Thursday, March 29, 2012

What will you say in 2015?

Could have? Should Have?

Toronto real estate prices for detached properties show no sign of any price abatement.

Will today's prices for a single family detached home be viewed as a bargain in the future?

Can you ever time the market?

Canada Mortgage and Housing issued some insightful graphs.

Have a look and consider the details and source of information.

While condo's are becoming over abundant in the next few years they are holding an average of $425 to 495 per square foot in recently built product.

However the detached single family homes in West Toronto continue to astound us all with their values. $600 to $800 K. Interestingly enough the higher priced homes [1.0MM to 1.750 MM] by value are also selling with confidance.

I came across a few gems this week in upscale Etobicoke neighbourhoods, Reach out and say hello.

The continuing lack of inventory makes selling a home right now, the highest continuing price increases since 1995.

Are you ready to sell? Call me!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Humber Bay Shore Community

What gives a building Value? The location? The Maintenance Fee? The cost per square foot? Is it the ambiance of walking space and the surrounding community. Have a look at how these buildings are now squeezed in beside each other along Marine Parade Drive and Lake Shore.

Building higher and thinner stilleto style buildings are indeed the most efficient cost per square foot for maintenance, heating, water distribution and possible heating as a narrow structure would present minimum aspect as a sail for thermal loss.

But where is the walking and green space; the Community of being along the Lake Shore, engaging Humber Bay Shore hot spots. Mimico by the Bay BIA is hosting a contest supported by Lauren Broten See if you can recommend a Gem along the Lake Shore. Who would you add?

Would you like ot live in this community of west Toronto Mimico? Along the Martin Goodman Trail and Toronto's spectacular waterfront Humber Bay Shore. Existing units are readily available. Just Call

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Inadequate Condo Maintenance Fees

Condo Boards try to keep maintenance fees the lowest possible to spend the least amount of money. Unfortunately although well meaning it is misguided when 8 - 12 or 15 years later money is required and the Reserve Fund is in adequate. This results in borrowing additional money for specific repairs (requires a vote by a majority of owners) or a Special Assessment.

Lawyer Derrick Fulton, an expert in condo law, said one major problem area is the Act’s requirement on reserve funds; currently, 10% of common element fees must go into a reserve, but he believes that number should be at least doubled. Hundreds of older condos in the city have fallen into disrepair, and the funds are simply not there to fix them, Mr. Fulton noted.

It is imperative that your Board of Directors truly operates with the best of intentions for your building. Well meaning but weak self management may cost you thousands later. Be vocal, be involved and ask questions. The government is stepping in because as buildings are aging there are no funds to make repairs. Do we need another layer of government like the Land Lord Tribunal to handle Condo Buildings?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Toronto MLS Listings

Hi, I'm David Pylyp I am with RE/MAX. I have been in Toronto real estate business for 23 years, and in that time I have helped many families find their perfect home.

My expertise is in the Toronto west, GTA that comprises Bloor West Village, Etobicoke and into Mississauga and Oakville communities.

By utilizing innovating marketing techniques, impact strategies to have your home seen by the most people we will have the best offers for you. Together, you and I will create a custom marketing plan, just for your property.

It is my intention to help you sell your home, in the least amount of time with minimal inconvenience to you and your family.

You and I will stay in contact with each other and communicate either by telephone, text or email.What ever is most suitable to you.

Selling a home can be a stressful process, I would like to lessen that burden for you. If you would like to contact me to learn more about how I can serve you as my client send me an email at the email address below or call 647 218 2414

Thank you

Saturday, March 10, 2012

BMX Bicycle Parkette Slated for Ellis at Lake Shore

Toronto BMX bicycle Riders to Get New Parkette

The Sales Office for Park Lake Residences is being returned to the City of Toronto; Parks and Recreation. Construction (demolition) will begin shortly to create a BMX bicycle park on the narrow strip of land that is adjacent to the Gardiner Expressway and parallel with Lake Shore Blvd West at Ellis Avenue.

BMX riders who have built ramps and jumps at High Park at the south duck pond have created concerns about environmental damage and has resulted in complaints at City Hall.

Until last year, there had been jumps and ramps inside High Park near the duck pond just steps from Queensway at Parkside Drive. The area is an ecologically significant area, according to the city. In May, the informal, freestyle cycling area was dismantled by the city with help from members of different First Nations communities. With shovels and rakes in hand, they restored what is known to them as Snake Mound, a sacred burial ground. The area has been replanted and fenced off and is currently being monitored for any further cycling activity.

Hosted by the City of Toronto, the meeting attracted riders of all ages from across Toronto and beyond to the Rousseau Room of the Swansea Town Hall. "We can design from the ground up," said Parkdale-High Park Councillor Sarah Doucette, who expressed her excitement for the project. "We can do something amazing here."

Are there any plans posted of the tract or parkette? How far will this extend East? Will they provide a parking lot for the bicyclists?

Friday, March 9, 2012

Chronicles of your Condo Life

Lets Chronicle your First Year of Condo Ownership - Now you really have questions.

You made a selection a few years back that you thought would suit your lifestyle and moving into the future. You made a wise selection based on where you would be working near transit and community hubs.

The Builder /Developer has served notice that a Turn over Meeting will be held in a Hotel and or Meeting Room (unless your Rec Center is indeed able to hold all the residents) and hopefully the majority of residents will attend. An invitation was made by the Management Company / Builder / Developer for residents to put their names forward for positions on the Board. Usually 3 positions are posted.

Each person who is interested my make a verbal submission at this meeting. There is a vote held by the residents and VOILA you now have a Board of Directors.

The Board will now meet monthly to discuss the financial expenditures and operational issues of the building. You may need to have a double first maintenence fee becuase there probably isn't enough cash on hand to pay the hydro and gas bills. You condo bylaws do not permit you to pay interest on any overdue bills.

During the course of the first few meeting you will accept or adopt;
  • The Management Company
  • Security Concierge Services Alarm Systems
  • Elevator Contracts
  • Generator Contracts
  • Maintenance Agreements for all building Equipment
  • Cleaning and Service Personnel
  • Landscaping and Pest Control
  • Garbage Removal and Recycling (we pay a tipping fee)
  • Secure Legal Council for the Corporation
  • Obtain an appraisal for Insurance purposes
  • Select an Insurance Bid/ Broker
  • SEARCH Title to insure the removal of all liens
  • Contracts for Window washing
  • Bids and Tenders for Carpet Cleaning
  • Bids and Tenders for Parking Garage Sweeping
  • Review of Security Door and Camera Equipment.

Now, We need to immediately start on the Performance Audit. We have till the calendar year end from the turn over of the building to examine all the shop drawings, electrical systems, count floors and windows and verify that we received what was contracted to be built for us in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale. Bids are tendered for an Engineering Firm to review this on out behalf and produce a performance Audit. This PA entails meeting with residents in a Town Hall environment and producing a questionairre that is circulated to the building residence. This question form asks about draft leaks, windows and exterior wall finishes and insulation looking for commonality of construction shortfalls or errors. Individual test holes, drilling and samples of concrete are compiled.

The Performance Audit is used to file a claim against the builder and Tarion Home Warranty program for items that may / should be warranty claims with the builder. Having finished the Perfomance Audit the same firm of engineers selected by the Board will calculate a replacement cost table of average costs using 40 year averages. This Reserve Fund Study makes calculations of what is required for the long term repair and upkeep of the building. A complete table of annual contributions is over the replacement cost of individual components. Under the Condo Act (1998) adoption of the Reserve Fund study is mandatory unless the Board can produce another engineering report for refute the findings.

The Builders (proposed Annual Operating Budget) includes only the legislated minimum contribution of 10% to the Reserve Fund that is woefully inadequate given the size and complexity of most structures built today.

Your Board is Now required to increase the contribution to Reserve as required by The Reserve Fund Cash Flow Summaries and in accordance with the Condo Act this will take place starting the next full year.

Increases of 20 - 25% in the first year are not uncommon with many buildings coming in around 58 cents per square foot as the average maintenance cost. Taller and thinner slender towers are the most efficient construction method but we seem to prefer the multi- tower construction that shares a more enhanced Recreation Center and Running Track. Multiple Tower structures with shared Recreation Centers would prove costliest. Single towers with height ( ie 30 floors+ ) and large floor plans (30 units per floor) offer economy of scale

If you have questions or comments please add them. Need to talk Call me at 647 218 2414

Toronto Condo Maintenance Fees

Hopefully in the first year of your living in a new condominium your budget will have an increase that is modest and not the reality that a 15 or 25% increase because the Reserve Fund has not been adequately proposed because the builders market them at the minimum 10% requirement.

You will need to have the Board of Directors to meet and present this to you, possibly in a town hall meeting, prior to the introduction of the first years maintenance fee increase.

Many buildings that do not increase the fees or are self managed chose not to increase the fees, and then find themselves many many years later with Special Assessments and having to catch up.

The estimated maintenence fees; GET READY for about 55 to 58 cents per square foot, realistically plus the property tax component that is not yet assessed. If you have a condo question chronicling your adventure buying a Toronto condo give me a call at 647 218 2414 or post a comment below. Thank you.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Improved (Mortgage) Penalty Disclosures On The Way

Improved Penalty Disclosures On The Way

mortgage-penalty-disclosure5Two years ago to the day, the Finance Department promised to “bring greater clarity to the calculation of mortgage pre-payment penalties.”

Later this year, that promise will become realized.

The government has just announced a brand new mortgage “code” that requires federal financial institutions to:

“…provide more information on how prepayment charges are calculated.

…explain the differences between mortgage products, including ways to pay off a mortgage faster without incurring penalties.”

These improved disclosures have been eagerly anticipated by consumer groups, who charge banks with:

  • Obscuring penalty descriptions with legalese and vagueness
  • Failing to provide understandable formulas for calculating prepayment charges
  • Failing to provide consumers with easy access to the inputs (e.g., posted rates at origination, comparison rates, etc.) that must be plugged into the prepayment penalty formulas.

FCAC3Indeed, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) says it “has observed a significant increase in the number of complaints it has received related to mortgage prepayment penalties,” especially interest rate differential (IRD) charges.

That’s not surprising given that many mortgage “advisers” themselves don’t even understand them fully.

The FCAC has also found cases where lenders’ actual IRD charges are different from (presumably higher than) the charges disclosed to consumers.

In short, the FCAC says that some lenders’ disclosures “hinder consumers' ability to decide on mortgage prepayment.”

mortgage-penalty-formula70Going forward, federally regulated financial institutions must disclose the following to borrowers:

  1. The method (formula) for calculating the exact prepayment charge in language that is clear, simple and not misleading
  2. Where the penalty formula is complex (e.g., uses present value), a simple way to estimate penalties
  3. A description of all inputs used in the penalty formula (including things like posted rates at originations, future value, outstanding balance, all applicable interest rates, bond yields, etc.)
  4. Information on how to obtain each of those formula inputs (or the actual values themselves)
  5. An example and/or worksheet to help consumers figure out their own prepayment penalty

November-2012-Calendar3Federally regulated lenders must be in full compliance with the above by November 5, 2012. The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada will monitor that compliance on an ongoing basis.

In addition to better penalty disclosure, lenders must also provide the following to customers annually:

  • A description of the borrower’s available prepayment privileges
  • The dollar amount of available prepayment options
  • Explanation of factors that could cause penalties to change
  • Specific information needed for the borrower to calculate his/her own penalty (e.g., the rates used to calculate the penalty, balance, etc.)
  • A list of all other fees for early repayment
  • Contact information for lender staff knowledgeable about penalty calculations.

Upon request, the lender will have to furnish a written statement with the prepayment penalty (and other amounts) to be charged, with a full description of the formula used and the timeframe for which the penalty quote is valid.

Lender will also need to provide guidance on what triggers a penalty, how to avoid penalties, and how pay down principal quicker without incurring penalties.

mortgage-penalty-calculator4And lastly (and here’s the best part in our view), lenders must post calculators on their pubic websites to help determine “reasonable” estimates of penalties. No more guestimators that spit out ballpark penalty quotes that are thousands of dollars off.

We don’t make a habit of celebrating government regulation, but this set of guidelines has been badly needed. Despite the lengthy implementation, the Finance Department and FCAC deserve a salute on this one.

Note: These guidelines do not apply to commercial mortgages or mortgages that don’t fall under federal regulation.

Robert McLister, CMT

Denise Pisani,AMP

Mortgage Agent (Lic.M11002770)
The Mortgage Centre
Office: 905 566 5363 Cell: 416 629 5363 Fax: 1 877 229 5063

David Pylyp; In our rush to race for the bottom of interest rates or commissions in real estate for that matter, we never think that our circumstances will change. We assume since we are at the BANK they are acting in our best interest. The Bank's job is to make money for the Bank.

You looked only to the lowest interest rate component of the Offer to Finance, but failed to consider, job change, maternity, marriage, transfer, portability to another house, topping up CMHC fees from a previous application, buying a live work based on percentage of Commercial use.

That's why you should have independent representation that is in your corner, explaining things to you step by step. You don't know what you don't know.

When you need Results that Matter Call David Pylyp.