Why is Spring 2016 the Best Time to Sell a House in Toronto? Just take a look at historical Toronto Housing Prices for this time of year.
It’s hard to believe that February is already over and Spring will be here in just three weeks. Like many Torontonians, Realtors love this time of year, not only because of rising temperatures but because it’s the best time to sell a home. Any seasoned Toronto Real Estate Agent will agree that certain seasons are more favourable to sell a house than others. Oftentimes, the transition between cold months to warmer months sparks something in buyers, and with the current condition of the Toronto Real Estate Market, this couldn’t be truer. In fact, it’s in the Spring when Toronto housing prices increase and homes sell at or above asking price. Furthermore, the amount of time they on the market is significantly short when compared to other seasons. We’re still in a seller’s market, and the pent-up demand from buyers is exceeding the supply of Houses for Sale in the Toronto. While warmer temperatures do have an impact on home sales, but there are a few other reasons people want to shell out a few extra dollars for a house in the Spring.
Most families prefer to purchase a home in the Spring because that leaves them with ample time to register their kids in new schools. When it’s time to close, it will be relatively early in the summer, you most likely won’t have to deal with a heat wave when packing moving boxes.
Spring is a great time to showcase your home as well. With the snow finally gone, lawns are visible and houses just appear to be more attractive in the spring. There are no sub-zero temperatures or icy driveways to deter buyers from venturing outside of their homes. By the end of March, some annual flowers will be in fresh bloom and trees will begin to bud, and a feeling of a new beginning will be in the air.
With holiday debts and bills finally paid off, buyers are in higher spirits and aren’t as stressed about making a big purchase. Additionally, most buyers will have the benefit of a tax return in the Spring–this is especially helpful for first-time buyers who are feeling the impact of the increase in the minimum down payment. Remember, many people are entering the market for the first time, so be ready for people who are on the hunt for condos for sale in Toronto.
Competition among buyers is very stiff, and they’re willing to bid to the very end. Bidding wars occur most frequently in the Spring than at any other time of year because home buyers want the perfect move-in date. Use this to your advantage to ensure you make the most of your home sale.
Although Spring isn’t officially here until the Equinox on March 20, it’s definitely sprung early for buyers in the Greater Toronto Area. If you’re planning on selling your house, now is the perfect time to consult your GTA Real Estate Agent. The window of opportunity is wide open, so take advantage of it before other sellers start adding to the mix. While the market conditions will guarantee your house will sell, you want to get the best dollar for it.
It’s that time of year when many of us are feeling the holiday bloat from all the festive cheer we partook over the past month and are now considering our new year’s resolutions. While many of us are adding “lose weight,” “eat healthier” or “get to the gym four times a week,” we often forget that we’ve made these resolutions in the past, and were lucky if we stuck to them for more than a month. With 2016 quickly approaching, now is the perfect time to take a look at our spending habits over the past year to assess where we are financially, and set some clear goals or money resolutions for the new year. As some goals, such as planning your retirement may affect your loved ones, it would be best to sit down with your family to discuss them. Not only will your family be aware of your goals, but they can acts as accountability partners if you fall off track. Here is a list of some resolutions that you might want to add to your list—also, eating healthier is always a good resolution.
Create a new budget You and your family may have experienced a significant change in 2015, such as a new baby, purchasing your first home, or helping your child through her first year at university. Playing the guessing game can be tough as we might not know how things will play out until several months have passed, but try your best to sit down with a pen and paper and write out your expenses in as great detail as possible. Although it’s important to revisit your budget annually, try to visit it quarterly as this might help you adjust expenditures accordingly.
Take advantage of TFSA and RRSP contribution room If you haven’t maxed out your contributions in the past and have some money kicking around, why not place it in a TFSA or RRSP. Maybe you’ve landed a new job or received a promotion—and are receiving a higher income than last year. A smart way to ensure that money gets set aside is to set up preauthorized transfers to your TFSA and RRSP. You’ll thank yourself when tax time rolls around in 2017 and also feel accomplished knowing you’ve contributed to your nest egg or retirement.
Reevaluate your mortgage situation
Will your mortgage term be coming to an end before you have your house paid off? If you have three years left on your amortization, but paying off your home won’t be possible for another four years, you might want to consider refinancing options. Chances are mortgage rates are not going to get any lower than they are now, and if your term is up in four years, who knows how high the interest rates will be. Reassess your situation, take advantage of low lending rates and breathe a sigh of relief knowing you’re making the most out of one of your biggest investments—your home.
Teach your kids about budgeting
Whether you have a son in middle school or a daughter in university, it’s never too early to teach your child about the importance of budgeting. Take some time to sit down with your young one to discuss his or her allowance. If they’ve been itching to get that bike that Santa didn’t leave in their stocking, you can teach them how to put away a portion of their allowance, birthday money, or money from their paper route to buy that bike. If your child wants a bike by June, he would have five months to save for it. On top of lunch money, entertainment, a long-term savings account and even donations (we should teach our kids about philanthropy), figure out what is left every month/week and how much of it needs to go to the bike. For those of us with older kids off at university, check in to discuss their plans after post-secondary, as well as how much debt has been accumulated. Depending on the financial institution and repayment terms, help your child prepare for the next step after graduation. If your child is lucky enough to land a job after he or she graduates and if you’re planning on helping him/her with their payments, discuss a fair amount that needs to go directly to paying their debt.
Purchase an investment property
If you’ve been considering buying a rental property, early 2016 would be a fantastic time to do so. With rock-bottom lending rates that will undoubtedly rise in the near future, purchasing a multi-dwelling house is something you might want to consider. Investing rental in Toronto or the GTA can be a source of residual income with the population of the GTA rising with young professionals. If you have any questions, talk to a real estate investment expert who will point you in the right direction. Also, make sure you hire a property manager to ensure your rental home is in good hands.
Hey, Big Saver!
Some people are great at saving and before they know it, they have a piggy bank that’s bursting at the seams. If you find yourself maxing out your RRSP and TFSA contributions, and are satisfied with your investments, why not plan a paradise getaway or donate to your favourite cause. Treating yourself now and then never hurts, however, using your money toward meaningful experiences with your loved ones will create memories that are priceless.
The Priority Pyramid
Remember that when making a financial plan it’s wise to follow a priority pyramid to help employ the best strategies to successfully complete Operation: Financial Resolutions 2016.
In an announcement made by Toronto Real Estate Board President Mark McLean last week, GTA REALTORS® reported 7,385 home sales through TREB’s MLS® System in November 2015 – a 14 per cent increase compared to November 2014 and a record number for November sales to date.
Toronto’s real estate market saw 96,401 sales for the first eleven months of this year. There is no doubt that 2015 will go down in history as a year Toronto real estate made the record books. High housing prices, the number of homes sold, and benchmark indexes as well as a low number of active listings, average days on market and the amount of square footage you get for a dollar–not to mention the value of the Canadian Dollar itself. However, as the year winds down, people are turning their focus away from the red-hot real estate market and putting themselves in gear for the holiday season.
Credit: Toronto Real Estate Board
December is often an interesting month in for the Toronto real estate market–sometimes, buyers bid to get into the market right before the new year while other years they wait for the fresh listings that often arrive in January. Mr. McLean remains optimistic for December, as well as the upcoming year. With one more month to go until 2016, we’ve still managed to set a record in for home sales in the TREB market area for an entire calendar year (the previous record set in 2007 and reflected all 12 calendar months).
McLean believes the widespread demand for homeownership is a priority for families in the GTA and attributes it to real estate being the best long-term investment. Despite rumours of a housing crash, Toronto continues to prosper and doesn’t seem to show signs of stopping. The other question remains–if there is no crash, will there be a correction? Will the market get out of control?
The federal Department of Finance wants to step in and increase the minimum down payment for a home from 5 per cent to 10 per cent. With stiffer borrowing rules, the market has a better chance of cooling without a drastic crash. An increase will also alleviate the taxpayers exposure to insured default losses and possibly boost sales in the condo market. First time home buyers who are only prepared to put a 5 per cent down payment must either wait until they have twice the amount of money they initially had or settle for a condo. While all these pros sound fantastic for markets like Toronto and Vancouver, other markets in the Country, especially cities that have already experienced losses in the housing market, will suffer. When will these proposed changed come into effect? We can expect the Federal Department of Finance to present the motion for additional 5 per cent on down payments to the Minister of Finance as early as January 2016.
With what seems to be a very small window to decide whether to toss the whole idea of buying a home, borrowers looking to put a smaller down payment on a home should seek the advice of a mortgage professional and reassess their budgets realistically. Increase or not, the New Year is the perfect time for families to analyze their finances to ensure sound decisions in the future.
The Ugly Duckling — Transforming an Unattractive Investment Property into a Beautiful Swan
If you’ve been itching to purchase an investment property in Toronto, then you probably know that pickings have been pretty slim lately. Move-in ready houses with curb appeal are often the subject of bidding wars and come with a hefty price tag. The thought of owning a property that will generate immediate rental income is ideal, however, after weighing the pros and cons, and taking price into consideration is it really worth it?
Enter the ugly duckling: The legal triplex that is in need of some TLC. It’s in a fantastic neighbourhood, however, it contains a unit that smells like several unappetizing meals were cooked in it and has carpet that dates back to the early eighties. Overall, it’s not a pretty sight, and you’re uninterested. These are signs of poor property management. Before you move on to the next house, consider this: The property wasn’t built with a smell reminiscent of burnt dinners past, and at one point, that carpet was new. The point is, if you ask anyone involved in property management, we can tell you about some of the most luxurious spaces that have been destroyed in a matter of months due to one bad tenant — we can also tell you have quickly we’ve cleaned them up and made them move-in ready by the next month.
If you’re willing to look past the cosmetic issues and focus on numbers, taking on a property that was poorly managed isn’t such a bad idea. This can often save you money on the initial investment, and after hiring a reputable property management to turn it around, you will then be able to increase the rent and earn a profit.
Signs Poor Property Management
1. Units Not Prepared For Renting – If the state of a unit makes you ask yourself “Who would want to live here?” after viewing it, then you know it’s been poorly managed.
2. Not taking accountability – If the previous managers blame the condition of the property on a bad area or bad tenants, they’re trying to draw your attention away from the real problem – bad management.
3. Vacancy – if there are six units, and two of them have been vacant for months, that’s never a good sign.
4. High Turnover – If the previous landlord couldn’t keep tenants because a) they were unhappy with the living conditions or b) they weren’t paying their rent, then those are both signs of bad property management.
As an investor, signs of bad management can mean dollar signs in the future. Unfortunately, you can’t change the location of a building or a property’s layout without major renovation. You can, however, change your property management company. It should be common sense to anyone that apartments should be clean, painted and livable by decent people’s standards if you want to rent them to decent people.
Returns on property investments shouldn’t require rocket science. Simplified, well-maintained properties yield great results. This includes responsible tenants who are properly screened, which results in higher rents, no vacancies and low-turnover. By hiring a reputable Toronto property management company, you can turn an ugly duckling into a beautiful swan, and attract the type of tenants you want to rent to. Toronto is a huge metropolitan city, and although there may not be thousands of investment properties to choose from, there are thousands of responsible, income-generating tenants to choose from. Sometimes the best returns are the ones that come from the most unexpected sources.
In recent news, you may have heard rumours that buyers were “treading more cautiously” as they entered the fall market. The opposite couldn’t be truer in Toronto. This morning, Toronto Real Estate Board President Mark McLean announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported a record number of transactions for the month of September through TREB’s MLS® System. There were a combined 8,200 home sales reported for September 2015. This result was a 2.5 per cent increase compared to September 2014.
For the first nine months of 2015 TREB MLS® sales amounted to 80,331 — a record year-to-date figure. Furthermore, there was a 9.5 per cent increase compared to the first three quarters of 2014.
“We are on track for record home sales reported through TREB’s MLS® System this year. Barring a drastic shift in the economy over the next three months, total transactions reported by TREB Members in 2015 are expected to be at or near the 100,000 mark. This is a testament to the importance that GTA households put on home ownership as a long-term investment,” said Mr. McLean.
The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark Price was up by 10.5 per cent year over year. The average selling price for all home types combined was also up by 9.2 per cent annually to $627,395. Growth in the MLS® HPI Composite Benchmark and the average price was driven by the low-rise market segments, including detached and semi-detached houses and townhouses. (October 5, 2015 –TREB)
They make up a small percentage of renters and as much as we’d like to think they don’t exist, tenants from hell are out there and you need to know how to avoid them
You’ve heard about them and may have had one, or two yourself – late rent payments, excessive partying and noise that disrupts the entire neighbourhood, and let’s not forget the ones who through plain negligence destroy your property, resulting in hundreds to thousands of dollars’ worth of damage, not to mention the headaches and legal fees that come with evicting them. The Tenants from Hell – a landlord’s worst nightmare.
Recently, a Toronto couple’s story made headlines when they discovered that their four-bedroom Victorian home in the Dundas and Ossington area was turned into an illegal boarding house while they were working abroad. Journalists Wilf Dinnick and Sonia Verna rented their home to a man who said all the right things – he was a successful business development executive at a Toronto tech company, drove a Range Rover, had over $44,000 in his chequing account and even offered to pay $4,000 per month in rent — $400 above asking to secure the lease when other potential tenants showed interest.
The tenant, Jesse Gubb, created a number of partitions in the house and illegally sublet the rooms, housing up to 16 people at a time, charging each person up to $560 per month in rent. Upon inspection, nine violations were logged resulting in over $50,000 in fines that the landlords were responsible for. Luckily, the fines were dropped due to their cooperation in the investigation leading up to Gubb’s fraud conviction. They also later discovered he was no stranger to the law, having been convicted on previous fraud and drug possession charges.
We’d like to believe that up to 99% of tenants are good people, however, there is that lingering one percent that you’d need to watch out for. Although the boarding house incident was an extreme case, it still serves as a resounding wake-up call to landlords and property investors. Properties don’t run on autopilot and damages don’t pay for themselves. One must be knowledgeable about the legal intricacies involved in renting out a property as well as the work involved. Hiring a reputable property manager to deal with everything from background, reference and credit checks, to repairs, routine maintenance, inspection and rent collection gives investors security and peace of mind, knowing that their property is being cared for and has not secretly turned into a circus venue.
Spacious 2 Bedroom, 1 Bathroom Condo with an Abundance of Natural Light @ Richmond and Jarvis.
Open concept design throughout
Spacious living area with large windows, natural sunlight, and walk out to balcony
Dining area with overhead lighting, engineered hardwood flooring, and large window
Modern kitchen with track lighting, stainless steel appliances, wood cabinetry, and granite counter
Modern washroom with large mirror, full bathtub and shower stall
Spacious master bedroom with walk-in closet and large windows
2nd bedroom with large closet and window
Beautifully and distinguished engineered hardwood throughout living spaces
Plush broadloom in sleeping areas
Large open balcony with designer deck and beautiful views
Fully furnished with modern and stylish finishings and items
Central air conditioning
Ensuite laundry Building Amenities:
Moss Park: Located at Richmond and Jarvis, this neighborhood features local shops, eateries, supermarkets and retail establishments. Close to public transit, nearby green-life and parks with easy access to the Gardiner and DVP.
Availability: September 1 (Minimum one year lease)
Location: Toronto (@ Richmond and Jarvis)
Utilities: Hydro, Gas, and Water included. Tenant pays for all other utilities.
Parking: 1 Parking Space Included.
Thinking about buying an investment property in Toronto? You’re not alone. For years, savvy investors have been buying, renting, flipping and selling real estate in Toronto. Historically Canadians have always leaned toward real estate as a key investment and according to a recent study by TD Bank, several professional investors also consider their home as an investment. Not only is investing in real estate is an excellent way to build a nest egg, it also offers the security of a hard asset that you are in control of. Whether you’re a seasoned investor or a millennial interested in buying your first rental property, there are a few key things that you should consider before taking that big step.
1. Set realistic goals and stick to them
Begin by writing down a simple plan that will remind you of your goals for property investment. Are you buying this property as a long-term investment to secure your family’s future and your own retirement? Maybe you’re interested in renovating a dated property to eventually sell. No matter what your goal is, make sure that you’re certain of your intentions and that it will help put money in your pocket after all expenses are paid.
2. Do your research
A common mistake first-time investors make is purchasing a property without conducting the necessary research. There is a wealth of information that can be found online, however, a consultation with an experienced agent who can share his/her own experiences can help you weigh the pros and the cons of purchasing, and come to the right decision.
3. Borrow responsibly
Educate yourself on financing. Taking out a second mortgage isn’t as easy as your first, and when buying additional property, a minimum down payment of 20 per cent is required. Talk to your broker or bank to determine how much you can realistically borrow. It’s good to be optimistic about your property’s income generating potential, however, when it comes to borrowing, biting off more than you can chew can add unnecessary stress and strain.
4. Home Inspection
Be sure to have the property inspected by licensed home inspector. This is especially important if you’re buying an older property. For advice on repairs or renovations, hire a contractor who you can trust—if you know of a friend or colleague whose home had recently undergone impressive renovations, ask to be referred to their contractor. You want to get the most out of your investment and by simply updating an older property, you not only raise its market value, you can increase your rental prices, thereby generating more income.
5. Hire an experienced and reputable Property Manager
Property managers can help you find suitable tenants. They can perform screening and background checks, as well as deal with any ongoing maintenance, repairs, or complaints. Property managers can offer useful advice in regard to pricing and marketing your property to maximize its appeal.
6. Stay Organized
Keep all of the property-related income and expense records organized and separate from your personal finances. When it comes time to file a tax return at the end of the year, you won’t have the stress of having to track down those reports amidst other piles of paper.
7. Location, location, location
You want to purchase a property in an area that is close to amenities, has a high Walk Score and is easily accessible by major highways, public transportation or both. Be sure to research other rental properties in that neighbourhood—property investing is a business and you should be aware of your competition. If the location is saturated with rental properties, particularly vacant ones, you should look elsewhere.
Trust your instinct. Don’t be afraid to walk away if the property doesn’t feel right or work for you, no matter how much time you may have invested in the process. The perfect opportunity will come your way–remember, when one door closes, another one always opens.