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The hazards of buying without a property survey

June 17, 2016

With cottage buying season underway, now is a good time to recall that a property survey is the single most important document in the whole process. If the cottage building is sitting on land owned by the Crown or a local municipality or a neighbour, the otherwise proud owner is going to be extremely unhappy and will soon be seeing a litigation lawyer. It is dangerous to assume that any cottage is built exactly where it should be located. In Ontario, only a survey prepared by an Ontario land surveyor can confirm that the cottage is situated inside the appropriate land boundaries, that the land it sits on is where it should be and is the correct size and, if appropriate, the lot has private lake frontage. Sadly, some industry stakeholders still have not gotten the message that the survey is of critical importance. I was reminded of this when I saw a recent Facebook posting by an experienced and successful agent in Ontario cottage country. The post reads: “Just lost another deal because a Toronto lawyer said buyers cannot purchase...
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June 7, 2016
Greater Toronto’s REALTORS

TORONTO, June 3, 2016 – Toronto Real Estate Board President Mark McLean announced that there were 12,870 home sales reported through TREB’s MLS® System in May 2016. This result represented a new record for the month of May and a 10.6 per cent increase over the same period last year. In contrast, the number of new listings was down over the same time frame by 6.4 per cent. The decline in listings was experienced in both the low-rise and condominium apartment market segments. “Whether we’re talking about existing homeowners or people looking to purchase for the first time, there is no shortage of buyers in the marketplace today. So, while the record number of home sales through the first five months of 2016 is not necessarily surprising, it does sometimes mask the larger story in the GTA: the shortage of listings, which has resulted in strong upward pressure on home prices,” said Mr. McLean. The MLS® Home Price Index Composite Benchmark was up by 15 per cent year-over-year in May 2016. Similarly, the average selling price for all home types...
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Toronto remains red-hot

March 7, 2016
Toronto remains red-hot

In a statement on Thursday (March 3), the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) said that transaction volume in what is considered Canada’s largest housing market went up by 21.1 per cent in February compared to last year. This figure represented 7,621 dealings in that month alone, prompting realtors to conclude that a recent hike on down payments for more expensive homes has not helped in cooling down the Greater Toronto Area market. The regulatory change, which was initially intended to slow down red-hot real estate markets such as Toronto and Vancouver, set the required down payment for homes worth between $500,000 and $1,000,000 at 10 per cent. “Even after accounting for the leap year day, sales were above the previous record for February set back in 2010. Sales were up strongly from the 15th day of the month onward as well, despite the new federal mortgage lending guidelines,” TREB president Mark McLean said in a statement, as quoted by the Financial Post. The activity in Toronto accompanied a growth in housing costs, the latest in a series of continuous price...
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Toronto Market Watch – January 2016

February 19, 2016

Foreign investors driving up housing prices

February 11, 2016

The substantial amount of foreign capital flowing into the U.S. real estate market has proven to be a windfall for enterprising sellers, but this has also lead to a steady rise in prices that have made homes unreachable for many middle-class American households, analysts said. In addition, observers said that investments made by foreign nationals—and by Chinese, in particular—have led to the relative devaluation of the American dollar compared to foreign currencies. As quoted by the Financial Buzz, a Wall Street Journal report noted that a majority of the foreign investments were made in real estate situated in “safe havens” like Australia, Canada, and the United States. Also, Chinese nationals have already transferred billions to their overseas assets, despite not being allowed by their government to make cross-border transactions worth more than $50,000. This phenomenon might be an indicator of illegal activity, and might be an omen of another bubble burst. “This trend is a cause of concern for real estate watchers as a similar situation arose in 2007 just before the crash of 2008, when wealthy foreign buyers were...
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Open houses: The pros and cons

September 30, 2015
Open houses: The pros and cons

Hosting an open house when selling a home is a tried-and-true real estate technique. But it can be a real hassle for the homeowner. An open house will undoubtedly get people in the door, but is it really necessary if you’re trying to sell a home? If you are honest with your client, you will say the short answer is no, but the longer answer is a little more complicated because open houses generate leads for you. Open houses don’t generally have a big impact on home sales. While statistics on open houses aren’t available for the Canadian market, in the U.S., less than 10 per cent of open houses directly result in a sale. If a home is being marketed properly – listings are publicly available, you are actively networking and advertising, there is a website with photos or ideally a walkthrough video where prospective buyers can have an initial look at the property – then you don’t need to rely on an open house to get the property seen. And it’s undeniable that many, if not most, of...
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10 overlooked tips for getting a property sold

September 4, 2015

By Christine Rae Buyers have choices. They make decisions about a property within a blink of an eye. Here are ten overlooked tips for getting a property sold. Don’t get personal Whether working with a professional stager or going it alone, cut all emotional ties. Visit each room, remember the memories and then pack the sentimentality away. It clouds judgement. Don’t look at your house from the perspective of it being yours, or this is who we are – buyers aren’t interested. Remove and store as many personal items as possible including all family photos, certificates, diplomas and medicine. Pack and store/dispose of two-thirds of every closet and cupboard It is a great time to start deciding what you want to keep/donate/discard. Organized storage space is one of the most frequently requested interior features. First impressions are the only ones that count  Buyers have choices. They make decisions about a property within a blink of an eye. Wherever the eye rests the sale begins. Understand staging is about condition more than décor Sure the house has to look and feel...
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Know Your Home & What’s In It

August 26, 2015

What Is A GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter)?

How Do I Reset A Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI)?



what is a gfci home safety where is the reset button on a gfci



GFCI stands for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter or RCD

which is a Residual Current Device. 

These devices are used to shut off an electrical current or power when the electrical current is flowing along an unintended path.

For example a GFCI or RCD will shut off if a power current is flowing through water.

After the power is interrupted it can be reset manually to allow the flow of power again naturally.

See above an example of a GFCI power receptacle.


Record Sales in April 2015

May 7, 2015

— Toronto Real Estate Board President Paul Etherington announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 11,303 sales in April 2015. This was the highest sales result on record for the month of April and represented a 17 per cent increase in comparison to April 2014. While sales increased strongly on a year-over-year basis, new listings were up over the same period by a more moderate five per cent. “The record April result clearly points to the fact that a growing number of GTA households view ownership housing as a high quality, long-term investment. This is evidenced by the strong sales growth we have experienced in Toronto and surrounding regions for all major home types. Firsttime buyers and existing homeowners remain very active in today’s market,” said Mr.Etherington. The overall average selling price, which accounts for all homes reported sold by GTA REALTORS® in April 2015, was up by 10 per cent year-over-year to $635,932. The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark, which estimates the price of a benchmark home with the same attributes from one period to the next,...
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Comments on Bank Of Canada Rate Hold

March 4, 2015

– Bank of Canada last met in January 2015 and reduced the Prime Rate from 3.00% to 2.85% – Bank of Canada met again this morning to discuss further changes to rates and decided to leave interest rates unchanged – there is the possibility of another rate cut in the coming months, maybe as soon as April 15, 2015, the Bank of Canada’s next scheduled meeting. Dr. Sherry Cooper, Chief Economist for Dominion Lending Centres (DLC) was expecting the Bank of Canada to leave interest rates unchanged today in the wake of the surprising rate cut in late January. Governor Stephen Poloz signaled this wait-and-see stance last week, following criticism that his surprise move had destabilized financial markets, thwarting the Bank’s efforts to boost economic activity. “The Bank has become increasingly concerned about the dampening impact of the plunge in oil prices on business capital spending and production in the oil sector—a key component of Canadian economic expansion in the past,” said Dr. Cooper. Recent layoff announcements in the oil patch exacerbate this concern. “For now, core inflation in Canada...
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Strong Start to 2015

February 10, 2015

— Toronto Real Estate Board President Paul Etherington announced a strong start to 2015, with robust year-over-year sales and average price growth in January. Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 4,355 home sales through the TorontoMLS system during the first month of the year. This result represented a 6.1 per cent increase over January 2014. During the same period, new listings were up by 9.5 per cent. “The January results represented good news on multiple fronts. First, strong sales growth suggests home buyers continue to see housing as a quality long-term investment, despite the recent period of economic uncertainty. Second, the fact that new listings grew at a faster pace than sales suggests that it has become easier for some people to find a home that meets their needs,” said Mr. Etherington. The average selling price for January 2015 home sales was up by 4.9 per cent year-overyear to $552,575. The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite benchmark was up by 7.5 percent compared to January 2014. “Home price growth is forecast to continue in 2015. Lower borrowing costs will largely...
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How to tell fact from fiction: Real Estate Council of Ontario survey finds many home buyers and sellers have more to learn about the real estate process

November 5, 2014

TORONTO, Nov. 5, 2014 /CNW/ – A new survey by the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) reveals 41 per cent ofOntario homeowners and 45 per cent of first-time homebuyers wish they had done something differently when buying or selling their home. Among things buyers/sellers reported wishing they had approached differently when purchasing or selling their home was having a better grasp of the process (buying process: 26%; selling process 12%), seeing more houses (buying process: 21%), having a home inspection (buying process: 15%), spending more time researching and interviewing real estate professionals before selecting one (selling process: 9%), and understanding the contracts involved better (buying process: 14%; selling process: 9%). “Buying or selling a home can seem confusing and stressful to many—but there are steps everyone can take to make the process easier, and more satisfying, including brushing up on the basics, doing some homework, asking the right questions, and working with a registered real estate professional,” says RECO Registrar Joseph Richer. A further 32 per cent of first-time homebuyers reported that they did not feel prepared and knowledgeable about the process, and only...
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November 2, 2014

Be Aware Of Extra Costs When Moving

September 18, 2014
Be Aware Of Extra Costs When Moving

Given the fact that tens of thousands of homes change hands throughout the Greater Toronto Area each year, it’s easy to forget that buying a home is a complex process to which the phrase “the devil’s in the details” aptly applies. It is one of the many reasons why each year close to 200,000 homebuyers and sellers choose to work with a Greater Toronto REALTOR®, who can offer advice on all of the details that are important to keep in mind, from protecting your interests with offer clauses to changing the locks once the process is complete. According to Statistics Canada’s 2011 study ‘Homeownership and Shelter Costs in Canada’ approximately 25 per cent of Canadians spent one-third or more of their income on shelter, and our city’s average monthly shelter costs were the nation’s highest at $1,366 that year. As such, in addition to preparing for some of the standard expenses involved in a real estate transaction such as moving and legal services, it’s wise to set aside extra funds for a number of other homeownership costs you may not...
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Toronto MLS Housing Report

September 18, 2014
Canadian Money

TORONTO, September 16, 2014 – Toronto Real Estate Board President Paul Etherington announced that Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported 3,297 sales through the TorontoMLS system during the first 14 days of September 2014. This result represented an 8.3 per cent increase compared to the same period in 2013. Year-to-date sales through September 14, at 68,731, were up by 6.6 per cent compared to the same period in 2013. “The sales result for the first two weeks of September showed strong growth for most major home types, indicating that home buyers continue to find homes that meet their needs and budgets. With a lot of buyers active in the marketplace relative to the number of homes for sale, average selling prices were up strongly for most low-rise and high-rise home ownership options,” said Mr. Etherington. The average selling price for September mid-month sales was $555,890, which represented an increase of 8.1 per cent compared to the average price for the first two weeks of September 2013. Average price growth was strongest for single-detached and semi-detached homes. The average year-to-date selling price was...
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