By: Thomas Cook

New Ontario Legislation Would License Home Inspectors

New Ontario Legislation Would License Home Inspectors

A private members bill called the Putting Consumers First Act has been introduced in Ontario, and it covers a number of different service transactions, including home inspectors – which are not currently regulated. The bill would license home inspectors and create an administrative body to handle enforcement and complaints, as well as create a code of ethics. Home inspection reports and contracts would be standardized across the province.   In addition to regulating home inspectors, the bill intends to ban more aggressive or misleading door-to-door sales like those for air conditioners or hot water heaters.   Contractors between consumers and contractors for things like home...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Avoiding Surprises When You Buy Your First Home In Toronto

Avoiding Surprises When You Buy Your First Home In Toronto

One of the best ways to avoid surprises and protect yourself during the home buying process is the have a reputable and experienced real estate agent on your side. In any home transaction, your real estate agent is there to help you understand the process and protect you during it. But knowing and understanding more about the process yourself is always a great idea, especially since November is Financial Literacy Month.   Pre-Approval   A real estate agent isn’t the only professional whose advice and services you may seek when buying a home. For example, you will also likely visit a mortgage professional for a mortgage pre-approval. This is another way to avoid some of the mo...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Ontario Provides Higher Tax Rebate For First-Time Home Buyers

Ontario Provides Higher Tax Rebate For First-Time Home Buyers

The Ontario Government has announced it will increase the current Land Transfer Tax Rebate available to first-time buyers from $2,000 to $4,000.   “Finding an affordable home has become a struggle for thousands of young couples,” said the president of the Ontario Real Estate Association, Ray Ferris, in a press release. “This tax break will reduce a first-time buyer’s closing costs and help them save more for their down payment.”   The rebate will take effect in January of 2017, and the Land Transfer Tax does not apply to the first $368,000 of the purchase price.   Tim Hudak, the CEO Designate of the Ontario Real Estate Association, said that, &ldq...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Will There Be A Market Correction In TO?

Will There Be A Market Correction In TO?

Sales were up dramatically for October compared to last year with 9,768 houses and condominiums changing hands in all the districts. Sales are actually up 27% above the last 5-year monthly average. Condo townhouse and high-rise suites took a 35% share of the market with 3,420 units being sold.  This percentage of the overall market is a bit above average for October. The October average sale price for all GTA homes came in at a record breaking $762,975 – a significant 21.1% higher than last year. Interestingly, what brought the average this high were lots of higher-end sales in the 905 area. The active listing inventory is one of the strongest indicators of how smooth or outra...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

New Mortgage Qualification Rules May Necessitate Lowering Your Home Expectations

New Mortgage Qualification Rules May Necessitate Lowering Your Home Expectations

As of mid-October new rules were implemented to tighten up the mortgage lending market.  They’re doing this to try and slow down the extremely hot real estate market we’ve seen here in Toronto during 2016.   The new mortgage qualification rules instituted by CMHC (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation) relate to the interest rate that lenders will use to qualify a condo or house buyer if the buyer’s down payment is less than 20% of the purchase price (a high-ratio mortgage).   Up until then, if you took a 5-year fixed term on your mortgage (which over 60% of buyers did), the banks would qualify you based on their best 5-year rate which has hovered around 2....Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Could You Scare Buyers Away? About Selling Your Home During Halloween

Could You Scare Buyers Away? About Selling Your Home During Halloween

Holiday decorating, no matter what time of year, is a wonderful way to celebrate and spend time with your family. However, one of they rules of getting your home ready for sale is to de-personalize and make it easier for potential buyers to imagine themselves in your home. But holiday decorations are also very personal, and choosing the wrong ones can throw off buyers.   Holiday Decorating Tips When Selling Your Home   There are plenty of ways to celebrate without going overboard in the decorating department, especially if you have kids. For example, you can carve pumpkins or bake Halloween treats.   If you absolutely must decorate your home for Halloween while it’s on t...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Condo Sales And Prices Increase In Third Quarter Of 2016

Condo Sales And Prices Increase In Third Quarter Of 2016

According to the Toronto Real Estate Board, condo sales increased by 22.1% during the third quarter of 2016 compared to the same time last year, while new listings were down by over 13%.   “While the low-rise market has been top-of-mind in the supply discussion, it is very important to note that supply pressures have also been experienced in the condominium apartment segment over the past year,” said Larry Cerqua, the president of the Toronto Real Estate Board. “The completion of new units was down substantially during the first three quarters of 2016 compared to the same period in 2015. This arguably played a role in the decline in new condominium apartment listings o...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Semi & Detached Home Sales Down In September

Semi & Detached Home Sales Down In September

Sales were up dramatically for September compared to last year with 9,902 houses and condominiums changing hands in all the districts. Sales are actually up 39% above the last 5-year monthly average.   Condo townhouse and high-rise suites took a 33.6% share of the market with 3,328 units being sold.  This percentage of the overall market is a bit above average for September.   The September average sale price for all GTA homes came in at an astounding $755,775 – a significant 20.4% higher than last year.   Interestingly, what brought the average this high were lots of higher-end sales in the 905 area.   The active listing inventory is one of the strongest indic...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Ontario Buyers Looking To “Get Away From It All” With 4-Season Cottages

Ontario Buyers Looking To “Get Away From It All” With 4-Season Cottages

For Torontonians living in the big city, a cottage can be a welcome retreat for you and your family. Did you know that even though the summer is over, the fall market is still quite active in Ontario?   “Fall is typically associated with closing up the cottage for the colder months, however more and more cottage owners want to extend their cottaging season by getting into all season homes,” said the president of the Ontario Real Estate Association, Ray Ferris. “For those actively looking to buy a cottage, the fall is a wonderful time to view properties. It’s still warm enough to see the exterior, the boat may still be in the lake, and the colours create an absolu...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

When Is The Best Time To Buy A Home?

When Is The Best Time To Buy A Home?

There are many different opinions on when the best time to buy a home is, whether it’s “right now”, or in the spring when the market is busiest, or any other time the market in your local region is at its peak.   But there actually is a little known “best time” to buy a home anywhere, and as per usual it’s approaching faster than anyone realizes – Christmas.   Why is Christmas the best time to buy a home? The answer is pretty much for the same reasons that at first thought, Christmas seems like the worst time for buying a home – few people are looking to buy a home or sell a home during Christmas. This means far less competition from ...Read More