Saturday, January 30, 2010

Gently used Government building could be yours

It was my pleasure to interview the past Mayor of Etobicoke, currently sitting Toronto Councillor Doug Holyday. This destinguished gentleman has served a long term in the public sector.

In attending the offices at the Etobicoke Civic Center, my consideration was what a fabulous location on and off the highway that would better serve as high rise high density mixed use being a combination of retail commercial with residential above. [Hard not to be a realtor]

This became one of our conversational points. If the City moved its west offices to one of the subway hubs, either Kipling or Islington, and built on (vertically) what was previously a bus terminal, this would be a prudent, intelligent planning choice to provide services to the public (ultimately the city's customers) in a location where the residents could easily access.

Imagine, slipping home early on the subway for your extra stop at the New and Improved Civic Center to pick up your approved Fast Tracked Building Permit for the changes you are making in your house.

With the relocation of the civic centre to a subway corridor there is now the matter of the Burnhamthorpe site. DOug Holyday said "We don't need something as opulent as the Taj Mahal, we need something that is functional and will serve the residents long term". Councillor Holyday continued "this entire building could be extirely funded from the sale of the Burnhamthorpe and West Mall location sale, this would be betterment for the city in providing a new building and an improvement to the Neighbourhood that already has higher use structures." Have a look

The dedicated people that run the Municipal level of government are always under the microscope of public opinion and the purse strings of tax dollars. Money at these levels is not raised as a bake sale. Money comes from Federal and Provincial programs for infrastructure but ultimately a municipality raises funds thru the development fees collected and the ongoing taxation of residential and commercial property owners. These are issues for experienced people who are altruistic in their goals to help others in their own community. Hospitals, Recreation Centers and Transit identify the larger issues but the smaller councils also decide the fate of the tree on your front lawn.

Will the Double Miller Tax [Toronto Land Transfer Tax] be repealled with a new administration? How will transit expansion unfold in the near future? Will there be new subway lines ie Eglinton Ave.,?

Investigate and support someone who is running for office. Help them get elected. Have a voice in the process and how our tax dollars are being spend.

Friday, January 29, 2010

A moment with Tom Adams Oakville

I recently had the distinct pleasure to meet and interview Tom Adams Councillor Ward 6 of the town of Oakville.

The gentlemen is well spoken, informed, reserved and deserves to be where he is. This conversation lead me to a better understanding of the intricate nature of services provided by the local municipal government and the people that they serve.

This goes further than the Community Recreation Center and when will they allow equal hockey ice time to all (recently a news item in Toronto) but to the larger issues that speak to governance of municipal assets like land, air and water. Halton Region and Oakville are embarking on the construction of a new hospital at the intersection of Third Line and Dundas; There is a power plant proposal for increased hydro availability near the Ford Plant on Royal Windsor Dr, Oakville has recently upgraded their transit system with new improved transit routes for commuters to down town Toronto's Bay street.

Have a listen to Tom Adams.

Oakville does have higher development charges than surrounding communities and that does effect growth. Nevertheless Oakville continues to be a sought after community in the west Toronto GTA. With a vibrant and growing Transit System, New Hospital, proposed and improving Recreational Facilities Oakville does seem poised to continue its stellar growth.

If you would like information about this community, please call 647 218 2414 or write me email:

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Buy a house at the Grocery Store

Attention Kmart Shoppers Blue Light Special on Aisle 5 NEW and improved? Shopping for your home in a grocery store?

Some consumers will now be able to go to their local supermarket and pick up a more substantial purchase than dinner -- a house. RE/MAX of New England is teaming up with a large supermarket chain to open "micro" real estate offices in grocery stores, the franchise real estate brokerage announced this week.

The company has signed an exclusive, five-year agreement with Quincy, Mass.-based Stop and Shop Inc., one of the largest supermarket chains in New England with more than 375 stores throughout New England, New York and New Jersey, according to Stop and Shops Web Site.

"The (real estate offices) will be at the front of the store. We wanted to have facilities where we could have additional awareness to our brand and our agents. Stop and Shops have such a large traffic volume that they seemed to be a perfect fit," said Jay Hummer, executive vice president of RE/MAX of New England.

I don't know about your shopping experience.. I know about mine. Last night, I googled the evening menu, found a recipe I liked, thought about the ingredients that I would need and snuck from the office a little earlier than expected to cook dinner for my lovely bride. With my printed recipe in hand I hit the fresh fish counter, mused about some cheese appetizers, lamenting the winter fresh vegetable prices, made my selections, selected a wine and hurried home to prepare dinner.

At the entrance to the store is the Local Newspaper giving free copies with every subscription. [I don't have a bird and there is no puppy in my condo.] Have you seen how many people have not removed their yellow pages to the recycle bin? The financial services group has a 10 x 10 foot "booth" that is always staffed, grabbing your attention by having the bank machines [ATMs]. I look inside they are no cheerful smiles, no private quiet spaces to ponder your selections, just the hub bub of the food store with their open public address system. There are pamphlets on a variety of services you may need.

There is a segment of the real estate market that is promoting the concept of "boutique" real estate offices that service a select clientelle. OK, so here's the scenario. We will provide you with a lounge, endless video's about proposed construction, views and the building amenities and interiors, [There will be no alcohol as you may be drunk and TRICKED into a financial transaction] Just sign here...

What happened? You still want to see it, touch it, feel it, see who the neighbours might be, check the actual view vs staring at the 60 x 30 foot advertising tablet from Astral Media that will flash like the Star of David 24 hours a day, (outdoor pixel billboard) walk the underground garage to see where your parking stall and storage unit are. Some buyers are equipped to invest and risk what may be around them for the values that are available in pre- construction pricing. Other buyers are hesitant and want to feel their space. Each buyer is unique. Each buyer is correct.

The important issue for us in the Toronto GTA is to buy before the HST crushes us all. Hurry it may be gone is no longer a hollow sales rally cry. Ready to go shopping? email me or visit and start your own shopportunity.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Dirty Secrets - Online Evaluations

So everyone wants to give you a free market evaluation.

You found an online evaluation site that you clicked. You completed the sign in data on a "squeeze Page" and expected something to arrive in your email inbox of your home's value.

This prospect lead was sold through a string of companies to the "local" Realtor that will pay the most for that particular postal code. The company is not selling credibility. They are selling your name and your phone phone number to the highest bidder. This has no bearing on the skill or experience of the person who will return your call.

Go on the internet and start looking for a realtor who is strong and prominent on the internet in addition to video marketing and has experience in your locale. Google Me

My operating area is from the 427 at the QEW encompassing the Humber Bay Shores community and going west into Oakville. This allows me to react to sign calls and client inquiries within a half hour.

I will need to see the inside of our house because you, understand, that two homes can be very similar from the outside, but may be very different on the inside. They have had different upgrades over their lifetime with different owners. This permits me to provide a closer estimate of your homes value and realistic expectations.

Ask around, Google me. Then call. 905 361 3387

Dirty Secrets Over Pricing Your Home

Real Estates dirty little secrets; Agents entensively use and are trained to Over price listings in their presentations.

By providing you the highest value at the listing table they appeal to normal human nature and your greed. They flatter you. They tell you how marvelous your house shows. You could have an extra 10 or 15% in your pocket. They will "TRY"

But that's not the reality it seems.

Instead of being sold in 15 to 21 days, you are still making the beds, cleaning the dishes, tidying after the kids rooms, attending to extra details on a daily basis and wondering why your house has not sold when others have.

The exact question you should be asking is "People have looked at our home and they choose to buy another?" Is it the Price or Condition.

So your agent expired the listing, leaves the sign on the lawn for two or three weeks then revives the listing 5% lower than before. [He or She] has received 8 or 10 usable sign calls that they have placed [sold]families into other properties, and they have maintained a neighbourhood presence.

They are using you and you will possibly reward them by renewing the listing yet again.

This is not the type of business I am seeking. I do not like to BUY your business or use Switch and Bait techniques. I will not change sides after I have listed the property, to negotiate to the benefit of the Buyer. I will not use everything detail I have learned about you, your family or your motivation to sell as a bargaining technique.

Property Purchasers are seeking listings and neighbourhood information on line 11 to 17 months prior to their move; Find an agent who is Tech Savvy enough to market online to this group of Home Buyers.

You need to know that I will make every legal and ethical effort to get you the best deal in the shortest marketing period. Lets Talk about your Dream Home http://Bit.Ly/GetDave or Just Google me David Pylyp

No one cares about what I learned in my 20 years in real estate. You only want to know what I can do for you and your family today. I welcome your inquiries Call 905 361 3387 or email me at

Realtor reveals How to Beat a FSBO everytime!

Now you can beat a for sale by owner everytime.

An experienced negotiator will track down the meaningful and important details of a real estate transaction. You need to ask all the Big "D" questions. Are they selling because of death, divorce, debt or some type of disaster.

You need to ask as many WHO WHAT WHEN WHERE WHY HOW questions as possible without revealing your own position. These questions should include;
  • WHY is the vendor selling?
  • HAVE they bought another property?
  • WHAT possession is most preferable?
  • HOW long have they owned the property?
  • HAVE they had any other offers?
  • ARE the vendors just trying the market?
  • HOW long has the property been on the market?
  • The more you know, the higher the likelihood of knowing which cards to play.

Now, Let's really make them dance.

In a private sale negotiation, you will have flushed out all of the important information about their negotiating position PRIOR to your committing to anything in writing. This is a very large advantage for you. Now compare prices to make sure you are getting a deal and then document your position. If they agree to your offer; you know exactly what their best price is.

With Buyers Agency it is my obligation to find every advantage that I can for you.

No one cares what I did last year, you care about what I can do for you now.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Toronto's New Waterfront Development

Waterfront enhancements along the Don Lands; Toronto Waterfront's newest community. I would be very excited about this. Living near the Toronto waterfront amidst transit, walking paths, mixed use residential and commercial space.

The initiative; Join Waterfront Toronto as we unveil the details behind Parkside — the first private sector development in East Bayfront. Great Gulf Group of Companies, the developer selected to lead Parkside, plans to build a major mixed-use complex designed by world-renowned architect Moshe Safdie. Parkside will be Mr. Safdies first residential project built in Canada since his landmark Habitat 67 in Montreal. Follow for more information about Torontos waterfront revitalization .

What are your thoughts on a Live Laugh Play Work near the water in Toronto; Would you live there? Is it sustainable?

Add your comments.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Managing Your Money

Making the right investment choices?

One of the essential fundamentals of any financial plan is an investment portfolio. But given the many investment options available to you, how do you make the right investment choices –
choices that will support your short- and long-term financial goals? People generally can plan for months for a 2 week vacation, but retirement will be the longest vacation they’ve ever had. They never get around to thinking about it and continue to avoid putting any consideration for it…. which may lead to an almost impossible situation. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to that question – your answer will be unique to your needs, goals and expectations – but there are some general guidelines that can help aim you toward the right investment choices for you.

First, let’s take a quick look at why any investment choice is almost always a complex issue.

The question Should you invest in investments that are Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) eligible, or Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) eligible or both?

The answer Both RRSPs and TFSAs provide the benefit of tax-sheltered compound growth for investments held inside the plan. But RRSP contributions are tax-deductible and TFSA contributions are not, although amounts can be withdrawn tax-free at any time and the withdrawn amounts added back to your TFSA contribution room.

Generally speaking, RRSPs are the investment of choice for long-term objectives while a initial contributions to a TFSA may be better suited for shorter-term goals, such as an emergency fund or saving for a major purchase, like your home.

There’s more to consider here, but you get the point - what seems like a simple investment choice turns out not to be so simple after all. Still, here are a four basic questions that, when answered from your personal perspective, can help you focus your investment choices.

1. What are the tax implications of the investments? Not only are your RRSP contributions tax deductible, all other taxes on your registered investments are deferred until money is withdrawn during retirement at which time all redemptions, including the amount contributed will be fully taxable. On the other hand, if you believe you are in a good pension plan, after you have satisfied your short term goals in the TFSA, it is a good idea to invest remaining funds at your risk tolerance since this is a tax free growth plan. After maxing out the TFSA, you can put remainder in your non-registered investments, which will attract taxes upon redemption but at the tax preferred rate. That’s why it’s usually a good strategy to place tax attracting investments inside registered plans and investments that enjoy a preferential tax treatment in your non-registered portfolio.

2. Will I be able to sleep well at night? You’ll need to evaluate your time horizon and your tolerance for risk. Younger investors may be willing to accept more risk and decide on a more aggressive portfolio; older investors typically opt for less volatile investments that deliver steady returns. Asset allocation and diversification are always important – but the essential rule is to pick the asset mix that lets you sleep soundly at night.

3. Am I confident I will have enough income to fund my retirement dreams for all the years of my retirement? You’re likely to live a long time in retirement. Assess all your sources of income and make investment adjustments as required to be assured that your income will last as long as you do.

4. Do I know what my financial legacy will be? Decide what you want to pass on and to whom – and then take the right steps to ensure that’s what will happen in the most tax efficient way.

You may have the financial skills to put your own investment and financial plan together but why gamble with your future? Your professional advisor can help you make the best investment
choices and keep them on track as time goes on.

John Scholl B. Mathematics, CGA, Consultant - Investors Group Financial Services Inc.
Wealth Management & Financial Planning

Phone: (905) 450-2891 X529 Toll Free: 1 (866) 799-2223 x529 Cell (416) 731-3660

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Turner vs Stinson Bulls or Bears

Sorry to burst your bubble Toronto

When a major realtor releases a “market report” you can be sure the conclusion will be that prices are stable and/or improving (otherwise the report is staying under wraps).

Nevertheless, I would agree that Canadian real estate will continue to be seen by most people as a good place to invest their money, but not necessarily because of any sophisticated economic insights.

  • 1. In an increasingly erratic world (in terms of politics, economics and even climate) Canada is regarded as a safe and stable place to live and own property
  • 2. There is no longer any such thing as a ‘blue chip’ stock or bond (Nortel? GM? AIG? Bernie and the boys?)
  • 3. Banks charge you more in fees than they pay you in interest.
  • 4. Whatever happens to the price, properties have a day-to-day practical value -- you can use them or generate revenue.
  • 5. Interest rates are likely to stay single-digit for some time, making ownership more sensible than renting (for those that want to own) and carrying costs sustainable (for those who want to be landlords).
  • 6. Nobody has yet been able to explain derivatives or why they are sensible investments (except for the middlemen)

I don’t foresee the Toronto market collapsing, even in condos, but all these statistical trends and averages provide highly superficial insights.

One still needs to understand the submarkets very carefully. For the next six months, I expect overall real estate stability, but there are indeed some “bubbles” out there that will inevitably burst. There are also still some serious pockets of opportunity.

Harry Stinson was one of the first Toronto developers to recognize the potential for urban condominiums, to develop residential lofts, and to convert old office and warehouse buildings into residential spaces. His current project is the Stinson School Lofts, an 1894 heritage building in Hamilton, Ont., that he is converting into stylish and affordable lofts.

David Pylyp So lets recap; Prices will be stable, Some locations may be over priced, some are under priced and are an opportunity. Where do you weigh in on the Bubble Trouble?

Feel free to add all your comments.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Connect with me

So here we are it’s a new decade 2K10

It’s a new decade and you have found a best way on the internet to find an experienced professional tech savvy realtor in the Toronto GTA serving Etobicoke Mississauga and Oakville.

I could talk to you about;

  • What sold on that street or neighbourhood
  • How much per square foot in that condo complex
  • How many days was it on the market
  • How will you deal with Mom & Dad’s Housing needs
  • First Time Buyer rebates and Land transfer Taxes
  • Securing and Booking your financing commitment and interest rate

But we need to connect;

  • You need to know that I will pay attention to your needs
  • I will listen to your list of requirements
  • You need to be confidant that I won’t push you into something you don’t want
  • We will devote the time, energy and resources that you need for your purchase
  • We will look at as many houses as you need to see, to feel comfortable
  • We will explain every aspect of your real estate transaction as many times as necessary
  • You and I will continue our dialogue long after you have moved in to discuss what mortgage renewal rates are available for you and what is selling on your street.

We will (with your permission) advise the people living on your new street who will be moving in, so that you can feel welcomed and make new friends easier.

Drop in and Visit me at our Square One offices for a coffee or tea. We can discuss whatever is on your mind. Call me at 647 218 2414 or 905 361 3387 email:

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Full Time or Part Time Do you care?

Dear RE/MAX Sales Associates, Broker-Owners and Managers:

Taking back the industry

2009 proved to be a defining year for real estate, creating two very separate and distinct categories of realtor.

Experienced professionals, who stayed the course, adjusting to new conditions and adhering to solid business plans, were ideally positioned for the turnaround and emerged victorious from the downturn. The fair-weather realtors who were ill-prepared and panicked, who chose to bury their heads in the sand, were not.

I think it's time we formally acknowledge the elephant in the room.

Last year, one in five realtors failed to sell a home on TREB -- the largest board in the world. From what I understand, the same problem exists in smaller boards across Ontario and Atlantic Canada.

No one in the industry, however, has mentioned how this threatens both the consumer and the profession. Our industry is overrun by part-timers who lack the knowledge and experience to service their clients adequately. The ease with which they can hang a shingle and tarnish our profession is astounding.

Personally, I can't believe that no one has challenged this reality. With the exception of those sales associates that are new to the business – and we have some stellar rookies who have already achieved Platinum Club in their first year in the business -- and those that are winding successful real estate careers, I find it hard to fathom that one in five agents sell nothing at all. Fifty-three per cent do not do a deal a quarter yet are prepared to provide guidance to buyers and sellers making the largest single financial transaction of their lifetime.

Just who is looking out for the real estate consumer? Cab drivers? Waiters? This trend is not in the best interest of our clients, and if we, as realtors, want to raise the bar in the industry, this simply cannot continue.

Here are my thoughts on the issue. For starters, at least one-quarter of agents should be barred from trading in real estate…it's time to put the professionalism back in the profession. It's time we raise the bar and set new standards. If we don't, this group of unqualified realtors will continue to have a serious negative impact on the industry.

If this sounds familiar, it's because you've heard it before. One year ago, I talked about how uncommitted realtors were creating problems within the industry. However, at that time, economic concerns loomed overhead, a global financial crisis was brewing, and home sales had slowed to a crawl. We thought that the downturn would clean house, effectively purging the industry of non-producers and part-timers.

But the slowdown proved short-lived. And as real estate gained momentum, everyone jumped in it to make a fast buck. So it's time to get serious. We need to enlist your help and create a plan of action. After all, the greatest opportunity to raise standards is through licensing and we'd like to see stricter rules governing the registration of realtors. What about introducing a minimum sales requirement before licensing? Or an apprenticeship program where new sales associates gain valuable insight before they are licensed?

I challenge anyone in the industry to argue why a part-timer or non-producer should be allowed to trade in real estate. Stand up and please tell us how consumers benefit. Explain why Ontario needs 57,000 realtors.

My commitment to you will be to pursue this issue at all levels of government and associated organizations. I will call upon the leaders and directors of CREA, OREA, RECO and real estate boards in Ontario and Atlantic Canada to support me in this cause. These are excellent organizations, but all have built their infrastructure based on membership numbers. Is that in the best interest of the full-time real estate professional? Join us in writing to the Minister of Government Services, the Honourable Harinder S. Takhar at and the Minister of Consumer Services, the Honourable Ted McMeekin, responsible for the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002 at to request sweeping changes to rules governing registration and licensing to protect the integrity of the profession and consumer interest.

We'd all benefit from an industry overhaul. We see the impact of those mistakes time and time again. The committed, dedicated professionals that have devoted their lives to selling homes would give their eye tooth to get rid of the clutter and restore honour and dignity to the profession. After all, the lack of commitment and expertise among part-timers affects the entire industry.

We need to send the message, once and for all -- real estate is not a fall-back profession. This industry is not a circus. It's time we rid ourselves of the elephant in the room.

Michael Polzler
Executive Vice President and Regional Director
RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada Inc.

David Pylyp; Is he right or wrong? Are real estate companies filling the seats with anything that can fog a mirror? Recently, I was made aware that the TREB (Toronto Real Estate Board) has 31,000 paid up members. In the last few years I have;
  • Shown houses to prospects who at the final selection told me they would prepare their own offer. (He was a part-time agent) [I asked if they were under Buyer's Agency and told No]
  • Explained First Time Buyers rebates only to be told "My Manager was too busy and your website has all that great content"
  • Phoned an "Office" to book a showing and tried to leave a message on a cell phone.
  • Seen agents commission cheques delayed for weeks by large warehousing offices.
  • Called (paged) agents that can never been reached in the daytime for inspections, appraisals or any property particulars.
  • Endlessly sending offers by fax where my Buyer has asked to have his perspective presented and to be heard.
  • Asked to present the offer directly to the Sellers in the absence of their agent as for X% he was not coming out nor was he providing any FINTRAC documentation. In this case, I not only explain my Buyers contract but need to explain to this seller what his choices and that places me in a Dual Agency conflict; albeit acting for both sides.
  • Agents reduce commissions for another agent in conflict with an existing contract between a Buyer and his exclusive purchasing representative.
  • Listing Agents who do not search [inquire about] title to ascertain mortgage debt and the likelihood of a successful closing.
While I do believe everyone by should have the opportunity to enter a career in real estate, there need to be limits on the number of agents per office or more directly per manager; so that newer people have access to the resources they need. Some offices have a manditory 6 month apprentice period where you adopt a partner. The state of California requires two years apprenticeship.

My clients don't care how I look; they want to know that I will take care and be careful with their money; that I will help them fill their dream home wish list. To that end...

Could this be your Shopportunity 2k10

Welcome to the Toronto Real Estate Boards stats for mid January 2k10. We have entered into a very unusual market. We are starting this year firmly as a seller’s market. With an absorption rate in excess of 50%, on a monthly basis, multiple offers will continue on the most demanded products namely starter entry level homes and smaller condos.

The real story continues to be the reduced number of homes for sale coupled with a continued demand from nervous buyers looking for that first great starter home. Currently there are 11K homes for sale. That inventory level is thousands of units short of what we have had during January’s in the past few years.

January mid month sales for 2k10 are 2,025 units. Although this number seems a bit low, it is likely the result of a lack of good homes to sell as well as a typically slow start to the year. This mild spell in the weather is indeed keeping people active hoping to beat the rush of spring price increases. We need a clear increase in the number of homes available for sale. As this market has gotten tighter. We are observing more instances of multiple offers and in some cases, sale prices that are much higher than I even would have ever guessed. To put things into perspective, if the number of homes for sale doubled overnight, we would still be in a very stable market.

What I need to relay to potential sellers, is your need to understand this is a “perfect dynamic”. All the odds are in your favor and it’s hard to comprehend that there could ever be a better time to sell and get a great price for their house. The step between your property and what you truly want has never been closer. If you have a listing that hasn’t sold in these conditions, the only reasons can be price or condition. The easiest and quickest fix is PRICE.

Call me or email Check out ShopTOism

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Hurry before we change our minds

Is that next months advertising caption? As house prices are increasing in the regional Toronto GTA market (Etobicoke, Mississauga, Oakville) Buyers are continuing to chase the available listing inventory and prices are being pushed ever farther upwards.
  • There will be interest rate increases in 2k10 that are related to income tax and RRSP savings accounts.
  • US borrowing has been unabated.
  • We are in the Firm GRIP of a Seller's Market.
  • Investors are still coming to Canada because we are a safe haven.
  • CMHC may be phasing out the 5% downpayment program.
  • CMHC and the banks may be cutting back amortizations on mortgages making it harder to qualify.
So here we are; You looked at the house; You hesitated, and they... took it off the market because by waiting 30 - 45 days they may very well get an extra 3 - 5%. All seem to be holding back offers until a few date and time.

Lets look at that in plain numbers ~ with an entry level detached starter home now starting at $400 thousand; multiple offers and demand are pushing up an average of $12 - 15,000 over asking. Of course, you could buy a private, but I have rarely seen private sell above last sale and never in multiple offers. I doubt FSBO's would be equipped to create a bidding war with actual bonafide bidders.

Be prudent that what you are bidding on is within your means to live in comfortably, when that mortgage renewal happens in a few years. Hurry before its gone takes on a whole new meaning.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Bought the Condo Now Pay GST

You knew when you purchased the condo that you were going to "flip it" or "rent it" so it should not be a surprise when you get handed a bill for the GST on your purchase.

Lets recap;
Some years ago you committed to purchase of X Dollars with a 15% down payment paid over a 90 day period. That condominium unit was in Toronto, Mississauga, Oakville. Now the building is built and ready for occupancy. The builder has notified you, in writing, that on date Y your unit is available for final inspection and move in (Interim Occupancy) Please bring your certified cheque in the amount of (final 5% down). You now have 20% equity in the condo purchase.

Are you moving in? Cough, UMMM,, Hesitation, Eye Mis - direction, Silence.

The contract requires that you, in writing specify if someone other that you or a family member is taking interim occupancy of the unit. Now you are in conflict with your agreement of Purchase and Sale. Why does it matter?

It Matters! because at the final closing and registration of your condominium unit you are signing a Statutory Declaration that you are the end user / occupant and that GST claw backs are available to the builder. You have purchased the Tarion warranty.

Stan Gelman says;

Nothing underscores the difference between the PST and GST than real estate. Most services in a real estate transaction are currently subject to GST. As the GST “net” is a broader, the six levied on items like legal fees, surveyor charges and real estate commissions increase starting Canada Day 2010, from 5% to 13%

Ontario’s HST will impact the development industry more than any segment of the economy. The basic rule for the new homes/condominiums is simple. AS OF JULY 1, 2010, 13% TAX WILL BE CHARGED ON THE ENTIRE PURCHASE PRICE OF ANY NEW HOME OR CONDOMINIUM, 5% FEDERAL, 8% PROVINCIAL), LESS ANY REBATES.

While the GST is a direct tax, a significant PST component is buried in the price of new homes/condominiums today. “Currently, the (PST) applies to building supplies used in the construction of new homes. The single sales tax would remove this embedded tax. Based on a recent Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation study, this embedded sales tax rates from about two percent to three percent, on average on the final sale of a new house in Ontario. Effectively that fixes the PST rate on new homes/condominiums at about 2% of the purchase price.

To maintain the status quo for lower-priced units, a rebate was proposed on prices below $500,000. (Just as the Ontario HST would be in addition to the federal GST, this Ontario new housing rebate would be in addition to the GST New Housing Rebate). For new homes/condominiums bought as a primary residence and priced under $400,000, the rebate would be 75% of the 8% Ontario HST, or 6% of the purchase price. At 2% the net Ontario HST would be comparable to the current rate of embedded PST in a new home/condominium.

Between $400,000 and $500,000 the Ontario new housing rebate would be phased out, and totally eliminated at $500,000. For new homes/condominiums priced over $500,000, 8% Ontario HST would be charged on the full purchase price (in addition to the 5% GST).

At $400,000, the gross Ontario HST would be 8% of the purchase price ($32,000). The net Ontario HST would be 2% of the purchase price (or $8,000), as the Ontario new housing rebate (75% of the 8& Ontario HST [i.e. 6% of the purchase price], or $24,000), would be deducted

1) If either occupancy or ownership of a new home/condominium is transferred before July 1, 2010, the deal is not subject to Ontario HST (reason: the occupancy ownership date)

2) If both occupancy and ownership of a new home/condominium are transferred after June 30, 2010, the deal is not subject to Ontario HST (reason: the grandparent exemption)

For contracts entered into after June 18, 2009 and before July 1, 2010

3) If either occupancy or ownership of a new home/condominium is transferred before July 1, 2010, the deal is not subject to Ontario HST (reason: the occupancy/ownership date)

4) If both occupancy and ownership of a new home/condominium are transferred after June 30, 2010, the deal is subject to Ontario HST (reason: the grandparent exemption does not apply. Constantly growing, this is clearly the category of greatest concern. However, the buyer MAY be eligible to a PST Transitional Housing Rebate

Besides being the day when the sweeping changes were announced, June 18, 2009 was Queens Park’s choice as the grandparent exemption cut-off date. That means consumers never had the opportunity to knowingly buy a new home or condominium under the grandparent rules. Buyers with grandparented transactions have attained that status by luck, not by choice.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Home Renovation Tax Credit - Hurry!

There are only a few weeks left for the Home Renovation Tax Credit. This program is scheduled to end Feb 01, 2k10 and does not appear slated for renewal. You are eligible to a rebate maximum of $1350 on an expenditure of $10,000 spent on a home improvement.

Go and shop for the materials that you will need for the HRTC and have the work actually done at a later date. Take that additional rebate that is being offered from Vendors and Trades people during this period to commit. Tango Kitchens and Bath Fitters both has special programs. Larger Big box retailers are also offering their own additional 10% savings IE Rona and Home Depot. IKEA has joined the frey with their own get an extra 10% as rebate cards on additional purchases at their stores. They focus their advertising on procrastinators? Is it working?

What is Included in HRTC? Click here
Original HRTC Blog with News Release Click here

What benefit does this have for you?
  • Improved desire and saleability of your home.
  • Investment in your largest asset
  • Enhancement of your home to better your lifestyle.
  • Improves your equity ( your house is worth more!)
  • Cook and Head of the household can finally get her dream kitchen.
While we are betting that this program will be extended, I have not heard rumblings anywhere of more press releases indicating this consideration. Given that legislators are on vacation [proroguing] (I think that sounds like a couple of old Ukrainian women making pirogies) I doubt that the extension is imminent.

If you have heard something drop me a line. If you have already fixed it up and are ready to place it on the market my team and I would be pleased to meet with you. Have a New look at what we can do for you.

Oakville Are You being seen?

With technology in 2K10 it is easier for shoppers on line, to find anything they seek. Buyers relocating to [their] future towns and neighbourhoods for employment are coming to the mecca of Toronto.

The Oakville scene is a happening little place (2006 population 165,613 [2]) is a town in Halton Region, on Lake Ontario in Southern Ontario, Canada, and is part of the Greater Toronto Area. Wiki Oakville You are indeed a part of the Greater Toronto Area.

This is important. In this information age of technology and sharing of data, why, why would you become exclusionary in who gets your data. Are you going to build a little electronic fence? Who or What element are you trying to keep out?

If I was a home seller in Oakville, I want my information broadcast, SCREAMED, smoke signaled and distributed in every fashion possible to any potential prospect or people looking on line. The logic of this decision escapes me, however the Oakville Real Estate Board has chosen to make it more challenging for it's membership to load and share data with the Toronto Real Estate Board.

The TREB currently has 31,000 paid up members that share in 84,000 ('2009) transactions within the Toronto Real estate trading area. Last year those statistics included W21. UMM Oakville sold 1,670 units. You could get the detailed sales history for w21 for the last 12 month period if you click here; but its incomplete. I need to go to the Oakville Milton board too?

See remarks above ... Why WHY WHY would you not want your listing shared with 31,000 eager, hungry, creative and enthusiastic agents willing to complete a transaction, buyer or seller for you?

If you are considering the sale of your home;
  • Is it possible that the purchaser is not an Oakville Native?
  • Could the buyer be stepping past the border from Mississauga to Oakville?
  • A Move up buyer from Toronto?
  • Do you feel this is the best way to market your home?
  • New to Canada?
  • Corporate Relocation?

Add your perspective...

I thought that technology broke down barriers and expanded the information available.

No Pants Subway Ride 2010

Sunday, January 10, 2010
3:00pm - 6:00pm
Queens Park - Giant Horseman Statue.


Everyone is invited to participate in Toronto’s 3rd Annual No Pants! Subway Ride. The event will take place at 3:00 PM on Sunday, January 10. Everything you need to know is below. Please read it carefully!

Last years No Pants Subway Ride:

Requirments For Participation:

1) Willing to take pants off on subway
2) Able to keep a straight face about it


When: Sunday, January 10 at 3:00 PM, Sharp! (Over by around 6:00)
Where: Meet at the giant horseman statue in the middle of Queens Park. To subway there, walk directly south from Museum Station.
Bring: A backpack and a metropass/tokens
Do not bring: A camera (don’t worry we are taking pictures)
Wear: Normal winter clothes (hat, gloves, etc)

How it works:

We will assemble in Queens Park at the horseman statue at 3 PM. Please be on time. Feel free to be early.

When we’re organized, we will all head up to the Museum Station. Do not talk to others once you enter the subway system. No one knows each other. We will wait for a train to arrive going south and all board our assigned cars (follow your team leader). We may let one train go before entering to make sure everyone is ready.

Sit in the car as you normally would. Read a magazine or whatever you would normally do. Your team leader will have already divided you into smaller groups, assigning your group a specific stop where you will depants.

As soon as the doors shut at the stop before yours, stand up and take your pants off and put them in your backpack. If you’d like to use a briefcase, purse, grocery bag, or whatever instead of a backpack that’s fine too. You are responsible for your own pants and they should be with you at all times. If anyone asks you why you’ve removed your pants, tell them that they were “getting uncomfortable” (or something along those lines.)

Exit the train at your assigned stop and stand on the platform, pantless. You will wait on the platform for the next train to arrive going in the exact same direction. Stay in the exact same place on the platform so you enter the next train in the same car as you exited the last train.

When you enter , act as you normally would. You do not know any of the other pantless riders. If questioned, tell folks that you forgot to wear pants and yes you are a little cold. Insist that it is a coincidence that others also forgot their pants. Be nice and friendly and normal.

We will exit the train at Eglinton Station. Pay attention so you don’t miss this stop. We will then repeat the mission back down around the loop. Feel free to take off, if on our way back we come to your stop.

You can wear fun underwear if you like, but nothing that screams out I wore this because I’m doing a silly stunt. Wear two pairs of underwear if it makes you feel more comfortable. Don’t wear a thong or anything else that might offend people. Our aim is to make people laugh, not piss them off.

This is always a great event, with tons of laughs. We know this may seem a bit weird, but, we promise if you give it a try you will enjoy yourself.

This event is being run by Improv In Toronto. To learn more about us, and see some of our past missions please visit:

Help us out, tell your friends about the event? Invite others, so that we can make this huge!

+ if you would like to get more involved as leader, photographer, or videographer please send an email to

Friday, January 8, 2010

Managing Your Money

It is basic – an RRSP is good for you

When it comes to investing and saving on taxes, you have options. Within your financial planning process, you should look at all of them and select those that work best for your unique situation. But there is one investment option that’s a no-brainer. The Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), since being introduced 53 years ago, has become the basic foundation of almost every financial plan. RRSPs have stood the test of time as the best tax-saving, incomebuilding vehicle for most Canadians.

Here are the keys to making the most of your RRSP opportunity.

Contribute to the max Always make your maximum allowable contribution each taxation year to get the most in immediate tax savings and to maximize the potential long-term growth of your RRSP investments. You’ve still got some time to contribute for 2009 – the deadline is March 1, 2010 – and you’ll find your maximum allowable contribution room on the Notice of Assessment sent to you from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) after filing last year’s income taxes.

Contribute regularly Making automatic monthly contributions to your RRSP is much more rewarding than contributing a lump sum once a year. Here’s how: By investing $250 regularly each month at a compound rate of return of 8%, you’ll have $372,590 in your retirement nest egg 30 years from now.* But if you wait until the end of each year to invest a $3,000 lump sum, you’ll have only $339,850. By investing monthly, you’ve added $32,740 at retirement without contributing a dollar more.

Play catch (up) If you have unused contribution room, fill it up as soon as possible for additional tax savings and longer-term tax-deferred, compound growth. You can fill your unused contribution room in a single year or over a number of years until you reach age 71.

Borrow to save An RRSP loan can be a smart way to maximize this year’s contribution or to play catch up on your past contributions – but you must get the loan at a low interest rate and pay it back as quickly as possible. A best practice: Use your RRSP tax savings to pay off the loan.

Spousal savings A higher-earning spouse can contribute to an RRSP for the benefit of his or her partner and enjoy a tax reduction on the contributions.

There are other RRSP strategies that can work for you – the right ones, incorporated into your overall financial plan, will help you save on taxes every year, retire with more and enhance your estate. Talk to your professional advisor about what’s best for you.

* The rate of return is used only to illustrate the effects of the compound growth rate and is not intended

to indicate future returns on investment.

John Scholl B. Mathematics, CGA, Consultant - Investors Group Financial Services Inc.

Flash Reporting to Catch your eye

Fasten your seatbelts, home buyers

Interest rates are about to start rocketing higher. Savers, get ready

Thats the headline from the Globe and Mail;

Is this accurate? Possibly; Interest rates do seem poised to increase with continued demand.

Will Interest rates SKYROCKET into the.. what stratosphere, of 18 or 20% like in the '80's. Interest rates will have potentially, some increases that could move them up a few points. Canada's economy and business sector is delicate. The US even more so. The Politicians and economists are divided on how to tinker with the rates for the sake of dollar exchange, business and employment.

Why would you post a headline and picture like that? Are sales so bad at the Globe and Mail you need to terrify people with their morning Kindle?

Does this kind of [FALSE or EMBELLISHED] headline grabbing irritate anyone else?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Year end Wrap up Toronto 2009

At this time, we would like to send each and everyone, our very best wishes for abundant health, wealth, and success for 2010. It's hard to believe that another year has come and gone so quickly and now here we are now in facing a brand new decade and a fresh start for 2010. The theme for the overall energy of this year is to be one of self-empowerment.

In case you haven’t seen it Re/Max is predicting a 2 % price increase nationally for 2010 Click Here

The serious lack of homes and condos for sale will continue to stress purchasers and push prices up. I can only offer these suggestions to soften your fears, Lock in the mortgage rate with a lender. We will need to wait or canvass the location you desire, but eventually someone will list a unit or house you want.

The websites and video’s are creating a following of their own; If you know someone local to Etobicoke Mississauga and Oakville that wants to promote THEIR business online I would be pleased to help out. Click Here

Are you dealing with Aging Parent Issues There are resources and Questionnaires available for FAQ’s Click Here

Year End real estate news and wrap up Click here.

In the mean time, obviously I have buyers looking for houses and condos. If you know someone who is considering a sale please pass along my contact information or slip me an email on where I should be knocking and walking.

It’s going to be a very exciting year; Just do it before the HST hits the FAN. Everyone will at that point be paying more for everything.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Everywhere but Roncesvalles Village

Recently, BlogTO posted an article on how Roncesvalles businesses are struggling during the reconstruction, a reminder of the importance of supporting local businesses during the holiday season. I urge all Roncesvalles residents, please, to brave the occasional dust blast (and chilly breeze), and drop by your local shops, services and restaurants. We need you now more than ever!

The article mentions a few business closures. However, it is not clear that all these closures were due to the reconstruction. In the article, the Queen of Tarts owner said her decision to close was a long time coming after several years in business. And the Second Cup faced a number of problems unrelated to the reconstruction. What is certain, however, is that business is down, and the 30 percent drop that Len from Pollocks reported sounds typical for the street. Is there way of mitigating the disruption during the second phase of construction (to begin in the spring with the streetcar track and sidewalk repairs)?

In addition to urging continued local support for Roncesvalles businesses, the BIA would like to ask community members for their observations of how this first phase of construction has been managed. What can be done better to ensure that the second phase proceeds as smoothly as possible? Good suggestions should be incorporated into the tender document, which will be sent out shortly.

Here are my own observations:
1) Do more to ensure pedestrian movement: Quite often during the first phase, pedestrians were required to walk a block or more out of their way just to cross the street. This effectively cut off businesses from half their customers. The new contract should state that pedestrian crossings shall be maintained at each block except when this is absolutely impossible. Each hour that a pedestrian crossing was closed made a difference to businesses across the street.
2) Manage the dust: Far more than parking and car access, I personally would say that dust and noise were the main factors keeping customers (my customers at least) off the street. The jackhammers only lasted a week or so out front, but the dust remained far longer. This meant that whenever a bus drove by, a huge cloud of dust was stirred up and thrown into people's faces. Even after the first blast, micro particles would linger in the air, making the street unpleasant for everyone and intolerable for those with even mild allergies. I often noticed that several people would return to the street after it rained, most likely because the moist dirt did not throw up dust. I would urge the city to send out street cleaning vehicles regularly during the reconstruction to keep the dust under better control.
3) Contain the mess: Right now, there are several blocks along the street that are finished but are still closed off due to staging materials. Wherever possible, the City should insist that staging materials be kept on the same block where work is occurring or just one block adjacent. Whenever a block can be opened up, however partially, it should be.
4) Preserve bike parking: whenever bike posts must be removed in order to reconstruct the sidewalk, temporary bike parking should be provided nearby. Car traffic may need to be restricted along Roncesvalles, but there is no reason bike traffic or parking should be. By the way, in September, Roncesvalles Renewed member Mark Ellwood counted 194 bikes parked along Roncesvalles, compared to the average of 145 parked cars Mark observed in 2008 while completing his thoroughly-researched parking survey. Last August, traffic guru Tom Vanderbilt wrote in Slate about the importance of bike parking.

Are there any other suggestions? Please contact the BIA at! Join the discussion on reconstruction management to share your thoughts.

The community understands that the reconstruction work is absolutely necessary to avoid having streetcars run off their rails. And disruption is inevitable with any reconstruction. But there is always room for improvement in how such things are managed. Let's make sure the lessons learned during this first phase are incorporated into the second!
John Bowker Parking and Beautification Chair Roncesvalles Village BIA

David Pylyp; Being from the "neighbourhood" I asked a few proprietors on Roncesvalles what their thoughts were?
.. business is off by almost 30% and from talking with other stores, I know they are also struggling. The HST will have a huge additional impact on smaller less capitalized businesses... he continued.. Its going to be very hard to get through this winter and then the rent increases are coming with the new HST. Business will be hurt even more. That plus the normal increases for heat and hydro will change the Roncesvalles Streetfront.

So lets recap. Strength through creativity and opportunity, savvy business skills, belief in your product in the face of ongoing competition and hard work. Sound familiar? Sure But Now you need to get people in the door. Would you walk with your stroller down a line of steel gates?

Add your comments? What is your solution?