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The Value of Property
Posted on Tue, 30 Aug 2016, 02:55:00 PM  in Real Estate Market
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Sturdier Homes

Many places in Canada see extremely harsh winters. Houses that have stood the test of time have value in more than just location and amenities. They've also accrued historical value, as well as utility. A house that can survive a subzero winter for decades while remaining functional has exceptional sturdiness to it. That said, these houses aren't always properly represented by the market. Right now, China has been fostering a false bubble in Canada. Though predictions have been against the bubble's growth for the last several years, as of August, 2016, it has yet to burst. How this has been done is through foreign purchases of luxury properties. This kind of buying has facilitated an up-spike in property values.

Canadian Debt

property valueCurrently, Canadians are spending more than they make. There is substantial debt, and the housing bubble has pushed credit expansion to the furthest limit. As a result, the cost of homes today and their actual value aren't going to be equivalent. Some properties which are of exceptional value will be passed over because of their location, while newly-built subdivisions may boast outlandish prices, but never be filled with home owners. Indeed, as the bubble becomes undone, there will be a ubiquity of empty subdivisions priced unrealistically in Canada. When the bubble finally bursts, it will totally reshape the market.

Profiting in a "Down" Market

Excessive debt causes foreclosing and a ubiquity of apartment rental. There are going to be a lot of people that need a place to stay when the bubble bursts, but can't afford anything expensive, and certainly cannot afford to buy a house. Getting in now and buying up an inexpensive property with four or more bedrooms could be a great way to capitalize on this. Subletting (where legal in your community) can allow you to pay off your own mortgage incredibly fast. Imagine if your mortgage is $2000 a month, and you're able to take on four renters at $800 a month. You also pay about that much. Well now you're paying double the mortgage every month. On a $100,000 house just outside of town, you could have the property paid off from zero in two years and one month, depending on your APR. In such a case it would be wise to plan for about three years.

Anticipation

The key to profiting when a bubble bursts is to anticipate where the fallout is going to strike. If you're in a market that has appreciated wildly, selling immediately could make you a boatload of cash that can be turned into an even better property after the bubble bursts and prices plummet. Pay attention to the market, and plan ahead of it. They're saying the crash is imminent right now. But they've been saying the exact same thing since 2014. The fact is, market indicators are not the same as market predictors. Indicators can point to a good or bad market and turn up wrong every time. While there are many indicators which point toward a declination in Canadian real estate, as yet concrete predictors are not known--though China's stance on the issue, and their deliberate facilitation of the bubble, do point toward market collapse sometime in the near future.

Only Take Sustainable Risks

Whatever you do, be careful. In the real estate market, you've got to pay to play; but that doesn't mean going all in on your first hand, or even subsequent hands. In poker, the best players never go all in until the end of the game. In real estate, the stakes are so much higher. Know your market, and be ready to move when the time comes.


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What to Look for in an Investment Rental Property
Posted on Sat, 30 Jul 2016, 03:35:00 PM  in Home selling tips,  Real Estate Market
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When you look at rental homes for sale, you might look at dozens of properties with your agent without knowing what you should look for or what home is best for your needs. While you may have an idea in mind about whether you prefer a home for one family or multiple families, you may have no clue what you need. You may also focus more on your own likes and preferences than what tenants would like. Before looking at another rental home, check out a simple list of what to look for in a rental property.

Size and Space

One thing you need to focus on is the overall size of that house and the space available. Depending on the city where you buy, you may find that homes are extremely close together and that homes have tiny yards. Other cities offer more space between neighboring houses and larger yards. Keep in mind that the amount of available space may determine the type of tenants interested in renting that home. A couple with two small children won't like a house that has no backyard and small bedrooms.

Neighborhood Specs

Taking a short drive through the neighborhood surrounding that house is the best way to get a feel for that area and to learn more about the neighborhood in general. When tenants come to look at that house, they'll ask you questions about the school district, whether there are any parks nearby and whether the neighborhood is safe. Though you can find cheap homes in some neighborhoods that cost as little as $10,000 or less, you might have a difficult time finding tenants or finding tenants willing to stick around and renew their leases.

rental-investmentUnique Features

One or more unique features can make a house more appealing to tenants and get you more money too. Look at comps for the neighborhood before looking at houses. You can then compare the features found on traditional homes nearby to the features found on the home you want to buy. Features on rental homes that tenants like include a large fenced-in backyard, ample parking on the street, a large garage with its own garage door opener and a large front or side porch. You can also highlight other features like a walk-in closet or en suite bathroom in the master bedroom or built-in shelving in the living room.

Overall Condition

A turnkey property is one that you can turnover almost as soon as you buy it. If you buy a rental home that is in great condition, you can often advertise that property for rent and find tenants less than a month after becoming the new owner. If, however, you buy a house that needs a significant amount of work, it might take months before you even start looking for renters. Homes that are in poor or bad condition will require more money upfront, which cuts into your overall profits.

Current Residents

As you look at rental homes, give some thought to the current residents living there too. Talking with them or seeing how they act can tell you a lot about that property. You can easily see if they are the type of people who take care of regular maintenance and keep the home in good shape, or if they are the type of people who will spray paint the walls and leave behind mountains of trash that you need to remove later.

Buying a rental home requires more than just finding a house that is in good condition. You also need to look at the current residents, the surrounding neighborhood, the space available and any unique features it has.


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Tips for Summer Showings
Posted on Fri, 15 Jul 2016, 03:20:00 PM  in Home selling tips,  Real Estate Market
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Rising temperatures mean rising home sales! Whether you’re just putting your home on the market or it has been sitting there a while, follow these easy and affordable tips to have your home ready for summer showings.

Manage the Thermostat

Use a programmable thermostat to ensure the inside temperature is around 23 degrees Celsius (75 degrees Fahrenheit) during showings. This will leave your home cool and comfortable for potential buyers, but not use excessive energy while the home is vacant. If you've already moved out of the home, consider a Wi-Fi-enabled “smart” thermostat that will allow you to adjust the temperature specifically during scheduled showing times.

Keep Up With Curb Appeal

Maintaining a yard can be difficult work, but you’ll want your buyers to believe the beauty is effortless. Continue a regular lawn-mowing schedule to keep weeds at bay. If you’re unable to do it yourself, hire a service or find a teenager in the neighborhood who wants to make some extra money each week. In drier weather, run your sprinkler or sprinkler system a little each morning to keep the grass lush and green. Consider adding some color to your path or front steps with hardy annual flowers. Trim bushes and trees so that your house is visible from the street and plenty of natural light shines through the windows inside.

summerEasy Sweat Equity

Was that rosy-colored front door once a vibrant red? Is the siding on the back of the house supposed to be white? Freshening up painted items such as doors, shutters, railings, and mailboxes can be relatively inexpensive but can produce substantial results. Use a house-washing product or some elbow grease to scrub your siding if it hasn’t been cleaned in a while. Make the home look fresh and clean instead of old and dated.

Highlight Outdoor Living Spaces

If you have a deck or patio, stage the area so that potential buyers see the space as another room on the house. Use outdoor furniture, cushions, and accessories to make the space inviting and to give the buyer an idea of what it would be like to entertain in the space. Hide items like air conditioners or gutters behind bushy plants. Be sure to open curtains inside the house so that buyers walking through can see and appreciate this extra outdoor space.

Have Photos Updated

If your home has been on the market for a while, it’s possible that buyers are still seeing photos of your home with snow. Ask your Realtor if it would be beneficial to have your outdoor photos updated to highlight how the property looks today.

Every Showing Counts

When you first put your home on the market, you will probably make sure it is perfectly staged and clean from top to bottom. You will quickly realize that preparing for each showing can take a lot of time and energy, and it can be hard to muster that dedication every day. The truth is, however, it’s important to treat every showing as if it were your first. You never know when the right buyer is going to walk through the door. Create a showing plan and stick to it every time. If you’re planning to go on vacation, prepare your home accordingly and notify your Realtor so that she can open your home for showings all day while you’re gone.

Many home buyers are eager to finalize purchases soon in order to close and be settled before school begins. Use these tips to take advantage of summer’s beautiful backdrop and to present your home in the best light to the most potential buyers.


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Buying a home for a young family
Posted on Fri, 15 Apr 2016, 10:50:00 AM  in Home buying tips,  My services,  Real Estate Market
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Moving out of a rented house to your house is one of the greatest achievements in life. In Canada, there are several young families owning their first home. Most of these have one or two kids less than eighteen years. 

If this describes you and you are buying a family home, it is important to consider convenience and safety in your buying process. Most serious accidents happen at home when fixture, features, and fittings are not safe for kids. Here are a few tips to ensure safety. 


Look for a kid-friendly floor plan If you have small kids, it is good to keep an eye on them all the time. Avoid buying homes with a main-floor master plan. An open floor plan house would be the best. Moreover, look at the steepness of the stairs from your garage to the main house especially if you have to carry your kids from the garage. Lastly, consider the indoor play area. There should be enough space for kids to play with toys especially in cold weather. Size up the youngfamilyyard Your kids need to play outside and enjoy the sunshine. Do not overlook this need. Look for a home with a safe yard that is large enough for your kids to play on it. You may find a home with a large deck that can be used as a play area. However, if you have very small children, the deck may be too dangerous for them. On the flip-side, a yard will cost you much more to maintain. However, you could use a nearby playground if your children are big enough to play there. Where are the bedrooms located? 


There are different house designs with some having bedrooms on one floor, others on different floors and yet others with some bedrooms in the basements. If the master bedroom is on the top floor and the other bedrooms on the ground floor, be contended with frequent climbing and down the stairs at night to check the children. This setup may be good for a family with teenage children as it is advisable to separate the bedrooms. Interior safety, Find ways to keep areas such as the pool from children. Moreover, look at low hanging lights, piping and similar fixtures. In the same breath, check on the safety of the stairs, and the bathroom. Try to buy a house that is safe or one that you can modify to enhance its safety. How is your neighborhood? 


You may make a few renovations to your house, but you cannot change the neighborhood. Thus, choose the location carefully. Pay a visit to the prospective home with your family and ask them to give their views about the place. Moreover, look at the cleanliness, security, the condition of access roads and availability of utilities such as water and electricity. Look for the safety of your kids and the overall comfort of the whole area. See if the roads nearby are too dangerous to cross if your kid decided to head to the stores. Is there any place that you can jog or ride a bike should you decide to keep healthy? Find out if there are very noisy nightclubs within your vicinity. It is also good to find out if there are other families in the area. How far are public amenities from the home? Look for groceries, stores, schools hospitals and the like. The nearer they are to the home the better. You may also look at the location of parks and other places of interest where you can spend time with your family.

 


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Lawrence Park Real Estate
Posted on Sat, 12 Mar 2016, 08:30:00 PM  in Real Estate Market
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Lawrence Park South – Where Homes Move!

Rodica Iliescu, Broker, Remax All Stars Realty Inc

 

One of the trendiest sayings in real estate these days is “location, location, location!” Clearly, when buying a home you want accessibility to many amenities, but still retain a quality of life in a friendly, clean neighbourhood.

 

Lawrence Park South is a prime example of this. Ranked as the wealthiest neighbourhood in all of Canada in 2011, as well as highest overall on characteristics such as healthcare, education, walkability, and parks, it’s little wonder that when houses come up for sale, they get snatched up quickly.

 

In 2015, 145 homes sold in our area. That’s a decrease of 4% compared to the previous year, but with house prices increasing in 2015, as well as properties spending less time on the market, this minor variance in activity can be negated.

 

On average, houses in Lawrence Park South were listed for seven days before selling. The shortest time on the market was just one day – a matter of hours between listing and sale!

 

The average sale price in 2015 was just over $2,000,000, and the highest “above the asking” price was 130% above the list.

 

Clearly, this is a neighbourhood where people want to live!

 

As we all know, it’s been a seller’s market for several years, and because we live in a highly desired area that has a shortage of available homes, we can expect these positive selling trends to continue.

 

The demand for houses in Lawrence Park South isn’t just confined to one or two small pockets either. Houses sold in 2015 were spread evenly over the area, including Mt. Pleasant Road, Wanless Crescent, Buckingham Avenue, Cheltenham Avenue, Rochester Avenue, St. Leonard’s Avenue,

Weybourne Crescent, Dinnick Crescent, Lawrence Crescent, Dawlish Avenue, Glengowan Road, Strathgowan Avenue, and Glengrove Avenue East.

 

With its beautiful homes, village atmosphere, and host of shopping, dining, and parks to enjoy, Lawrence Park South is definitely a high-value neighbourhood where real estate will always be in demand.

 

For more information please contact Rodica at 647-204-4663 or via email at Rodica@rodicas.com

 

 

 

 

 

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Easy ideas for spare rooms
Posted on Mon, 29 Feb 2016, 12:10:00 PM  in Home selling tips,  My services,  Real Estate Market
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Spare rooms are opportunities to expand living space and add function to any home. They can be the place where the desire to mix metallic blue and deep sea gray come together. It can be a place to express nostalgia for art deco designed furniture, and to display collectibles or object d' árt gathered from travels around the country. Spare rooms can be places to express what one does not in the rest of the home, it is a room that fulfills a need to create. 

 

Always Ready for Guests
A daybed in some brilliant tones, a few side pieces, and a mirror can make a spare room a waiting mini-suite for guests. There is something about having a place for company that makes it so easy to issue weekend invites. But in the unoccupied days, the spare room need not sit idle. The small book collection that one intended to read over the years can find a productive home, and the daybed can be a favorite place to relax with a book. A small music system, such as one that permits private listening, can complete a very nice reading area. Habits can be reinforcing, whether positive or otherwise. A reading area can help break that cycle if buying books that later serve to gather lots of dust and small amounts of guilt. 

Multi-Purpose Areas
A room can serve a number of purposes and for more than one person. Space can double as a work area for an adult and a play area for a child. Such ideascombinations can be beneficial such as letting an adult share time and space with a child while also pursuing a hobby or interest. It can be as easy as putting some play mats and a large toy box in the same room as the sewing center, scrapbooking area, or fishing tackle table.

Preserving Open Space
Feng shui styles have the advantage of the spare use of furnishings and allowing open space to shape the contours of a living space. This is just one way of using open space in a spare room and simple effects that bring out themes. One excellent way of using a room and keeping open space is to use plants and table fountains. One can use these and other things that can fill a room with a relaxing presence and pleasant sound. One can enjoy a room while moving through it, sensing aromas from leaves, and enjoying the unique feeling of unfettered space. 

Self Improvement
Spare rooms make great places to do things that one has wanted but never achieved. For some people it is the magic of yoga and meditation that helps the brain reset and improves the outlook. It is probably true that one does not need a specially dedicated space to do Yoga or to meditate, but for many people setting a space is an important step in getting something done. Meditation requires focus, and quiet place is a helpful environment. The spare room can be the place where one's personal energy gets a rebirth, and the overall direction of life can change for the better.

Dramatic Effect
A spare room can be a place for things we simply love to do to indulge ourselves. It can be a spa with a hot tub or a cedar paneled Swedish sauna. It can be a room filled with art, photos, and favorite movie posters or souvenirs from live stage shows. Sometimes the best way to celebrate the past is with the souvenirs and relics we keep.

 


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Budgeting Strategies For The New Homeowner
Posted on Thu, 21 Jan 2016, 02:20:00 PM  in Home buying tips,  My services,  Real Estate Market
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Moving into your first, new home can be a very exciting experience. In order to successfully preserve your investment throughout the years, however, you'll have to remain diligent in your budgeting and overall financial planning. Adjusting to ownership costs can be challenging but it doesn't have to be overwhelming. Following are several tips that you can use to ensure overall well-being as you take on a host of new responsibilities.


Limit Your Maintenance Costs With A Home Warranty
As a new homeowner, ongoing maintenance is among one of the most considerable overhead expenses that you'll likely take on. Not only will you be responsible for preserving the aesthetic appeal of the property exterior, but you'll also have to address the various signs of wear and tear that are likely to rear their heads as your property settles and endures consistent use. Fortunately, you can minimise the costs of unexpected repairs and events by investing in a comprehensive home warranty. Warranty agreements can be structured to cover any repairs that your home insurance plan will not, including issues with major home appliances. Although you'll pay an upfront fee to bind one of these agreements, warranties can significantly lower your out-of-pocket spending over time.check

Take Advantage Of Your Builder's Warranty
Much like any other product that you invest in, your home will come with a built-in guarantee of its own that's issued by your builder. If it is suitably comprehensive, this can take the place of a third-party warrant or effectively supplement it. Take some time to read up on your builder's warranty agreement in order to get a clear understanding of the features that are covered and the length of time that this coverage will last. Builders may be willing to deal with the minor chips and cracks that are caused by settlement issues. They can also cover any early signs of wear and tear on your new paint, flooring and kitchen and bathroom fixtures. Major features such as the foundation and roof will likely be warranted a bit longer. Thus, before you pick up your phone and schedule repairs or pay for outside, extended protections, find out whether or not you can have your builder handle your repair issues instead.

Control Your Utility Costs
If you've spent a considerable amount of time as a renter, adjusting to the full costs of home utilities will take time. You will have more space to heat up and cool down and far greater electrical needs. Explain this change to the entire family and get everyone on board with a strategic, energy-savings plan. This can be as simple as turning lights off in rooms that aren't being used and keeping thermostats set at moderate levels year-round. It is far cheaper to don a sweater or take one off than it is to constantly adjust the thermostat in order to create the ideal climate indoors.

Don't Rush To Furnish Your New Home
People often make the mistake of rushing to buy new furnishings, even before their mortgage loans have been approved. During the final stages of the purchasing process, try to limit your shopping to window shopping alone. Dramatic changes in you debt-to-income ratio could make your lender rethink the loan amount that's been approved. Remember, nothing is absolutely set in stone until your application is actually being processed by the underwriter. Rather than financing new sofas, bedroom sets and dining tables, start looking around for quality items that you can gradually collect over time. Even after your purchase has been finalised, you'll want to give yourself a few months to adapt to your new living costs before taking additional expenses on.

 


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Bridle Path Real Estate
Posted on Sun, 15 Nov 2015, 01:15:00 PM  in Real Estate Market,  Neighbourhood Info
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                                               Bridle Path

 

                                                                                    Bridle Path

Bridle Path is the most affluent neighborhood in Canada, with stunning mansions throughout the area it is an easily distinguished neighborhood. Often referred to as “Millionaires Row”, the multi-million dollar properties are located on lot sizes that are 2 to 4 acres large, 8,000 to 16,000 m˛. The average household income of $657,613 and the average house price exceeds well over one million dollars.

Bordering streets of the area include The Bridle Path on the north, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre on the south, Bayview Avenue on the west and Wilket Creek on the east. Surrounding the area is the Don River Valley with lush parks and conservation. The name “Bridle Path” is in fact the name of a road in the area; however this name is generally applied to the area as a whole.

Very few roads pass through the area, which contributes to the area’s exclusive nature. The Bridle Path has been home to prominent Toronto business people, famous celebrities and established doctors. Just to name a few home owners that have owned properties here, Moses Znaimer, Celine Dion, Robert Herjavec, Conrad Black, Prince and Stanley Ho. Property value goes up in this area, as a house purchased back in year 1987 for $5.5 million is currently worth in year 2015 $27 million.

Most homes in are situation on one to six-acre lot sizes. Most residential development took place in the years of the 1930’s, 1950’s and 1960’s. The most popular styles of houses are Georgian, Greek, Italianate, Neo Gothic, Modernist, Tudor Revival and French Chateau style. These houses include luxurious features such as outdoor and indoor pools, tennis courts, greenhouses and fountains, personal gyms and home theatres. Elaborate high security systems are also common inside the house properties as well as along the streets.

 

 

 

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2015 Real Estate Market Update
Posted on Wed, 07 Jan 2015, 09:40:42 AM  in Real Estate Market
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As the first month of 2015 gets underway, economists and realtors are a bit less than optimistic about what this year has in store for the Canadian real estate market.

Although the 2014 real estate market boomed with many home sales, the Bank of Canada has estimated that the price of houses in the Canadian market are overvalued by 10 to 30 percent. Despite this home value inflation, the 2014 Real Estate Market saw an increase in sales due to low mortgage rates. A poll for the Bloomberg Nanos Canadian COnfidence Index suggests that the real estate market is about to slow down dramatically due to a negative outlook towards personal finances, job security, and the future of the economy. 

 

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Coupled with the decreasing price of oil (Canada's largest export), a slow 2015 real estate market has potential to do some damage to the Canadian economy. Not only are oil and real estate prices working together to harm the economy, the drop in oil prices has brought the housing market down with it. Since Canada's economy is reliant on oil sales, economists have predicted a poor future for the country. The first week of 2015 has already come with the Toronto Stock Exchange experiencing a major triple digit decrease. Without strong oil sales to support the Canadian economy, there will be far less jobs to go around. Because of this, many Canadians fear losing their jobs and current assets. Without a positive economic outlook, most people will not take the risk of buying a home in the current real estate market. This has caused both real estate professionals and consumers to be cautious about sales. As a result, only 31 percent of Canadians expect the price of houses to continue to rise.

Aside from surveys and projections, there is already some tangible evidence that suggests a decline in the Canadian real estate market. Real estate firm Households in the Prairies has already experienced major losses as a result of the pessimistic economic outlook. In early 2014, Households in the Prairies has some of the most optimistic expectations in the entire Canadian real estate market. Now, the real estate firm's expectations are lower than the normal modest expectations of the Atlantic provinces. 

Home sales in oil producing provinces are also expected to decrease. This is directly related to the lowered price of oil and job cuts. As the entire price of oil gets cheaper, people are less likely to move into the oil producing provinces due to a lack of jobs in other industries.

It is currently uncertain as to how much the real estate market will plunge in 2015, but it is clear that it will not rebound until Canada adjusts to the changing economic landscape in the oil industry.

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