PadtoPad Newsletter July 2013

posted in: Uncategorized 0

1332773382_newsIt’s Hot, but summer is finally here after a cool spring.

Below are some interesting real estate news articles over the last month that you may have missed, you can click on the title to read the article from the original source.



My favourites include:

  • 7 Tips why your home may not be selling.
  • New Mortgage Rules create “red hot” market for homes listed $999,999.
  • Bidding Wars in Hamilton?!  Hamilton’s hot as more and more Toronto home buyers flee Toronto in search of affordable housing.
  • Go Jump in the lake…. Or don’t.  Want to know which Toronto beaches are open after all this rain?
  • Tips on what to do if you’re basement flooded.
  • A parking spot in Toronto is worth more than the car you drive.


Just a reminder that the August Long weekend is 3rd to 5th this year.

Thanks for reading.


Low-Rise Market Conditions Remain Tight in June

July 4, 2013 — Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 9,061 sales through the TorontoMLS system in June 2013 – down by less than one per cent compared to June 2012. Over the same period, new listings were down by a greater rate than sales, suggesting market conditions became tighter.

“The sales picture in the GTA improved markedly in the second quarter of 2013. While the number of transactions was still down compared to 2012, rates of decline were substantially improved compared to the first quarter,” said Toronto Real Estate Board President Dianne Usher.

“As a growing number of homebuyers, many of whom put their purchase on hold due to stricter lending guidelines, now reactivate their search, the expectation is for renewed growth in home sales in the second half of 2013,” added Ms. Usher
The average selling price in June was up by 4.7 per cent year-over-year to $531,374. In line with the 2013 norm, June price growth was driven by the single-detached and semi-detached market segments, particularly in the City of Toronto. Over the same time period, average condominium apartment selling prices remained in line with 2012 levels.

“The short supply of low-rise home types in many parts of the GTA relative to the number of households looking to buy continued to prompt strong upward pressure on selling prices of singles and semis,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis. “We have also seen enough buyers in the better-supplied condo apartment market to provide support for selling prices at current levels.”

Click here to see Full Report [pdf]

Historic Annual Sales and Average Price [pdf]


How to Clean Up After a Basement Flood: Do-It-Yourself Tips

If you have live in a low-lying area, it’s likely that you’ll experience a basement flood. I’m not talking about major flooding where people are evacuated- that’s a different situation entirely. I’m talking about having standing water in your basement after a heavy rain or major thaw.

Act quickly. If you are at risk for basement flooding, check your basement often during periods of heavy rain or major thaws. The sooner you catch it, the less likely you’ll be to suffer extensive damage…. 


Bidding wars, soaring house prices hit Hamilton real estate

HAMILTON—Cathy Thomson always imagined that when she and her husband retired, they would sell their house in Oshawa and move to the big city.

They did. The City of Hamilton.

The former librarians were shocked to discover that for about half the price, $295,000, they could get everything they’d hoped to find in Toronto — a cool condo close to a burgeoning arts scene, thriving cafes, up-and-coming restaurants, and bike paths that meander along a waterfront undergoing a rebirth.

With any luck, all-day GO train service, originally slated for the 2015 PanAm Games, will arrive someday within a 10-minute walk of their new home, a soaring and sunny 1,200-square-foot condo in a beautifully converted, century-old school. 


Ottawa’s new rules creating ‘red hot’ market for homes under $999,999

The hottest new Canadian housing-market niche isn’t stacked urban townhouses or suburban condo towers, but homes of any kind priced just shy of $1-million, since federal government rules began favouring homebuyers paying in the six-figure range over bidders that break the million-dollar mark.

The market for homes under $1-million has become “red hot,” agents say, and that’s at least partly because new rules brought in by Ottawa last year make it impossible to get a loan backed by mortgage-default insurance if the property is valued in the seven figures.

The result: Bids for $999,999, or close to it, are increasingly common as even some wealthy would-be homeowners struggle to secure the necessary financing under new government rules. 


Go Jump in the lake… or don’t.

Want to know which beaches are open this weekend after all the rain. 


Ghost City: 484-488 Yonge St.

Once a fire hall, this address is best known as the one-time home of the St. Charles Tavern—one of Toronto’s most popular gay bars from the 1960s through to the late-‘80s and, as such, the target of an ignoble homophobic  Halloween tradition.

For a spot later known for fiery confrontations, perhaps it’s fitting that the clock tower above 484-488 Yonge St. originally watched over horse-drawn fire engines emerging from the building below. The structure served as Fire Hall Number Three from the early 1870s until the late 1920s; after the fire department moved around the corner to Grosvenor Street, the old hall was occupied by furniture stores, car dealers, and a cycle shop. 


The 18 most interesting homes on the planet

People can live virtually anywhere — but some do it better than others.

These beautiful, wacky, and unique living structures are a testament to human creativity and ingenuity.

From a home with an airplane on top to an innovative sundial home that heats itself, these are 18 of the most interesting houses on the planet.  [Click on title or this link to see photos]


Toronto firm Telegrams Canada still wires 20,000 messages a year

Telegrams are not dead. A Toronto firm, Telegrams Canada still wires 20,000 messages a year.

Colin Stone is used to hearing his industry pronounced dead.

So he didn’t even bother getting upset when, late last week, a news report circulated saying India’s state-run telecom company would soon send the world’s last telegram.

Stone, the operations director at Toronto-based Telegrams Canada, could have fired off telegrams to anybody who would listen and inform them that his business was stable and profitable and still sending 20,000 messages a year to customers worldwide.

Instead, he sat back and enjoyed the attention. 


400-Year-Old Skeleton Found in Backyard, Canadian Couple Charged $5,000 For Unearthing It

Finders keepers was not the case for one Canadian couple who recently discovered a 400-year-old skeleton in their backyard and were not only told they couldn’t keep their find but also charged $5,000 for unearthing it.

Ken Campbell and Nicole Sauve, of Sarnia, Ontario, said a recent fence installation led them to discover what is being labeled a historical find. Sauve, who said the duo originally believed the skeleton to be from bones of an animal, called the Ontario Provincial Police to investigate. Forensic anthropologist Michael Spence confirmed the bones were that of an aboriginal woman, reported the Toronto Star.  [Just a heads up.  This site automatically starts a side ad video that’s LOUD.  Click on the Toronto star link if you wish to avoid it.]


How to avoid a loan rejection from the bank

NEW YORK — Thousands of stunned small business owners call Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp. each week after they’re turned down for a loan. Jeff Stibel, chief executive of the business credit reporting company has a message for them: Don’t blame the bank.

Instead, he says, find out how you contributed to that rejection and start working to improve your company’s credit rating so next time, the answer will be yes. “There is so much you can do, and should do, before you need a loan,” he says. 


DIY Primers – Build a Planter Box [Video with 30 second ad in front of it]

Danielle Bryk gives us a step-by-step tutorial on building a planter box. 


Pickering airport announcement blindsides province and locals

Ontario Transportation Minister Glen Murray says he wasn’t consulted on the Pickering airport announcement. Locals complain that their voices haven’t been heard.

Plans to have planes taking off and landing at a huge new airport east of the city ran into difficulty only hours after they were announced, with local and provincial politicians complaining they hadn’t been consulted and opponents promising a new battle in the war over the Pickering lands that has been raging for more than 40 years.

Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty designated land for Toronto’s third airport — to be located in Pickering and operational by 2027 — at a hastily organized press event in Claremont Tuesday alongside at least one Ontario cabinet minister who wasn’t informed of the airport plan.

“I’m here to confirm that the uncertainty ends today,” Flaherty said. “The Harper government is moving forward with a responsible and balanced plan for the development and preservation of the Pickering lands.” 


Top 5 Friday: Get Ready to Sell [5 Tips when getting ready to sell your home.]

To stage or not to stage?  And if you do stage, do you admit to it? Submitting to this relatively new whim of real estate agents (do you think your parent’s ever staged their home?) somehow implies that the home you’ve been living in quite comfortably isn’t actually good enough for everyone else. The truth of the matter is that we can all learn a little something from professional home stagers. The good news is that many of these things are easy to do and budget-friendly to boot! 


Mimico waterfront plan fails to meet sky-high expectations

The plan heading to Toronto city council isn’t the “perfect vision” residents and developers in southern Etobicoke were promised.

xpectations couldn’t have been higher in Mimico in 2005, when Councillor Mark Grimes jump-started an ambitious effort to unlock the potential of southern Etobicoke’s long-neglected waterfront.

Preliminary meetings with residents, city staff and developers set the stage for what he dubbed “Project 20/20 — A Perfect Vision for our Community.” The lofty goal: To create a blueprint for revitalization that everyone could get behind.

After nearly a decade, the policy framework intended to guide Mimico’s transformation over the next 20 years could soon be in place. Last Tuesday, the Mimico-by-the-lake Secondary Plan passed at Etobicoke York Community Council. It’s expected to go to Toronto city hall for approval in July. 


Pre-approved financing may not be enough for home purchase

If you waive financing condition in your offer to purchase house or condo, you are in trouble if lender says you bid too high.

Many buyers get pre-qualified for financing before they start looking for a home. This means that they find out in advance the maximum amount that a lender will provide to them based on their income. The mistake is thinking that no matter what home you buy, the lender will just give you the money you need, provided that it is within your approval limit.

Buyers need to realize that just because a lender pre-approves you does not mean they will lend you all the money. The property you buy must, in the lender’s opinion, be worth what you paid for it. 

[Note:  Some of the Big Banks do not due their due diligence until a week before you move in.  Not three months ago when you bought the house.  Always double check with your lender before submitting an offer with or without a financing condition.]



Why’s that house blurred out on Google Street View?

[Don’t like the Google street view of your house? Well you don’t have to be Dick Cheney to have it scrubbed out]

Some things, Google Street View hides automatically, and in great numbers: people’s faces, for one, and the licence plates of whatever they drive, for another. (The company, whosemission is to “organize the world’s information,” doesn’t always get it quite right.) But on Brock Avenue, as the street cuts through Little Portugal, there’s something blurred out that usually isn’t: a whole house. 


What’s with the premium on city parking?

Fewer parking spaces are being provided in new condos, which means parking is far too expensive now to be just “nice to have.”

Owning a car can be expensive: There’s the cost of the purchase or lease, financing, insurance, gas, and ongoing maintenance. (Your mechanic probably isn’t looking to save you any money, either.) Being a city driver gets even more pricey when you consider the sky-high value put on parking spaces in condos and on freehold properties.

When I meet with a prospective client for the first time, particularly a condo buyer, one thing I ask them right off the bat is, “Do you need parking?” This has become a blunt “yes” or “no.” People can no longer afford to say, “Well…I’d like to have a space, just in case.” Toronto parking is far too expensive now to be just “nice to have.” 


7 reasons your house may not be selling

Here are some of the common mistakes people make when putting their home up for sale.

Selling a home isn’t as simple as planting a sign in the ground any more. It involves preparation, timing and strategic advice. If you don’t do all of the above, do not be surprised when your home does not sell while others in the area are doing so.

Here are some common mistakes… 


Proposed Walmart near Kensington Market has residents fuming

Real estate trust Rio-Can wants to build a retail complex containing a Walmart on Bathurst St. Area residents vow “huge battle” to stop that from happening.

It’s a retail drama that’s playing out across the continent: big box stores show up on the outskirts of town and mom and pop shops bitterly shutter their doors.

But what happens when the big stores try to move in downtown?

RioCan, the country’s largest real estate investment trust, has submitted plans to the city to build a three-storey retail complex downtown, just past the western fringe of Kensington Market.

If approved, it would house the mother of all discount retailers, the archetypal box store: Walmart.