The Home Buyers’ Plan..RRSP Deadline Approaching

If you are planning on purchasing a house or condo sometime in 2018 now is the perfect time to do some serious planning on how to best gather the money you’ll need for your down payment.

What is the Home Buyers’ Plan? (HBP)

The HBP is a Federal government program initiated in 1992. The HBP has helped millions of Canadians to purchase homes and to build homes and therefore has played and does play an integral part in Canada’s economic growth .
Simply, the HBP allows you to use your RRSP money as part of your down payment funds to purchase a home or to build a home.
Think of it as an interest free loan to yourself paid back over 15 years interest free.

HBP Main Criteria:

* You, your spouse or your common-law partner cannot have owned a home as a principal residence in the last 4 years.
* If you have already participated in a HBP the balance is zero on Jan.1 of the year you plan on making another withdrawal . ie. you cannot have more than one plan open.
* The funds must be in a designated RRSP account for a minimum of 90 days.
* The money must be used no more than 30 days after your closing date.
* The money must be paid back over a 15 year period using straight line amortization. eg. If you withdrawal $15,000 then each year for 15 consecutive years you must repay $1000.
* You can overpay any year if you like however since it is interest free think again.
* If you underpay any year the difference is taxable.

* The first payment will be the second year following the year of the withdrawal.

Click HERE to read the rest of the report.

Oh, by the way……if you know of someone who would appreciate the level of service I provide, please call me, text me or email me with their name and number. I’ll be happy to follow up and take great care of them.

Safe at Home With Smoke Alarms

From www.PillarToPost.com 

Smoke alarms are an important defense against injury or death in house fires. Statistics from the National Fire Protection Association show that nearly two-thirds of home fire fatalities occur in homes with non-working or missing smoke detectors. Most building codes now require smoke detectors in all residential structures, which has resulted in a steep drop in fire- and smoke-related deaths. Homeowners should check with their local public safety office or fire department for specific information on these requirements.

 

  • As in real estate, location is key! Smoke alarms should be in installed every bedroom, outside every sleeping area, and on each level of the home.

 

  • Alarms should be placed high on a wall or on the ceiling. It’s best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for placement. High, peaked ceilings have dead air space at the top; in these instances smoke alarms should be placed no closer than 3 feet from the highest point.

 

  • For areas close to the kitchen, use a detector with a “hush button” that can be used to silence nuisance alarms triggered by cooking smoke or steam. Alternatively, consider installing a photoelectric alarm near the kitchen, which will not be triggered by cooking. No matter which type is used, never remove the unit’s battery to stop or prevent nuisance alarms.

 

  • There are two primary types of smoke alarm technology: ionization and photoelectric. According to the National Fire Protection Association, ionization alarms are more responsive to flames, while photoelectric alarms are more sensitive to smoldering fires. For the most comprehensive protection, both types or a combination unit should be installed.

 

  • Test each alarm monthly. It’s helpful to put a reminder in the calendar to do this on the first or last day of the month, for example. The units have a test button that will sound the alarm for a moment or two when pressed. Any alarm that fails to sound should have the battery replaced. If the test button fails with a new battery, replace the entire detector immediately. Monthly testing is also an ideal time to dust off the unit so that it continues to work properly.

 

  • Replace the batteries at least once a year. A common rule of thumb is to do this when changing to or from Daylight Saving Time in fall or spring. Remember, a non-working alarm is no better than no alarm at all. Some alarms now come with 10-year lithium batteries that eliminate the need for new batteries, but the unit itself must be replaced after its stated lifespan.

 

  • If the alarms are hard-wired to the home’s electrical system, make sure they are interconnected for maximum effectiveness – meaning that if one alarm is triggered, all of the others will sound as well. Any hard-wired alarms, interconnected or not, should be installed by a licensed electrician for safety and proper operation.

 

  • The newest type of interconnected alarms are wireless. This technology allows detectors to communicate with one another and, like their hard-wired cousins, will sound all of the units at the same time even if just one is triggered initially.

 

Do you have any questions about Toronto Real Estate? Please contact me direct at or by email, David@DavidStoddard.ca

** You can follow my real estate posts on FACEBOOK. Click here to LIKE my real estate page

Oh, by the way……if you know of someone who would appreciate the level of service I provide, please call me, text me or email me with their name and number. I’ll be happy to follow up and take great care of them.

How To Repair your Credit

If you want to finance your home purchase or even seek to change your insurance, one thing is clear: good credit opens doors and can help you lock into great rates. However, a financial setback can occur at any time and, as a result, impact your credit.

Our July e-report outlines five tips to help you repair your credit if you’ve experienced a setback, such as a missed payment, a default on a loan or bankruptcy.

Click HERE for my client testimonials.

 

 

 Oh, by the way……if you know of someone who would appreciate the level of service I provide, please call me, text me or email me with their name and number. I’ll be happy to follow up and take great care of them.

7 Ways to Invest in Yourself

When you commit to lifelong learning, you’ll enjoy lasting success. The May Marketing Flyer features seven tips to help you incorporate personal development activities in your life to achieve success in all areas of your life.

Click HERE for my client testimonials.

 

 

 

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

** You can follow my real estate posts on FACEBOOK. Click here to LIKE my real estate page.

Oh, by the way……if you know of someone who would appreciate the level of service I provide, please call me, text me or email me with their name and number. I’ll be happy to follow up and take great care of them.

Deconstructed: The good, the bad and the ugly of Ontario’s 16-point plan to tame housing

Great real estate article in the Financial Post.

Last Thursday, the Ontario government introduced measures intended to cool the housing market in the Greater Toronto Area. Here’s a breakdown of all 16 and the impact housing market experts believe they will or will not have.

1. A 15-per-cent Non-Resident Speculation Tax (NRST) on the price of homes in the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) purchased by individuals who are not citizens or permanent residents of Canada or by foreign corporations.

The tax is ultimately aimed at curbing price increases in the GTA, which the Toronto Real Estate Board said climbed 33 per cent in March from a year ago. Will it work?

“It’s a step in the right direction,” said Benjamin Tal, deputy chief economist of CIBC World Markets. “We estimate that the share of foreign buyers in the GTA is notably lower than in Vancouver.”

The problem is that if Vancouver is any example there will be a short period during which domestic buyers will sit on the sidelines before jumping right back six months later.

Shaun Hildebrand, senior-vice-president of Urbanation Inc., says if you are desperate to park your money offshore the 15 per cent tax probably doesn’t matter.

“If you are a foreign buyer with no connection to the region, you must have a pretty big motivation to move that money here,” he said.

For the full article click HERE.

 

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

** You can follow my real estate posts on FACEBOOK. Click here to LIKE my real estate page.

 

Oh, by the way……if you know of someone who would appreciate the level of service I provide, please call me, text me or email me with their name and number. I’ll be happy to follow up and take great care of them.

The GTA Condo Market: 1989 vs Today From Fortress

 

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

** You can follow my real estate posts on FACEBOOK. Click here to LIKE my real estate page.

Oh, by the way……if you know of someone who would appreciate the level of service I provide, please call me, text me or email me with their name and number. I’ll be happy to follow up and take great care of them.

GTA Real Estate Market Report February 2017

Sales Up and Listings Down In February

 

Greater Toronto Realtors reported 8,014 residential sales through the Toronto MLS system in February 2017. The number of transactions in February represented a 5.7% increase compared 7,583 transactions reported in February 2016.

For the region as a whole, strong annual rates of sales growth were experienced for detached homes, townhomes and condo apartments. The pace of semi-detached sales growth was slower. The year-over-year dip in new listings was likely the issue.

Condo apartments in the GTA had the highest sales increase year-over-year at 15.9%.

The number of new listings reported in February was down 12.5% compared to the same period in 2016. Active listings were 5,400 in February 2017-down 50.5% from February 2016.

 “The February statistics tell me that many GTA households continue to view home ownership as a great long-term investment. The high demand for ownership housing we’re seeing is broad-based, with strong sales growth for most low-rise home types and condominium apartments. This makes sense given the results of a recent consumer survey undertaken for TREB by Ipsos, which found an even split between intending first-time buyers and existing homeowners who indicated that they were planning on purchasing a home in 2017,” said Larry Cerqua, TREB’s President.

The average price in February was up by 27.7% from the same time last year to $875,983. Detached homes in the GTA led the way in terms of an average price increase at 32.5% compared to the same time last year.

 

 “The listing supply crunch we are experiencing in the GTA has undoubtedly led to the double-digit home price increases we are now experiencing on a sustained basis, both in the low-rise and high-rise market segments. Until we see a marked increase in the number of homes available for sale, expect very strong annual rates of growth to continue,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.

 Sales of Toronto (416 area code) condominium apartments increased by 14.0% in February 2017. The average selling price of a Toronto condo increased by 18.2% in February 2017 from the same time last year to $515,424.

Condominium apartments accounted for 29.4% of total GTA sales in February while detached homes accounted for 46.4% of the total sales.

Other notable statistics include the average days on the market for February at 13 days, down 38.1%. The sales-to-listings ratio for February 2017 was 148% which is classified as a very big 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, building specific  and even very street specific in some areas. The numbers as reported above are GTA averages. Results in one neighbourhood , on one street or in one building do not indicate that all other neighbourhoods, streets or buildings are experiencing the same results. We are still seeing multiple offers in some areas for the best homes and condos.

 

 For all of your real estate questions please contact me direct (416-520-6746) or by email, David@DavidStoddard.ca

** You can follow my real estate posts on FACEBOOK. Click here to LIKE my real estate page

Oh, by the way……if you know of someone who would appreciate the level of service I provide, please call me, text me or email me with their name and number. I’ll be happy to follow up and take great care of them.

 

Building Wealth With Toronto Real Estate

I have received many calls recently from existing clients and referral clients asking me how to invest in the Toronto new condominium market and if an investment can be made under a partnership agreement with a Family member, Friend or Colleague. (My Team Lawyer has prepared such an agreement for my Clients)

Some of my clients who are parents are worried about the price of housing stock when their children finish university. It may be far down the road for some parents but the reality is certain. The average price of a Toronto condominium today is $466,000. Can you imagine 10 years from now?

Many of my clients have a strong equity position in their home so the thought of building their wealth through Toronto real estate is top of their mind.

Some of my clients have Family, Friends and Colleagues who would like to invest with them as partners.

As the affordability of freehold properties is becoming out of reach to many buyers and investors alike, the Toronto new and resale condominium market is becoming the home type of choice. In the last six months I have seen an extreme tightening in this housing sector in resale transactions, rental transactions and new construction sales. The condo rental vacancy rate in Toronto is hovering around 1.8%.

There are many pricing stages of a new condo launch.  At each stage of the sales process there is typically a price increase.  I have seen price increases up to 25%. A typical condo launch will have SIX stages of pricing. So if you are thinking you are getting a sweet deal on the best layouts by walking into the sales office, you are wrong. Once the sale office opens it is at the end of the pricing cycle.

I have relationships with high volume Platinum Brokers in the City who have the best relationships with condo developers. Buying at the platinum pricing level is like buying wholesale. We all like wholesale pricing!

To learn more about opportunities in the Toronto new condominium market please give me a call (4165206746), email me (David@DavidStoddard.ca) or text me (4165206746). We can meet for a coffee.

If you would like to speak with existing clients who have ventured into this area of investing I can certainly provide their contact information.

There are many terrific projects scheduled for release in the coming weeks and months.

Oh, by the way……if you know of someone who would appreciate the level of service I provide, please call me, text me or email me with their name and number. I’ll be happy to follow up and take great care of them.

9 Reasons You Need an Agent to Help You with the Real Estate Process

The January E-Report offers 9 reasons why it is a MUST to have a reputable real estate agent in your corner whether you are selling a home or buying a home.

Click HERE for my client testimonials.

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

** You can follow my real estate posts on FACEBOOK. Click here to LIKE my real estate page.

Oh, by the way……if you know of someone who would appreciate the level of service I provide, please call me, text me or email me with their name and number. I’ll be happy to follow up and take great care of them

Micro Condos Are Still Trending In Canada

Interesting article in www.HuffingtonPost.ca

Are micro condos still a thing, or a novelty? Well, if you’ve been keeping up on real estate prices in Canada, then you already know that condo is king. So the real question is, how “big” is small-space living?

Housing costs continue to soar in Canada’s priciest real estate markets — in spite of provincial and federal action to slow housing activity in Toronto and Vancouver. This has left many hopeful home buyers priced out of the average detached home market. Even larger condo units are picking up speed in price.

Housing costs rising, lowrise construction falling, and the come-back of condos

According to ReMax, 2016 saw the average home price (across all housing types) increase 13 per cent in Greater Vancouver to $1.02 million, and 17 per cent in the GTA to $725,857. The average detached home in these markets is well over a million. Those numbers are only expected to climb in 2017.

What’s falling, is the number of new single-detached homes being built in Canada, which have been trending downward since 2009 according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC). High demand coupled with low supply leads to rising costs.

CMHC predicts condo construction starts to drop in 2017, due to an increase in completed and unsold condo units in 2016, and a smaller pool of first-time homebuyers – a result of more stringent mortgage lending rules. But looking ahead to 2018, the national housing agency calls for a rebound in condo construction starts, thanks to growing demand for this more affordable housing option.

Less home, less cost

According to Barbara Lawlor, president and CEO of Baker Real Estate Inc., condos will always be a hot item in expensive housing markets like Toronto and Vancouver – all sizes and configurations, but particularly micro units, thanks to their micro price.

Lawlor points out that Canada is fairly new to the micro-living concept. “In places like Hong Kong, Japan and Europe, developers have been offering micro apartments for many years. In addition, some cities in the U.S. including San Francisco, Boston, Washington and Austin are home to numerous micro suites. I saw online that in Seattle, there is a 90-sq.-ft. micro condo, which makes 300 sq. ft. sound pretty spacious.”

The new normal

Whether by choice or by force, Millennials have adopted the prevailing “less-is-more” lifestyle. “Today’s young people are used to a more minimal existence than their parents and grandparents, and new immigrants are used to compact apartment-style living,” Lawlor notes. The result is smaller vehicles parked in the smaller parking spaces of smaller homes. On a grander scale, it’s a shift in thinking by end-users and real estate developers alike.

Developer Urban Capital launched downtown Toronto’s first micro condo a few years back, with great success. Urban Capital’s David Wex agrees that the rise of the micro condo is a direct response to affordability issues, and it has led to a new way of life.

“It’s basically about redesigning the elements in our condos to make sure they are highly efficiently designed, in order to make small spaces work as best they can, allowing them to feel and function like larger spaces. The goal is to deliver super-efficient spaces at an affordable price.”

Wex adds, “you can see all elements around us changing to suit this new reality.”

From homes to home décor

Jane Lockhart, principal of Jane Lockhart Interior Design, has branched off in this micro direction as well, with her own line of Jane by Jane Lockhart condo furnishings. So, how does designing “small but sweet” differ from the old mantra of “bigger is better”?

“One word: multifunction,” Lockhart says. Like the homes themselves, and echoing Wex’s sentiments, “Furniture in small spaces can serve more than one purpose. Benches, ottomans, even chaises can be adapted to hold storage; chairs can become single beds. Reconfiguring and readapting to serve more than one function is the way of the future.”

Whether we’re talking tiny homes, or the miniature tables and chairs to fill them, looks like the micro industry is here to stay.

For all of your real estate questions please contact me direct (416-520-6746) or by email, David@DavidStoddard.ca

** You can follow my real estate posts on FACEBOOK. Click here to LIKE my real estate page

Oh, by the way……if you know of someone who would appreciate the level of service I provide, please call me, text me or email me with their name and number. I’ll be happy to follow up and take great care of them.

Tax Rebate Doubled for First Time Homebuyers

Ontario is doubling the rebate on its land transfer tax for first-time homebuyers to $4,000 in an effort to help them enter the housing market, but it is also raising the same tax on homes that sell for over $2 million.

Finance Minister Charles Sousa said first-time homebuyers won’t pay any land transfer tax on the first $368,000 of a purchase price after the changes take effect Jan. 1. He called the $4,000 rebates an “incentive” for would-be homeowners.

Currently first time homebuyers do not pay any land transfer tax on the first $227,350 of a purchase price, a $2000 rebate.

“It’s not going to change their ability to afford the house,” he said. “It is going to provide an added boost at their start.”

Sousa again said Ontario would not follow the lead of British Columbia, which in August imposed a 15 per cent tax on foreign nationals buying real estate in the Vancouver area. But he said the provincial government will block non-Canadian citizens from accessing the increased rebates for the land transfer tax.

There will also be a half-percentage point increase in Ontario’s land transfer tax on homes that fetch more than $2 million, a measure expected to affect less than one per cent of the population, added Sousa.

The province takes in over $2.1 billion a year in the land transfer tax. Any additional revenue generated by the increase in the levy on luxury homes will help pay for the doubled rebates for first-time buyers.

Note the City of Toronto also has a land transfer tax. First time homebuyers in the City of Toronto are currently exempt on the first $400,000 of a purchase price.

For the full article click HERE.

Reserve your spot HERE for a free Buyer Planning Session.

For all of your real estate questions please contact me direct (416-520-6746) or by email, David@DavidStoddard.ca

** You can follow my real estate posts on FACEBOOK. Click here to LIKE my real estate page

Oh, by the way……if you know of someone who would appreciate the level of service I provide, please call me, text me or email me with their name and number. I’ll be happy to follow up and take great care of them.

Can Thieves Crack Your Code?

Smartphones not only help us stay in touch with people from wherever we are, they also allow us to conduct business, bank and pay bills.

While we may think our information is safe because we have screen locks on our phones, it would only take a thieve four hours to crack a simple four number passcode on an iPhone.

The August eReport features information to help you create passcodes that make it difficult for thieves to access your information.

For all of your real estate questions please contact me direct (416-520-6746) or by email, David@DavidStoddard.ca

** You can follow my real estate posts on FACEBOOK. Click here to LIKE my real estate page

Oh, by the way……if you know of someone who would appreciate the level of service I provide, please call me, text me or email me with their name and number. I’ll be happy to follow up and take great care of them.

Using The Internet To Find a Home

The majority of buyers search the Internet as their first step in the home buying process. Whether they are searching listings or using a mortgage calculator, one thing is clear: the Internet is a powerful source of information. Below is information to help you harness the power of the Internet in your home search.

Please contact me direct at or by email, David@DavidStoddard.ca

** You can follow my real estate posts on FACEBOOK. Click here to LIKE my real estate page.

Oh, by the way……if you know of someone who would appreciate the level of service I provide, please call me, text me or email me with their name and number. I’ll be happy to follow up and take great care of them.

Protecting Your Home Against Termites

Great article in Carson Dunlop’s March newsletter ( www.carsondunlop.com )

Spring’s arrival brings a smile to most, but warmer weather can also bring homeowner concerns in the form of unwanted guests. With the start of the spring housing market, we reached out to our Specialty Services partner, Orkin Canada, to help educate clients about termites and why it is necessary to be aware of these damaging insects.

One of the major things termites require to thrive is warm temperatures. As the temperature rises, it is important to recognize the conditions conducive to termite infestation and how you can protect your property. Dan Dawson, National Marketing Manager at Orkin Canada explains the magnitude of the threat posed by termites: “Subterranean termites typically cause the most structural damage and are most prevalent in the southern coastal areas, the dry climate of the Okanagan areas of British Columbia, southern Ontario, southern Quebec, and the Maritime provinces.”

Carson Dunlop (CD): What are the most common neighborhoods for termites in the Greater Toronto Area?

Orkin: “Termites can be found throughout the GTA. Though each species of termite thrives in different climates and eats different types of food, all termites require four things to survive:

1.     Food

2.     Moisture

3.     Shelter

4.     Optimal Temperatures

Please click HERE for the full article.

Please contact me direct at or by email, David@DavidStoddard.ca

** You can follow my real estate posts on FACEBOOK. Click here to LIKE my real estate page.

4 Factors to Consider Before Your Next Home Search

For many homebuyers, the hardest part of the buying process is finding the right home to purchase. Since a home is the largest purchase most of us will make, it is easy to become wrapped up in finding the perfect place that meets all of our wants and needs. We overwhelm ourselves by focusing on checking off the boxes that will result in our ideal home. That’s a lot of pressure!

This month, I’m sending information intended to take the stress out of finding the right home. Before you begin your search, there are four things to consider—price range, features, location and lifestyle. These four factors will help you focus your search on homes that meet your needs, allowing you to make the best decision for your family and for your wallet.

When you’re looking for a home, you need an experienced professional in your corner to help navigate the process and get you the best deal. If you’re ready to buy, give me a call! I’d love to help you achieve your dream of home ownership.

Oh, by the way……if you know of someone who would appreciate the level of service I provide, please call me, text me or email me with their name and number. I’ll be happy to follow up and take great care of them.

Please contact me direct at or by email, David@DavidStoddard.ca

** You can follow my real estate posts on FACEBOOK. Click here to LIKE my real estate page.