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The New 'Mortgage Stress Test' Is For Everyone. And It's Complex

Wednesday Mar 07th, 2018

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As of January 1st, every borrower needs to pass a new “Mortgage Stress Test” (MST) to qualify for a mortgage loan at a bank. And it won’t matter how much downpayment you have. Even if it’s 20% or over, you’ll still be subject to the MST. Once you pass the test, you’re not required to actually make a 20% down payment  - you can still take advantage of a lower one and a lower mortgage rate. But first you have to pass 'the... [read more]

The Latest Mortgage Rate Hike May Only Have a Negligible Effect.

Monday Jan 22nd, 2018

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Last week, the Bank of Canada hiked the interest rate another quarter point to 1.25%—a seemingly superficial number depending on which part of the country you’re in. The housing demand in Canada’s three largest cities is so great that removing a handful of buyers—as the new mortgage rules and interest rate increase will do—will have a negligible impact. However, in cities like Edmonton and Calgary, they’re recovering markets and this change will be harder... [read more]

Did you know there are 2 different kinds of Mortgage Pre-Approvals?

Saturday Dec 09th, 2017

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No, you haven’t read the title incorrectly.  The phrase “Mortgage Pre-Approval” has 2 distinct, different meanings. I always want you to have a preliminary Mortgage Pre-Approval before we look for a residential home for you to purchase. This 1st type of pre-approval, is really a personal financial pre-approval (not on a specific property), based on your income, asset to debt ratio, credit history and report, amount of your anticipated down payment and other... [read more]

The "Bank of Mom and Dad" - What Now?

Saturday Dec 09th, 2017

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Many parents are helping their adult children buy their first homes. However it’s important that parents think carefully about their own future needs, before opening the doors to the “the Bank of Mom and Dad,”.   First time home buyers are usually in need of this type of assistance from their parents, adding to (topping-up)  the down payment. The new "Mortgage Stress Test" will likely make this scenario a lot more common. The Real... [read more]

Will The Public Be Able to Access Toronto's "Sold' Data?

Wednesday Dec 06th, 2017

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It's definitely going to be a while. Currently the general public can’t access Toronto's past home sale prices without the help of a Realtor. For privacy, it's controlled by the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB). But that might very well be changing. A 2016 Federal Court ruling which ordered TREB to end its strict controls on some housing data has recently been upheld, despite an appeal. Canada’s competition commissioner had argued that TREB’s... [read more]

Our Market is Recovering But....

Tuesday Dec 05th, 2017

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Toronto Real Estate Board President Tim Syrianos announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 7,374 transactions through TREB's MLS® System in November 2017. This result was up compared to October 2017, bucking the regular seasonal trend. On a year-over-year basis, sales were down by 13.3 per cent compared to November 2016. New listings entered into TREB's MLS® System in November 2017 amounted to 14,349 – up by 37.2 per cent compared to November 2016, when... [read more]

Inventory Up, But Sales Down. Yet Prices Are Still Increasing.

Tuesday Jun 06th, 2017

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Toronto's 2017 May/June market is very interesting: "Inventory" for sale is up (as is every spring); "sales" are down (more for buyers to choose from) yet prices have still increased year over year. There's no real reason for the slowdown in the number of properties sold. It's a 'healthy adjustment that isn't triggered by anything'. The interest rate hasn't changed/increased, and we're not in a recession. So the question is... [read more]

You DO Need a Realtor When Buying Pre-Construction Condos & Homes !

Saturday Apr 29th, 2017

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Not having your own Real Estate Agent to perform due diligence could land you in a horrible situation and losing thousands of dollars. You may have heard about two recent condo projects in downtown Toronto having been converted into ‘rentals’ with 181 innocent buyers of a  complex on King St. West, near Liberty Village, out as much as $40,000 each.  Another condo project,  “The Selby”, at Sherbourne and Bloor, abandoned their plans, as well. As... [read more]

What Ontario's New Foreign Investment Tax Means.

Saturday Apr 29th, 2017

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Legally known as the Non-Resident Speculation Tax (NRST), this new tax is 15% on the purchase or acquisition of an interest in a Residential (only) property in the Greater Golden Horseshoe by individauls who aren't Canadian citizens or permanent Canadian residents. It is also applies to foreign corporations and taxable trustees. This NRST tax is in addition to the Ontario Land Transfer Tax. and, in Toronto, the Toronto Land Transfer Tax.  The legislation,is retroactive to April... [read more]

Save Money: Pay Down Your Mortgage

Thursday Mar 09th, 2017

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Today’s interest rates are still at an all-time low, which gives you several great opportunities. For current homeowners, paying down mortgage debt is more beneficial than ever with the low interest rates we are continuing to enjoy.  My advice to homeowners is to take advantage of paying down 'the principal' of your mortgage, which can be up to 20% twice a year depending on how the mortgage is structured.   Another option to consider is to... [read more]

It's Critical to Increase Your Property and Contents Insurance

Thursday Mar 09th, 2017

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So often, once we bought our home or have lived in it for a long time, we neglect to continuously take stock of what's inside.  Our  property/building insurance is in place but the value has increased, and we accumulate small and large valuable items that require protection too. When was the last time you thought about the increased value of your property and what’s inside your home? First, I advise ensuring that your real estate property (the building) insurance... [read more]

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