By: Thomas Cook

New Qualification Limits Guaranteed To Cause Harm

New Qualification Limits Guaranteed To Cause Harm

  For certain the Ontario government didn’t anticipate that their 15% tax on foreign investors initiated in late April would swing Toronto’s real estate market the way it did.   Now there’s a new proposal that is aimed at further limiting sales.   One of the biggest ‘market disrupters’ may be coming at the end of October and taking effect for January 1st.  That’s the ‘stress test’ guidelines proposed by the federal Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions designed to keep condo and house buyers from taking on too much mortgage debt.   Right now, borrowers with less than 20% down payment are already subjec...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Is the chaotic Toronto housing market in good shape?

Is the chaotic Toronto housing market in good shape?

Sales were down 35% for September compared to last year with 6,379 houses and condominiums changing hands in all the districts.  Although it’s common for the market to rebound higher once the summer months were over, this did not happen… we had the lowest sales for September since 2012. Condo townhouse and high-rise suites took a bigger 36.4% share of the market with 2,325 units being sold. The September average sale price for all GTA homes came in at $775,546 – a mere 2.6% higher than last year. If you consider the year-to-date average compared to last year however, the market is still up 15% which shows that not all those gains in price during the insane spring h...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Bright Ideas For Making Successful Lighting Choices

Bright Ideas For Making Successful Lighting Choices

Unfortunately many condo builders simply install the cheapest ceiling fixtures possible when they construct and sell suites so it’s up to the owner to make some lighting changes that will enhance the buyer’s experience. Remember, if the buyer can’t see it, they’re not going to like it. The first step is to enhance any natural light that’s available.  Heavy window coverings should be pulled back all the way, shutters should be opened and vertical/horizontal blinds set for maximum light. In most cases you should do this day and night if there’s a view out your windows.  In an ideal world, you’d have blinds that adjust from the bottom up AN...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

15 Steps To Mastering The Home Buying Process

15 Steps To Mastering The Home Buying Process

The home buying process can take as little as a few weeks or stretch out to several months or longer.  When buying brand new construction, it can even take up to three or four years to go thru all the steps.   I’ll give you a brief description of each step when buying a resale house or condominium so you can get a feel for how it all comes together.   Step 1 Of critical importance, once you’ve seriously started your home search, is to get a Full Mortgage Pre-Approval so you know exactly how large a mortgage you qualify for. In today’s busy Toronto market where multiple offers happen quite often, you may need to go in without a financing condition so being cer...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Toronto home prices sink but sales increased in August

Toronto home prices sink but sales increased in August

  Sales were down 35% for August compared to last year with 6,357 houses and condominiums changing hands in all the districts.  Although it’s common for the market to dip lower in the summer months, this was extreme… the lowest sales for an August since 2010. Condo townhouse and high-rise suites took a bigger 39.4% share of the market with 2,505 units being sold. The August average sale price for all GTA homes came in at $732,292 – a mere 3% higher than last year. If you consider the year-to-date average compared to last year however, the market is still up 17% which shows that not all those gains in price during the insane spring have been lost. The active ...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Being Beautiful Matters No Matter The Size

Being Beautiful Matters No Matter The Size

Typical condominium bathrooms are not large, unless you’re in a 1,500 sf+ suite, but, no matter the size, you still want your bathroom(s) to show well. When we, or a tenant, are in residence, it’s normal for countertops to become cluttered with personal hygiene items, the sink to show the stains from an electric toothbrush spray and the shower area to display old soap residue and maybe even bits of black mould on the grout between tiles.  But for sure that’s not how we want it to look when you open up your home to buyers. The presentation goal is to do a bathroom makeover comprised of a thorough cleaning of walls, ceilings, floors and fixtures, a fix-up of any missin...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

How To Avoid A Bad Credit Rating

How To Avoid A Bad Credit Rating

It may not be great now, but with a little effort—and admittedly, a lot of time—you can give your credit score a big boost.   Once a collection item hits your credit score, the damage is done. With your FICO score, the only thing that can heal your score is time.   So how do you improve your credit score? Everybody’s situation is different but here are few guidelines you need to take to heart.   Pay your bills (credit cards, vehicle loans etc.) on time - at least make the minimum payment on time and pay more with your next pay check. We know… that’s obvious but paying late by even 30 days could lower your score by between 20-40 points  &...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Lowest July Sales Since 2002

Lowest July Sales Since 2002

  Sales were down 40% for July compared to last year with 5,921 houses and condominiums changing hands in all the districts.  Although it’s common for the market to dip lower in the summer months, this was extreme… the lowest sales for a July since 2002. Condo townhouse and high-rise suites took a bigger 38.6% share of the market with 2,283 units being sold. The July average sale price for all GTA homes came in at $746,218 – a still significant but much more moderate 5% higher than last year. If you consider the year-to-date average compared to last year however, the market is still up 18.8% which shows that not all those gains in price during the insane spri...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Home Buying Process Timeline - What Should You Do First?

Home Buying Process Timeline - What Should You Do First?

After many years of helping Toronto house and condo buyers, we’ve found that, with the exception of occasional sudden events, most house and condo buyers begin their home buying search about six to twelve months from the date they ultimately pick up their keys from their lawyer and move in to their new home.   Those sudden events might include a job change, a marriage, a new addition to the family, a divorce or receiving an inheritance.   It usually all starts with you having some casual thoughts or conversations about buying and then, over time, as market information is received and knowledge about the home buying process is gathered, it progresses to actually going out to l...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Beware Of Awkward Sensory Experiences Destroying Your Sale

Beware Of Awkward Sensory Experiences Destroying Your Sale

How do you think your condominium suite, or building for that matter, will stand up to an examination by every buyer’s senses… sight, smell, hearing, feel and taste?  Well, maybe not taste so much but certainly by the other four. Prospective purchasers will have all four of those senses turned on high when they enter your building, take the elevator to your floor and then enter into your suite.  Because your home is new to them, they’re excited to experience what it would be like to live there full time. When you are finalizing your preparations to put your home on the market, take two tours of your residence… one in the daytime and the other at night&he...Read More