What Can Go Wrong On Closing Day?

Closing day is so exciting for home buyers – it’s THE day! And it’s definitely a disappointment if something goes wrong. Toronto Real Estate Lawyer Mark Weisleder recently wrote an excellent column in the Toronto Star detailing five different things that could go wrong on closing day. The best thing to do is stay calm and try to visit the home once or twice before closing day, as these final visits are quite vital for ensuring everything goes smoothly on closing day. Toronto-Real-Estate-Closing-Day-Go-Wrong-Toronto-real-estate-ca

Things not as advertised: Weisleder brings up a case where the sellers promoted a home with large trees that provided the home with privacy, but upon moving out allowed their neighbor to trim the trees on their side of the fence without telling the buyers, who noticed it just before closing. Their privacy was gone. The buyers were able to plant new trees, with the seller footing the bill.

Things not working: It can be tremendously frustrating if you’re buying during the hottest days of the year or the coldest days of the year to find that the air conditioning or heating isn’t working properly just before closing. In this case, the buyer can obtain an estimate to fix the issue and the seller can either pay to fix it themselves or offer the buyer a credit for that amount.

Missing keys: This is a common one, and it can really put a dent in your moving day! Sometimes, the seller will leave a key for the buyer while the rest of the keys are inside the house, except they mistakenly locked both locks on the front door. If this happens, the buyer may need to call a locksmith and pass that cost onto the seller.

To read the rest of this article, visit the Toronto Star here.


Ontario Housing Market Will Remain Balanced: Canada Mortgage And Housing Corporation

According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the Ontario housing market will remain balanced, regaining momentum through the rest of 2014 and easing later into 2015. CMHC-Ontario-Sales-Toronto-Real-Estate-ca

Ontario’s annual home stars are going to slow slightly to 57,100 units this year, later stabilizing in 2015. It’s expected that over the course of this time period, housing starts are expected to stay between 50,900 and 63,400 units.

“An improving economy by 2015 and less out-migration to western Canada will provide support to the broader Ontario housing market. As home prices continue to rise, albeit at a more modest pace, demand will shift to less expensive housing both by type and geography,” said the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s Senior Market Analyst, Alex Medow.

Ontario’s hoe sales will grow to 202,500 units, up from 197,500 units this year, with home prices forecast to grow.

About 80% Of Toronto And Vancouver Condo Owners Live In Their Units

According to a recently released report by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Most condo owners reside in their unit in Toronto and Vancouver. Toronto-Condo-Investors-Toronto-Real-Estate-ca

The 2013 Condominium Owners Survey shows that 82.9 per cent of condominium owning households live in their unit, while 17.1 per cent are investors.

In Toronto and Vancouver:

-       More than half of those surveyed (58.4 per cent) expect to keep their condo unit for longer than 5 years.

-       Almost 20 per cent will live in their condos for 2 to 5 years, 7.6 per cent for under 2 years, and 16.1 per cent didn’t know.

-       Almost 12 per cent of those surveyed bought their most recent additional condo with the intention of selling it within a year for profit.

“As information on condominium investment is rather limited at this time, CMHC has gathered new data on a segment of domestic condominium activity in Toronto and Vancouver,” said the chief economist, Bob Dugan, at the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s Market Analysis Centre. “While the results are not representative of other markets or all types of investors, the survey helps to shed some light on the profile and purchasing motivations of a segment of condominium investors in Toronto and Vancouver.”

“CMHC continues to explore opportunities to enhance the availability of information on foreign and corporate investment activities in the housing market.”

The survey spoke with over 42,000 households in the Census Metropolitan Areas of both Vancouver and Toronto around this time last year.

Toronto Average Selling Price Up By 9.4% Mid-August

The average selling price of a home in Toronto has increased by 9.4 per cent to $538,530 in the first 14 days of August compared to the same time last year. Detached homes had the highest rate of price growth year-over-year, up 12.3 per cent. August2014-Toronto-Home-Sales-Prices-Mid-Month-Toronto-Real-Estate-ca

Paul Etherington, the president of the Toronto Real Estate Board, said, “Sales were up strongly for all major home types across the GTA through the first two weeks of August. This means that many different types of buyers were active in the marketplace, including first time buyers purchasing newly listed condominium apartments and existing homeowners changing their housing situation to meet their current needs.”

There were 7.6 per cent more homes sold in Toronto during the first half of this August compared to last year, for a total of 3,504 sales.

“During the first 14 days of August, the number of home sales grew at a faster pace year-over-year compared to the number of homes listed for sale,” said Jason Mercer, the Toronto Real Estate Board’s Director of Market Analysis. “This means that competition between buyers increased relative to the same period last year, which explains the continuation of very strong average price growth in the GTA.”

Planning For A Mortgage

Mortgage lenders will primarily look at two things: the ratio of your debts to your income, and the ratio of your income to your mortgage. For example, your debts should not be more than 40% of your gross income, while your mortgage payments each month should not be more than 32% of your monthly income before taxes, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Planning-For-A-Mortgage-Toronto-Real-Estate-ca

If you’re over these numbers, it means that you should take some time and fix them before applying for a mortgage. This can mean looking for a smaller home, or reducing your existing debt as much as you can.

Budgeting is also a great way to be prepared for applying for a mortgage, especially if your budget includes what would be your monthly mortgage payment. When budgeting, don’t forget any upfront closing costs like moving, utility hookups, fees and taxes.

Finally, a pre-approval is key before you start home shopping, but only if your lender does a pre-approval properly. It can be a huge disappointment to think that you’ve been pre-approved for a specific amount only to find that once you’re ready to make it official, you really aren’t – because the lender didn’t run a full credit check when you received your pre-approval. Always ensure that you’ve brought any relevant documentation when you apply for a pre-approval so that the lender has all of the information they need, including pay stubs, tax returns, information about your debts and bank statements.



2nd Highest Sales For July Ever – Average Up 7.3% Year-Over-Year

JULY-TREB---ALL-DISTRICTS-T-01bSales were 10% above average for July with 9,198 houses and condominiums changing hands in all the districts.

Condo townhouse and high-rise suite share of the market increased slightly to 31.6% with 2,904 units being sold.

The July average sale price for all GTA homes came in at $550,700– up 7.3% from 2013.

The active listing inventory is one of the strongest indicators of how smooth or outrageous the market is going to be. We had a 7.2% decline in inventory for the month of July compared to historical numbers and lower by 4.7% from last year at this time.

The sales-to-listings OR percent-chance-of-selling ratio is how we determine what type of market we’re actually in. 24-28% is a neutral market, below 24% is a buyer’s market and above 28% is a seller’s market.

In July that ratio finished at 47% – up 6% from last year’s market dip. By the numbers, the overall market is in ‘busy’ seller market territory!

The days-on-market average for the entire Toronto Real Estate Board was 24 – 1 day slower than June. Although the listing numbers are still down compared to historical numbers, inventories are slowly improving giving more choice to serious buyers and requiring sellers to be reasonable and not overzealous in their pricing strategy!

Watch the video to get the complete July Market Report details.

Here’s the complete text version of the July Toronto Real Estate Market Report to read.

High-End Toronto Real Estate Market Is Roaring

According to a new report by Sotheby’s International, the high-end real estate market in Toronto is doing extremely well, even matching the gains made in Vancouver, which is Canada’s most expensive real estate market. Toronto-Luxury-Real-Estate-Market-Toronto-Real-Estate-ca

Sales of condos priced over $1 million in Toronto increased by 53 per cent in the first half of 2014 compared to the same time last year, more of an increase seen in Vancouver, Montreal or Calgary.

Compared to the first half of last year, 34 per cent more properties over $1 million in the GTA were sold, and there was a 100 per cent increase in sales of properties more than $4 million.

Sotheby’s said that, “Despite fears of oversupply, demand for luxury condos remained high. Given strong economic fundamentals, increased consumer confidence and mortgage lending rates that remain at historical lows, all markets are expected to gain momentum in the latter part of 2014. International demand is also expected to remain strong across Canada’s major metropolitan markets, with the removal of Canada’s Immigrant Investor Program having had no impact on the luxury real estate market year-to-date.”

4 Places And Things You Need To See If You Live In Toronto

There are many, many popular landmarks in Toronto. Most of us who live here have either already been to them at least once, or tend to avoid them on principle because they’re so… tourist-y. Toronto-Secret-Landmarks-toronto-real-estate-ca

If you think you’ve seen all there is to see in this great city of ours, think again! Toronto has quite a few interesting and underrated landmarks that are rife for exploring if you’re looking for a new adventure this summer.

Mount Pleasant Cemetery

Cemeteries aren’t the first place that comes to mind when you’re looking for somewhere to spend some time. Mount Pleasant Cemetery is different, built in 1876 in an effort to be available to everyone, as the only cemeteries that existed in Toronto at the time were for the Church of England or those who were Roman Catholic. There are rare trees, sculptures, fountains, mausoleums and many different connecting pathways that make it a perfect place for a wander.

Amazing Graffiti

Toronto is home to some fantastic graffiti murals, and they’re always changing. For example, the West Queen West area boasts the biggest graffiti wall in Canada. You can also find the Ossington Laneway, which is between Queen and Humbert, as well as the Graffiti Alley, south of Queen between Spadina and Portland.

Weird Houses

You might have seen one or two of these houses on the news in recent months and years, but there are several noteable homes just sitting in plain sight across the city. One example is the tiny house, just 189 square feet at 36 Hanson Street. Another is the home of Albino Carreira, an artist, and is covered in tiny knickknacks and baubles (473 Clinton Street). The oldest home in the city, built in 1807, is found at 649 Broadview.

Leslie Street Spit

The Leslie Street Spit is a man-made island in Lake Ontario, also called Tommy Thompson Park. It was spawned as a dumping ground for all of the earth dug up while much of Toronto was under construction, soon becoming home to a tiny wilderness just a stone’s throw from the edge of the city.

Find more of Toronto’s more interesting and lesser-known landmarks here.


Do You Have To Tell Someone If There Was A Murder In Your Toronto Home For Sale?

In most of Canada, there’s actually no legal obligation to tell a buyer that someone was murdered in your home. In the majority of cases, the fact that a crime occurred in a house at one time or another has little to no effect on the potential safety of future residents. Quebec is the only Canadian province with actual laws on the books that require facts like this to be disclosed to potential buyers. Toronto-Murder-House-Toronto-Real-Estate-ca

In the United States, the laws vary by individual states. However, most of the states have laws that require sellers to disclose.

Despite this, realtor associations across Canada say that it is an ethical question, and that their real estate agents should act ethically and disclose what they know about. Regardless, the new buyers are quite likely to find out about a home’s history thanks the neighbours and the internet, and it is much better that the buyers are fully aware instead of being surprised (and possibly angry) later on.

The CBC has an excellent article up right now about a home up for sale in Calgary that was the site of five murders, as well as the challenges of dealing with stigmatized real estate and what has happened to some of Canada’s more notorious “murder homes”. It’s worth a read! Check it out.