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Showing posts from November, 2016

Living close to the subway is a top priority for many house hunters.

Living close to the subway is a top priority for many house hunters.

Buying a Toronto condo close to the subway will cost you more

Buying a Toronto condo close to the subway will cost you more

Zoning bylaws in municipalities across the GTA are contributing to our worsening housing-supply shortage.

Foreign ownership of existing Canadian condominium units in Canada's three biggest cities has declined in 2016

compared with the previous two years, according to a CMHC report

You can’t borrow your way to prosperity

About 40% of all Canadian mortgages are insured against default, in one form or another, by our federal government

Asset prices in general, and more specifically, house prices in major markets like Vancouver and Toronto, have skyrocketed

A recent Stats Can report showed that our real estate sector now accounts for about half of our total GDP growth.

Foreign Ownership in Canada's Housing Market Remains Low: CMHC Reports

November 30, 2016
by via CMHC News Releases — All Releases

Buffett is fearless and willing to go against traditional business norms

CMHC Releases 2016 Third Quarter Results

November 29, 2016
by via CMHC News Releases — All Releases

The online display of a property's sales history, including sold prices, is not permitted by the real estate board.

Average Home Prices for All of the GVA

$2.03M
Detached
$686K
Townhouse
$666K
Condo

There’s no shortage of construction work in Metro Vancouver, but the region’s high cost of housing is pushing some job seekers to land temporarily in homeless shelters.

Canada's Purpose-Built Rental Vacancy Rate Increases

October 28, 2016
by via CMHC News Releases — All Releases

The Canadian economy has become more reliant on the housing boom in the past couple of years

New U.S. single-family home sales unexpectedly fell in October

Buying a home is an extremely important and expensive transaction.

The federal government wants to monitor the effect of new mortgage regulations on the many varied housing markets across Canada.

Vancouver council approves Canada’s first-ever vacant housing tax

Ottawa is to phase out the use of traditional coal-fired power plants by 2030

Sun Life Financial Inc. is overhauling its life-insurance application process in Canada

It is cutting down on intrusive tests as part of an industry-wide push to make getting coverage easier for customers.

New rules around insured mortgages

Since late last year, federal government has tweaked the rules around insured mortgages several times:

raising minimum down-payment requirements on homes worth between $500,000 and $1-million,
imposing a tougher income "stress test" on borrowers,
limiting how lenders use government-backed portfolio insurance and
making it more expensive for financial institutions to securitize mortgages through CMHC.

The moves are part of an attempt by the government to help slow skyrocketing home prices in some markets and insulate taxpayers from the risks of rising household debt.

Stress test mortgage

Insured borrowers, who have down payments of less than 20 per cent, must have their incomes tested against the Bank of Canada's posted five-year mortgage rate, which is roughly two percentage points higher than the actual rates being offered by most lenders.

House prices of Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa, Halifax and Edmonton had declines in October from September.

The GTA led the way in month-over-month price gains in October

The GTA led the way in month-over-month price gains in October among metropolitan markets tracked by CREA through its index.

Demand for spaces that can both be lived in and serve as a place of work has increased substantially.

With the huge increase in condo living over the past few decades, demand for spaces that can both be lived in and serve as a place of work has increased substantially.

Traditional live-work spaces

Where a store or workshop was operated on the ground floor while the owner's family lived upstairs

House insurance

With a single-family property, a homeowner must insure the building, its contents and even the land and landscaping. With condos and lofts, the HOA collects monthly dues from members that cover the cost of insuring the building.

The homeowners association, or HOA, marks the biggest difference between a single-family home and a condo or loft home.

Advantages of living in a condo or loft building

Sense of safety;Minimal exterior maintenance;Convenience;Sense of community;Resortlike amenities, such as concierge service, pools, fitness facilities, tennis courts, roof deck with views and valet service.

A loft is a living space carved out of a building that wasn't built as a living unit.

Many lofts are built out of converted warehouses or old factory buildings in a city's urban center, making them an appealing alternative for professionals who work downtown. Lofts typically do not have interior walls, have more open space and higher ceilings than other homes, and require minimal maintenance. Loft developers will sell them as move-in-ready units or as empty "shells" for buyers interested in designing the space themselves. An HOA also governs the loft building.

If you're looking for amenities, attractive prices and a low-maintenance lifestyle in the city, a condo or loft may be right for you.

A condo is generally an individual unit in a larger building or structure that was built as housing.

A typical condo complex may look like an apartment building, but each unit is owned, not rented. A homeowners association (HOA) governs the condo community, collects dues and maintains the common areas.

Liberty Village is one of the popular communities for young media professionals

because of its long history with Toronto’s artistic communities.

In Florida, foreign buyers were involved in 22 per cent of all home sales last year.

Effective August 2nd, foreign nationals and foreign corporations must pay a 15-per-cent property-transfers tax when they purchase a residential property anywhere in Metro Vancouver.

Who is responsible for maintaining the unit to Ontario Fire Code standards?

The law provides that the responsibility rests on both the landlord and the tenant. The lease may provide some guidance in this respect but legal advice should be sought.

St. James Town

St. James Town is a neighbourhood of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It lies in the northeast corner of the downtown area.

The new Residential Apartment Commercial zone will permit a number of small-scale commercial and community uses on apartment building sites

Providing opportunities for new ventures which will contribute to the vibrancy and diversity of apartment neighbourhoods. The new uses may include, for example, small shops, food markets, cafes, learning centres, barbershops, doctor's offices, community centres and places of worship.

Scarborough is infamous for its slang words and phrases.

You have to look for value, or opportunity, where and when you can.

Every buyer in Toronto feels the squeeze of rapidly-increasing prices.

Brampton gets labelled as “a ghetto,”

Largely because of the city’s high concentration of visible minorities, especially South Asians.

Nearly 40 per cent of Brampton is South Asian

With Sikhs making up almost 20 per cent of the population.

City council has asked staff to propose ways to regulate short-term rentals in Toronto as it is growing in popularity.

Home buyers are looking to own the Canadian dream of three bedrooms and a yard.

A detached home in Toronto was about $1.3 million.

The average Toronto home price rose to $770,480 in October, including single-family houses and condos.

In Toronto, first-time home buyers don't pay the municipal land transfer tax on homes that cost $400,000 or less.

On homes priced over $400,000, there is a 2 per cent land transfer fee but first-time consumers qualify for a $3,725 rebate.

The economic environment is stressful for house hunters.

RBC hikes rates a day after province offers tax refund to new buyers.

$534,259 Average price of a highrise condo in the city of Toronto in October

2,421 New condos sold in the Toronto region last month with about 1,267 of those sales inside the city

$483,656 Average price of a new condominium in October

In Toronto, real estate is very expensive.

Many foreign funds have shown interest in potentially purchasing the Toronto Trump tower already

Mortgage data has been a hot topic in recent months as the federal government takes steps toward reducing the risks in the Canadian housing market

About half of Canadian say they would have difficulty making mortgage payments if their household’s primary income earner lost his or her job.

Justin Trudeau now leads a government in crisis.

New Affordable Assisted Living Complex for Seniors Opens in Steinbach

November 25, 2016
by via CMHC News Releases — All Releases

Tenants whose units are turned into commercial space are entitled to significant compensation

Under the Ontario provincial Residential Tenancies Act, tenants whose units are turned into commercial space are entitled to significant compensation: either the equivalent of three months’ rent, or the offer of another apartment.

Amortization is the length of time it will take you to pay off your mortgage.

Most mortgages have a 25-year amortization period, but you can choose fewer years than that. 
While a longer amortization will result in smaller monthly payments, it will also mean higher interest costs. Find out what happens to the numbers if you were to select a 20-year amortization period, but be careful to ensure that this won’t make you “house poor” - spending a large proportion of your total income on home ownership, including mortgage payments, property taxes, maintenance and utilities.

Taxes and mortgages

Many lenders therefore require home owners to make their property tax payments through them in monthly installments. 
Every home owner pays property taxes to their municipality

If you don’t make those payments the municipality can place a lien on your property. This puts your mortgage lender in second place to be repaid should you run into money troubles and have to file for bankruptcy.

Make sure you stay up to date with your current year’s municipal assessment and tax rate, and keep track of what the lender is taking from you. If they’ll let you, and you can budget carefully, you might want to make your property tax payments directly to the municipality.

Blended mortgage payments

Most mortgages these days are based on blended payments. A blended payment is one in which each payment you make includes an amount applied to the interest (the interest you are paying each month for the loan), and an amount applied toward the principal (the amount you borrowed).

How much of each payment is interest and how much is principal will depend on how far you are into repaying the mortgage. The earlier in your term you are, the more you pay in interest and the less in principal.

For example, if your payment is $800 a month, your first payment might be applied as $600 towards interest and $200 against the principal. In month 48 of a five year mortgage your $800 payment might be applied $400 towards interest and $400 against the principal. Nevertheless, your total payments remain the same.

The mortgage statement you receive at the end of each year will show exactly how much was applied from each payment to interest and principal.

Home Search

You can spend endless hours searching the public version of the Multiple Listing Service website.

You can also pick up House For Sale magazines and read classified ads in your local newspapers.

You might even plan afternoon drives to preview neighbourhoods.

These are all excellent ways to see what's available out there.

Home Features Checklist

Is the home new or resale? † Resale † New

What kind of home is it? † Detached † Semi-detached † Townhouse † Duplex † High-rise † Low-rise † Freehold † Condominium

How old is the home? # years:

How large is the lot? † Small † Medium † Large

Is it on a quiet street? † Yes † No

What is the exterior finish? † Brick † Aluminum siding † Wood † Vinyl siding † Combination brick and siding

What is the foundation made of? † Concrete block † Concrete † Preserved Wood

How many bedrooms are there? † 1 † 2 † 3 † 4+

How many bathrooms? † 1 † 2 † 3+

How is the home heated? † Gas † Oil † Electric † Wood

Does it have air conditioning? † Central † Window

Does the master bedroom have its own bathroom? † Yes † No

Is there a bathroom on the ground floor? † Yes † No

Is there an eat-in kitchen? † Yes † No

A separate dining room? † Yes † No

A separate family room? † Yes † No

A fireplace or woodstove? † Yes † No

A spare room for an office? † Yes † No

Does the basement have enough space for storage or a worksh…

Home Purchase Cost Estimate

The purchase price is the biggest expense in buying a home. But there are many other costs you must be prepared to pay as well.

Cost of the Home  Purchase price $
GST (newly built homes only) $

Total cost of the home $

Up-Front Costs  Appraisal fee (if applicable) $
Deposit (to be paid when you sign the Offer to Purchase) $
Down payment $
Estoppel certificate fee (for condominium/strata unit) $
Home inspection fee $
Land registration fee $
Legal fees and disbursements $
Mortgage broker's fee (if applicable) $
Mortgage loan insurance premium (can be included in your mortgage) $
Adjustment for prepaid property taxes and/or utility bills $
Property insurance $
Survey or Certificate of Location fee $
Title insurance $
Other up-front costs $
Total up-front costs $

Other Costs  New appliances $
Gardening equipment $
Equipment for clearing snow $
Window coverings (curtains, blinds, etc) $
Decorations $
Hand tools $
Dehumidifier $
Moving expenses $
Renovations or repairs $
Fees to set up …

Quick Checklist in Buying a Home

This checklist gives you a summary of each step in the homebuying process.  STEP 1: Decide what kind of home you want
❑ Choose the neighbourhood(s) where you want to live
❑ Consider which features are important to you (size, number of bedrooms/bathrooms, type of house, etc.)

STEP 2: Calculate how much you can afford
❑ Calculate how much money you have saved for a down payment
❑ Calculate how much your closing costs will be (ask your realtor or lender for advice)
❑ Calculate how large a mortgage payment you can afford each month
❑ Calculate the other monthly costs you will be responsible for as a homeowner (maintenance and repairs, property insurance, taxes, etc.)

STEP 3: Get the help and advice you need
❑ Find a realtor to help you find a home
❑ Get pre-approved for a mortgage so you know how much home you can afford
❑ Hire a lawyer to look after your legal interests and review any contracts
❑ Get an appraisal and home inspection for any property you are thinking about buying
❑ Make …

Banks are the most common mortgage lenders in Canada

Borrowers can also secure a mortgage from other financial institutions (credit unions or caisse populaires, loan and trust corporations, life insurance companies), pension funds, or from other organizations, individuals or groups (private lenders).

The home is security for the loan.

A lender is any business organization, person, or group of persons who loan money for the purchase of a home. The home is security for the loan. Lenders will charge interest on the loan and agree with the borrower on the interest rate, payback time frame and frequency.

Obtain and compare loans

The posted rates are often negotiable
Obtain and compare loans (or pre-approval quotes) from potential lenders and talk to them too, as the posted rates are often negotiable.

Ask at least three lenders for the same loan amount, loan term and type of loan so you can compare the information.

The internet is a good place to start shopping for a mortgage.

Shopping around for a mortgage takes time, but given the amount of money involved it’s worth it Plus it could save you thousands of dollars over the years.

Buying a home and getting a mortgage is a big financial decision.

It is important to shop around and see what mortgage products and features different mortgage lenders are offering. The more mortgages you compare, the more likely it is that you get one that best suits your needs.

Replacing roofs is an expensive business

Newer roofs have a life expectancy of only 15-20 years, depending on the materials

Cleverly placed mirrors, strategic lighting, delicious smells, cosy fires, and fresh licks of paint are all tricks sellers use to make their home more appealing.

Make sure you don’t get fooled.

79 New Affordable Housing Units That Promote the Integration of Adults With a Mild Intellectual Disability in Montréal

November 25, 2016
by via CMHC News Releases — All Releases

Boosting the minimum down payment could help offset the effects of rock-bottom interest rates

Low interest rates have encouraged borrowers to take on excessive mortgage debt.

The British Columbia government has unveiled its $500-million affordable-housing plan

With half of the 2,900 new rental units earmarked for Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley communities that have struggled with a shortage of low-cost housing.

National Housing Strategy: What We Heard from Canadians

November 22, 2016
by via CMHC News Releases — All Releases

Prices for homes in urban Toronto have skyrocketed

In the last five years prices for homes in urban Toronto have skyrocketed with the average home now selling above the $1 million mark.

Trump says he will pull U.S. out of TPP on 1st day in office

Condos offer a more reasonable way to buy a home in a paradise

Condos tend to appreciate at a slower rate than single-family homes, making them more affordable in rising markets.

Frugal people are likely going to pay less for monthly maintenance

Frugal people are likely going to pay less for monthly maintenance

Many building operators charge monthly maintenance fees

Many building operators charge monthly maintenance fees to cover the cost of maintaining the lawn and outdoor grounds, electricity, water and other services in common areas, as well as to maintain a swimming pool, tennis courts, gym or other amenities.

Monthly maintenance fees can impact more than just your bank account

Monthly maintenance fees can impact more than just your bank account

Insurance agents hear "no" far more than they hear "yes".

Insurance agents hear "no" far more than they hear "yes".

Toronto has bylaws to protect trees on both public and private lands due to the social, economic and environmental benefits they provide the city.

The U.S. Federal Reserve is likely to raise rates by a quarter point next month

The B.C. government will consider proposals to impose higher property taxes on investors who buy agricultural land then reap huge tax benefits intended for farmers

Lego’s latest flagship store opened Thursday in London’s Leicester Square.

Bloor Street of Toronto is the most expensive street in Canada

The most expensive street in the Americas - and in the world - is Upper Fifth Avenue (between 49th and 60th) in Manhattan

Anti-Semitic and anti-immigrant graffiti has surfaced in Ottawa and Toronto following Trump’s election win.

Most provinces and some major cities impose a land transfer tax that is calculated as a percentage of the home’s purchase price.

Multiple Listing Service

A collection of private databases used by real estate brokers to list homes for sale.

You need to consider the purchase of a home as part of your overall financial plan.

If you’re worried about rates rising before signing your official mortgage documents, get a pre-approval.

If you're worried about rates rising before signing your official mortgage documents, get a pre-approval.

To get the best mortgage rate deal you need to hedge and shop aggressively

To get the best mortgage rate deal you need to hedge and shop aggressively

Toronto budget committee approves increases to water, garbage fees

On Tuesday, the federal government will release a summary of community and stakeholder consultations on housing issues, as part of the National Housing Strategy.

On Tuesday, the federal government will release a summary of community and stakeholder consultations on housing issues, as part of the National Housing Strategy.


Canada is the largest buyer of U.S. exports in the world – more than all of the states of the European Union combined.

Canada is the largest buyer of U.S. exports in the world – more than all of the states of the European Union combined.

Canada is the most trade-dependent economy in the G7

Canada is the most trade-dependent economy in the G7

Ottawa raised the minimum down payment on the portion of a home worth over $500,000 to 10 per cent.

Ottawa raised the minimum down payment on the portion of a home worth over $500,000 to 10 per cent.

The federal government has introduced a number of measures aimed at curbing risk in the real estate market.

The federal government has introduced a number of measures aimed at curbing risk in the real estate market.

Boosting the minimum down payment could help offset the effects of rock-bottom interest rates, which have encouraged borrowers to take on excessive mortgage debt

Boosting the minimum down payment could help offset the effects of rock-bottom interest rates, which have encouraged borrowers to take on excessive mortgage debt

New Prince Albert Housing Project Offers Safe, Affordable Homes for Individuals with Complex Needs

November 18, 2016
by via CMHC News Releases — All Releases

Canada and Manitoba Invest in Affordable Housing

November 18, 2016
by via CMHC News Releases — All Releases

Real estate is a tangible investment

Real estate is a secure pathway to equity growth and a future of long-term financial security.
Owning an investment property is an ideal way to pay down the mortgage and expand the budget on your next home.
Owning a house or condo can serve multiple roles:  as a leveraged asset that experiences price-appreciation,
a rental property generating monthly income and
a centerpiece of your daily life.

The number of homes sold throughout the country last month hit a record for October

The Canadian Real Estate Association said Tuesday.

Households are leveraged to very high

House prices are at incredibly high levels relative to household incomes.

Interest rate hikes are becoming a reality for some homeowners as both Royal Bank and TD boosted their fixed mortgages rates

Interest rate hikes are becoming a reality for some homeowners as both Royal Bank and TD boosted their fixed mortgages rates

CMHC stress test says house prices could drop 30% on interest rate spike

RRSP savings for a down payment on a home.

Under the federal government's Home Buyer's Plan, first-time home buyers are eligible to use up to $25,000 in RRSP savings per person ($50,000 for couples) for a down payment on a home.

The amount of the down payment (which represents your financial stake, or the equity in your new home) should be determined well before you start house hunting.

Discharging the Mortgage Security (may be referred to as a “release” or “acquittance” in Quebec)

A discharge is the removal of a charge from the title to your home. When the discharge is registered, the lender loses any rights it would have had against your home under the mortgage security.

CMHC Stress Testing Confirms Ability to Withstand Extreme Scenarios

November 17, 2016
by via CMHC News Releases — All Releases

Buying a home is exciting — but it can also be challenging.

Buying a home is exciting — but it can also be challenging.

Groundbreaking for New Affordable Housing in Conception Bay South

November 15, 2016
by via CMHC News Releases — All Releases

Children in low-income households

Children whose families are newcomers, racial minorities, living with disabilities or led by single parents are more likely to be in low-income households

Vancouver puts $10,000 a year tax on empty homes.