November Newsletter

posted in: Buyers, Sellers 0

Well, it’s been a very busy six weeks for me and this newsletter is late.

The Fall and the Spring are typical my busiest times of the year and this Fall has proven so again.  Over the last six weeks, I’ve helped a long term client and friend purchase a condo, another couple their first house, a lease for a new client and his family, and a commercial space for business.

This is the Condo I helped my friend purchase for just over $200,000.

It is a one bedroom, 800 square foot condo, with parking and a locker on the Subway line at Victoria Park and Danforth. The condo fees are less than $500 and they include all the utilities – amenities include a “real” swimming pool, gym, billiard room, sauna… there’s also a bike locker.

We had been watching the building for a few months waiting for a one bedroom unit to pop, and when two units came up we jumped on both of them.

My Client is excited about owning his first home.

In a city littered with new condo buildings at half the square footage and twice our purchase price with no parking; this building is an example of one of the few gems in the city of older condo buildings that a larger, affordable and still on the subway line.

Newer Condos are well… newer, with granite counters and fancy lighting, but quite of few of them are in areas of the city where there is limited commercial & civic development, and access to the TTC can be tricky. Think of everything south of the Lakeshore.

Victoria Park and Danforth is a high density area with Multiple Grocery stores such as Loblaws and Metro. Smaller green grocers, an LCBO and Beer Store, all with in a 5 minute walk. A longer 30 minute walk during the summer will take you all way down to the Beaches.

This is the second condo I’ve helped one of my clients purchase for less, with twice the space of something newer.

This is the home I helped my friends purchase this month.
It is a three bedroom, semi-detached house on the Subway line near Woodbine and Danforth.

They won it over three other offers for less than $475,000.
My clients were trilled as it is the area they knew and wanted to live in.

There are homes in Toronto that don’t require a million dollars to purchase or will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in renovations to make livable.

In a city where the media makes you believe you need a $100 grand to buy a garage; there are good homes available for less than you would think.

This is the fourth home I’ve helped one of my clients purchase for less than then the average price of the area.

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:


TorontoMLS Home Sales Up Annually in October

November 6, 2013 — Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 8,000 home sales through the TorontoMLS system in October 2013 – up from 6,713 transactions reported in October 2012. Over the same period, new listings on the TorontoMLS system were down.

“The GTA home ownership market has been broadly characterized by a rebound in sales since the summer. Market conditions have been tighter in some market segments more so than others. Ground-oriented homes listed for below one million dollars in some areas of the GTA have been especially popular with buyers, while listings for these home types have been constrained,” said Toronto Real Estate Board President Dianne Usher.

“The supply of listings for many home types and price points has either been down yearover- year or at least not up by the same annual rate as sales. The additional Land Transfer Tax in the City of Toronto and the removal of the government guarantee on high ratio mortgages for home purchases over one million dollars have arguably led many homeowners not to list,” continued Ms. Usher.

The average selling price for TorontoMLS sales in October 2013 was $539,058– up by more than seven per cent in comparison to the average price of $502,127 in October 2012. The MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI) Composite Benchmark was up by 4.5 per cent year-overyear.

“Growth in the average selling price and the MLS® HPI Composite Benchmark will continue through 2014. Inventory levels for ground-oriented home types will be low from a historic perspective and home ownership demand will stay strong as affordability remains in check due to the continuation of accommodative borrowing costs,” said Jason Mercer, the Toronto Real Estate Board’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis.

Click here to see Full Report [pdf]

Historic Annual Sales and Average Price [pdf]



GTA home sales rise in October: Study

GTA home sales remained strong in October, with sales up more than 19 per cent over the same period last year and prices up more than 7 per cent, according to figures released by the Toronto Real Estate Board Wednesday.

The average sale price of a home hit $539,058 last month, up from $502,127 in October of 2012. The composite benchmark — which factors out extremes in the market, such as a spike in high-end home sales — was up 4.5 per cent year over year, says TREB.

That growth is expected to continue through 2014, because the inventory of homes being listed for sale remains unusually low, along with interest rates, says Jason Mercer, the real estate board’s senior manager of market analysis.


How much does a street cost (in Toronto)

For other cities, order comes easily. Washington, D.C. was built all at once on the Potomac River to the specifications of the 1791 L’Enfant Plan; a half-century later, Paris was gutted and remade, top to bottom, per Georges-Eugène Haussmann’s instructions. Things in Toronto have always been a little less tidy—instead, we’ve got “messy urbanism,” as American urban planner James Rojas has called in. Take the intersection of St. Clair Avenue West and Vaughan Road, which is among the messiest: St. Clair is wide, long, cut in two by a streetcar right-of-way, and follows a straightforward grid, while Vaughan is narrow, short, and hits on the diagonal as it chases a slithering ravine. In a city where there’s no such thing as a typical intersection, though, this one might just count as normal. Click here to see how much it takes to put together.


Condo Culture: Locked out for arrears? Threatened with worse? Know your rights on missed fee payments

Q: My brother was recently locked out of his condo by the board of directors/management because of his late condo-fee payment. They finally allowed him back in his condo but gave him a warning that next time the locks would be changed. Is this legal procedure to lock owners out over a late condo-fee payment?

A: It appears that the board of directors at your brother’s condo corporation took inappropriate steps to collect a late condo fee. Under no circumstances is it legal for a board of directors or management to lock your brother out of his condo due to a late payment.


The eight-room, 420-square-foot studio apartment [Video]

Four hundred and twenty square feet isn’t a ton of space, so the notion that an apartment that size could be any more than a one-bedroom seems a little far fetched. Well, guess what? New York entrepreneur Graham Hill found a way to pack eight rooms into that small an area by designing his Soho studio as a transforming space.

“The living room and office become the bedroom with a tug of a bookshelf,” explains a post on “Open one of the closets and you’ll find 10 stackable chairs that go around a telescopic dining table for large dinner parties. An entire guest room with bunk-beds and a closet is revealed behind a wall that slides out on tracks. And of course, a well-equipped kitchen and bathroom await.”

Take the tiny tour of Hill’s ultra-efficient home above.


GTA housing buoyed by parents helping young buyers

Toronto mortgage broker Jake Abramowicz sees so many first-time homebuyers armed with major money from Mom and Dad, he actually has a little pep talk for those going it on their own.

“I tell them: You guys are really doing something special. It’s really hard to pay rent in Toronto, pay off student loans and save money for a down payment for a home. You should be very proud of yourself.”


20 Amazing Converted Homes [Photos]

See how architects converted abandoned barns, empty water towers, and even a cow stable, into gorgeous, award-winning homes.


The ghost of Christie Mansion — the grisly story of a Toronto cookie baron’s secret mistress

Mr. Christie first came to Toronto in 1848. He was still a teenager back then, but he had already spent a few years as an apprentice to a baker back home in Scotland. When he arrived in Canada, he got a job working at a bakery on Yonge near Davisville. He’d spend his nights baking bread and in the mornings he would push a handcart down into the nearby village of Yorkville — still its own municipality back then — to sell his goods.

hings went well. Within a few years, he owned his own company. He partnered with his old boss and started winning awards for his cookies. In 1860, when he just was 30 years old, Mr. Christie already employed a staff of five people baking by hand. From there, the business expanded quickly. By 1874, the steam-powered Christie, Brown and Company factory took up an entire city block. (The building is still there between King and Adelaide a block east of Jarvis; now it’s part of George Brown College.) The business kept right on growing. By the time the 1800s drew to a close, Mr. Christie employed two out of every three people in the entire Canadian biscuit manufacturing industry.


How the 21st century put the Block Parent program into decline

The iconic red and white Block Parent sign of a boy holding a woman’s hand – not his mom’s, but a helpful neighbour’s – was a ubiquitous feature of neighbourhoods across Canada only a decade ago.

But the children’s-help program, founded after the abduction and murder of a boy in London, Ont., 45 years ago this month, is now in trouble itself.


5 things a real estate agent won’t tell you

Most people use a real estate professional when buying or selling a home. It is important to understand everything about the services that they provide, before you sign or agree to anything.

Here are five important things to know:


99 Life Hacks That Could Make Your Life Easier [Photos]

Inventive ways to make tasks at home simpler with items that surround you every day.


Exile on Queen Street

As vacant storefronts abound, has Queen West’s reputation as a hip retail hub outpaced what the market can actually bear?

In fact, the front door of her Shaw Street semi stays unlocked and slightly ajar during the day. A purple welcome sign leans against the railing of the home’s front porch, out of plain sight.

Inside, Carpenter designs dresses for her company, Peach Berserk. But the space looks less like that of a dressmaker and more like that of a frenzied collector: Paintings grace every inch of available wall space (she owns 500 in total), books are stacked in a haphazard pile on a nearby bookshelf and a stick of deodorant sits atop a green sewing machine.

The sewing machine, it seems, is the only remnant of Carpenter’s past as a retail guru. Since the late ’80s, the 51-year-old ruled Queen West in her own shop. But last spring, she moved out and began running the business out of her home—a far cry from the eye-catching storefront she once leased at Queen and Augusta.


What’s hiding inside 616 Richmond St.W.?

Even amid the mismatched block of rickety row-houses and beat-up cottages that flank Richmond Street West near Bathurst, there’s one building that still looks out of place. More shed than house, its windowless two-storey shroud of drab steel siding faces a concrete front yard pockmarked with crotch-level weeds.


10 of the smallest homes in the world [Photos]

From energy expenditure to building materials, living in a smaller house is one of the best ways to reduce your ecological footprint. Giving up the luxury of space and living more minimally isn’t always easy, but it does come with a few perks: fewer possessions, bigger skies and open spaces! Plus, a smaller house makes it easier to cozy up to your loved ones. Here’s a reminder that bigger isn’t always better: 10 of the tiniest homes in the world.