As Cottage Lakes Recede Who Owns the Extra Beach?

Great article in www.TheStar.com

One of the great benefits of owning a cottage is your access to the lake and the view. But what happens if the water drops and your dock is high and dry? Who owns the extra real estate?

Cottage boundaries are affected by a lot of things. The deed may be hundreds of years old and may include all the land to the water’s edge, or only include land to the high water mark, which is typically farther up the bank, where the first vegetation appears.

When Ontario’s cottage country lakes were surveyed in the late 1800s, surveyors allocated a 66 foot wide strip at the lake shore for a road. The purpose was for logging and to allow public access to the water. The road allowances were eventually transferred to the local townships, but in most cases no actual road was ever built along these allowances. Some cottagers have since built on this land, but don’t actually own it.

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

Real Estate Partnerships Require Careful Planning

Great article in www.TheStar.com

If you invest in real estate with partners, there are important things you need to discuss in advance. This will protect you later from costly legal or accounting fees.

Here are some of the main things to consider:

Who is going on title?

If it is your first investment, I suggest that all partners be on title to the property, in their personal names, as opposed to a corporation. A lender will want all the partners to sign personally for the mortgage, so there is little advantage to spending the extra money to incorporate, with additional bookkeeping fees and tax returns. You can always get insurance to protect against claims related to liability.

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

68 Carr St. Unit TH7 Toronto $399,000

City living at its best in a quiet , professional townhouse community. This elegant , private 2-storey townhouse condo has a fantastic rare, sun drenched 257sf rooftop patio with a bbq gas hook up, outlets and a hose bib. Over 900sf of functional open concept living space . Natural light galore with windows in all rooms. A Juliette balcony off of the living room brings in fresh air from the courtyard. Beautifully manicured grounds to show off to your guests. A heated parking garage with visitor parking. Round the clock security. Alexandra Park nearby. Steps from Queen W, King W., Little Portugal, Little Italy, Kensington Market. TTC at your door. Shops and restaurants galore including Loblaws, Starbucks, CB2, Shoppers Drug Mart and Winners. Minutes to the downtown core. Parking and locker included. Excellent value. Excellent condition. Included are all electric light fixtures, all window coverings and all stainless steel appliances.

For more pictures and property information go to www.68Carr.com

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

Competition Bureau Loses its MLS-Access Case Against TREB

Great article in www.TheStar.com 

The federal Competition Tribunal has dismissed a high-profile case regarding access to MLS data on a technicality and awarded costs to the Toronto Real Estate Board.

In a decision released Monday, the tribunal ruled the case, which accuses TREB of anti-competitive behaviour, had been initiated by Melanie Aitken, former commissioner of the Competition Bureau, under the wrong section of the Competition Act.

The densely written, seven-page decision — reached after more than eight months of preparation and two months of hearings in Toronto last fall — came as a surprise to some close to the complex case.

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

When Do You Have to Vacate a Rental Unit in Ontario?

Great article in www.TheStar.com 

Hotels typically let you check in by 3 p.m. and ask you to check out by noon. This gives staff time to make the room ready for the next guest. Do the same sorts of rules apply when a tenant moves out of a rental unit? Will it make a difference if the owner is selling the home to someone who wants to move in on the same day?

Here are the answers to those questions.

Ontario tenancies are usually for a year, so if yours started on August 1, 2012, then it will end at 11:59 pm on July 31, 2013. However, if the tenant doesn’t give notice, the tenancy will automatically renew as a month-to-month arrangement, meaning the end of any term is the end of any month.

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

Here’s How to Save on Your Mortgage

Great artice in http://www.financialpost.com

Both variable and five-year mortgages are now available for less than 3%. Those low rates won’t last forever, and there’s a simple way to protect yourself against rising rates and save money at the same time.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty had the right idea last year when he tightened the rules for mortgage insurance by cutting the maximum amortization from 30 years to 25.

Critics argued that because this measure boosted the minimum monthly payment for an insured mortgage, many Canadians who would have bought homes could no longer qualify – and have blamed this change for the subsequent slowdown in real estate markets.

But all Canadians planning to take advantage of today’s low rates to buy a home or renew a mortgage would be wise to follow Mr. Flaherty’s lead — and go a step further by opting for an even shorter amortization.

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

Change to Mortgage Default Rules Turning More People into Savers

Great artice in http://www.financialpost.com

You may think you look like a million dollars, but as far as Ottawa is concerned not a penny more — at least in terms of a government-backed loan.

One aspect of new mortgage rules brought in last year that has received less attention is the regulation to no longer back mortgage default insurance on homes worth more than $1-million.

In practical terms, it means you need to come up with a 20% down payment before you can buy a home for $1-million. Below $1-million, you need only 5% down but have to buy what can be costly insurance.

Realtors have complained the limit has created a sweet spot in the market for homes valued under $1-million but acted as a cap on those homes priced above.

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

Price Growth Continues in February

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Greater Toronto Realtors reported 5,759  sales through the MLS in February 2013. The number of transactions represented a 15% decrease compared to February 2012. It should be noted that February 2012 was a leap year with one extra day in February. A 28 day year-over-year sales comparison resulted in a lesser decline of 10.5%.

The number of new listings reported in February was down by 12.2% compared to the same period in 2012.

“The share of sales and dollar volume  accounted for by luxury detached homes in the City of Toronto was lower this February compared to last. This contributed to a more modest pace of overall average price growth for the GTA as a whole,” said Toronto Real Estate Board President Ann Hannah. “

“Stricter mortgage lending guidelines that precluded government backed mortgages on homes sold for over $1m and the City of
Toronto’s upfront land transfer tax arguably played a role in the slower pace of luxury detached sales,” continued Hannah.

The average selling price continued to grow in February up by 2.1% from the same time last year to $510,580. Note, the average selling
price for 2012 as a whole was up by almost 7% to $497,298!!

“We will undoubtedly experience some volatility in price growth for some market segments in 2013. However, months of inventory in the low-rise market segment will remain low resulting in average price growth above 3% for the TREB market area this year. Our current average price forecast is $515,000 for all homes combined in
2013,”said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analyses.

Sales of Toronto (416 area code) condominium apartments decreased by 20.0% from February 2012. The average price of a Toronto condo decreased by 4.7% from the same time last year.

Condominium apartments accounted for 23.5% of total sales in the GTA for February 2013 while detached homes accounted for 48.2% of the total sales.

Other notable statistics include the average days on the market for February at 28 days. Active listings were 15,969 in February-up 9.8% from February 2012. The sales-to-listings ratio for February
was 36.0% which is classified as a seller’s market. A ratio from 24%-28% is considered a balanced market. 

Sellers are looking for market value for their property. I prepare a comparative market analysis (CMA) for all of my Buyer clients prior to submitting an offer to determine the property’s market value range .

Real estate is very neighbourhood specific and even very street specific in some areas. The numbers as reported above are GTA averages. Results in one neighbourhood or on one street do not indicate that all other neighbourhoods or streets are experiencing the same results. We are still seeing multiple offers in some areas for the best homes.

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

Echo Kids are Moving On — From Their Parents’ Homes to Downtown Rentals

Great artice in www.TheStar.com

Baby boomers rejoice.

All those twenty-something echo “kids” who have been living at home in the wake of the 2008 recession seem to be finally moving out of their childhood bedrooms and into the real world now that job prospects are looking brighter.

Only problem is, they are fuelling some of the most intense demand for rental accommodation seen in Toronto in the last 20 years.

“Huge pent-up demand” among 25- to 30-year-olds, combined with more people opting to rent rather than buy since the condo market started softening last summer, is putting significant pressure on Toronto’s rental market, says Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation market analyst Shaun Hildebrand.

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