Thursday, July 30, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
" suggests that more experienced mortgage brokers might actually be more likely than novices to make loans that end up in foreclosure.
Mr. Garmaise analyzed nearly 23,000 mortgages processed by 2,905 brokers from 2004 to 2008. When the brokers were starting out with their lenders, he said, the loans they made were less likely to result in foreclosure. (By his own calculations, the fifth loan was 8 percent less likely to result in foreclosure than the 10th loan.)
One reason for the increased failure rate, Mr. Garmaise said, could be the pace at which loans are underwritten. The more the brokers did, the less time they spent on each of them, he said.
Monday, July 20, 2009
“The survey results show Canadians have a deep emotional attachment to homeownership,” said Peter Vukanovich, President of Genworth Financial Canada. “Most people closely associate financial security and emotional well being with homeownership.
That’s particularly true among first-time homebuyers.”
The study measured both the financial and psychological factors of homeownership – providing the following insights into the link between homeownership and personal fulfillment:
• 84 per cent agree with the statement, ‘Owning a home provides a greater sense of
emotional well-being and security’.
• 85 per cent believe that even though homeownership may mean more work and
effort, they’d rather own than rent.
• 88 per cent say they would feel more financially secure owning their own home.
The national survey of 2,521 Canadians was conducted between April 24 and May 4. The complete Genworth Financial Canada First-Time Homebuyer’s Monitor with a regional breakdown is available at www.genworth.ca.
Friday, July 17, 2009
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Here is our Top Ten list of home staging DO's
1. Sparkle and Shine – Keeping a clean house is paramount to making a positive impression on potential homebuyers. Nothing will turn off homebuyers quicker than a dirty house. In the mind of a homebuyer, a clean house equals a house that has been well taken care of.
2. Clear the Clutter – Take a step back and assess the room and all of its belongings. If they’re not adding to the design or function of the room, store them or remove them. This goes for furniture too. Remember the old adage, “less is more”, especially when it comes to showing off the space in a room.
3. Tone Down Your Personality – Smart sellers know that the purchase of a home is a very emotional decision, which is then backed up by the rational. Therefore, if homebuyers see too much of “you” in the house, they will not see themselves living there. Potential homebuyers become home buyers when they imagine themselves living in the house. Let them do that by removing personal effects such as photos, degrees, and knickknacks.
4. Clean up the Curb – Sellers often focus on the interior and neglect to focus on the first impression—the outside. How does your home look when you drive by? Are the trees trimmed? Lawn mowed? Weeds picked? Garbage stored away? Windows washed? If potential homebuyers drive by before setting up a viewing (and a LARGE majority WILL drive by) and do not like what they see, they will cross you off their list. Remember to look at curb appeal at night too, as most drive bys will happen in the evening after work!
5. Fix the Faulty – Have you been meaning to replace that burnt out light fixture in the bathroom for awhile, but keep putting it off? Well, now is the time to do all of those “minor” repairs around the house. “Minor” repairs that need to be done will become major problems in the homebuyers’ eyes. Moving is stressful enough—the last thing homebuyers want to do when they move in is go around the house replacing burnt out bulbs and fixing cracks in the wall. Fix it before homebuyers eighty-six it!
6. Paint the Town Red, Not Your Walls – Love your red dining room or blue bedroom? While you might, not everyone has the same taste in décor as you do. Although paint colours are just an easy aesthetic change, most homebuyers will not be able to get past them. As well, different colours can conjure up different emotions such as frustration and agitation—not exactly the emotional state you want a homebuyer to be in! Neutral colours not only appeal to the masses, but also create a more calming and relaxed atmosphere—the perfect atmosphere for buying!
7. Warm It Up – Now, after telling you to de-clutter, de-personalize, and neutralize, you’re probably thinking your house might look more like a hospital than a home. In addition to these lessons, though, remember that you still want to create a warm, welcoming atmosphere. Think more hotel than hospital. Warm up the space with fresh flowers, fresh fruit, throws, pillows and rugs.
8. Point Out the Positives – Staging is not about hiding all of the negatives, but about accentuating the positives. Focus on highlighting what made you fall in love with your home when you bought it—Updated kitchen? Spacious family room? Gorgeous garden? Make sure you catch homebuyers’ attention in the right rooms.
9. Let the Light Shine In – Now that you’ve spent all of this time and energy getting the house ready, don’t hide it in the dark. Always open your blinds and drapes and turn on the lights before any showings and open houses.
10. Look at Your Objects Objectively – Even after going through the list, you still have to step back, remove yourself from the emotional side of selling your home and go through the list again. Do you really need your DVD collection on display? Remember, you’re moving everything eventually, so you might as well get started now! Not ready to part with your green bathroom? Again, you will eventually have to part ways and, really, are you ready to lose a sale over a can of paint? Because of the difficulty separating yourself from the connection you have with your home, many homeowners have found it’s much easier to go through the selling preparation process with a staging professional. Staging professionals can help them look at their property objectively and make the changes they need in order to sell quickly and for the most money.
Christine LeLacheur is a Certified Staging Professional (CSP™) and has a Masters of Business Administration (MBA). She continually augments her formal education by keeping on top of industry trends and keeping an ear to the ground to ensure she provides homeowners with ideas and layouts that appeal to an array of potential homebuyers.
Christine and her team are committed to making your house looks its best, optimize its value, and add to your pocketbook without leaving any equity on the table! Contact Christine today to learn more about how The Frugal Stager can help you sell your home!
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Home Buying Closing Costs Toronto GTA Real Estate
How much are the closing costs? How much money do you need in addition to your deposits. All are answered here with a financial income requirement worksheet.
Home Buying Calculation sheet is generated on each property we are seriously considering during our shopping process. At this point you would have already decided condo or freehold ownership, Fixed or Variable Funding for your mortgage.
The Top Half of the Worksheet describes monthly debt payment calculations
The bottom half describes the Taxes and expenses relative to each purchase.
The new HST (Harmonized Sales Tax) will alter many items.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
“Its disgusting, theres garbage flying around everywhere, we have to sweep the patio every 30 minutes just to keep it presentable,” said Vicki Rivard, manager at Davids Tea on the street. A block away, street vendor Anthony Vilanova says business is already being hit.
And it is the second time in seven years that garbage pick-up has been disrupted, with the last civic strike in 2002." FROM A US WEBSITE
KUDOS are deserved! I was so proud last week that the Pride Parade organizers had handled their garbage issues in an efficient and productive manner, taking the time and effort to hire private contractors to fill the void left by city employees.
I am not against the Unions, I am not against the City. But what are the real issues? Surely, Not the money. The same money that is being saved now will be spent, plus excess in overtime and back pay, plus the city will need to RETRO pay all the workers to the end of the last contract period.
I am sure someone could provide the details.
CUPE local has their own website and is encouraging the members to Twitter and POST and Participate but they are really working upstream, completely outgunned against the Public Relations Professionals that are the City.
SO who will profit in their profile and reputation from making all these apparent gestures to SAVE the city from the Unions?
Could this be the same CANDIDATE who promised to close a FEDERAL airport on the Toronto Islands outside of their jurisdiction during the last elections?
Toronto Business Owners are fed up with waste and mismanagement of services by the City and general dismissal of their needs to operate a profitable business. The City has meddled with Transit vis a vis the St Clair closures, the Molson Indy lost sponsorship (now the Honda Indy) will be picketed by the CUPE membership, last year the fight was about GUNS in the City that resulted in the relocation of the Sportmen's Show. That is not the image of the City I want projected on the evening news. We need tourist dollars.
Lets get a few business people elected to run a city properly, efficiently and responsibly. The ONLY reason this strike hasn't been settled is because the temperatures have been moderate. If we had a heat wave and the garbage stank, we would have settled weeks ago. Maybe after they fill High Park and the Sunnyside Pavillion on Lake Shore, so the 905'ers can drive by and TiSK TiSK and shake their heads.
I am embarrassed for the tourists that come to "Toronto the Good" for their week long vacations who cannot stay outside on the outdoor patio's and have a cool beverage because of mounting sidewalk garbage. I am so sorry that children who cannot play nicely with others have ruined it for everyone else.
If we want to be a world class city, Lets start acting and behaving like it.
What are your thoughts?
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
TORONTO, July 6, 2009 - In June 2009, Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported a record10,955 sales, up 27 per cent from June 2008. The seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales inJune was 100,700.
"The record result in June is testament to the fundamentally sound housing market in the GTA,"said the Toronto Real Estate Board’s newly appointed President Tom Lebour. "An increasing number of households have been confident in purchasing a home in the region’s affordable anddiverse resale housing market."
The average price for June transactions was $403,972 – up by two per cent compared to thesame month last year. "The re-emergence of seller’s market conditions has exerted upward pressure on home prices,"explained Jason Mercer, TREB's Senior Manager of Market Analysis. "Look for sales to remain high relative to listings in the second half of the year. This will keep home prices growing."
Using the sales numbers for June '09 alone, we are selling one house for every 1.78 homes available for sale. This is coupled with a reduction in the number of homes available for sale of appraoximately 14% and the combination will result in continued price increases and a sellers markets moving into the doldrums of summer.
Table Last 16 month
Will this continue? As long as interest rates are low, and the Harmonized sales Tax is on the horizon, informed people will want to make the move sooner not later.
What do you think?
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Thursday, July 2, 2009
The developer, Dunpar Homes, said each unit was worth between $500,000 and $625,000 and that most had already been sold.
In 2007, when the site held just an empty field, the townhouse complex proposal drew ire from neighbours, who thought the units too dense and too tall. On Monday night, they stood on the sidewalk and watched the units burn. Missisauga News
- The Builder, once they have had a few days to regroup from this tragic event will have a number of isssues to decide.
- Are they able to conclude the project at the price, time and material quoted and contracted?
- Will extensions be permitted?
- Will they merely cancell everyone's contract and start reselling the units again?
- I would think that existing contract holders would have the first right on the same unit.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
The good news is that you can apply the credit to across all ‘eligible’ dwellings. The Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) generally considers a dwelling to be eligible if it is used for personal purposes and could include a house, a condo unit, and a cottage. Additionally, the HRTC is family-based – for the purpose of the credit, a family is generally considered to consist of an individual, or an individual and his or her spouse or common-law partner, including children who will be under 18 years of age at the end of 2009. One family equals one credit but if two or more families share the ownership of an eligible dwelling, each family is eligible for their own separate credit of up to $1,350.
Here are a couple of examples of how you can use the HRTC:
You have a home in town and a cottage at the lake owned by you or your family. You can claim a total credit of up to $1,350 for eligible renovations incurred at either or both dwellings up to the maximum of $10,000 per family.
You co-own a cottage with relatives and the total cost of eligible cottage renovations is $20,000. You can claim a credit $1,350 on $10,000 of the total amount and your co-owners can also claim a credit of $1,350 on the other $10,000.
You must have acceptable documentation – such as agreements, invoices and receipts – to support your claim. These need not be included with your tax return but must be provided if requested by the CRA.
You can’t claim for renovations aimed at earning income – such as the renovation of a basement for rental purposes – only for expenditures made for personal-use area of the dwelling.
Eligible expenditures can include:
- A kitchen, bathroom or basement renovation
- New flooring
- Building an addition, deck or retaining wall
- Re-shingling a roof
- A new furnace or water heater
- Interior or exterior painting
- Driveway resurfacing or a new driveway
- New sod
- A permanent swimming pool
- Plus associated costs such as permits, services and equipment rentals
The HRTC is for a limited time so if you were planning a home or cottage renovation down the line, it could pay to reschedule it for this year. But before you start laying out large chunks of cash, talk to your professional advisor about how the extra expenditures will affect your overall financial plan.
John Scholl B. Mathematics, CGA, Investors Group(905) 450-2891 X529 (866) 799-2223 Cell; (416) 731-3660
A green roof is a system where a vegetated area becomes part of the building's roof. It includes plant life, a growing medium, a filter layer, a drainage layer, a root resistance layer and a waterproof membrane.
Under the new rules, a green roof will be required on all new buildings with more than 2,000 square metres of gross floor area. The area of the green roof will range from 20 per cent to 60 per cent of the roof, depending on the size of the development.
Green roofs have been used for years in Europe and the United States, but they are relatively new to Canada.
They are said to reduce stormwater runoff, energy consumption, the local ambient temperature and associated cooling costs. As well, they have been touted as beautifying the city, creating more green spaces and providing opportunities for food production.
Unfortunately, however, there are significant problems with the city's efforts to legislate environmental policy. From a legal point of view, it seems to me that Toronto is improperly using the City of Toronto Act to mandate building standards, a legislative area reserved exclusively to the provincial legislature. As such, it could well be exposed to a legal challenge.
The idea that the very shallow growing medium on green roofs can be used for food production may well be wishful thinking.
Fire is also an issue. According to a report last year in Property Week magazine, Swiss insurer Zurich, the third-largest insurer in the U.K., warned that green roofs could dry out and become flammable.
The City of Toronto is aware of the fire issue and is currently reviewing safety issues with Toronto Fire Services. A staff report last month noted that "there is no standard, establishing minimum requirements" with respect to fire safety.
Structural failure is another issue with green roofs. A presentation at the American Institute of Architects (AIA) convention in 2007 reported that in one U.S. case, a green roof failed and the water leakage caused significant structural damage.
The AIA presentation also forecast insurance claims and litigation resulting from failure to deliver promised energy savings, mould or other environmental hazards as a result of poor maintenance of the roof, or a roof collapse resulting from improper construction, maintenance or installation.
Wherever green roofs and green buildings are found, green building litigation is sure to follow. The United States has already seen its first green building-related litigation and its Canadian counterpart cannot be far off. An article in Green Real Estate Law Journal earlier this month predicted that "green building-related litigation will remain on the horizon for the near future."
Green roofs present serious issues for condominium corporations. Owners face significantly higher maintenance costs for green roofs to minimize the risk of fire and to ensure proper drainage.
The typical lifespan of roof membranes, with or without a green roof, is estimated at 25 years. When a membrane has to be replaced, condominium reserve funds will be hit with huge costs.
Locating a roof leak is challenging even where there is no green roof, but when the source of a leak is concealed by tons of vegetation and a growing medium, the costs can easily skyrocket.
I'm not sure that adequate study has been given to the green roof initiative in Toronto.
I also wonder why, if green roof technology is such a laudable goal, the City of Toronto stuck a "cash in lieu" provision in the bylaw, allowing builders to pay the city $200 per square metre instead of simply building the roof. Or is this just another city cash grab?
Bob Aaron is a Toronto real estate lawyer and a director of the Tarion Warranty Corporation. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, phone 416-364-9366 or fax 416-364-3818. Visit the column archives at http://aaron.ca/columns/toronto-star-index.htm for articles on this and other topics.
David Pylyp. There are wiser people to deal with these issues but I do see challenges beyond fire hazards on the rooftops, What about weight loading from snow and water retention in the roof lawns.
Why not legislate something that has a benefit to the Condominium Owners rather that a political ECO green hot topic. Why does the city not mandate energy self sufficiency. There are currently viable hydro co generation programs that could be used with Solar Panels installed on the out of sight roof tops.
I would personally welcome a reduction in my long term bills and passive income from hydro regeneration. Isn't it about time?
Your comments are always invited.