Thursday, September 27, 2012

VOW Virtual Office Website

Now!  You can view every listing on the Toronto Real Estate Board by Map. 

The listings are arranged in Price Order but you can create individual searches.

Ready to try?

Sit back with your iPad and search for listings in those communities and neighbourhoods where you would like to live.

You can further search the demographics of the neighbourhood with Hood Reports;  http://Bit.Ly/HoodReports


Let's Go!

Yes, Of Course!   You will need to sign in....

Plays well on my laptop and iPad,  Tell me about your experience using the search functions and different browsers

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Why Bother owning a Home.

Home ownership is family’s life – both financially and from a quality of life perspective. You invest in your neighbourhood and community, put down roots, let your equity grow tax free of capital gains. When its paid off or before, you can refinance and pay for weddings or university ( again ) of your cottage.
Home ownership is often connected to the notion of living the “American dream.” But it is as much a part of Canadian identity as it is in the U.S.
Indeed, statistics show that the percentage of home ownership in Canada is edging close to 70 per cent, which is actually higher than the ratio south of the border at the moment – 65.4 per cent, a 15-year low, according to the most recent data. Many economists believe the Canadian government has played an active role in spurring home ownership, particularly by forming the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation back in 1946.
“I don’t know that home ownership should be a right and that it should be backed by taxpayer dollars and kind of be the prime mandate of a Crown corporation,” says Ben Rabidoux, creator of the Economic Analyst blog, which looks into housing and mortgage trends.

DO you agree that we should all live in government provided housing?  After all, why would you want to be debt free in your house, decide what you want to so repair repaint or resell.  Move according to your schedule?  When you downsize to a retirement home? wouldn’t that money come in handy?  Most don’t have substantial savings at retirement other than their home equity.

What do you think?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Competition Bureau and Consumers VS Organized Real Esate

The Competition Bureau has been outspoken about Real Estate practices and access to data.  The solution of a VOW may not bring the intended effects.  The Toronto Real Estate Board went for the Hail Mary pass with a procedural Charter Challenge...

But Vistnes argues more open access would put more information — and power — in the hands of consumers and bring an end to costly and questionable real estate practices.
Making commission agreements public, for instance, might discourage realtors who now refuse to take potential buyers through homes where the owner has negotiated a lower commission, pushing them instead to other homes that may be less ideal but have better payoff.
It would also be more obvious when an agent is engaging in “gaming” — removing a property that’s been languishing on MLS for weeks and reposting it a day later to create the illusion of a new listing, says the report. That can be a red flag to buyers that a home is overpriced.
Consumers would also be able to tell when a realtor has acted as both the listing and the buying agent, a “conflict of interest” that occurs in about 10 per cent of all GTA transactions, says Vistnes, who analyzed several years of TREB’s MLS data.
By denying a new generation of Internet-savvy homeowners and buyers access to information, as travel agents did years ago, realtors remain the only real “gateway” to critical property details, says Vistnes.
“VOWs are not simply a vehicle by which consumers can access raw MLS data and conduct searches. Brokers can also offer VOW-based tools through which consumers can then analyze those data,” says the report.
“VOWs often attract buyers by offering a convenient means to search listings, to learn details about individual listings, to learn how home prices differ by neighbourhood, to see how quickly homes are selling and the extent to which final prices differ from the list prices and, in some cases, by offering a commission rebate.”

There are some glaring inaccuracies;

Realtors acting for both parties are indeed in a conflict of interest. You sign for and specifically acknowledge whether you are receiving Customer Service or Buyer Representation.  The solution is to  Bring your own agent!   Yet, Consumers, feel they will SAVE by using only the Listing Agent. Client or Customer? 

Posting and reposting listings to the MLS system is easily solved when you use your own agent to search the property history and provide an impartial CMA when purchasing the home.

Undisclosed  closing costs are dealt with in a detailed summary of costs, expenses and proposed funding costs available here.  This is used with each transaction.

Commission rebates sound wonderful;  What about those listings posted by REALTORS who post one penny or one dollar to selling broker?  The Sellers set the commission payable to selling broker when they list the house.  Listing agents do not necessarily "SPLIT" listing fees equally. No. They may discount their fees to induce you [listings] into a transaction. 

Lenders will not permit you to add your purchase expenses, surveys, loan application fees, appraisals,  lawyers fees, land transfer taxes, taxes on CMHC insurance to the purchase price of the  house in addition to Real Estate fees that you committed to in the Buyers Representation Agreement. What do we do when the commission is ZERO? *

* It is not my responsibility to explain your options to you as an unrepresented Seller or Mere Listing.  My duty is to get the best deal for my client. 

VOWs will permit; an out of Territory Agent to post your home for sale  IE  Windsor or London or Burlington Posted to  They then field those inquiries.  That listing may or may not appear on the Toronto System.  Are all potential Buyers viewing your home? 

More power into the hands of the consumers Yes!  I am in favour of the VOW's.  I am also favour of real Brick and Mortar offices where complaints or disputes can be aired, meetings take place, and  live telephone answering occurs.  Those appointment front desks are the lifeblood of getting your listing seen and showings booked.  What services will I continue to provide

Personally I think it permits Brokerages /Agents to provide a lower level of service under the pretense of SAVINGS.   More data requires context.   Context needs insight and experience.  That's what I provide.  Add your comments...

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Will we slip into Recession?

Excessive Taxation, Overheated bidding Wars, Lack of Inventory, Inner City Issues, Transit, Tightening Mortgage Rules, Reduced Amortizations, Double Land Transfer Tax in Toronto, Proximity to Employment;

What is your hot button issue?   Have we hit the tipping point for bidding wars?

The Toronto Real Estate market seems to be slowing, pensive, waiting for a sign....  or is that a stall?

TREB figures released mid September;
September 18, 2012 -- Greater Toronto Area (GTA) REALTORS® reported 2,544 transactions through the TorontoMLS system in the first 14 days of September. This result was down by 15 per cent compared to the 2,995 sales reported during the same period in 2011.

“The combination of stricter lending guidelines, rising home prices and the added upfront cost associated with the land transfer tax in the City of Toronto resulted in a slower pace of sales during the summer of 2012 compared to a year ago,” said Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) President Ann Hannah.

The average selling price for sales during the first two weeks of September was $496,786 – representing an annual rate of increase of more the 9.5 per cent. Average selling prices were up for both low-rise and high-rise home types, including condominium apartments sold in the ‘416’ area code.

The CBC Peter Mansbridge and Crew have interesting conversation.  Worthy of the time investment.   Interesting conversation about employment incomes, spin off employment from construction and rebuttal and how discretionary spending from your personal piggy bank [Home Equity Line of Credit] has been curtailed.

Following up on CENSUS DATA released Sept 2012, the Normal family is now blended.  This is further confused by a generation that doesn't leave the nest;  Read the balance of the article here.

Conversations with colleagues, as we show and inspect houses, is that there is hesitation. We are starting see price reductions posted on desirable properties.  Where IF you over priced by 5% you merely waited 5 or 6 months for the market to catch up.

What do you think?
Add your comments...

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Want to be a Landlord / Investor?

Are you interested in the quality of your investment in real estate, 
Why not invest your money in Canada, in Toronto.

We have an excellent opportunity and a buoyant market, with a growing metropolitan area being Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

If you would like the comfort and return on investment from knowing your money is safe and secure. 

Call me at 647 218 2414,

And we will find and income and investment opportunity for you.

When you purchase a home they not only get bricks and mortar, you buy into a community and lifestyle. You create a nest egg for your future.  Lets make our search specific to your community.

Thank you.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Do you use a real lease?

Did you make a real lease or just use the offer to lease from TREB?

Offer to Lease       Rental Application

You have a condo and you want to rent it out.

OF COURSE, you would want a tenant that will respect your property, look after the place, be courteous to the neighbors and generally obey all the terms of the lease. You want to avoid a tenant who will rip you off.  Someone who will pay the rent on time.

You posted your rental online and asked for;

  • Confirmation of employment
  • Copy of a Credit Bureau  
  • 1st and Last Month's Rent
  • 12 post Dated Cheques

[They] show up with a tenant application and an offer to lease.

Where is the lease?

In the application does it talk about utility deposits, hydro hook ups, access for bell and cable?    Who pays the water bill? Pets? Fur or Fowl  It needs to be stated!  Utilities in a house can be attached to the real property. 
Interest needs to be paid annually on their deposit.

Will there be an insurance endorsement in favor of your lender or the Condo corporation?  Have they received a copy of the Condo Buildings Rules and Regulations?  How will you discipline Noise and Music Complaints?  Parties?  

Do you have pictures of the condo interiors prior to tenant move in? This eliminates any claims for damage vs normal wear and tear. I use Video and Pictures. Have the tenant acknowledge receipt of the pictures.  Discuss what happens if cheques are returned from the bank; Will you be reimbursed? Have you made provisions for extra people in?   Are you limiting how many?

If you are going to buy Toronto condominiums as an investment it is imperative to make wise choices in your tenant selection and property management.  Proper notices. Everything in writing. No surprise inspections and remember they [the tenants] are your customers. Treat your customers well and you will profit from your investment.

Use professional people to buy, manage and if you need to go to Landlord Tenant Tribunal try a Boutique ParaLegal for LandLord Tenant Problems.  The LTT does have a help desk and all the forms are online.

Need a lease?   Yes    Contact me for details. 

Call me 416 233 9000 or directly at 647 218 2414

David Pylyp
Accredited Senior Agent
RE/MAX realty specialists inc., brokerage