October Newsletter

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1332773382_news“…I rose at dawn from the bed of perfect health, refresh’d, singing, inhaling the ripe breath of autumn,”

When I Heard at the Close of the Day

I love the autumn.

Yeah, I’m that guy.  I like the pretty colours.   I think of Walt Whitman poems.  I like having a beer in autumn evening.

I hope you and your family are enjoying this time of the year too.

I have some very exciting news to share.  I will be co-hosting a First Time Home Buyer Seminar at the Emmet Ray (924 College St.), on October 6th from 1 to 3 pm.  It will be a great afternoon with information on the necessary steps to take to put you in the position of buying your first home.

There’s so much you need to know before making the big decision and this seminar will aim to answer all your questions.  Joining me will be Erin Kouvertaris from Dominion Lending to help answer any lending and Mortgage questions you may have.

If you are thinking of buying but don’t know where to start come by on Sunday.

For more information please this link

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:


Just a reminder that Thanksgiving is October 14th with turkey soup the rest of week.

Thanks for reading.


Strong Sales and Price Growth in September

October 3, 2013 — Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 7,411 residential sales through the TorontoMLS system in September 2013, representing a 30 per cent increase compared to 5,687 transactions reported in September 2012. Year-to-date, total residential sales reported through TorontoMLS amounted to 68,907 during the first nine months of 2013 – down by one per cent compared to the same period in 2012.

“It’s great news that households have found that the costs of home ownership, including mortgage payments, remain affordable. This is why the third quarter was characterized by renewed growth in home sales in the GTA. We expect to see sales up for the remainder of 2013, as the pent-up demand that resulted from stricter mortgage lending guidelines continues to be satisfied,” said Toronto Real Estate Board President Dianne Usher.

The average selling price for September transactions was $533,797 – up by 6.5 per cent year-over-year. Through the first three quarters of 2013, the average selling price was $520,118 – up by over four per cent compared to the first nine months of 2012.

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark for September was up by four per cent year-over-year. The annual rate of growth for the composite benchmark has been accelerating since the spring of 2013.

“The price growth story in September continued to be about strong demand for low-rise home types, coupled with a short supply of listings. Even with slower price growth and month-to-month volatility in the condo apartment market, overall annual price growth has
been well above the rate of inflation this year. This scenario will continue to play out through the remainder of 2013,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis.

Click here to see Full Report [pdf]

Historic Annual Sales and Average Price [pdf]


GTA home sales skyrocket 29 per cent in mid-September

House sales skyrocketed by 29 per cent year over year across the GTA as of mid-September, with the highly watched condo sector leading the way, according to figures released by the Toronto Real Estate Board Tuesday.

Condo sales were up 36 per cent across the GTA – 42.6 per cent in the City of Toronto – with prices up 2.4 per cent over mid-September of 2012, spurred on largely by recent increases in fixed-rate mortgages and buyers rushing to get into the market before 90- and 120-day mortgage pre-approvals expire.

Overall sales of everything from detached homes to townhomes and condos were up 29 per cent as of mid-month, year over year. Prices increased four per cent with the average residential home price across the GTA now some $514,560, according to TREB.

“The strong growth in sales that we have seen over the past two-and-a-half monthsindicates that GTA households are approaching home ownership with a renewed sense of confidence,” said TREB president Dianne Usher in a statement.



8 Tips Every First-Time Buyer Should Know

Ready to buy your first home?  These helpful tips will make sure you’re fully equipped to take the plunge.



Solving for “H”: A foolproof equation for first-time homebuyers

What does x equal? You spent four years in high school trying to answer that question and, if you were anything like me, four years trying to figure out why the heck you should care. I don’t want to bring you back to those dark academic times, but I’ve worked out a foolproof equation for new homebuyers that will resolve most of their real-estate conundrums.

Let’s use the typical x + y = z model as a starting point—stay with me here, folks. There are three major variables involved in sourcing your perfect home, minor quibbles over parking and crown moulding aside: location (L), price (P), and style (S). By plugging these factors into the formula above, once you figure out two of the three, I believe you can easily solve for the third. This will ultimately help determine what type of home you’ll buy, where you’ll buy it, and how much you’ll spend. That is, if you have a vague idea of your ideal neighbourhood (L) and an established budget (P), you can figure out whether your future abode will be a condo, a semi, or a freestanding home (S). Let’s break down the variables a bit further with real-life examples:



How Steeltown transformed into a booming agrifood hub

At Pier 16 in Hamilton Harbour, another chapter in the sad decline of the city’s once-dominant steel industry is playing out as cranes load huge mounds of unwanted iron ore onto a ship, bound for mills in China.

Carting off the vital steel-making raw material from United States Steel Corp., which idled its blast furnace here three years ago, suggests the mill won’t be restarting any time soon, if ever.

And yet across the harbour a second ship highlights an emerging economic engine for Hamilton – the booming agrifood sector. The Federal Yukina is waiting to dock alongside Parrish & Heimbecker Ltd.’s newly built dome-shaped grain silos, where it will begin loading up the fall harvest of Ontario soybeans for export to the Netherlands.



The Grid Guide to Fixer-Uppers

Our studs-to-shingles primer on buying a house-in-progress.

You know those glorious words “turn-key condition”—as in, here’s a snazzy house with no repairs needed, and all you have to do is turn the key and sort out your Netflix? Forget those words. It may be time to purchase your own place, but unless you make (or your granddaddy made) obscene amounts of money, you won’t be looking at pristine abodes. In fact, you probably won’t even be looking at ordinary abodes, at least not while the average price for a detached home in the 416 hovers around $784,000.



Jim Chan: Esteemed City Health Inspector

For 36 years, the city’s head of food safety has been keeping Torontonians as safe and salmonella-free as possible. He helped us maintain our cool during SARS, lead us through listeria, and implemented the DineSafe program that allows restaurant-goers to conduct their own background checks. Before his October retirement, we sat down with Jim Chan to discuss dining in Toronto: the good, the bad, and the cronut.



Freemen-on-the-Land ‘embassy’ takes over Alberta pensioner’s rental property

SYLVAN LAKE, Alta. — An Alberta pensioner says she feels like a prisoner after her rental property was claimed as an “embassy” by a man she says identified himself as a Freemen-on-the-Land, a growing movement of so-called sovereign citizens that is raising concerns with authorities both north and south of the border.

“I am an army of one,” says Rebekah Caverhill at her home in Sylvan Lake, near Red Deer. Tears stream down her face.

“I’ve been beat up so badly by people that should be helping that I don’t know where to turn.”



Share The Road Truck Cycling Safety PSA 2013 [Video]

Share the road campaign shows cyclist where a trucks blind spot is.  It’s bigger then you think.  Check out this video to see where and when a trucker can see you on your bicycle.



Photos: 6 Wow-Worthy Homes for Sale [Not your typical MLS Photos]

It’s amazing what kind of wonderful and wacky photos you can find on real estate websites like Redfin.com. While most homes for sale have typical bedrooms and bathrooms, occasionally a home will stand out from the pack with an unbelievable feature or interesting décor choice. Read on for six wow-worthy homes that Redfin real estate agents have recently unearthed for your viewing pleasure.



The more Toronto changes the More the Beaches stays the same

For over a century, the determined residents of the city’s eastern lakeside enclave have managed to fight outside developers and preserve their neighbourhood’s unique character. Should the rest of Toronto be taking notes?

Eight years ago, Leanne Rapley moved from her longtime home in Markham to the far east end of The Beaches, on a street that terminates in a sandy dead end where the waves roll in from Lake Ontario. “I didn’t even have my boxes unpacked when the condo sign arrived,” she says.

Someone wanted to build a midrise at the foot of Neville Park on the lake.



Bylaw that blocked Kensington-area Walmart to be appealed to OMB

The Ontario Municipal Board is being asked by RioCan to consider whether a city bylaw freezing out big-box retailers from downtown Bathurst St. for a year was legitimate.

The developer proposing to put a Walmart in a new complex near the Kensington Market has appealed a city bylaw that effectively froze big-box retailers out of the area for a year.

Edward Sonshine, chief executive of developer RioCan, confirmed Monday the company has filed an appeal with the Ontario Municipal Board.

Sonshine said RioCan seeks to challenge the Bathurst St. interim control bylaw, which Toronto City Council passed in July with a 36-1 vote and no debate.

“We just didn’t think it was an appropriate thing for council to pass,” Sonshine said. “If they were right, then the OMB will say so.”



‘Unique’ 230-square-foot former garage with no running water sells for $165,000 in east end

After three weeks on the market, a 230-square-foot former garage in Toronto’s east end that was listed for $229,000 has been sold.

An investor, who is interested in working with an architect to develop the site and turn it into something unique, bought the tiny property for $165,000, said real estate agent Paul Vallis.

The detached residence near Coxwell and Danforth Avenues was a garage until the previous owner turned it into a private getaway. It has no running water and anyone wanting to live at 30 Hanson St. would have been forced to apply for an occupancy permit from the city.

“It was [a] strange and unique [process] because the property is so unique. It was hard for me to price it because there was no [comparison]. How do you price a property that doesn’t have anything to compare it to? So, it was a little difficult,” said Mr. Vallis, of Real Estate Homeward.



Five Reasons to Go Urban or Suburban

The battle over deciding whether to buy a home in the suburbs or within an urban city centre is a debate that plagues many prospective homebuyers… Here are some reasons one area may be more suited to your needs over the other, with top five reasons to go urban or suburban from Sarah Daniels and Philip DuMoulin.



Forget the CN Tower, Toronto. The Aura condo is the city’s newest landmark.

There’s a new landmark in town at the corner of Yonge and Gerrard and its name is Aura. Rising 78 storeys — soon to be Canada’s tallest residential building — the Aura condo is suddenly the most dominant thing between Queen and Bloor Streets, a tent pole between two other highrise clusters.

Aura is a city unto itself, a self-contained organism with two separate condo corporations running it and retail at the bottom that opened before the building is even finished.

As you walk down Yonge from the north, the Aura is the new face of downtown; it might start to compete with the CN Tower as the landmark we use to know where we are in the city. Visible deep into the GTA, our weird-looking but beloved CN Tower always reminds us where the bottom of Toronto is, unless you’re on the islands or Queens Quay. The tower is always there in the periphery of our vision, letting us know where we are.



Coolest Houses For Sale In Canada  [180 photos]

International investors will keep Canada’s luxury home markets bouncing, realtor Sotheby’s International forecast last month.

The real estate agency — which, admittedly, has something to gain from predicting rising prices for upscale homes — noted that some of Canada’s housing markets have seen substantial booms in luxury home sales this year.



Two reasons Canadian mortgage rates are finally rising [Video]

The Globe’s Tim Shufelt explains how the U.S. economy and Jim Flaherty’s efforts to cool the housing market are factoring into BMO’s and Royal Bank’s decision to hike rates




Never sign rental contracts at the door

Ontario consumers will get stronger protection and more rights when dealing with door-to-door sales of water heaters.

Bill 55, which passed second reading this month, will give you 20 days to change your mind after signing a water heater rental contract at the door. Suppliers can’t charge fees to remove equipment installed in that time.

The Ontario government received 1,835 complaints and inquiries about water heater rentals in 2013. It’s the second highest category of complaints after collection agencies.

Readers often ask for help with contracts they didn’t know they had signed. Take Wendy Jung Dunn, who moved into a new townhouse last December.

“A person came to the door asking if I wanted to get a new thermostat to help with energy efficiency. He called that night to see if I’d be available for the installation the next day,” she said.