Change your Habits To Save for a Down Payment

Saving for a down payment is a challenge for many first – time buyers. If this sounds like you or someone you know, it might be time to change your habits. The below offers tips to help you change your habits and save more money.

saving more for a down payment

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

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Learning Apps to Download to Your Smartphone or Tablet

Learn something new while you’re on the go! Below are a few apps to help you improve your mind while you’re waiting in line at the grocery store, on a break at work or relaxing at home. Help your family and friends sharpen their cognitive skills by forwarding them this information on to them.

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

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Press Release – What do we think of the current and upcoming market

Steady average price appreciation over close to two decades 

makes GTA housing market a global anomaly, says RE/MAX Hallmark

214 per cent increase in real estate values since 1996

Toronto, ON (January 12, 2016) – Low interest rates, coupled with population growth and solid economic fundamentals, contributed to a 214 per cent increase in average residential housing values in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) over almost two-­-decades, according to RE/MAX Hallmark Ltd., one of country’s largest real estate franchises.

The GTA housing market is now entering its 20th year of consecutive price appreciation, on the heels of a record-­-breaking 2015.  The market has reported a steady increase in values since 1996, when the cost of an average home in the GTA hovered at $198,150.  Average price broke through the $600,000 benchmark in 2015, settling at $622,217 – an increase of 6.21 per cent when compounded annually over the 19-­-year period.

“The overall strength and stability of Toronto’s housing market is a global anomaly,” says Ken McLachlan, Broker-­-Owner, RE/MAX Hallmark Ltd. “Very few large residential housing markets can compete with the GTA’s performance over the past two decades”

When analyzing the level of growth in the Greater Toronto Area, population played a serious role.  In 2014, the Toronto CMA topped six million (6,055,724), a figure eight per cent higher than the 2011 Census population of 5,583,064 and a substantial 42 per cent uptick over the 1996 Census figure of 4,263,757.

The low interest rate environment has also influenced home buying activity in the GTA.  While the average residential mortgage-­-lending rate for a five-­-year term hovered at approximately eight per cent in 1996, the same product can be had for under three per cent in today’s competitive market.

Homeownership rates have also steadily increased in the GTA, in spite of rising values. Between 1996 and 2006, the level of ownership jumped approximately 10 per cent in the GTA (58.4 per cent to 67.6 per cent).  The most recent available rates for the province of Ontario sat at 71.4 per cent in 2011.

Given the turbulence the GTA market has withstood –recessions, 9/11, and SARS, just to name a few – the performance is “nothing short of remarkable”, explains McLachlan.

“Moving forward, there is no reason to expect the upward trend to end,” says McLachlan.  “In light of recent volatility in the stock market and overall economic uncertainty, we anticipate an upswing in home buying activity as investors look to tangible assets like bricks and mortar to ride out the storm.  The strength of the US dollar will also contribute, serving as an impetus for greater investment in the Greater Toronto Area throughout 2016.” 

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

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20 Tips To Get Your Credit In Check In 2016

Happy New Year!!

Make this the year you get your credit in order. Whether your goal is to buy a new home, become debt free and raise your credit score, or just make your payments more manageable, these 20 tips for handling your credit can help get you there.

1. Meet with a Mortgage Specialist. If you’re planning to buy a home anytime soon, meeting with a Mortgage Specialist can clarify what you’ll need to do in order to qualify and qualify for the best rates.

2. Check your credit. You can pull your report at www.Equifax.ca. Your credit score will not be affected if you check your score on this consumer site. When a lender (ie.applying for a credit card) pulls your credit score your score will be affected.

3. Dispute anything that’s incorrect. It may take some time and effort, but removing incorrect items from your report can have a great impact on your score.

4. Don’t waste your time trying to get collection accounts off your credit report. Be aware that paying off a collection account will not remove it from your credit report. It will stay on your report for seven years.

5. Set little goals. Paying off a large balance can seem overwhelming. Setting weekly or monthly goals to pay down your credit can make it feel for manageable, and also help keep you on track when that handbag is calling your name.

6. Pay off the smallest accounts first. It may seem smarter to attack the large balances first, but getting small balances paid off will lower your monthly output and allow you to redirect those funds to other balances once they’re paid off.

7. Or, pay off the account with the highest rate first. Since this is the one that’s costing you most every month.

8. Contact your creditors. It might be that they have a program to help you pay your debt.

9. Negotiate your rates. A call to your creditors may yield a lower rate.

10. Transfer balances. You can make it easier to pay your balances by taking advantage of an existing card with low or no interest.

11. Don’t have a card with a low rate? Open a balance – transfer credit card – This allows you to move expensive debt over to a new card, with a low, often 0% APR, for a set time period.

12. Get a secured card. If you’re trying to re-establish credit after a bankruptcy or after paying off old delinquent accounts, a secured card from a bank can help you build it back up.

13. Even if you can’t wipe out all your debt now, pay down your balances. One of the major factors in your credit score is how much revolving credit you have versus how much you’re actually using. The smaller that percentage is, the better it is for your credit rating. The optimum: 30 percent or lower.

14. Pay your bills on time. It’s the easiest and most effective way to keep your score good, or improve it.

15. If you’re buying a home, don’t apply for any more credit cards without your Mortgage Specialist’s approval. Each application will hurt your credit score.

16. Set up payment reminders. If you’re the type that forgets or overlooks payments, make sure you’ve got it covered. Setting a reminder from the creditor or putting a reminder in your phone can help.

17. Set your accounts on auto pay. You’re less likely to miss a payment if you have it set up automatically to draw from your account. Just make sure you keep enough money in your account to cover the payments or you’ll have to pay overdraft fees.

18. Use cash for everything. Financial experts often recommend this tactic to keep us in check about what we’re actually spending. There aren’t any surprises at the end of the month when you’re only using the dollars and cents you have in your wallet.

19. Think about debt consolidation. Many experts consider this a last-ditch resort because its “quick fix” solution may actually cause more problems down the line. Be sure to read up to make sure this is the right step for you.

20. File for bankruptcy, but only if you have no other option. While going this route allows you to wipe the slate clean, it also has a devastating impact on your credit. Bankruptcy is meant to be a last-resort option but there are certain situations when filing may be your best bet:

•You’re being sued by debt collectors

•Your wages are being garnished

•You can’t pay your bills (due to a job layoff or an unexpected illness)

•You’re in danger of losing your home

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

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5 Steps Towards an Energy-Efficient Home

Great article at http://RealtyTimes.com

Your home is your place to rest, play, and spend time with your family. It should be a place of comfort, and this comfort need not come at a high cost. Many homes, however, waste a lot of energy in ways that can be prevented. Here are five ways to make your home more energy-efficient.

1. Replace or Weatherize All Windows  

Windows are one of the biggest sources of heat gain and heat loss in a home. Both heat gain and heat loss rob you of comfort and keep your energy bills higher than they have to be, whether during the summer or winter months.

Windows rank high on the list because of air leakage around the frame and the heat that transfers through windowpanes. Old single-pane windows provide little protection against heat transference. If you replace these windows with energy-efficient windows you should see immediate savings and improved climate control in your home.

When choosing windows, consider the frame and not just glass. Frame material and frame design matters. Hinged windows allow less air leakage than sliding, single-hung or double-hung do. Avoid metal because these conduct heat. Choose insulated vinyl frames or insulated fiberglass frames for the most efficiency and durability.

Pay attention to glass efficiency ratings such as the U-factor and the solar heat gain coefficient. The right windows to choose depend largely upon regional climate. If you live in an area with hot summers and mild winters, you want glass that blocks out as much solar heat gain as possible.

Low-E coatings on windowpanes reduce heat conduction through the glass, which benefits you by keeping hot air inside in winter and hot air outside in summer. There are other coatings and tints available, but you should still look for the Energy Star label. Only products that have met strict requirements by the EPA qualify for this special certification

Click here for more.

Here is what you can do next:

David Stoddard Buyer Planning Sessions

 

 

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

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The Shifting Demand for Innovative Condo Amenities

Great article at http://Blog.NewinHomes.com

In Toronto’s competitive condo market, developers are constantly looking for ways to stand out from the rest. Condo amenities are an important tool for developers looking to attract homebuyers and edge out the competition.

As time passes and a new generation of homebuyers emerges, simply advertising a sauna or swimming pool just doesn’t cut it. Homebuyers want amenities that will complement their lifestyles and developers have to adjust.

As 2015 comes to an end, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite condo amenities that changed the game, altering the way we think about healthy living, outdoor space, the streetscape, commuting, and unleashing your creative side

1) Cater to Active Lifestyles

State-of-the-art gyms have become the norm in Toronto’s condominium market, and condo buyers have come to expect these facilities as a minimum standard from developers. In order to catch the eye of health-conscious homebuyers, Ghods Builders took fitness to the next level, using cutting-edge LED technology to give residents a multi-purpose court and diverse fitness experience.

5959 Yonge Street Condos in Toronto is the first condo to feature an LED court that produces lines and boundaries for your favourite sports with the push of a button. Some of the games include basketball, volleyball, squash, badminton, and soccer.

Click here for more.

Here is what you can do next:

 

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

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New Down Payment Rules

David Stoddard Buyer Planning Sessions

 

 

As announced this morning by the Federal Finance Minister, the Federal Government is raising the minimum down payment for new insured mortgages to 10 per cent from 5 per cent for the portion of house prices above $500,000-$999,999.

The new rule will take effect on Feb. 15, 2016.

Down payment rules for mortgages for properties below $500,000 will be unchanged.

For example, a Buyer looking to purchase a $600,000 property:

  • $25,000 for the $500,000 (5%)
  • $10,000 for the extra $100,000 (10%)
  • Total Minimum Down Payment = $35,000

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

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Home Buyers’ Plan

If you are planning on moving into your first house or condo sometime in 2016 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 cannot have owned a home as a principal residence in the last 5 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.

*   You can contribute to your rrsp’s up to March 1, 2016 for the 2015 tax year.

* You have to have an Agreement of Purchase and Sale in place.

*  You have to occupy your house as your principal residence no more than 1 year after you purchase it.

*    You have to be a resident of Canada.

*  You have to receive your withdrawals in the same calendar year.

*  The maximum withdrawal per person is $25,000.

*  You have to complete form T1036 for each eligible withdrawal.

Important Points:

* Prior to utilizing your rrsp’s it is very important that a personal budget be prepared. Remember you have to repay an equal amount yearly for 15 years. If the repayment does not fit into your overall personal budget as a homeowner  then it is not advised.  Some of my clients use their rrsp’s and some do not. I have a standard personal budget form that my clients use as a worksheet.It is important to determine in advance if your rrsp’s qualify for the HBP. Ask your rrsp provider.

* It is important to determine in advance if your rrsp’s qualify for the HBP. Ask your rrsp provider.

* If you want to maximize your rrsp contribution under the HBP then there are ways to do this with liquid cash and/or with an rrsp loan. Email me for details.

* Any funds that you put into an rrsp account will generate a corresponding tax refund and this to can be added to your down payment funds.

To learn more about how you can use your rrsp’s as part of your down payment please come to a FREE Buyer Planning Session.

Click HERE to register for a Buyer Planning Session.

Even if you a year plus away from purchasing a home a buyer planning session will provide the framework for a systemized plan.

We will discuss your personal budgeting, mortgage application and mortgage financing, credit management, the real estate market and the home buying process.

How do we know our planning sessions are helpful for our clients to achieve their ultimate home buying goal?

Our clients have told us so.

Check out what are clients are saying about us. Click HERE.

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

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Supply of Condos Looks Good for the Next 3 Years

Great article at www.TheStar.com 

The GTA witnessed a record high for condominium completions in 2014, with 25,571 units delivered, surpassing the previous record of 19,534 new units completed back in 2013.

In 2015, condo completions are expected to drop back to 2013 levels, finishing the year at around 19,000 units, with about 15,000 completed by the end of August.

There are 215 new condominium projects currently under construction across the GTA, so the market has a certainty of future supply of more than 50,000 new condominiums over the next three years.

It should be noted that 86 per cent of those units have been pre-sold.

Development in the GTA and across the Greater Golden Horseshoe has been dictated for over a decade now by provincial intensification policy, and this has meant condominiums have played an increasingly important role in the overall housing market. Today condominiums are arguably the last means of affordable new-home ownership. They’ve also been the source of much-needed rental housing in the region.

The GTA requires an additional 13,000 new rental units each year to keep up with demographic requirements, according to estimates from Altus Group.

But purpose-built rental housing has been a very small source of new rental stock in the past decade, accounting for fewer than 1,800 units per year. And while purpose-built rental is likely to increase as more institutional investors are entering that market, condominiums continue to serve as the primary source of new rental supply, about 7,000 units each year.

Please click HERE for the full article.

Here is what you can do next:

David Stoddard Buyer Planning Sessions

 

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

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WETT Inspections: Remember the Ember this September

Great article at www.CarsonDunlop.com .

Although the first days of fall have been unseasonably warm and sunny, soon enough we’ll have the cold temps causing us to bundle up. Now is the perfect time to make sure that this fall, if you want to use your fireplace, you can be sure that it’s safe to do so.

We reached out to Specialty Service partner Carleton Chimney Services to discuss the merits of WETT Inspections and highlight some easy approaches homeowners can take when it comes to fireplace care. We spoke with company President John Carleton to get a more in-depth look at this type of service.

Carson Dunlop: What is a WETT Inspection? What does it entail?

John Carleton: “A Wood Energy Transfer Technology, or WETT, Inspection relates to the inspection of any wood-burning system in a home. A WETT Inspector assesses different components of the system in question, to determine whether or not it meets the minimum requirements set out by the Code applicable to the installation. There are three levels of WETT Inspections: Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3.

•           A Level 1 inspection does not require the inspector to look into hidden spaces or use any tools other than a flashlight and measuring tape. This type of inspection would be performed as an annual maintenance task, if the system has already been thoroughly inspected and brought up to Code. (Some insurance companies may require a yearly certification – this inspection would be suitable in these instances.)

•           A Level 2 inspection includes the same visual components as Level 1, but also requires the use of tools to open readily-accessible areas such as removing the smoke pipe, accessing the roof if safe, and using a camera to inspect the flue interior. This is a recommended level of inspection for anyone buying a home. (It is important to ensure that the inspector performing this type of inspection employs video inspection equipment to scan the flue interior.)

•           A Level 3 inspection covers that of Level 1 and Level 2, as well as opening areas that require destructive actions such as opening walls or digging up the foundation. This is only needed when strong evidence suggests that there is a problem that needs to be investigated thoroughly.”

CD: When should a WETT Inspection be performed?

JC: “A Level 1 inspection should be completed yearly, preferably in conjunction with the annual cleaning of the system. A Level 2 inspection should be done when the home is changing ownership or if a significant event, like a chimney fire, or a lightning strike, has happened. These situations typically require a more detailed assessment.”

CD: What are some common misconceptions homeowners operate under with respect to fireplaces?

JC: “Many assume that if they are not experiencing a problem with their fireplace or wood-burning stove, there is no need to be concerned. In reality, it can take a long time for a defect within the system to manifest itself. Fireplaces and chimney systems built prior to 1954 have the potential for serious Code issues. Although the potential for Code violations decreases with homes built after this date as higher standards were put in place, poor workmanship and deterioration can present problems as well. An annual WETT inspection is important for maintenance and safety.”

CD: Are there any clear indicators that a wood-burning system is experiencing a problem?

JC: “If a fireplace system has staining anywhere, including the face of the fireplace or on the chimney, this would indicate a problem. In addition, if smoke or the smell of smoke is present anywhere in the house, that is another telltale sign of a problem. A properly operating system will remove all the smoke out of the house – a lingering odor means something is amiss. If you experience one or any of the conditions outlined above, it is best to reach out to a WETT Inspector to have your system assessed.”

CD: What simple tasks can homeowners undertake to maintain their fireplaces, chimneys and wood-burning stoves? What are some “best practices” for caring for these systems?

JC: “Homeowners can help their systems operate properly by doing an annual cleaning of the flue by a certified sweep and by burning dry fuel. The danger of a chimney fire can be mitigated by these simple actions. A competent sweep will advise you on what they found, any problems noted, and if your systems have been burning properly.”

Carson Dunlop’s Specialty Services program provides our clients and real estate partners with fast, easy and cost-effective access to qualified specialists, like Carleton Chimney Services, with a single call. To learn more about this program, please click here or call 800-268-7070 to schedule a WETT Inspection.

Here is what you can do next:

 

David Stoddard Buyer Planning Sessions

 

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.​

The Five Exterior Renovations That Provide The Best Return On Investment

Great article in http://realtytimes.com/.

Decked-out kitchens and sparkly spa bathrooms may get our hearts pumping, but deciding to renovate is more often the product of a have-to than a want-to. Whether the renovation you’re considering is driven by a necessary repair or replacement, or the desire to upgrade an item prior to listing your home for sale, the goal is the same: to get the highest return on investment (ROI).

Knowing which items will bring in the best ROI can help you make sound decisions. And this year, the smartest projects are geared toward the exterior of the home. After all, if buyers are turned off by what they see when they drive up, they might not opt to see any more.

Decked-out kitchens and sparkly spa bathrooms may get our hearts pumping, but deciding to renovate is more often the product of a have-to than a want-to. Whether the renovation you’re considering is driven by a necessary repair or replacement, or the desire to upgrade an item prior to listing your home for sale, the goal is the same: to get the highest return on investment (ROI).

Knowing which items will bring in the best ROI can help you make sound decisions. And this year, the smartest projects are geared toward the exterior of the home. After all, if buyers are turned off by what they see when they drive up, they might not opt to see any more.

Here are the five exterior renovations that will give you the highest return, according to USA’s Remodeling magazine’s 2015 Cost vs. Value Report.

Garage Door Replacement

A beat-up garage door can make your whole house look bad and keep buyers from looking further. Spend $1,595—the national average cost of a garage door replacement—and you’ll get a return of $1,410, or 88.4 percent. Don’t have a garage? According to the report, you can add one for $52,382, which returns $33,938 or 64.8 percent.

Manufactured Stone Veneer

Adding character to homes can warm them up and make them more desirable, but few of these projects rank high when it comes to paying you back. As a newbie to the report, manufactured stone veneer was the exception, and it didn’t just show up—it made an impression. “It joined Cost vs. Value with a splash, ranking second among all projects with a cost-value return of 92.2%,” they said. “The only project that beat it was for a replacement steel entry door.”

Click here for more.

Here is what you can do next:

David Stoddard Buyer Planning Sessions

 

 

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.​

Water Quality In Your Home

Great article in www.PillartoPost.com .

Community water systems are required to test and monitor drinking water supplies to ensure safe and good-tasting water. But what happens once the water has been piped to towns, neighborhoods, and homes? Older homes may still have service lines made of lead going into the home, which can result in unacceptable levels of lead leaching into the water. The local water supply system should be able to confirm the presence of lead service lines for homeowners. Older fixtures that contain lead, or lead that was used to solder pipe joints, can also cause elevated lead levels. Whenever possible, pipes and fixtures containing lead should be replaced with new materials.

Homes built before the 1960s often have galvanized steel pipes. While galvanized pipes do not create chemical contaminants on their own, they are susceptible to severe corrosion which can flake off and clog taps and faucets. In some instances lead can build up inside galvanized pipes, especially if the service line into the home is or was made of lead. To be on the safe side, it is best to have all galvanized piping replaced.

Another possible water quality concern is what are known as emerging contaminants, which, if present in a home, usually occur in very low level amounts. These fall into two general categories: health effects and aesthetic effects. Emerging contaminants affecting health include detergents, pesticides, and medications. Other contaminants that don’t affect health may adversely alter water taste, odor, and/or color. Homeowners can have their water tested, or do it themselves with readily available water-testing kits, in order to detect any such contaminants. Home filtration systems are the most common means of reducing emerging contaminants. Options include faucet or pitcher filters, plumbed, or reverse-osmosis filters that treat the entire home’s water supply. Any filtration system considered should be listed as meeting national standards for reducing multiple contaminants.

Well Water Quality

While most people in North America get their water from community water systems, there are still millions who rely on well water at home. Water from a well should be tested on a regular basis. If well water coming from the tap tests high for lead, it could be that the water in the well is too acidic, which causes lead to leach from pipes and fixtures. An acid neutralizing system can usually alleviate this problem without the need to replace pipes and fixtures. Other possible well water quality problems can be avoided by making sure wells are located away from septic tanks, livestock, and pooling water

Here is what you can do next:

 

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

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Comparing Canada’s Housing Market With the High Rates of 1981

Great article in www.TheGlobeandMail.com

If George Orwell had written a dystopian novel about Canada’s housing market, it might have been called 1981.

That was the year mortgage rates reached levels that now seem like a plot of some oppressive force designed to terrify the population into submission. For several months, both one- and five-year fixed-rate mortgages were in the high teens and even, for a while, above 20 per cent.

The point of this heritage moment in personal finance is to provide some context for the cost of carrying a mortgage in today’s housing market. It was much worse back then if you use inflation-adjusted data. That simply means making 1981 dollars directly comparable to 2015 dollars, an easy trick using the Bank of Canada’s online inflation calculator.

No gloating about your greater suffering, baby boomers. You got hammered in the short term, but made out brilliantly in the housing market over subsequent decades. Today’s young buyers may just be looking at a short-term benefit in the form of low interest rates and longer-term obstacles posed by rising rates and the dampening effect they’ll have on prices.

Expressed in 2015 dollars, the national average price of a resale home back in 1981 was $198,094. If you took out a one-year mortgage back then at mid-year (that would have been the smart thing to do with interest rates so high), your rate would have been 19.75 per cent. With a down payment of 10 per cent, your monthly payments would have been $2,914.

Today’s equivalent would be $1,880 per month. That’s based on the average national price of $450,886 in May and a five-year fixed-rate mortgage rate of 2.59 per cent (with mortgage rates at rock-bottom levels, a five-year mortgage term makes more sense right now). The lesson here for home buyers is clear: Changes in interest rates have much more of an impact on affordability than changes in price.

Click here for more.

Here is what you can do next:

David Stoddard Buyer Planning Sessions

 

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.​

5 Things To Remember About Boundary Rights

Great article by Mark Weisleder (www.realestatelawyers.ca)

There is an expression that good fences make good neighbours. One qualification. Only when the fence happens to be on the correct boundary line.  Here are 5 things to remember when it comes to boundary lines:
There is a difference between a fence line and a deed line. 

If you look at a survey, there may be two lines displayed, a fence line, and a deed line. The deed line is where the boundary line SHOULD be, based on the title papers. The fence line shows where the fence is actually located. If the fence is not on the deed line, then it will typically require both a lawyer and a surveyor to determine where the boundary line should b and whether the fence can be moved.
Can you still steal someone’s land by possession?

This is called Adverse Possession and is still available today in many parts of Ontario. However, it is getting harder to prove. Since most of the land has been converted into the Land Titles System, it now will take typically at least 20 years to be able to prove that you have taken your neighbour’s land by possession. Sorry, you cannot steal land from the government, so even if you have fenced in some City land or Conservation land for 30 years, you can be asked to move the fence back if they find out.
Who owns the tree on the property line?

If the tree is on the boundary line, then both neighbours own the tree. You cannot remove the tree without the permission of both owners. You can trim the branches or the roots of your neighbour’s tree to the property line, as long as you do not harm the tree. You cannot enter your neighbour’s land to do this. If your tree falls and damages your neighbour’s property, then your neighbour will be responsible for the loss and will have to claim from their own insurance policy. Strange result but true.
Is there a law that there must be a fence on the boundary line?

Unless you have a swimming pool or your land is backing onto a public highway, there is no law saying you must have a fence. If there are disagreements between neighbours over the type of fence to build, or whether a fence needs to be rebuilt, then each City has a process to decide this. Some cities send out referees to determine who is right. The reasonable solution is just share the cost of a simple fence. If one neighbour wants a more elaborate fence, let them pay the difference.
What should you do when an argument erupts over a boundary line?

I have seen neighbours come close to physical violence over arguments about boundary lines. I have seen cases where people just take matters into their own hands, rip up the fence and build it on a different boundary line. Although the best answer is to get a new survey and work it out, that may not always be possible. Make sure you take pictures of where your fence is in advance, so if your neighbour does take it down, you can prove later where the fence should be, if the case goes to court.
Understand your boundary rights and you will be able to get along better with your neighbours.

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

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GTA Real Estate Market Report April, 2015

Record Sales in April 2015


Greater Toronto Realtors reported 11,303 residential sales through the Toronto MLS system in April 2015. The number of transactions in April represented an 17.0% increase compared to 9,660 transactions reported in April 2014.

The number of new listings reported in April were up by 5.0% compared to the same period in 2014. Active listings were 17,182 in April-down 10.1% from April 2014.

“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. That is evidenced by the strong sales growth we have experienced in Toronto and surrounding regions for all major home types. First time buyers and existing homeowners remain very active in today’s market,” said Toronto Real Estate Board President Paul Etherington.

Note: The average selling price grew on a year-over-year basis in calendar year 2014 with an 8.4% increase over calendar year 2013 to $566,726.

The average price in April was up by 10.0% from the same time last year to $635,932.

“Demand for ownership housing was very high relative to the number of homes available for sale in April. This situation is not expected to change markedly as we move through the remainder of 2015. Until we experience a sustained period in which listings grow at a faster pace than sales, annual rates of home price growth will remain strong,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analyses.

Sales of Toronto (416 area code) condominium apartments increased by 13.9% from April 2014. The average selling price of a Toronto condo increased by 5.8% from the same time last year to $407,612.


Condominium apartments accounted for 21.7% of total sales in the GTA for April 2015 while detached homes accounted for 50.3% of the total sales.

Other notable statistics include the average days on the market for April at 18 days, down 10.0%. The sales-to-listings ratio for April was 65.8% 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, 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.

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

 

 
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