Toronto Condo Market Returned to Normal in 2012

Great artice in www.TheStar.com

Sales of lowrise homes in 2012 plummeted to the second-lowest level since 2000, while the GTA condo market experienced its fourth best year on record.

“We’re dealing with a detached reality,” notes RealNet president George Carras, who unveiled the 2012 housing market numbers at a joint press event with the Building, Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) in Woodbridge Wednesday morning.

“While everybody has been looking at the highrise market, their eyes have been completely taken off of what’s happening in the detached-home market. And what’s been happening in the detached market is kind of shocking.”

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Please contact me direct at 416-520-6746 or by email, David@TorontoRealEstate.ca

Buyers Out $10,000 as House Deal Falls Apart

Great artice in www.MoneyVille.ca 

If a house deal falls apart because the buyer can’t close and the seller then sells the property to someone else for more, who gets the deposit?

Here’s what can happen:

In early September 2003, Shankar Iyer and Bala Ramachandran agreed to pay $289,000 for a new home from Pleasant Developments Inc. They accompanied their offer with a $10,000 deposit and the builder accepted it on September 16. The buyers got cold feet and the next day changed their mind, asking for the return of the deposit.

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Please contact me direct at 416-520-6746 or by email, David@TorontoRealEstate.ca

Downtown Toronto Condos: Signs of Life

Great artice in www.MoneyVille.ca 

Some Toronto realtors are seeing an unexpected surge in condo buyers scouring the market post Christmas and the return of a phenomenon not seen in months — bidding wars.

“I was shocked,” says ReMax realtor Peter Krpan who advised one couple, first-time buyers, that the softening condo market meant they could take their time and bid low on almost any downtown unit they wanted.

Instead, the couple found themselves outbid this month on their first choice, an 800-square foot condo listed for $324,000 on Queen’s Quay.

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Please contact me direct at 416-520-6746 or by email, David@TorontoRealEstate.ca

David was Incredibly Patient

“We could not have imagined a better first time home buying experience.  From the start, David walked us through the process and ensured we had a strong understanding of the Toronto market all while balancing our budget.  David was incredibly patient with us as we went on viewings together; always open to discussing both the pros and cons of potential homes.  We never once felt pressured throughout our search.  David was always organized, on time, and returned phone calls/emails right away. The overall process was low stress, and his sense of humour transformed our home search from something stressful to something fun.  We are so thankful to David for helping us find a place that we now call home.  We would absolutely recommend his service to our friends and family.”

Allan and Colleen (First time home buyers)

 

Toronto Housing Prices to Flatline in 2013: Report

Great artice in www.MoneyVille.ca

Toronto house prices are expected to flatline rather than fall in 2013 — gains should average just one per cent — with the “cyclical correction” that has taken hold since spring likely to be more short-lived than severe, according to a new report from Royal LePage.

“Very modest home price appreciation will be the norm for the next two years,” the realty company says in a national housing market survey released Tuesday, noting that further declines in Vancouver house prices, and the softening in Toronto’s condo market in particular, will have a “significant dampening effect” on Canadian average house prices in 2013.

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Please contact me direct at 416-520-6746 or by email, David@TorontoRealEstate.ca

7 Ways To Improve Your Home’s Sell-Ability

  1. Maintain Neutrality
    This policy has worked for Switzerland, and it can also work in real estate. Customizing your home is great if you plan to stay there, but extreme colors and themed rooms can scare off potential homebuyers. If you have customized every room with extremely bright or dark colored paint, wallpaper or wall fixtures, you may want to consider toning it down a bit. Using neutral colors on the walls can help prospective buyers create their own vision for the house, and will also leave them with less work to undo if they buy the house.
  2. Less Is More
    Even though you have not moved out yet, removing some of your furniture can help the house move off the market. If you take pictures for your listing, having less furniture can help the home appear more spacious. When potential homebuyers arrive, having less furniture can also provide clear walkways.
  3. That New House Smell
    Honestly, the new house smell isn’t always the most pleasant, but at least it is new. In preparing to show your home, you should avoid strong smells. To avoid odors, make sure to take out the trash and clean the refrigerator regularly. It is also good to be mindful of what you cook in the days leading up to a showing since certain foods have strong scents. If you have pets, keep an eye on the litter box. Any smell that is too strong could send potential homebuyers running out the door.
  4. Pay Attention to the Details
    It is not a good idea to make major renovations when you are ready to sell your home because you may not recoup your investment. If you never got around to starting or completing that total kitchen or bathroom makeover, then you can make some small, inexpensive changes to spruce things up. Replacing the hardware on cabinets is a quick way to improve the appearance of older looking fixtures. Upgrading small items such as light switch and outlet covers can also add a nice touch.
  5. Maximize Your “Curb Appeal”
    The front of your home is the first thing prospective home-buyers will see, so keeping it presentable is a must. If there is a yard, keep the grass to a reasonable height and if there are trees, be sure to keep the branches under control. The path to your front door should be a clear and welcoming one, not an obstacle course!
  6. Don’t Get Too Personal
    Upon entering your house, everyone will know it is lived in, but they do not need to see all the evidence. Get rid of excess clutter such as newspapers, magazines, and mail. Be sure to put away your laundry and shoes. It may also be a good idea to put away some other personal belongings like pictures on the refrigerator or mantle. For you, the pictures may make a house a home or display your personal touch. For the new homeowner, it may appear too personal.
  7. Take Care of Repairs
    Waiting to make repairs until after you find a buyer can be tricky. Depending on the nature of the repairs, you may not be able to find a buyer. Depending on how fast the buyer wants to close on the house, you may not have enough time to make the repairs. Save yourself some time and potential trouble, by making repairs before you list your home. The repairs will have to be made anyway, so it is better to get them out of the way sooner rather than later.

Please contact me direct at 416-520-6746 or by email, David@TorontoRealEstate.ca

Why More Home Sellers are Listing in January

Great artice in www.MoneyVille.ca 

Traditionally, January is a slow month for real estate as most sellers choose to wait until the middle of February in the hopes of capitalizing on the early spring market. However, given the uncertainty in the housing market right now, more sellers are opting to put their house on the market in January.

This presents an opportunity for buyers. Most people are reluctant to uproot their families during the school year, so that means less competition — and fewer bidding wars. Lenders will not be as busy, so buyers can expect a more efficient process to get approved for a mortgage to ensure they have financing in place before making an offer.

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Please contact me direct at 416-520-6746 or by email, David@TorontoRealEstate.ca

Building a Livable City

Great artice in www.TheStar.com 

For Brian Brown, 2012 started off with a smashing success.

The vice president of Lifetime Developments presided over the launch of INDX, a 54-storey tower on Temparance St. that became the top-selling condo project in the first quarter of 2012, with an eye-popping 642 units sold.

The impressive performance of INDX — which Lifetime is developing in partnership with CentreCourt Developments — had a lot to do with it being a unique offering for that neighbourhood. “It filled a void,” Brown says. “It’s the only pure residential building in an area of all office towers. So it really catered to the people who worked in the Financial District.”

Lifetime went on to sell out INDX — around 1,000 units — by December.

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Please contact me direct at 416-520-6746 or by email, David@TorontoRealEstate.ca

Should Home Seller Disclose if Someone Died in the House?

Great artice in www.MoneyVille.ca 

Buying a home: Dealing with the death house stigma

In November the Toronto Star reported that a Bowmanville couple is suing their real estate agent and the people from whom they bought their house for not disclosing that there had been a double murder there 15 years earlier — including that of a 6-year-old girl.

Two years ago in Orangeville, a homebuyer was able to get out of his deal after learning that the house was owned by a nurse who had been murdered nearby.

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Please contact me direct at 416-520-6746 or by email, David@TorontoRealEstate.ca

Density in Toronto: Portrait of a Community Growing Up — Fast

Great artice in www.TheStar.com

You can see a lot from the floor-to-ceiling windows in Jonathan Careless’ 39th story downtown condo: North York, Pearson airport, the Niagara Escarpment — and the mind-boggling number of people who live in a compact space in the sky just like his.

“I look right at my neighbours,” he said, motioning at the vertical city lit up in the night, row after row of tiny living rooms and kitchens visible in the CityPlace condos that surround him. “I can see them come home and make dinner.”

Thirteen thousand people call these soaring glass buildings along the waterfront near the Rogers Centre home. By 2018, 18,000 will live in 10,000 units in 25 buildings, making their homes and their lives on top of one another

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Please contact me direct at 416-520-6746 or by email, David@TorontoRealEstate.ca

Toronto’s Middle-Aged Apartment Buildings get a Facelift

Great artice in www.MoneyVille.ca 

Bryanne Connell looked at a lot of aged rentals before finding almost all the conveniences of modern condo living in an unlikely place — the 50-year-old Lord Dufferin apartments.

Where she expected to see a gloomy, 70s-style lobby, Connell saw instead two soaring storeys lined with travertine tiles. The dingy basement, once largely a maintenance area, had been transformed into a welcoming party room with adjoining gym.

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Please contact me direct at 416-520-6746 or by email, David@TorontoRealEstate.ca

We’re all Better off with a Strong Housing Market

Great artice in www.YourHome.ca 

If you think about it, every home was at one point a new house. And whether you work in the building industry, or government, or you simply live in a home in the GTA, housing is something we’re all in together (pardon the pun).

Homebuyers can only purchase what they can afford and what the industry builds. The industry only builds what consumers want and can afford. And government puts in place the policies and solutions to control how it all happens.

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Please contact me direct at 416-520-6746 or by email, David@TorontoRealEstate.ca

Real Estate Resolutions for 2013…A Must Read!

Here is my short list of tasks I would put on my to-do list if I wanted to buy or sell a home or condo in 2013:

Resolution for Buyers

 1.Monitor Your Credit

Go to www.equifax.ca   and print your credit report. Printing a personal credit report will not have a negative effect on your credit score. At times there will be glitches in your report that may takes months to fix. Do damage assessment and control now so that when it is time to meet with your lender for a full mortgage preapproval you will have clean credit.

Also, pay down your debt now to improve your score. Do not miss payments , pay late or open more credit cards. Lenders want to see a score above 680 .

 2. The Federal Government’s Home Buyers Plan

There is no such thing as saving too much cash for your down payment and closing costs.

Are you familiar with the Federal Governments Home Buyer’s Plan? Did you know you can use up to $25,000 in your rrsp’s as part of your down payment if you have not owned a home in the last five years? Ofcourse there are restrictions but this is an excellent plan to further build your down payment.  RRSP deadline for 2012 is the end of February 2013. Do not delay as the money must be in a rrsp account for a minimum of 90 days to qualify.

Come to one of our remaining two seminars to learn about this terrific program.

 3. Collect your Gift Money

Buyers who use gift money as part of their down payment will require documentation. Most lenders will require the money deposited into your account for a minimum number of days before it can be applied. Be ready so you will not have any surprises.

 4. Build a Relationship with a Realtor and a Mortgage Specialist

Do not wait. The spring buying rush comes fast. Connecting and building trust in advance of your ultimate purchase is paramount! Now is the time when you are months away from buying to get educated about the market and the home buying process. Both professionals should be putting a home buying plan in place for you and both should be speaking the same “customer service language” while looking out for your best interests!! 

My free home buyer coaching program offers a wealth of information, counsel and advice . Reduce your financial, emotional and physical stress.

 5. Make Time for Home and Condo Tours with your Realtor

It is important to see the inventory in person as part of your market education. Seeing listings online is helpful. Seeing listings in person is crucial.  Months before buying ,  see as many homes or condos with your Realtor as necessary so that you are comfortable with what is available within your search criteria.

 Resolution for Sellers

 1. Purge

No time like the present to begin the task of removing clutter and junk in preparation for the big move. If you have not used it in the last six months get rid of it. Donate items and get a tax receipt (http://www.furniturebank.org/). Call 1-800-Got-Junk (www.1800GotJunk.com ) to avoid the heavy lifting. Have a garage sale. Post items on Craigslist of Kijiji. Once you start the decluttering process you will free up loads of mental space and energy.

 2. Build a Relationship with a Realtor

The strategic counsel and advice from your Realtor is invaluable in advance of listing your home. Are you selling and buying? Failing to plan is planning to fail.

 3. Plan Your Preparation

Your Realtor will help you to organize home preparation tasks months before you list your home to reduce disruption to your life. Remodel right by completing home improvements that come with the best return for your money. Speak with your Realtor about choosing the right finishes and colours that will appeal to the largest segment of buyers. Your Realtor will also recommend trustworthy contractors. What about home staging? Stand out from the competition.

Check out relevant articles and videos here:

http://davidstoddardontorontorealestate.com/category/for-sellers/   

 4. Be a Strong Competitor

Price your home right! You can have all of the best upgrades , staging and marketing to help sell your home however it is the price of your home that drives all else. Your Realtor should provide a complete market analyses, including recent homes sold and homes currently for sale in your neighbourhood to help determine the right pricing strategy based on current market conditions.

There you have it. Commit to these resolutions and reap the rewards in 2013.

Please contact me direct at 416-520-6746 or David@TorontoRealEstate.ca