perhaps at some point we’ll hear about a construction project being cancelled, all the talking heads will say “I told ya so”, and the supply will adjust – and thus shall balance return! 😉

In the meantime, buyers can shop for value. Be extremely careful about your financing, as lenders are apparently getting skittish about condos. Some are afraid of a significant correction, and that’s their prerogative, ’cause it’s mostly their money. Be sure that your lender knows you are shopping for a condo, and ask if that affects the down payment they require as a term of your pre-approval. Whatever your max mortgage load is, be sure to spend a comfortable bit below that. Look for value in the market, and try to negotiate a better price.

These opportunities don’t happen very often in Toronto – the last one was in late 2008-early 2009 – and this one is limited to condos. We figure it will last 3-6 months, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was shorter.

What if you are a seller? People sell for a million different reasons, many of them forced (e.g. job or relationship change). If you really have to sell it’s important to price properly. It really doesn’t matter what a comparable unit sold for 6 months ago. What sold last week – last month at the most? Price to the current market.

Of course, if you don’t really have to sell now is not the time to ‘test the market’. By doing so you are wasting your own time (inconveniencing yourself, or perhaps a tenant) and contributing to the current supply situation. Perhaps you could try again next year….

Whatever happens in the next few months, I am certain of this: the condo sky is not falling. I don’t know why so many people freak out whenever there’s a market correction. Every market (from condos to oil to pork bellies) goes through periodic corrections. As long as we stay within our means (which most of us do), and plan for contingencies, we’ll all be fine. After all, this isn’t exactly the Zombie Apocalypse, ya know!

January 2008 eNewsletter

January 9th, 2008 Posted by Buying opportunity, eNewsletter, First-time buyers, Toronto Land Transfer Tax, Toronto Real Estate No Comment yet

As you know, the new City of Toronto Land Transfer Tax comes in to effect on February 1st, 2008. Some details are becoming a bit more clear. According to the information below (provided by the Toronto Real Estate Board), first-time buyers spending less than $400,000 will not be forced to pay the exempted amount up front and then wait for a rebate. First-time purchases up to $400,000 are now going to be fully exempt from day one. However, it is important to note that the LTT will NOT BE FULLY EXEMPT for purchases over $400,000. From the start, those first-time buyers will have to pay the full amount up front, then wait for the maximum rebate of $3,725. Hopefully, the Teranet system will be fully udpated soon, after which time first-timers spending more than $400,000 will only have to pay the LTT on the amount over $400,000!

First time home buyers of new AND re-sale homes will receive a rebate of the Toronto land transfer tax of up to $3,725 (this equals a 100% rebate on homes purchased for up to $400,000). Teranet will be collecting the Toronto land transfer tax for the City of Toronto. Once the City’s rebate policies are reflected in Teranet’s collection system, the rebate-eligible amount will be exempt at the time of registration. The City previously indicated that these arrangements would not be made until the “spring of 2008”, but has now indicated that changes will be made by February 1, 2008, when the Toronto land transfer tax takes effect. According to the City, purchasers who are eligible for a FULL rebate of the Toronto land transfer tax will not have to pay the tax (meaning that they do not have to pay the tax upfront and be rebated later). This means that first-time home buyers where the total Toronto land transfer tax is $3,725 (the Toronto land transfer tax payable on a home purchased for $400,000) or less, will not pay Toronto land transfer tax (see exception noted below). If you have any concerns, please check with your lawyer.

Note: First-time home buyers with Toronto land transfer tax payable above the maximum rebate amount of $3,725 (those purchasing homes above $400,000) will be required to pay the total Toronto land transfer tax, and then receive the maximum rebate of $3,725 at a later date from the City. Once all changes have been made to Teranet’s collection system, in the spring of 2008, these buyers will only have to pay the balance of the Toronto land transfer tax above $3,725.

Who qualifies as a first-time home buyer?

According to the City of Toronto, eligibility rules for the Toronto Land Transfer Tax first-time buyer rebate will mirror provincial rules, as follows:

– The purchaser must be at least 18 years of age.
– The purchaser must occupy the home as his or her principal residence no later than nine months after the date of the conveyance or disposition.
– The purchaser cannot have previously owned a home, or had any ownership interest in a home, anywhere in the world, at any time.
– If the purchaser has a spouse, the spouse cannot have owned a home, or had any ownership interest in a home, anywhere in the world while he or she was the purchaser’s spouse. If this is the case, NO refund is available to either spouse. Note: If a purchaser’s spouse owned an interest in a home BEFORE becoming the purchaser’s spouse, but not while the purchaser’s spouse, the purchaser may be eligible for some rebate.

Are Toronto Land Transfer Tax Rebates in addition to Provincial Land Transfer Tax Rebates?

– Yes. The provincial government also provides a rebate of the provincial land transfer tax for first-time buyers.*

*As of December 12, 2007, the Province of Ontario started offering first-time home buyers a $2000 rebate of the Provincial Land Transfer tax.

As a reminder, please note that the new Toronto LTT does not apply to transactions closing before February 1st, 2008. I’ll do my best to keep you up to date with these changes. As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments.

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Bully Offers

As some of you have experienced recently, there is a relatively new phenomenon occurring in the Toronto real estate market: the Bully Offer. By now, most market watchers are familiar with the typical marketing cycle for homes listed for sale. The listing is posted this week, an open house is scheduled for the weekend, and offers will be viewed next week. In the hectic Toronto market it has become important to make sure that we do sufficient marketing of a listing to ensure as good exposure as possible; we don’t want a listing being scooped up in one day. That leaves everybody wondering if the listing could have sold for more money – and maximizing the proceeds from a sale is the real estate agent’s duty to the Seller.

This procedure has basically become the de facto standard in recent years. However, a counter-strategy has emerged that can really make things difficult for everybody. A “bully offer” is one registered prior to the scheduled date – often several days early – to be presented ASAP. The Listing Agent is obliged to present the offer to the Sellers. The ball is then in the Sellers’ court: do they take the ‘bird in hand’, or wait for the scheduled date in the hopes of getting competition? To be attractive to the Seller, the bully offer is typically (almost always, in fact) for more money than the asking price, and often ‘firm’, meaning with no conditions attached. It’s a tough decision that can only be made by each Seller on a case-by-case basis.

What about other potential Buyers? The Listing Agent is obliged to inform only Buyer Agents who have registered an offer intended for the scheduled date. Since we usually don’t register until the scheduled day of offers, every other Buyer who has looked at the house may be left out. However, it seems most Listing Agents are taking the time to notify every other agent who has shown the property. (Also, I typically call the Listing Agent if my Buyers express any interest at all in a property; I ask to be kept up to date with changes or developments.) A bully offer puts tremendous pressure on the other Buyers, who may have been counting on more time to make their decision, arrange financing, etc. But, that’s the point of the bully offer – to ‘box out’ the competition.

How do you beat a bully offer? Firstly, be as ready as you can be to make a purchase: have your financing pre-approved. Secondly, if you are interested in a property, consider a pre-home inspection. That costs money, and you might still get out-bid, but that will allow you to make a ‘firm’ offer, if necessary. Thirdly, try not to fall in love with any particular house! You may not get the house, and if you are emotionally committed to it you risk disappointment. (Remember: in any negotiation, you have to be ready to walk away if you don’t get what you want/need.) If you are ready and willing to make a competitive offer, you have just as good a chance against a bully offer as any other situation.

Being prepared to deal with bully offers is now part of the whole buying process. No matter what we encounter, I always recommend that my clients be flexible and co-operative in negotiations – even if the other side starts to get prickly. Staying cool and ‘professional’ helps get you through even the most difficult negotiations.

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New Toronto Land Transfer Tax

Recently, I sent you some information about the new Toronto Land Transfer Tax; I got a number of follow-up questions and comments, so I thought that I would respond with some figures and brief comments about what’s happening in the market as a result of the recent decision by Toronto City Council to basically double the existing Land Transfer Tax.

Here’s what the actual taxes will be for a sale at $400,000:

Ontario Land Transfer Tax $4,475
Toronto Land Transfer Tax $3,725
Total $8,200

Here’s what the actual taxes will be for a sale at $500,000:

Ontario Land Transfer Tax $6,475
Toronto Land Transfer Tax $5,725
Total $12,200

Here’s what the actual taxes will be for a sale at $600,000:

Ontario Land Transfer Tax $8,475
Toronto Land Transfer Tax $7,725
Total $16,200

Here’s what the actual taxes will be for a sale at $1,000,000:

Ontario Land Transfer Tax $16,475
Toronto Land Transfer Tax $15,725
Total $32,200

Basically, the total Land Transfer Tax rate will be 4% per $100,000 over $400,000! That’s a powerful incentive to act now. The new tax could hurt first-time buyers who are on a budget by eating up a significant portion of their down payment, even if the City provides a refund of some or most of the amount. For buyers of more expensive homes, the dollar amount will be quite high, which won’t be fun to deal with. (Plus, anybody who rolls the amount into their mortgage will pay double or triple the tax amount over time.) Either way, acting now to avoid the tax makes sense.

Not surprisingly, this has already motivated a lot of buyers to try to buy ASAP to beat the tax. (Please refer to yesterday’s email to find out how that works.) As a result, in the last couple of weeks the market has become busier than ever. If you are a buyer, that means a bit more competition – which is added incentive to buy sooner rather than later, as these price increases will be compounded over time as the market continues to rise due to other factors. If you are a seller, it makes now a great time to sell, as the number of prospective buyers for your home has spiked.

Overall, I don’t expect the new Toronto Land Transfer Tax to have a serious negative impact on the market; it’s basically 1% of the average sale price (which is still under $400,000). Considering that the market is rising at greater than 5% per year, that’s not a big deal. However, markets almost always react to new taxes by trying to avoid them – thus the recent increase in activity. If you are thinking of buying or selling, now is a great time to do it!

As always, please call me with any further questions or comments. I’m here to help!!