By: Thomas Cook

Keep Your Toronto Home Safe - What Thieves Won't Tell You

Going away? We have some tips on making sure that your home is safe so you can have a bit more peace of mind when you go on vacation, or even leave for work. While most contractors are reputable, having work done on your house allows more unscrupulous people a great opportunity to scope out your home and leave certain windows unlocked to come back to later. If you have strangers in your home for any reason (such as a contractor asking to use the bathroom while they're there), double-check that the windows are locked afterwards. When you go away, it's a good idea to make sure your home doesn't seem empty. Set your lights on timers so your home isn't dark at night (...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Protecting Yourself From Mortgage Fraud In Toronto

Once in a while, "mortgage fraud" garners some huge headlines. Every industry has potential for fraud, but there are several different types of mortgage fraud, most of which involve misrepresentation. Types of mortgage fraud: Using a straw buyer. In this instance, someone will ask a person who has good credit to apply for a mortgage on their behalf, while the crook will promise to make all of the payments. However, they don't, and the person who allowed themselves to have their name used is left on the hook. Misrepresenting yourself on purpose in order to obtain a mortgage can also be considered mortgage fraud. This includes misinformation about your job, salary,...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Top 4 Tips For Downsizing Your Toronto Real Estate

Many homeowners choose to downsize their real estate - move to a smaller home or a condo in Toronto from their larger family home - for a variety of reasons. Having a smaller space can come with significant advantages - like little to no maintenance, for example - but moving your life into a smaller space can take a bit of work. Make a list of things that you can get rid of.  If you've had your home for a while you've likely accumulated lots of "stuff". Storage space in your new home or condo may be must smaller or less available, so it's time to determine what you can leave behind. It doesn't have to be wasteful, you can recycle it, donate it or sell i...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

They Ought To Be Ashamed!

Economists like David Madani from Capital Economics and other media gurus like Garth Turner have been counselling people to avoid buying real estate for several years now because 'the sky is falling'. Madani has been calling for a 25% downward correction for 2-4 years now and the the glass is always half empty for Turner. So what's the big deal? Their way-off predictions and scare mongering has dissuaded a certain percentage of first-time buyers from making the jump into home ownership or delaying their purchase for 12-24 months. This has caused that group to miss out on significant wealth building from cross-Canada real estate ownership. Here's the reality......Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Quarter Of Canadians Say Their Home Will Be Their Primary Source Of Retirement Income

According to a recent survey by Ipsos, 24% of Canadian homeowners say that they expect their home will be their primary source of retirement income. Home prices continue to rise in big Canadian cities like Toronto, and some Canadian homeowners are seeing this as an opportunity to have more income once they stop working. A few more Canadians expect to be fully retired at the age of 66 (28%) while at least 29% expect to continue working part-time. Two-thirds of those who say they'll be working past the retirement age of 66 say they will because they have to, while 35% say they will because they want to. The poll also suggests that the average Canadian expects 10% of their retir...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Selling Your Toronto Home: Advice For Home Staging

The CBC just published a great article about staging your home before you sell it. Staging your home is one of the most important things anyone can do before selling their home in Toronto. It provides any prospective buyers with a vital first impression and helps them visualize themselves living in the home you're selling. What are some of the most important parts of the home staging process according to the article? Decluttering: Decluttering is essential. A cluttered home is not a home that any buyer can visualize themselves in. A home that is free of clutter is spacious, airy and clean-looking, almost ready for a new buyer to move straight in. Remove, sell or donate what y...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Only A Week Left To Get Free Money From Thin Air

Are You A 1st-Time Buyer  Planning To Purchase In The Next 3-12 Months? If your down payment is all in cash in the bank or in GICs or term deposits, you need to check your RRSP contribution amount on your last Notice of Assessment from Revenue Canada right away. You've only got a week left (must contribute by March 3rd, 2014) to take advantage of the tax break offered by the Federal Government's Home Buyer Plan. First-time buyers can contribute up to $25,000 to their RRSP and get a tax refund for doing so. If you contributed the full $25,000 and were in a 35% tax bracket you could get approximately $8,000 back as a tax refund depending on your annual income a...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Listing Photos - Do They Tell The Whole Story?

These days, if a property is marketed correctly, you have access to multiple photos, perhaps a virtual tour or property video and maybe an online feature sheet to look at. Theoretically you've got everything available that you need to make an educated buying decision right? All of these items really do help you to narrow down your home search and help you to pick out homes that you want to see in person. However often the listing agent doesn't do a good job of taking photos or offers only one or two views of the home. Maybe there's no video or feature sheet either. You shouldn't risk ruling out a home that could possibly fit your needs once you've walked in the do...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Regent Park In Toronto Is Making A Comeback

I moved to Toronto in 1980 and always Regent Park was a 'no-go' area but things have changed dramatically since the building revolution started there almost 8 years ago. Now new buildings, new connecting roadways, new facilities and new amenities all have combined to make this a fabulous new, attractive neighbourhood for Toronto. In total there are five new condo buildings built so far with more to come. New rental buildings replace the ones torn down plus additional geared-to-income suites are being constructed.  All in all a tremendous effort by the City of Toronto / Daniels partnership. The added facilities are quite impressive... an aquatic centre, a six-...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

TD Chief Economist Craig Alexander Comments On 2014 Outlook For Toronto Real Estate

Last Wednesday evening TD Canada Trust presented their Chief Economist Craig Alexander at an 'invitation-only' presentation for RE/MAX Hallmark agents and their clients. Some of his comments were expected - some not so much.  Here's a point summary of what he had to say. Even with the bond buying rate dropping off, Canadian interest rates won't move till late 2015 TD Bank is now the 2nd largest bank in Canada and the 8th largest in the USA with more branches there than in Canada Large numbers of new and resale housing sales generate a consumer spending boom - people will want to fill their new properties with new stuff NO signs of a...Read More