Monday, September 29, 2008

Which agent do you pick?

Buyers, when shopping for their new home, interview a number of different agents. Each wants a dedicated client who will purchase quickly. The Buyer wants all the information they can find about their prospective neighbourhood and surroundings.

When first meeting Buyers, usually at a property or possibly a plaza near our intended destination; I present them with a kit for their buying process.

This includes;
  • A flow Chart of the Buying Process and responsibilities,
  • The FINTRAC reporting brochure, identification required,
  • Buyers Agency Brochure
  • Completed Buyers Agency Agreement for that Day only
  • Sample Agreement of Purchase and Sale
  • Sample Confirmation of Representation
  • Home Inspection Brochures
  • Mortgage Application(s)
At some point during the showing process, all of these issues need to be addressed, prior to making an offer on a specific property.

Recently I received this email;

First, let us thank you so much for a most informative and fun-filled day of viewing homes. Your knowledge, honesty and personal attention to our first time concerns was greatly appreciated. Whereas other agents try to sell you anything just for a buck, you took time to point out all of the advantages along with the disadvantages allowing us make a much more informed decision.

Instead of pressuring us, you re-assured us. Instead of rushing us, you took time to chat and listen to us. Instead of trying to sell us something more than we could afford, you showed us great value at a price we could afford.

In short, David you a natural at real estate. You make the experience educational, enjoyable and follow up with all of your promises as well. Your up to date approach to technologically based resources is also an added bonus. As such, we look forward to a soon to be final sale with confidence, re-assurance and total satisfaction. R & A Mitchell, Toronto

Toronto new home sales off nearly 40% in August

Sales of new homes plunged 39.6 per cent in August in the Toronto area, compared with a year earlier, the Building Industry & Land Development Association said Friday.

Low-rise sales in Toronto and the surrounding Durham, Halton, Peel and York regions fell 53.1 per cent to 709 from 1,511, while highrise sales were down 25.3 per cent to 1,067 from 1,428, the group said in a release.

In addition, year-to-date sales were off 29 per cent from the first eight months of 2007.
But while sales volumes were down, prices increased. In the first eight months of the year, new home prices were up 5.9 per cent and highrise condominium prices jumped 17.9 per cent.
Association president Michael Moldenhauer said that although the volume numbers were way down, the 22,043 new homes and condos sold in the first eight months of 2008 still represent a healthy market.

He noted that the drop in 2008 sales is measured against a record-breaking 2007, when 30,900 homes were sold.

The new home price index produced by RealNet Canada Inc. shows single detached houses, semi-detached and townhomes were up $24,389 since August 2007, while the highrise price index jumped $58,833.

Highrise sales accounted for more than half of all sales.

David Pylyp; The article above is from the In a Normal brick and mortar business if you have too much inventory and sales are dropping you would adjust your asking prices. The high lited (bolded) items say that sales are down by a substancial number yet the average sales price increased 5.1% year over year.

Although there are detractors in the marketplace praying for a decreases in values, the hesitation is evident to me as people are waiting to see before they make the decisions.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Luxury home sales hold steady in most major markets across the country

Luxury home sales hold steady in most major markets across the country, says RE/MAX
Two-thirds of markets surveyed report upswing in the number of upper-end homes sold in 2008Mississauga, ON (September 25, 2008) - Luxury home sales have outperformed virtually all other residential price points this year, but activity in the top-end is expected to taper in most major Canadian centres in coming months, according to a report released today by RE/MAX.

The RE/MAX Upper-End Report, which highlights trends and developments in 15 housing markets across the country for the first seven months of 2008 found Vancouver, Victoria, Regina, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, London, Kitchener-Waterloo, Ottawa, Halifax-Dartmouth, and St. John's all experienced an upswing in sales activity, while declines were noted in Kelowna, Calgary, Edmonton, Hamilton-Burlington, and Toronto. Also significant is in all but two markets, percentage increases in sales were greatest in the upper-end when compared to the overall residential marketplace in 2008.

"Given the transition occurring in most residential real estate markets, upper-end sales remain exceptionally strong," says Michael Polzler, Executive Vice President and Regional Director, RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada. "The market for luxury homes is usually the first to show pressure cracks, but the reverse is actually true this year, with pent-up demand (due to trade-up activity), less speculation, and job transfers all factors contributing to stability in this segment. That being said, we feel uncertainty in financial markets both here and abroad will give purchasers cause for concern in the immediate future."

I was surprised that the west Toronto Etobicoke market volume declined 5% while the Mississauga Homes sold in the at same category increased by more than 20 %.

Email me for complete report by email to your mailbox.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Interesting Source for Economic Revision

This interview with Bill Clinton and the David Letterman Show is a concise video that encapsulates the economic situation south of the border. September 22, 2008

Bill Clinton articulates some key points in an enlightening fashion, that discuss where the current US housing mortgage market problem stems from, and how it will effect the market in the future.

In hindsite; [President Clinton] discusses the highly leveraged financial system that requires more oversight, how the Federal Reserve handled the economy as it related to the DOT com Boom and Bubble that crested in 2002 and the reinvestment in real estate as the form of economic growth.

Our economy is strong and controlled in a much different fashion, yet we are tied to North American job growth and in simple terms tied to the US economic growth for exports, goods and services.

The Toronto Star reports; Canada's `boom in the housing markets is definitely over'

Canadian existing home housing prices are decelerating quickly with the steepest decline in more than a decade recorded in August, as analysts say homeowners in some cities should prepare for further depreciation.

The article continues.... doesn't mean the market will plunge, Tsur said.

Toronto housing prices are not out of line because they have not had the explosive growth of other cities, Sommerville said. "Some cities look way out of line when you run the numbers, but Toronto is bang on." Complete report details.

Yet from all these headlines, there is sense of hesitation. Someone recently said to me "We are returning to a market level that was seen in 2003 or 2004. At that time these were banner years for the Toronto Real Estate Board."

I look forward to your comments and thoughts.

If you have a need to sell and would like to interview, feel free to contact me.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Key questions to ask before buying a condo

For many aspiring homeowners, buying a condominium can be an affordable way to move from renting to owning a home that doesn't have a lot of the added costs involved in maintaining a house on a piece of property.

Condos also may come with added perks many first-time buyers might not be able to afford in their starter home, such as a swimming pool or hot tub, or resort-like amenities such as tennis courts and security guards.

But the condo life also requires owners to give up some of the freedom they would enjoy if they owned their own detached home, all while being exposed to onerous maintenance fees on top of their mortgage payments.

And too often, experts say, condo buyers don't stop to consider exactly what they're getting into.

"The biggest single mistake that people tend to make is to think that buying a condo is just a less expensive way of buying a house and not really understanding that it's shared ownership, which is a lot different," says Robert Irwin, author of Tips and Traps When Buying a Condo, Co-op or Townhouse.

"They aren't going to be able to do a lot of the things they can freely do when they own their single-family detached house," Mr. Irwin says. Still, there are steps buyers considering a condo purchase can take to ensure they know what to expect before taking the plunge.

The first thing to do is try to find out how much you will have to pay in maintenance costs, or monthly homeowners association fees. You also want to know if there are any big special assessments on the horizon.

Special assessments are fees that condo associations sometimes decide to charge owners in order to pay for an unexpected cost, such as an emergency repair, litigation or even to help cover a shortfall in monthly dues.

Assuming that the maintenance is reasonable and there aren't any special assessments on the radar, you can delve deeper. You may be happy with a building's looks, the size of the unit and location. But a condo is real estate, just like a detached home. And just like a detached home, the value of a condo will rise or fall largely based on how comparable units sell.

Buildings with high proportions of unsold, empty units can send the wrong signal to buyers and can hurt comparable resale prices.

Also, a condo complex that has too many investor-owned units being rented rather than occupied by owners can make it tougher to obtain financing, experts say. "The first thing I want to know is what the occupancy rate is," says Ken Roth, author of Everything You Need to Know Before Buying a Co-op, Condo or Townhouse.

In a market with declining sales and home prices, condo owners who bought during the peak or speculators who bought with the intention of unloading their properties quickly could be in financial trouble, particularly if they took on risky adjustable-rate mortgages, Mr. Roth says.

Buyers looking to snap up a unit in such a complex might find it difficult to get a mortgage because banks typically won't finance or will charge a premium to finance a unit in a building where 40 per cent or more of the units are rentals, he explains.

Mr. Irwin says the threshold is even narrower, as low as 20 per cent. Therefore, condo buyers should find out what the occupancy rate of the building is and what percentage of its units are being rented out by their owners. Ask the homeowners' association, or in the case of a new building, the developer.

Experts advise buyers to examine the financial statements of a developer and to ask to have some guarantee that any money you put in toward a unit in a building under construction be kept in escrow. (Usually paid to a Law Firm in Trust)

One gimmick to watch out for is when developers advertise a building as 80 or 90 per cent sold.
That sounds good, but sometimes what developers are really saying is they've sold most of the units they've put on the market, rather than most of the units in the building.

The next key step when considering a condo purchase is to go over the building's condo rules, conditions and restrictions documents, which are typically handed over to buyers when the contract is signed.

The documents are crucial because they spell out the rules on everything from how parking spaces are assigned to what types of restrictions owners must heed for remodelling and decor.
Too often, buyers don't look through these documents thoroughly and end up in a bind after it's too late.

That's what happened to Tara Washlack and her husband, first-time home buyers who purchased a condo in Los Angeles in July, 2007. The couple skimmed through the condo documents and later ran into trouble when they wanted to install a satellite-TV dish. The condo rules, however, prohibited the installation of such hardware on the building, says Ms. Washlack, a pharmaceutical researcher.

The condo rules also did not allow the Washlacks to run a TV cable through a different location in their unit because it would have been necessary to drill a hole in the exterior of the building. They also couldn't add an overhead light in their living room because they'd have to run cables through the building's roof, Ms. Washlack says.

Then, they discovered they couldn't install a canopy on their balcony. "That's one of the things that was disclosed to us, but again, it was overlooked since we had thousands and thousands and thousands of pages [to read]," says Ms. Washlack, 29, referring to the condo documents. "I think for the average homeowner it's kind of an overload."

One other big reason to plow through the documents closely is to find out what the condo association's financial picture looks like and whether it is involved in litigation.

Although the homeowners' association will typically have some insurance coverage for litigation, it may not completely shield owners from liability, Mr. Irwin warns.

"If you get into a situation and you find where there's a whole bunch of lawsuits going on — regardless of how well you like the physical layout and the building itself," he says, "it may be the sort of thing you might want to pass on." AP Alex Veiga

David Pylyp As with many Etobicoke Condos some issues here apply to all condos. The Author mixes his examination of new and resale condos (used). As an investor or a purchaser you would not know what the mix of tenancy is, until the final closing takes place. I am not currently aware HOW a lending institution could monitor who occupies a unit to establish what percentage may apply as investor vs owner occupant population. Negative Pledge clauses from CMHC based on past loss ratio's for buildings or communities.

One untouched point was that buyers need to educate themselves on the square foot values of the existing condominiums they are purchasing. Too often I have seen buyers pass on a condo with (what they perceive to be) high maintenance fees to save a few dollars only to realise later that maintenance fees are proportionate to size and amenities. My point simply is that they BALKED at fees of $ 650 per month to find themselves paying (saving at) $ 490. Yes they saved but the units were 1600 sq ft vs 880 sq ft. Which was cheaper?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Grenadier Landing Community Profile

Located in west Toronto on the waterfront, by the beach, Grenadier Landing is destined to become Toronto's most exciting new waterfront address. Stunning glass walled condominiums and waterfront townhomes, overlooking the park, the beach, the lake and the city. Suites from 640 sq. ft. up to 1,580 sq. ft., with terraces or balconies and soaring nine foot ceilings.

Two storey residence overlooking Parkland and the shores of Lake Ontario Two storey Grand Lobby with access to a beautiful landscaped courtyard 24-hour concierge Elegant party room, casual lounge adjacent to the lobby Hobby/craft room, games room, ping-pong Billiards, video/media room Fully equipped exercise room with lockers.

Ample Visitor Parking Bicycle lockers on ground floor Guest Suite with balcony BBQ in landscaped Courtyard Steps to bicycle paths linking to Martin Goodman Trail, as well as the 300 kms Ontario Greenway Waterfront Trail.


  • 1 bedroom + den (825 sq. ft.) from $245,000 - $325,000

  • 2 bedroom (866-986 sq. ft.) from $320,000 - $447,000

  • 3 bedroom (1,188-2,000 sq. ft.) from $650,000 - $900,000

  • 3 bedroom townhomes (1,945+ sq. ft.) from $850,000 - $1,000,000

If you would like more information on this building or to find out what is currently available for sale please Contact David Pylyp If units are available for sale or sold data you need to register to obtain this information. Please fill in the information below to receive.

Are you an Owner?
If you own a unit in this building and you would like to sell your condo, click here and get a free condo value analysis.

The Waterford Community Profile

The Waterford Humber Bay Shore Condos

2083, 2087, 2095 Lake Shore Blvd., W

Ultimate in luxury living, The Waterford consists of three buildings, one 16-storey tower and one 18-storey tower located on the shores of the Etobicoke waterfront. Stone and glass exterior. Extensive exterior landscaping and formal garden. Elegant foyer with 24 hour concierge, valet parking, car wash and many white glove services available - pet friendly! The suites feature private elevator access, coffered 9' ceilings and cornice moldings (except on the Penthouse floors, which offer 11' ceilings). Suites have private terraces and balconies, solid core paneled doors, gas fireplaces and French doors, individual heat pumps and ensuite monitored security. Kitchens feature stainless steel appliances including a wine refrigerator, granite and marble.

The Waterford (2095) is joined by the Waterford Towers, (2083 & 2087) two luxurious buildings directly behind the Waterford. It compliments its predecessor in design and offers a range of suites smaller but no less luxurious in quality. A landscaped terrace and multi-purpose room fully equipped with a catering kitchen and bar are situated on the rooftop of the building.

The fabulous open air terrace has magnificent views of d/t Toronto and Humber Bay.
An exercise / yoga room, counter-current pool, and business centre are other amenities located within the building. Everything from 9' ceilings, to 5" cornice moldings, hardwood floors, and frameless glass shower enclosures are standard features in each suite.

Located on the Etobicoke waterfront, Extensive exterior landscaping includes formal gardens with trees, shrubs and distinctive water feature Architecturally detailed pre-cast and undulating glass exterior Elegantly designed lobby with finely furnished seating areas, and a distinguished water feature High-speed elevators Conveniently located 24 hour concierge "White Glove" services on a fee-for-service basis.

When inspecting the Waterford Towers at 2083 Lake Shore I was taken, with the entire top floor being used as the recreation centre. Accessed via your KEY fob the pool table and TV dining Lounge all have a panoramic view of DT Toronto. There are many doors that exit out onto the open air terrace to panoramic views.

Abundant Visitors underground parking is accessed via Marine Parade Dr.


  • 1 bedrooms from 595-950 sq. ft.
  • 1 bedroom plus den from 712-1,144 sq. ft.
  • 2 bedroom from 750-2,133 sq. ft.
  • 2 bedroom plus den from 1,144-3,820 sq. ft.
  • Penthouses from 4,479-4,608 sq. ft.


  • Studios from $200,000
  • 1 bedrooms from $233,000 to $370,000
  • 1 bedroom plus den $281,900 to $374,900
  • 2 bedroom from $280,000 to $1,000,000
  • 2 bedroom plus den from $369,000 to $1,115.000
  • Penthouses from $800,000 to $3,000,000

If you would like more information on this building or to find out what is currently available for sale please Contact David Pylyp Sold data is available for last 6 month period. You need to register to obtain this information. Please fill in the information below to receive.

Are you an Owner?
If you own a unit in this building and you would like to sell your condo, click here and get a free condo value analysis.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Condo Crunch

What you should know before you agree to buy a condo

Click here to watch the video

Great towers of glass and steel are going up in every big city in this country, and in many of the smaller ones too. If you’re looking to buy your first home, or if you're looking to downsize, chances are good you’re looking at condos. You may be surprised to learn that the beautiful rooms you see in the model suites are not necessarily like the ones you’ll live in once your building is complete. The den on your floor plans may become a walk-in closet by the time you move in. Your ceilings may turn out to be a foot or two lower than the ones you saw in the model suite when you decided to buy. As Wendy Mesley reports, buying a condo is fraught with risk for you, the buyer. The developers? They’re pretty well protected.

Condo developments are hot, and so is the market. The result is an atmosphere with lots of pressure to sign up now and buy quickly. It’s important not to let yourself be pressured into a bad deal. So.

Have the contract reviewed by a competent lawyer. Get a real estate lawyer, one who is familiar with condos. You may be able to have "weasel" clauses replaced with ones that offer you greater protection. Also, you may be able to have floor plans, finishes or other details written into the contract itself. You may also be able to have certain fees removed from the contract, shifting them to the developer.

Don't believe everything you see in the model suites and read in the brochures. Most people know that many model suites are loaded with upgrades. But Marketplace measured and found that sometimes the model suites can be larger than the suites in the actual floorplans. Also, the floorplan (with room dimensions and square footage) may not be attached to your contract, and legally the contract is all you've got. Try to have it added in, or make sure you can live with what's in the fine print.

Be prepared to walk away. Don't buy only because the salespeople tell you they are mostly sold out and you are caught up in the hype. If you want the place so badly you’re not thinking straight, you’re more likely to make a rash decision. There will be other shiny glass towers. You don't necessarily have to be first to get the best price. When developers are trying to sell enough units later on so they can start construction, they may be willing to strike a bargain with you then too.

Consider using a buyer's real estate agent. The real estate agents at condo sales represent developers' interests and are not legally obligated to tell you certain things unless you ask. If you get your own real estate agent they will represent your interests. Having an advocate who can help you navigate the market could also help you avoid making mistakes. And the best part? It won't cost you anything. As long as you don't register at the sales site, the developer will pay your agent's fees.

Remember that every condo development has "dog" suites. If you don’t want to live next to the garbage chute, you need to know where the garbage chute is. Learn to read your blueprint so you can see for yourself where the columns will be, what rooms have windows and which don't, and where the elevators and utility rooms are.

Try to research your developer. Ask them what other condo developments they have completed. Some developers may be just starting with no track record of completed condos. Be aware of additional costs. You must be prepared to pay between 1.5% and 2% of the purchase price in closing costs. Watch out for equipment leasing: Builders can lease everything from water heaters to elevators, and pass the costs on to buyers. One common surprise we've heard from condo owners is the occupancy fee. From the time you actually move in to the time your condo closes, you will have to pay an occupancy fee, before you start making mortgage payments.

David Pylyp This short video is produced by CBC MarketPlace and is worth a review. For highlites of the Humber Bay Shore Condo's existing and in preconstruction consult the index contained here. Etobicoke Condos have their own directory and index.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Random Things You Wouldn’t Know About Me Unless You Asked

I’ve been tagged but rather than getting all miffed about it I’ve decided to have a little fun with it.

A “meme” is something that spreads quickly from one person to another across the net… with this one, the idea is to share some random things people wouldn’t know about me unless they were nosey (or caring) enough to ask. (Which James Wheelock, of Houston, Texas was curious about.)

Now, I’ve lead a decently colourful life so you’re about to learn about some of that… but some of them may be a bit embellished... because of the way I remember things.
While touring homes for sale for the last 19 years I have repeatedly checked the mileage of the dust covered and cobweb laden exercise bicycles in people's basements. The winner? 6 miles.
With every client that I meet, I am curious about their occupation and life history, as we can always learn life lessons from another.
When on vacation, I will often tour the new home sales sites to see what they are making. I found Europe fascinating. The bathrooms are ceramic tiled from wall to wall with a centre floor drain. There were no tubs or showers to speak of, just the spray off the wall. It's a concept that I hope comes to Canada. Finally a shower where I cannot bump my elbow on a wall.
As a child, I was encouraged by my father to play a musical instrument and actually achieved the Rank of Concert Master with the Violin in my Grade 8 middle school orchestra. Being Concert Master I found out, meant that I carried the music stands to the bus. There must be some left over teaching there, as I still have a goal of learning to play the piano. Maybe when I retire.
The mentors in my life that I most appreciate are Stan Peter, who had a local camera photo studio. [He] taught me some wonderful life lessons and focused my youthful energy into employment. Alex Duff was VP of Corporate Lending that took me under his wing and taught me to delegate tasks successfully. Another is a friend of 35 years who recently passed and I think of him often. Ultimately my father, who sacrificed to provide for his family. I swore I would never be like him. Yet, alas at 51, I still hear his words very clearly in my head, finding the greatest memories and laughter from our last years together.
While revelling in the past, I often consider how thing might have been, had I taken a different path. Yet the excitement of meeting new people and learning about their life lessons and achievements is truly wonderful. To those special friends, thank you for sharing with me.
I read this recently and I find it to be timeless; "There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. get started now. With each step you take you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self confident, and more and more successful." Mark Victor Hansen

Greater Toronto Area Resale Housing Moderate in September

September 17, 2008 -- The Greater Toronto Area’s autumn resale housing market began with moderate activity, Toronto Real Estate Board President Maureen O’Neill announced today.

With 2,726 sales during the first half of this month, activity has declined 16 per cent from the 3,236 recorded during same time period a year ago. Compared to the 2,913 transactions recorded during the first half of September 2006, activity has declined six per cent.

In the City of Toronto, 998 sales were recorded, which represents a 23 per cent decline from the 1,297 transactions recorded in the first half of September 2007 and an 11 per cent decline from the 1,118 homes that changed hands in 2006. However, activity increased 16 per cent in the first half of September 2007 from the same period in 2006.

In the 905 Region, there were 1,728 sales, down 11 per cent from the first half of September 2007, when 1,939 transactions were recorded and within four per cent of the 1,795 sales recorded during the same timeframe in 2006. However, activity increased eight per cent during the first two weeks of September 2007 as compared to 2006.

“Although housing activity in the GTA remains moderate, we’re continuing to see a consistent pattern, and this stability is certainly positive news compared to markets in other sectors and in other world cities,” said Ms. O’Neill.

At $366,158 the average price of housing in the GTA has increased marginally from the $364,364 recorded a year ago and is up nine per cent from $335,208 recorded in September 2006.

In the City of Toronto, the average price is $386,524 up marginally from the $384,796 recorded in the first half of September 2007 and up 12 per cent from the $343,561 average from the same period in 2006.

In the 905 Region, the average price is $354,395; an increase of one per cent from $350,698 recorded a year ago and up seven per cent from $330,005 recorded in the first half of September 2006.

“The fact that prices have held firm despite moderate activity shows that consumers regard real estate as a sound investment,” said Ms. O’Neill.

The percentage of asking price that Sellers receive for their homes has also remained consistent. The list to sale price ratio is 98 per cent, as it was a year ago.

The 26,299 properties listed for sale on the TorontoMLS system have increased 26 per cent from a year ago when 20,841 homes were available. The time that homes remain on the market has increased as well, to an average of 37 days compared to 31 days a year ago.

David Pylyp; Yes homes are still selling. The market seems to be returning to a balance of sincere buyers and sellers that are motivated by family need. That Perfect condo from last year just doesn't have the space for the new baby carriage or maybe a job change.

But... people are hesitating after they watch the news. I was recently reminded that IF sales returned in number to the levels sold in 2005 that would still be a banner sales busting year when compared to the sales of 2004.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

$10,000 Home Buyers Grant - Mississauga Homes

Home Buying Grant $10,000

It is now easier for Ontario families to buy a home and enter the housing market through new rules under the Canada-Ontario Affordable Housing Homeownership Program.

The Government of Ontario has increased from $62,600 to $75,800 the maximum amount a household can earn to be eligible to receive interest-free down- payment assistance loans under the program. In addition, the maximum price of homes eligible for purchase through the program has risen to reflect average market selling prices.

The maximum amount a household can earn to qualify for the program may vary among municipalities. The maximum price of eligible homes is updated quarterly based on average resale prices in your area. Municipalities may establish their own maximum house price and household income limits provided it is consistent with the program requirements. You may consult the list of maximum house prices and the list of income limit by municipality.

“By making it easier for renters to buy their first homes, we’re helping Ontarians secure a brighter future for their families,” said the Honourable Jim Watson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.


Applicants must be at least 18 years old and have a combined household income at or below the maximum eligible income limit for their area.

  • Applicants who own or partly own a property do not qualify for down-payment assistance.
  • The AHP loan is granted for a period of 20 years. There is no interest charged on the loan.
  • The unit must remain the sole and principal residence of the applicant for the entire 20-year period. It may not be leased to another party.
  • Applicants must secure mortgage financing through a lending institution.
  • Application forms are available from the housing department of your municipality or through an organization delivering the program in your area.
  • On the 20th anniversary date of the agreement, the loan is automatically forgiven, provided there has been no default under the terms of the loan.

Homeownership program brochure
It is imperative that You contact me first to make sure that the $10,000 is available to buy a home. This applies to RESALE Homes in Peel Region, Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon. Toronto has limited the program to be in Regent Park only.

Contact David Pylyp for program details

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Investment in home improvement, key in competitive housing market, says RE/MAX

Mississauga, ON (September 17, 2008) - An increasingly competitive housing environment is prompting a significant number of Ontario homeowners to invest in renovation before listing their homes for sale, according to a recent survey by RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada.

The RE/MAX Survey of Home Buying and Selling Trends in Ontario, conducted by COMPAS Research, in the first half of 2008 found 79 per cent of sellers said they made improvements to their homes two years prior to listing and more than one third (39 per cent) of them did so with selling in mind. Further indicative of how sophisticated sellers and buyers are becoming, 37 per cent of sellers made upgrades to their home after listing their property for sale. Home sellers are typically spending $21,000 on average in renovations; the most popular of which are updating kitchens, hardwood flooring, and new windows.

"Investing in renovation for the purpose of selling a home continues to grow in 2008," says Michael Polzler, Executive Vice President and Regional Director, RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada. 'Changing market conditions are largely responsible for the upward momentum in residential investment which is up four per cent to $6.9 billion in Ontario for the first half of this year, compared to last year at the same time. We are seeing two clear trends emerging with some homeowners looking to boost resale value by renovating and others choosing to bring their home up to today's standards by upgrading areas that are dated. In either case, the end result is a product that will more likely yield top dollar when it is time to sell."

David Pylyp When making your planning choices you might want to include some professional help. Wo Built can provide skilled help to renovate or assistance in planning your (kitchen) improvements.
In my travels over the last 20 years, I have interview many trades people and would be pleased if you contacted me for a referral.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Selling Myself.. Why I need a realtor

Why do you need a Realtor... If you can sell your home yourself.

There are more people today attempting to sell their own homes. Many go this route because they do not believe that a Realtor (R) Brings any more value to them than what they achieve on their own. Others have listed their home with a realtor and have become frustrated with the level of marketing and advertising done to sell their property so they assume they may as well try it for themselves.

FACT: 95% of all consumers who attempt to sell their own home - FAIL! And, 95% of those who tried to sell themselves, use a Realtor to help find their next home.
Consumers that have hired a Realtor to sell their home and are unhappy with their marketing and advertising efforts must hold themselves accountable for possibly not conducting a proper due diligence on the Realtor they retained. Like any other industry there are different levels of professionalism, quality, market savvy and value. The key to retaining the services of the right Realtorto sell your home is to ask the right questions. It is important to ask the Realtor what types of marketing and advertising they do, prior to handing over your most valuable asset for sale.

"Our experience in working with David was one in that we felt like we were dealing with family. David was always available when we needed him. He provided solid and accurate advice based on his years of experience. David clearly explained the process along the way, outlined available options and left the final decision to us. His refrain of, “There are no wrong answers”, helped us to relax and to make an informed decision. David’s true talent shines during a purchase. His negotiating skills allowed us to secure our dream heritage home at an excellent price. He truly does thrive on what others may consider an enervating situation. David’s jovial nature was entertaining; he made what could be a stressful time much easier". Dr. P. Rankin

Professional Realtors, long in the industry like David Pylyp, want you to ask these direct and tough questions about marketing and advertising. They will show you examples of their advertising and explain why they are using email marketing campaigns to forward mini cd type presentations to high lite your property. A professional Realtor knows that he must " out and find the buyers" today vs sitting back and waiting for the phone to ring or them simply showing up. Quality content on a website will now market directly to these buyers by answering the call of their keyword searches for homes in Markland wood, Watercolours in Lorne Park or executive townhouses near the subway.

David Pylyp will invest far more, than purchasing a small newspaper ad in the local publication, and telling you that your home will be displayed on . Your home will be featured on a Top Ten Google Rated website for Homes west Toronto, mini cd hand outs are available in conjuction with the property feature sheets. Understanding the internet technolgy allows you to have address named websites or specialty pages to promote and feature your property for sale.

If you are thinking of buying or selling a home contact David Pylyp for a private interview.

But we Want a Plaza

Edenbridge plaza plot rezoned despite raucous opposition

An evening session of the Etobicoke-York Community Council disintegrated into a melee of shouted accusations this week as councillors turned on one another and several residents stormed out of chambers claiming a lack of due democratic process.

The public meeting was called Tuesday night to discuss the contentious city-staff-backed (and ultimately council-approved) rezoning of Edenbridge Plaza in order to bring it in line with the Apartment Neighbourhoods designation of the City of Toronto's Official Plan. Its approval paves the way for the construction of a towering mixed-use condominium development on the 7,049 square metre site at 25 Fontenay Ct., in the Scarlett Road and Eglinton Avenue West area.
"This is communism, not a democracy here," said Ward 2 Councillor Rob Ford as, one by one, his colleagues spoke out in favour of the proposal.

"I hope our local councillor (Ward 4's Gloria Lindsay Luby) votes against this, but if she doesn't I'd urge residents to remember that at election time," he added, to the applause of outraged local residents.

Ford is a resident of Edenbridge Drive and the tables turned on him when Ward 12 Councillor Frank DiGiorgio cautioned him against voting on the proposal due to a conflict of interest, citing the project clearly "affects him personally."

But Ford shrugged off the notion: "I'm not going to (declare a conflict) because you only do that when you stand to make money. I'm going to lose money on this."

Spontaneous jeers from the packed council chambers throughout the proceedings prompted Council Chair Frances Nunziata to ask several instigators to either quiet down or leave, but several residents stomped out of their own accord, calling the proceedings "a joke."

The controversial condominium in question will contain a total of 247 residential units between two towers - one 19-storey and one 12-storey - linked by a five-storey podium containing commercial and amenity space. But local community members, the majority of whom are seniors, said what the community really needs is a walkable, one-stop shopping plaza, not more population-intensifying and traffic-congesting highrises.

"This is a case where planners, developers and our own councillor have gone mad, and all in the name of growth," longtime local resident Jeanne Quee said, aiming her attack at Lindsay Luby. "The city loves developers, but what about the local community? To hell with them; their concerns don't seem to matter. And that is very tragic."

Under its current Local Planned Commercial (CPL) zoning, the site allows for a commercial plaza at a maximum height of two storeys; residential use is not authorized. The existing plaza now houses a pharmacy, bank, barber shop and a now-vacant grocery store, among others - amenities both sides of the debate concede are local necessities given the high senior population in the area.

"I know the community is never going to be happy with this development, but I have to do what I believe will best rejuvenate the community. This is the right development," Lindsay Luby said, noting she's arranged for a community bus to transport seniors to nearby shopping plazas during the construction phase of the project. "It's just a matter of getting through this. Hopefully, in time, there will be a great plaza (on this site) that will meet all the needs you have."

Robert Truman, an independently hired planner on the project, said that while he can't guarantee that the retail podium of the proposal will contain all of the amenities currently available at the plaza, it is not the owner's intention to leave his neighbours hanging.

"This is a case of a person trying to do the right thing for the community...We're aware that the plaza is going downhill," he said. "The inclusion of retail in any such development is risky, but because it's part of the city plan, the owner agreed to it and he's replacing the retail space almost equally (1,377 metres squared proposed versus 1,770 metres squared existing)."

In addition to securing that retail space in the proposed development, Lindsay Luby was also able to negotiate a $300,000 contribution toward the improvement of the Edenbridge Community Centre as a Section 37 benefit under the Planning Act - a move some of her fellow councillors applauded her for.

"In terms of due diligence, Councillor Lindsay Luby has done everything in her power to act in the interests of her community," Ward 17 Councillor Cesar Palacio said, expressing his concern that should the rezoning application not be approved by council, all that hard work would be for naught.

"The leverage we currently have in getting benefits under Section 37 will disappear if we reject this and end up at the OMB (Ontario Municipal Board), where lawyers make the decisions," he added. "It's better to have your local councillors in the driver's seat."

"The OMB can easily overturn any decision this board makes," Ward 7 Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti agreed. "In doing so, this community stands to lose everything...(this proposal) is the best you're going to get."

With the exception of Ford, all councillors present voted in favour of rezoning the site. The matter will go before Toronto City Council later this month for final approval.

David Pylyp; The location is prime for redevelopment and the best use would be for a high rise residential development. Having said that, IF.. If the plaza had been supported by its community then the plaza owners would not be looking at the redevelopment of the site.

No business venture can survive without neighbourhood support and ultimately profitability.

Shop the Shore event. Sept 20 2008

Come out and join the community at Shop The Shore next Saturday (September 20th) between 10am and 2pm. Reminder.

With over 60 stores participating, many great activities, live entertainment, and great prizes, this family-friendly event has something for everyone. Shop The Shore is a great opportunity to enjoy a great day on the Lakeshore, meet your neighbours and show your support for our community. Click on the links below to find out what's happening.

View the list of participating stores and servicesView the list of special activitiesView the list of kids' activitiesView the entertainment schedule for the stage at Jobstart (Islington and Lakeshore)

View the list of prizes donated by local businesses and organizations

Visit our website during the week. These lists will be updated as additional details are confirmed.If you would like to help us on the event day (balloons, decorations, etc) please email us at
Support your community at Shop The Shore. Shop Local.

Good for the environment. Good for the community. Good for you!

Promote your business venture on a local website designed with Localism in mind, into the South Etobicoke Condo and Humber Bay Shore Markets.

Lease-to-own housing plan leaves renters cold

Michelle Smith and Andrew Bryan had already signed away their life savings in a Tim Hortons parking lot when they learned they were being evicted from the very home they thought they had been buying for the past two years.

"We had put money down," said Smith, a 34-year-old self-employed cleaner who had entered into a lease-to-own agreement with Solution Homes, a company that says it's "dedicated to helping people find the home of their dreams."

"We gave them everything we had. Then we got the notice," she said of the eviction papers that showed up in the mailbox, sent by the real owners of the Scarborough home.
Three months later, Smith, her husband Bryan and their 11-year-old son were out of house and home.

"We were shocked. How could this have happened?"
Here's how: Solution Homes never owned the property it had been selling to Smith and Bryan – another couple did.

A Star investigation found that Solution Homes, for the past two years, leased homes from desperate sellers and, pretending to be the owner, entered into a lease-to-own contract with people like Smith and Bryan, who can afford a deposit but cannot really afford the house.

Solution Homes collected more than $50,000 from Smith and Bryan in rent and deposits toward the purchase of the home, but forwarded only about two-thirds of the money to the actual homeowners. None of the deposits went to the actual owners and, after 18 months, Solution Homes continued to accept rent, but stopped paying the real homeowners.

The result: Solution Homes makes between $5,000 and $20,000 per deal. Everyone else loses out.

"We went to the police and what they said to us is this may be a civil matter," said Smith, who was evicted from her home July 31.

Discouraged, she began posting warnings on the Internet about Solution Homes, advising others to stay away. Suddenly she realized she wasn't alone. At least three other renters in the GTA approached Smith with similar stories.

Both Toronto and Durham Region police have been contacted by Solution Homes' clients, but police with both forces say the company is not currently under investigation. Meanwhile, the company's director, Olumuyiwa Fadare, who goes by the name David, says the complainants have no one to blame but themselves.

"Everything I'm doing is legal," Fadare said when approached by the Star while collecting a lease payment in the Tim Hortons parking lot on the corner of Commercial Rd. and Victoria Park Ave.
"It's not my fault if they can't get a mortgage," he said, adding none of his clients, including Smith and Bryan, seemed serious about purchasing the home they had been leasing-to-own.

Smith and Bryan had been renting homes for years. They wanted to buy, but as self-employed cleaners, they couldn't.

"It just wasn't happening. It's hard going into banks and getting a mortgage when you're self-employed in our line of work. We didn't have any options," she says.

Then she saw a flyer posted on a lamppost in the city's east end that read: "Don't qualify for a mortgage? Lease-to-own your own home."

She called the number listed on the flyer and got connected with Solution Homes.

A month later, she signed more than $7,000, all the money she and her husband could muster, to Solution Homes as a deposit for a three-bedroom semi-detached on Flatfield Terrace in Scarborough and entered into an "Agreement for the sale of real estate" with Fadare, who represented himself on the contract as the seller of the home.

Property records show that home belongs to Theresa and Annik Pierre and never belonged to Fadare or Solution Homes.

"We actually thought David owned the property. He had signed himself as the seller. We didn't actually know that (Theresa Pierre) owned the property until she started coming over to get the mail," said Smith.

Every month for a year and a half, Smith and Bryan paid Fadare $1,495 as part of their lease-to-own agreement: $1,200 of that was for rent, while $200 was supposed to be added to their $7,000 deposit and go toward their purchase of the house. The other $95 was to go to Solution Homes.

"Things seemed to be going fine. We were working toward getting a mortgage. Making our monthly deposits," said Smith.

Then they got a notice from Jeffrey Shek, a lawyer representing the actual homeowners, Annik and Theresa Pierre.

Smith's monthly payments hadn't been reaching the homeowners and they were running the risk of being evicted.

"That's when things started to go bad," said Smith, who looked back at the receipts she'd been given by Fadare and noticed there was no indication who was receiving the money she'd been handing over.

The Pierres say they were not aware that Fadare had actually collected a deposit on the house. Nor were they aware he had been charging a monthly premium for the purchase of the house.
"We had advertised the house for rent in the newspaper and (Fadare) answered the ad," said Theresa Pierre. "He offered to get renters for the place, said they'd keep it nice and, eventually, they would be able to buy it.

"We thought he was an agent for these people. We didn't know he had collected all that money."
After Fadare stopped forwarding the rent to the Pierres, their lawyer, Shek, began speaking directly to Smith, advising her to deal directly with the homeowners if they wanted to lease-to-own the house.

The problem was, Fadare had their money.

"Suddenly, he's telling me that the money is non-refundable. We lost the entire deposit. There was no way we could purchase the home," said Smith.

In total, Smith and Bryan have documented proof they paid $12,800 to Solution Homes as a deposit on the house. The Pierres say they never saw a cent of it.

Smith and Bryan's story is the same as that of Kathy Alexander, a 48-year-old single mother and restaurateur from Whitby who paid Fadare $8,000 in the same Scarborough Tim Hortons parking lot before moving into a home owned by Theresa Prince. Prince says she had no idea Fadare had signed an agreement to sell her home and says she never saw nor knew of the $8,000. Alexander, who had been making payments on the house past the date when Fadare stopped forwarding her rent to Prince, is now being evicted.

Michelle Darling, a 41-year-old single mother, and her friend Brenda Bixby paid Fadare a combined $17,500 toward a down payment on a Pickering home owned by Christian Kevin. Kevin says he didn't even know that money had been collected for the sale of the house.
"I never got that money. Nobody gave him the right to collect $17,500," said Kevin.
But according to Fadare, "The owner gives the property to me. The owner signs the paperwork and gives me the right to do this."

Fadare, who acknowledges he is not a registered real estate agent or lawyer, says he's an investor and says he is within his rights to accept the "option deposits" on the homes without notifying the landowners.

He offered to supply that paperwork to the Star on Sept. 2 but has yet to do so, and has not responded to any of the Star's subsequent attempts to reach him.

Fadare declined to comment on where the alleged funds – thousands of dollars in option deposits handed over to him in the form of cash, certified cheques and bank drafts – have gone.

"I need to speak to my lawyer before I can answer that," Fadare said, adding he only ever wanted to help his clients get the homes they wanted and never wanted any of them evicted.
The company was registered as a company in September 2006. It does not have an office. The address on the company registration is an Eglinton Ave. E. apartment (although Fadare insists it is actually operating out of a post office box in Eglinton Square). According to corporate records, Fadare is the company's director, Michelle Frankson its chief administrative officer and Uchechi "Michael" Kanu its chief operating officer.

When reached by telephone, Kanu told the Star he left Solution Homes for "personal reasons" in January 2008 and that the company was dissolved at that time.

Corporate record searches indicate the company is still active.

In the lease-to-own contracts investigated by the Star, renters said they handed over a total of $32,500 as deposits on the homes they wanted to buy.

Kanu says Solution Homes didn't keep track of the money because their clients kept opting to pay in cash. Later he said the company had its bank account closed some time in 2007 because their clients kept bouncing cheques and the account had no money in it.
Kanu and Fadare both declined to say how many contracts Solution Homes has with buyers in the GTA.

The Star could not locate Frankson for comment.
In the meantime, Bryan, Darling, Bixby and Alexander all seem to be asking the same question as Smith: "Where's our money, David?"

Brett Popplewell can be reached at

David Pylyp; I sincerely feel for the people involved here that were duped by the actions of another. In a city where the dream of owning your own home is rapidly disappearing, due to high down payment demands and stringent credit mortgage approvals, some folks with families who only want to have a home to call their own, are susceptible to this type of scam. I cannot stress enough, using professional people when purchasing or selling a home.

Would Buyers Agency have helped these people?

Caveat Emptor - Let the Buyer Beware

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Renovating your cottage for retirement

Renovating your cottage for retirement – covering the costs and other considerations
Your cottage has always been an important part of your lifestyle – and now that retirement is just around the corner, you’re thinking of making cottage life your year-round life. But a cottage built and outfitted for part-time occupancy isn’t always the ideal abode for full-time living, especially through your senior years.

So you’re also probably thinking renovation. And if that’s the case, you’ve got some more thinking – and planning! – to do. Here are a few tips to get you started on a cottage retirement reno plan that works for you.

Construct an enduring design for living
This is going to be your retirement home, so plan for the long-term. Select durable, low- or no-maintenance materials. Consider such age-friendly modifications as access ramps, wider doors, lower counters and easy-to-use bathroom facilities. An architect and/or reputable contractor can help you make the right choices.
Set a budget and stick to it. Changes during construction are very costly.
Explore your financing options
You may choose to do the renos yourself or hire a professional – either way, you’ll have to pay for them. Your financing options include:

  • Using your credit card for a small reno – but keep in mind, credit card interest usually exceeds 18 per cent. You should plan to pay the balance to zero when the statement arrives, thereby saving the interest costs.
  • Taking out a personal loan at an interest rate and payback schedule you work out with the lender.
  • Obtaining a personal line of credit or a secured line of credit based on your equity in the property, which typically charge interest only on the funds you use each month and allows you to borrow funds as needed.
  • Arranging a construction loan. Often necessary for larger projects, the loan is based on an appraiser’s evaluation of the finished residence, with money usually released at specific points during construction.
  • Refinancing your mortgage which can allow you to borrow up to 80 per cent of your cottage’s appraised value.

Using your investments or retirement funds. Proceed with caution: you may be shortchanging your retirement lifestyle. You could lose money by cashing out investments in a down market or by spending investments that can’t be replaced at the same interest level. And borrowing from your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) may not only trigger an immediate tax hit, you’ll also lose years of potential growth.

Your professional advisor can help you make the right cottage reno financing choices for the retirement lifestyle of your dreams.

John Scholl B. Mathematics, CGA, Wealth Management & Financial Planning Investors Group
Tel. : (905) 450-2891 X529 Toll Free: (866) 799-2223 Cell: (416) 731-3660

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Wo Built Special Offer

Free Assessment
The WO-BUILT ‘Your Dream House’ Assessment helps you formulate your ideal home and your ideal home renovation and enables you to communicate your visions to your contractor. Created by Wo-Built Inc, the assessment, is an important tool in you achieving your ‘Dream House’

Wo-Built Inc developed the ‘Your Dream House’ Assessment to provide home owners with an invaluable tool which will enable optimum understanding of their dream house. By exploring their individuality and their unique problems and situations home owners can really determine what they want and what will suit them ultimately.

Communication will be so much more effective between all parties and the results so much more satisfying.’ Says Martina Ernst, CEO of Wo-Built Inc. ‘The ‘Dream House’ Assessment will enable home owners to voice their vision so much better than just showing the contractor magazines articles, pictures or design references from home improvement shows. This is seldom effective as the shows and magazines represent someone else’s taste and situation.

So the concept is the same, but different and the difference is left to the interpretation of the contractor. Hence, often the results will fall short of expectations and disappointment is possible as everyone envisages similar things differently according to his or her own experience.’


Wo Build partners

David Pylyp- Due to the overwhelming response, we requested that Wo Build repeat this incredible offer.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Parents Without Partners

You are invited to an open dance, singles, couples & groups welcome, on September 13, 2008 from 8:30 pm – 1:00 am sponsored by Parents without Partners

The Burnhamthorpe Community Centre, 1500 Gulleden Dr., Mississauga It is 1 block east (Havenwood) and 1 block south of Dixie and Burnhamthorpe.
$10 members $15 non-members
Includes a hot Buffet dinner, DJ, door prizes, spot dances, & 50-50 draw.

PWP is an international, non-profit, non-sectarian, educational organization devoted to the welfare of single parents and their children; a self-help organization to help single parents help themselves. (This group is NOT a lonely-hearts club; NOT a dating service; nor does it promote single parenting).
Programs offered include:
PARENT SOCIALS Activities such as card nights; potluck suppers, darts, adult socials, etc
EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITIES Information nights with guest speakers, workshops, discussion nights, or just a fun night of learning to play cards or pool.
MONTHLY DANCES Revenue generated is used to cover expenses and subsidies for the children's activities.

To join PWP, you have to be a single parent (divorced, separated, never been married or widowed); Custody of the child/children is not a factor.
Fees Membership - $50/yr ; Program
Languages English
Meetings Prospective Members meeting held 2nd Tuesday of every month, 7:00pm, at the Tomken Arena, 4495 Tomken Rd, Mississauga (Tomken Rd & Eastgate Pkwy); children welcome Fund Raising dance held the 1st Saturday of the month, 8:30pm, at Burnhamthorpe Community Centre, 1500 Gulleden Dr, Mississauga; call (416) 726-3270 for more details.
Event Promoter; John Scholl

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Bungalow Bungalow

BungalowWikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A bungalow (બંગલો baṅglo, बंगला baṅglā) is a type of single-storey house that originated in India. The word derives from the Gujarati word baṅglo, which in turn came from Hindustani baṅglā. It means "Bengali", used elliptically for a "house in the Bengal style". However, some people also attribute the origin of this word to Bangalore. Such houses were traditionally small, only one story, thatched and had a wide veranda. Bungalows today are a type of house that is usually single story or one and a half stories, and can be quite large.

In India and Pakistan, the term bungalow refers to any single-family unit (i.e., a house), as opposed to an apartment building, which is the norm for Indian and Pakistani middle-class city living. The Indian sub-continent usage is different from the North American and United Kingdom usage insofar as a bungalow can be a quite large, multi-storied building which houses a single extended family. In India and Pakistan, owning a bungalow is a highly significant status symbol. In South Africa, the term bungalow never refers to a residential house but means a small holiday house, a small log house or a wooden beach house.

Advantages Bungalows are very convenient for the homeowner in that all living areas are on a single story and there are no stairs between living areas. A bungalow is more suited to those who are mobility impaired, e.g. the elderly or those in wheelchairs.

Neighbourhoods of only bungalows offer more privacy than similar neighbourhoods with two-story houses. With bungalows, strategically planted trees and shrubs are usually sufficient to block the view of neighbours. With two-story houses, the extra height requires much taller trees to accomplish the same, and it may not be practical to place such tall trees close to the house to obscure the view from the second floor of the next door neighbour. On the other hand, even closely spaced bungalows make for quite low density neighbourhoods, contributing to urban sprawl.

Cost and space considerations

On a per unit area basis (e.g. per square foot or per square metre), bungalows are more expensive to construct than two story houses because a larger foundation and roof area is required for the same living area. The larger foundation will often translate into larger lot size requirements as well. This is why bungalows are typically fully detached from other houses and do not share a common foundation nor party wall: if the homeowner can afford the extra expense of a bungalow relative to a two-story house, they can typically afford to be fully detached as well. The smaller size however may be desirable for elderly people (perhaps with grown children) as it requires less cleaning, etc.

Though the 'footprint' of a bungalow is often a simple rectangle, any foundation is possible. For bungalows with brick walls, the windows are often positioned high and are right to the roof. This avoids the need for special arches or lintels to support the brick wall above the windows. In two-story houses, there is no choice but to continue the brick wall above the window (and the second story windows may be positioned high and right to the roof.)

Types of bungalow
While the concept of a bungalow is simple, there are a number of variations upon the term, often describing where floor-space is extended above, or below the primary floor.

Ranch bungalow
A ranch bungalow is a bungalow organized so that bedrooms are on one side and "public" areas (kitchen, living/dining/family rooms) are on the other side. If there is an attached garage, the garage is on the public side of the house so that a direct entrance to the house is possible, when this is allowed by legislation. On narrower lots, public areas are at the front of the house and such an organization is typically not called a "ranch" bungalow. Such houses are often smaller and have only two bedrooms in the back.

Raised bungalow
A raised bungalow is one in which the basement is partially above ground. The benefit is that more light can enter the basement with above ground windows in the basement. A raised bungalow typically has a foyer at ground level that is half-way between the first floor and the basement. This further has the advantage of creating a foyer with a very high ceiling without the expense of raising the roof or creating a skylight. Raised bungalows often have the garage in the basement. Because the basement is not that deep, and the ground must slope downwards away from the house, the slope of the driveway is quite shallow. This avoids the disadvantage of steep driveways found in most other basement garages. Bungalows without basements can still be raised, but the advantages of raising the bungalow are much less.

Chalet / Loft Bungalow
A bungalow with loft comes with a second story loft. The loft may be extra space over the garage. It is often space to the side of a great room with a vaulted ceiling area. The house is still classified and marketed as a bungalow with loft because the main living areas of the house are on one floor. All the convenience of single floor living still applies and the loft is not expected to be accessed on a daily basis.

Some houses have extra bedrooms in the loft or attic area. Such houses are really "one and half" stories and not a bungalow, and are described in British English as a chalet bungalow or dormer bungalow. "Chalet Bungalow" is also used in British English for where the area enclosed within pitched roof contains rooms, even if this comprises a large part of the living area and is fully integrated into the fabric of the property.

True bungalows do not use the attic. Because the attic is not used, the roof pitch can be quite shallow, constrained only by snow load considerations.

American Bungalows
American Craftsman BungalowThe American Craftsman bungalow typified the common styles of the American Arts and Crafts movement -- with common features usually including low-pitch roof lines on a gabled or hipped roof; deeply overhanging eaves; exposed rafters or decorative brackets under the eaves; and a front porch beneath an extension of the main roof.

California Bungalow
The California Bungalow was a widely popular 1 1/2 story variation on the bungalow in America from 1910 to 1925. Foundations are usually a flat concrete slab with no basement.
Chicago Bungalow
The majority of Chicago Bungalows were built between 1910 and 1940. They were typically constructed from brick (sometimes in decorative patterns) and had one and a half stories. At one point, nearly a third of the houses in the Chicago area were bungalows. One primary difference between the Chicago bungalow and other types is that the gables are parallel to the street, rather than perpendicular. Like many other local homes, Chicago bungalows are relatively narrow, being an average of 20 feet wide on a standard 25 foot wide city lot.

Milwaukee Bungalow
A large fraction of the older houses in Milwaukee, Wisconsin are bungalows in a similar Arts and Crafts style to those of Chicago, but usually with the gable perpendicular to the street. Also, many Milwaukee bungalows have white stucco on the lower portion of the exterior.

Canadian bungalow
Canada uses the American definition of bungalow to mean a single family dwelling, though it is sometimes also used in the South African sense, to apply to a vacationer's cottage.
Bungalows were popular in the Toronto area from the 1950s to 1970 period. Early bungalows were single-level brick structures. The later structures often came with an open canopy garage attached to the side. (Carport) Very common in Centennial Park, Etobicoke.
Bungalows are found in suburban areas in and around the Greater Toronto Area.
The outer boroughs of Toronto are home to thousands of bungalows, usually lining tree-dotted side-streets. Once the city ran out of room, the prices of such houses rapidly increased due to their proximity to downtown, effect of condensing neighbourhoods, and being situated on massive lots. East York, Scarborough, York and North York lead in large-scale gentrification and story-addition of these bungalows.
Old Toronto has very few bungalows and Etobicoke, ie. Markland Woods, South Kingsway, Princess Margaret is mixed, since some areas are becoming the richest in the city, and some are becoming the most affordable, leading to city blocks that can go from upper-middle-class to blue collar and arts communities, (the Junction).

As property values have skyrocketed, developers have been purchasing the old bungalows and replacing them with luxury custom built homes, each may sell for upwards of $1,250,000 each.
Mississauga does have its assortment of buunalows but has joined the frey with the newest product available, condominium ownership detached bungalows in almost gated communities on private streets. Watercolours in Lorne Park
If you have any questions, or would like a tour of available bungalows in your price range, feel free to give me a call.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Humber Bay Shore Condos

Having been raised in the west end of Toronto, I always appreciated the ease of access to the waterfront that was afforded via the Sunnyside Bridge at the foot of Roncesvalles Ave and King Street. I remember flying kites in the centre median between the Gardiner Expressway near the Palais Royale.

Fast forward now to the year 2008 and the incredible development that has occurred in the Humber Bay Corridor from Palace Pier and Palace Place, Etobicoke Waterfront Condos, and what was the previously the infamous motel strip to Park Lawn Road. Elegant condominium communities now dominate the skyline. See detailed Community Profiles

[They] have appetizing name like the South Beach, Marina Del Ray , Windermere by the Lake and the Waterford. While comparing these as a realtor, having the luxury of being an observer, I am struck by a number of thoughts;

  • The Humber Bay Shore Community encompasses 7,668 residential units including proposed or presale.
  • A valiant effort is being made by local politicians and the Toronto development BIA's (Business Improvement Associations) to increase neighbourhood ambiance. See Toronto Lakeshore BIA
  • Transit along the Lake Shore Corridor is being improved with the proposed LRT. New and improved transit hubs are expanding at Kipling and Islington Subway Stations.
  • Services to the Public are available via the Toronto Public Library System.
What I do not see is the congestion of buildings that block the Lake Shore access, for pedestrains, bicycling or baby carriages for an afternoon promenade. There are no NIMBY groups that are fighting airport noise and flight restrictions from the Island Airport. There are no rants about nightclubs and their loud after hour noise from the Cherry St revitilization.

Getting Hooked on the waterfront Colonel Samuel Smith Park, at Lake Shore Blvd. W. and Kipling Avenue, is one of Etobicoke’s best kept waterfront secrets. With spacious grounds and lakeside trails, the 195-acre park is a perfect place to spend the day with family and friends. Humber Bay Park, near Lake Shore Boulevard West and Parkside Avenue, offers wildflower meadows, wetlands and a warm-water fish habitat. There’s also a boat launch, a fishing pier and scenic vantage points. Mimico Waterfront Park

So when comparing neighbourhoods you need to look very closely at the community and amenities that are available to you, after you move to your new condominium. Where will you go for groceries and that morning Tomothy's coffee. I invite you to compare buildings and features in this index of Humber Bay Shore Condos.

Your comments are always invited. Perhaps you would like to promote a local business or event. Are you an Owner? If you own a unit in these buildings and you would like to sell your condo, click here and get a free condo value analysis.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

House prices overvalued in Canada

Canadian homeowners should be prepared for a fall in housing prices, warns a study that estimates homes in most cities are overvalued, and by as much as 25%.

With the exception of Toronto and Edmonton, houses in Canada's major cities are overvalued by anywhere from $32,000 to $87,000, says the study of prices in nine cities by researchers at the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia.

The study, released Monday, looked at prices for single-family homes in the second quarter of this year in nine major Canadian cities, and compared prices in those cities with what they would be in a balanced market based on the relationship between house prices and rents.

Only in Toronto are prices in balance with rents, the study concluded. In Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Regina and Winnipeg prices would need to drop by at least 20% to be in balance and in Calgary by 7% and in Vancouver by 11%.

In contrast, Edmonton prices are actually below equilibrium, and would have to rise by 8% to be in balance, it said.

"The decade long boom in Canadian markets is over," Tsur Somerville, the study's lead author. Housing affordability is a severe problem in some Canadian cities, limiting the ability of markets to continue to rise, says the report titled "Are Canadian Housing Markets Overpriced?"

The rapid price increases in many Canadian cities since 2001 along with the downturn in the U.S. housing market has raised concerns about the future of housing markets here, it noted.

"There are parallels between the path of house prices in Canadian and U.S. markets," it said.
During the U.S. housing boom, which ran from 1997 to 2006, prices rose 132%, while in Canada over the 2001-08 boom prices in the nine cities rose by an average of 87%.

While Canada's more conservative lending practices have prevented the speculative excess and severe downturn experienced in U.S. markets, they haven't prevented homes from becoming overpriced, it said.

The assessment of whether a housing market is in balance or equilibrium takes into account the ratio of rent to prices, mortgage rates and the cost of owning a house, and the expected long-term price appreciation.

In dollar terms, the amount by which house prices would have to fall to bring them back into balance in each of the overpriced cities was: Calgary $32,000, Halifax $58,000, Montreal $68,000, Ottawa $81,000, Regina $87,000, Vancouver $85,000 and Winnipeg $74,000.

That houses are overpriced doesn't, however, guarantee that they will fall, it said.
"Instead the market could return to equilibrium through an extended period of housing price appreciation that is above zero, but below the long run rate," it said.

The potential for price declines is greatest in cities that have a large supply of unsold inventory or a mismatch between the number of units and the number of households ready to occupy them, it says, adding that by that criteria Vancouver is the most at risk of a housing price correction, though compared with most of the other cities the decline would be relatively moderate.

While the study looked at prices for single-family homes, it noted that a concern in some housing markets is that the buyers of units are not living in them, it added.

"If markets turn, these investor-buyers might behave in a manner akin to other asset markets, dumping their units to avoid future greater perceived price declines," it said. "In contrast, owner occupiers, unless forced to sell, can remain in their units and wait out a weak market."

In contrast, prices in Edmonton would have to rise by $32,000 to bring them back into balance, and that's despite what has been an annual increase in prices of 13.4% during the 2001-08 housing boom.

Annual price increases during the 2001-08 housing boom for the other cities studied were 14.5% in Regina, 12.4% in Calgary, 10.6% in Vancouver, 10.2% in Winnipeg, 8.1% in Montreal, 5.7% in Halifax, 5.7% in Ottawa, and 7.2% in Toronto.

David Pylyp - Lets add a different banner to the headline and call the article Decline will be moderate. Then please re read the BOLDED items only as the story topic talking points. What an amazing difference from the headline. But...... whatever is promoted in the media becomes the truth. Source data available Complete Report UBC

Monday, September 8, 2008

An interesting thing happened on the way to your condo sale

We recently had a transaction in Roncesvalles Village with a hard loft (warehouse conversion) that bares repeating.

Placed the unit on the MLS System with photo's and description. Advertised the Open house for the upcomming weekend. The Open House was attended by approximately 15 prospective buyers and a number of local residents.

An offer arrived for almost the FULL ASKING price with terms and conditions that could be accomodated within the time provided. My clients accepted the offer and then we waited.

We waited for the Certified funds to arrive, upon acceptance of the Offer, and when they did, several days later, they were half the amount stipulated in the offer. I took the cheque for deposit and reminded the agent we would need an amendment to change the contract. I was advised that an amendment would be forthcomming. [They needed to consult their Broker if such an amendment was indeed required and then they would comply]

A few days later, amendment in hand, the Purchasing agent advised me that they could not get their purchaser approved for financing, they would be proceeding to a mutual release.

I immediately started calling the previously interested prospects from the OPEN HOUSE weekend to make them aware that the "deal" have become unhinged. From those prospects I generated another offer for my Seller.

This Purchaser was intent on NEGOTIATING his position and wanted me to reveal what had been bid before. I was unable to do so, (conflict of confidentiality) and we parted paths as I refused to compromise my ethics. In hindsite, If I had sold it myself, the Seller would have GROSSED slightly less in the purchase price but utimately been in a similar situation for his Net.

This Buyer found another agent to present his "lower offer" and fortunately I received a call from another prospect who had seen the unit during the open house and wanted their agent to present their offer. We had the makings of a competition.

This now became offers 3 and 4 in competition with each other. Putting their best foot forward, the final bidder came in without playing "negotiating games" and their Final offer was accepted as presented. The deposit was smartly remitted and all was well.

A few weeks later I received this note from my Seller;

Our experience in working with David was one in that we felt like we were dealing with family. David was always available when we needed him. He provided solid and accurate advice based on his years of experience. David clearly explained the process along the way, outlined available options and left the final decision to us. His refrain of, “There are no wrong answers”, helped us to relax and to make an informed decision.

David’s true talent shines during a purchase. His negotiating skills allowed us to secure our dream heritage home at an excellent price. He truly does thrive on what others may consider an enervating situation. David’s jovial nature was entertaining; he made what could be a stressful time much easier.

Putting your trust in David is the best decision you can make when buying or selling your home.
Thank you David! Sincerely, Dr. Paul & Shari Rankin

I guess its ok to be ethical.

Are you an Owner? If you own a unit in a building and you would like to sell your condo or detached home, click here and get a free value analysis.

Markland Wood - Prestige Homes West Toronto

A very sought after pocket of detached properties built in the early 60's. Markland Wood enjoys being nestled on the western edge of Toronto (Etobicoke) yet only a few minutes by bus to subway access.

Markland Home Association is one of the strongest ratepayers associations in Toronto. There are approximately one thousand two hundred homes in Markland Wood and 85 to 90% of the homeowners support their residents association. Markland wood Neighbourhood Sold data available below.

Most of the well-maintained character-laden solid-brick homes date from the 1960s, including detached two-storey Georgian and Regency Revivals, backsplits and modern bungalows; on the northern border, upscale condos abound. The homes on elite streets in the northwest and the larger abodes bordering the golf course run upwards of a million. There are many original owners still living in the community.

There are a number custom built homes along the many ravines and bordering on the golf course settings that offer incredible expansive vistas and privacy. What can I do to feature your home?

The Markland Wood Plaza, located at the south-west corner of Bloor Street and Mill Road, is anchored by a national supermarket and a McDonalds Restaurant that was specifically designed with input from the local homeowners. This shopping plaza also has a drug store, dry cleaner, pastry shop, bank, hairstylist, flower shop, and veterinarian clinic.

The Burnhamthorpe Mall, about a 5 minute walk from the home, features a food market, post office, pet store, Pizza Hut, Banks (T-D, CIBC, BMO), LCBO, Beer Store, medical and dental clinics, and a family restaurant.

The Bloordale Community School offers a myriad of programs for children as well as adults. The adjoining Bloordale Park is the home field of the Bloordale Baseball League which offers house league, inter league, intercounty and all-star programs. Bloordale Park also has tennis courts. Millwood Park has tennis courts and a baseball diamond.

The area has easy accessibility to major thoroughfares, including Bloor Street, Burnhamthorpe Road, and Highways 427 and 401, both of which link to QEW,403,407, subway, GO train and Pearson International Airport.

If you would like to live in Markland Wood, send me a copy of your dream home criteria.

Are you an Owner in Markland Wood?
If you own a house in this neighbourhood and you would like to sell your home, click here and get a free co value analysis.