TARION: Buyers Beware of Illegally Built Homes

Great article in http://blog.newinhomes.com

Thinking of buying a new home?  Make sure you don’t fall prey to an unlicensed builder.

Illegal building is a concern in every community throughout the province and can have a profound impact on homeowners, the local economy and the local building industry.

In Ontario, builders or vendors of new homes must be licensed by Tarion.  Before that licence is issued, prospective builders must undergo technical, financial and business competency analyses.  Your home – likely the largest financial transaction you will ever make – should be built by someone who has the necessary skills and business capabilities.

So far in 2013, the work of Tarion’s investigators has led to 32 convictions and more than $139,000 in fines being levied by Provincial Offences Courts.

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

Strong Sales and Price Growth in July

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Greater Toronto Realtors reported 8,544 sales through the MLS in July 2013. The number of transactions represented a 16.4%increase compared to July 2012.

The number of new listings reported in July was up 2.3% compared to the same period in 2012.

“Last month’s sales represented  the best July result since 2009 and was the third best July result on record. Despite recent increases in average borrowing costs, home buyers are still finding affordable home ownership options in the GTA ,” said Toronto Real Estate Board President Dianne Usher.

“We are a year removed from the onset of stricter mortgage lending guidelines and many households who put their decision to purchase a home on hold have reactivated their search. An increasing number of these households are getting deals done,” continued Ms. Usher.

The average selling price continued to grow in July up by 7.9% from the same time last year to $513,246.  Note, the average selling price for 2012 as a whole was up by almost 7% to $497,298!! The annual rate of price growth was
driven by single-detached and semi-detached home transactions in the City
of Toronto.

“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 increased by 10.6% from July 2012. The average price of a Toronto condo increased by 4.1% from the same time last year.

Condominium apartments accounted for 22.2% of total sales in the GTA for July 2013 while detached homes accounted for 48.3% of the total sales.

Other notable statistics include the average days on the market for July at 27 days. Active listings were 20,514 in July-up 1.0% from July 2012. The sales-to-listings ratio for June was 41.6% 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 

Bridge Financing Can Ease Closing Day Stress

Great article in www.TheStar.com

A real estate train wreck occurs when one deal fails to close which causes multiple
deals to also fail to close. This typically happens when a purchase and sale is scheduled to close on the same day. If there is a problem or delay with the sale closing, then there will likely default on the purchase agreement. This could also impact other buyers and sellers in the same  chain. There are ways to reduce this potential problem from occurring, by using bridge financing and by being prepared in advance if the deal is contingent on another deal closing.

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

The Best Places to Live in the City: A (Mostly) Scientific Ranking of All 140 Neighbourhoods in Toronto

Great article in www.TorontoLife.com

In Toronto, we develop stubborn loyalties to where we live. We grow familiar with a couple of blocks and identify as west- or east-enders, or as the sort of person who can only live above or below Bloor. We brag that our neighbourhood has the friendliest people, the biggest backyards, the most coveted French immersion school, the greengrocer with the juiciest peaches. But what if we’re wrong? In a city with so many great pockets, and many more improving faster than you can say gentrification, the competition for the title of Number One is cutthroat.

To end the uncertainty, Toronto Life presents the ultimate ranking of the city’s neighbourhoods. We examined 10 factors for each, assigning them a score out of 100: housing (which considers year-over-year appreciation and the ratio of average price to household income), crime, transit, shopping, health and environment, entertainment, community engagement (which factors in voter turnout and beautification projects), diversity, schools and employment

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

Air Conditioner Maintenance: Stay Cool with Carson Dunlop

Great report from www.CarsonDunlop.com

With temperatures in the high 30s, and humidity pushing them to the mid 40s, diamonds and dogs have some stiff competition when it comes to humankind’s affections. In the summer, homeowners have a new best friend: the air conditioner. This technology takes sweltering days and makes them comfortable. These units can be the difference between endless tossing and turning and a good night’s sleep; making them a very valuable asset. But, where diamonds have jewellers and dogs have veterinarians, ensuring your air conditioners is, and stays, in good condition can be less straightforward.

Last month we asked what measures homeowners implemented to maintain their air conditioners. Of the 27 responses we received from our clients and real estate partners, it has become evident that while many recognize the importance of air conditioner maintenance, they aren’t sure where to start or what to do. Working with our Carson Dunlop Homeowners Association partner, AtlasCare, we have developed a short list of easy-to-complete items to make sure you stay cool and comfortable until it’s time for ghosts and pumpkins.

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

 

Top 5 Renovations for Return on Investment (ROI)

Great report at www.LifetimeWealthAcademy.com

It’s easy to spend money on your home. Whether you’ve decided to improve your décor, or complete small to major renovations, the bills will always rack up quickly. That’s why it’s crucial to know which renos will bring you the most return on your investment when looking to add value to your home.

#5 – Flooring
The number one request from prospective homeowners and tenants is hardwood floors. Hardwood floors are extremely durable, timeless, and simply stated, look great! When looking to upgrade your flooring, it’s important to do your research, as hardwood can be very expensive. If traditional or engineered hardwoods are out of your price range, laminate flooring is a great option. Whichever option you choose, updating the flooring in a space gives it new life!

#4 – Hardware & Fixtures
Hardware and fixtures can easily become tired-looking with the natural wear-and-tear of everyday living. Updating relatively inexpensive items, such as sinks, toilets, or faucets, can make a big impact. Also, some household items can appear outdated after several years, so replacing things like doorknobs, light fixtures, and cabinet and drawer pulls with more modern versions can make a big impact in a space for less!

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

 

Is Seller Financing an Answer to CMHC Restrictions?

Great report at www.TheStar.com

As a result of further restrictions announced by CMHC regarding the total number of deals available for insurance, lenders may tighten up their qualification process, which may cause a slowdown in the market, if the number of potential buyers for a home is reduced. Is seller financing an option that could create a win-win situation for both home sellers and buyers?

Seller financing is when the seller offers to take back a loan secured by a mortgage for part of the sale price, which can be anywhere from 70 per cent-90 per cent of the sale price, depending on the deal that is negotiated. Why would a seller do this? The benefits to a seller doing this are as follows:

  • They will likely get a higher price for their property;

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

 

Service Excellence at its Best!

“Our young family recently sold our downtown townhome and purchased a detached 3+2 home with David Stoddard.

This was the second time David represented us.  I have known David for a total of five years.

For those looking for exceptional client service, a highly organized, accountable,
patient not pushy, and truly knowledgeable and talented agent – go with
David.

David listened to what was important to us, and paid attention to how we felt throughout the entire process.  We found David to be exceptionally client-focused, and honest about the ‘pros’ and ‘cons’ of the large inventory we saw.  David had our
best interests at heart. He made himself available when we needed him, and
spent considerable time and energy to research market comparisons.  As a
result, David offered timely and solid advice regarding what properties were
truly worth.  His estimated appraisal value of homes was bang on, time and
again.

More than once, David guided us away from making bad decisions, based on what he knew we truly wanted, and he respected our budget parameters.  There is a lot of ‘lipstick’ out there, and you need an agent you can trust to guide one of the most expensive and important purchases you’ll ever make – towards true value. David Stoddard is hands-down, that agent.”

-Talene, Sami and Lilia.

Toronto Trump Tower’s Investor Revolt Bigger Than Thought

Great report at www.TheStar.com

Well over a year after Toronto’s Trump International Hotel & Tower officially opened, investors in more than 200 hotel-condo units have yet to close on their suites in the troubled project.

This fact, which is just hinted at in a recent court filing, means rookie developer Talon International has yet to collect final payments on all but about 50 of the 261 hotel-condo suites in the 65-storey luxury landmark.

It also means that Talon International is still on the hook for many of the day-to-day costs of running those units, including maintenance fees averaging well over $3,000 a month and commercial taxes on the roughly $800,000 units, which are three times the residential tax rates.

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

Could GTA Flooding Be Used as Home Sale Escape Hatch?

Great report at www.TheStar.com

The recent flooding in the GTA raised important legal questions about homes that were supposed to close at the time.

I was recently asked whether a buyer could refuse to close a deal when they suspected the home had been damaged by flooding before closing. The seller refused to let them in, since the agreement did not provide any more home visits or inspections.

Here are the questions:

1. Does a buyer have an automatic right to inspect a home before they close their purchase to find out if there have been damages since the date they signed the offer?

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