It’s been awhile since my last communication (August 8th). To say that I have been scrambling is an understatement. Prepping several properties at once for market, the kids having so many activities to keep track of, coordinating construction on our home (read latest blog) and everything else in between has left me spinning. The GREAT news is that I can’t complain about any of it. All are positive and despite dealing with many “situations” that arise things move along.
Coming Soon – 2519 Dundas St West. Semi-detached In Demand location near Subway and Roncesvalles.
- Perfect for first time buyers , people looking to upsize from a condo, empty nesters
- 3 Bedrooms, 2 Full Baths
- Nice Yard!
- Just Renovated!
- Literally walk to Bloor/Dundas Subway and Roncesvalles Strip
- Great Schools.
- Great Price $600,000
Take a look at the Picks and Virtual Tour! http://www.propertyspaces.ca/2519dundaswest
I can send you more info for any interested parties.
In the Toronto Market
GTA REALTORS® RELEASE MONTHLY RESALE HOUSING FIGURES
TORONTO ,September 4, 2015 (See Full Report)
Toronto Real Estate Board President Mark McLean announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 7,998 residential transactions through the TREB MLS® System in August 2015. This result represented a 5.7
Percent increase compared to 7,568 sales reported in August 2014. On a GTA-‐wide basis, sales were up for all major home types. The annual growth rate in new listings was greater than the annual growth rate in sales, but
Active listings at the end of August were still down compared to last year. This suggests that sellers’ market conditions remained in place, especially where low-‐rise home types like singles, semis and townhouses were concerned. “Buyers in the GTA remain confident in their ability to purchase and pay for a home over the long term. They see ownership housing as a quality investment that has historically produced positive returns while at the same time providing owners with a place to live in their chosen community,” said Mr. McLean. Both the MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark and the average selling price for all home types combined were up substantially in August compared to the same period in 2014, with both increasing by approximately 10 per cent year-‐over-‐year. “A record year for home sales continued to unfold in August as competition between buyers exerted upward pressure on selling prices. It was encouraging to see annual growth in new listings outstrip annual growth in sales, but we will need to see this for a number of months before market conditions become more balanced,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.
The average price for a detached home in the 416 area is now firmly over $1 million. Also, in the 416 area, average freehold prices rose12.9% from this time last year.
Construction Blog #10 (Foundation Walls are in)
What I have learned so far is that YOU need to be checking up on EVERYTHING! I have not got the feeling that people are trying to cut corners or do a bad job but the fact is that things get missed! Once mistakes or omissions are buried under concrete or soil it’s too late.
E.g. 1. – After all the water proofing was completed I checked (by shovelling away all the gravel at the connection spot) and found that the weeping tile was not hooked up to where the sump pump would go. This would have become a major issue down the road had I not caught it. It’s a simple fix (5 minutes) now but a major fix later.
E.g. 2- Windows and doors have been ordered and I was given the measurements of the basement windows by the foundation company once they poured the concrete. I double checked a day later and the measurements were off. No problem now because I caught the mistake. Had I not the basement windows and doors would have been manufactured and not fit. My problem then, and my cost.
E.g. 3 The excavation company noted that the soil seemed a little soft 2 days after they finished excavating (not during excavation or even when they finished). By this point foundation footings were already framed. Well after a frantic search to have a soil engineer show up and report on the same morning the soil turns out to be fantastic. Way more than minimum required and the footings were beefier as well. That cost me $600 for one sheet of paper to say all is ok. Worth it of course not to stress about it going forward.
E.g. 4 – I was about to order the truss system for the roof but since there were so many issues before, I asked my architect to take one more look. He found that the truss system would create awkward angles on all the exterior walls on the second floor. This would look terrible! We had to arrange a face to face meeting with the truss design engineer and sort it out. The meeting took 10 minutes and all is ok again (for now) PHEW!!!!
There are tonnes more of examples and these four were just the first to come to mind.
Every day there is a major problem that arises and needs to be tackled but so far it seems like a resolution is found. No such thing as smooth sailing. In many ways it’s an exciting battle. The trick is to stay positive and roll with whatever comes your way.
Another factor now is that debt is growing by big chunks as companies are asking for deposits and payments for completed work.
Next week – Carpentry should start framing! If this actually happens (fingers crossed) everything will begin to take shape in about 4-6weeks. Fingers crossed.
There is a race to get the shell up now before the winter hits with below zero temps.
Capital-gains myth busted
Home News / 19 Aug 2015
By John Tenpenny
The growing number of rental property owners looking to minimize capital gains taxes at the point of sale may be in for a rude awakening and a hefty fine, cautions one property expert.
Seasoned mortgage broker Ron Butler, with Verico Butler Mortgage, says he’s often asked about what if any tax benefits accrue to a seller who lives in one unit of an investment property but rents out the rest. His answer is to make sure they clearly understand the rules.
“You can only avoid capital gains by selling a property that you’ve declared to be your owner/occupied dwelling. You’re only allowed one capital gains-free transaction, which is the sale of your personal residence.”
What some owners attempt to do is to develop a scenario by which they appear as the owner/occupying resident of a property that is, in fact, a rental.
In order to prove to CRA that a property is owner/occupied some people attempt to document occupancy by having such things as driver’s licences and tax filings in the address of the property.
If you think it’s easy to get away with, you’re in for a shock, like the hundreds of people CRA caught two years ago after cracking down on condo flippers. Over 600 income tax audits were completed with almost half of that number receiving penalties.
“Some people were buying properties in their children’s names, typically condos, and saying they were living there, while in fact it was being rented,” says Butler.
The penalty for attempting to avoid capital gains taxes is double, plus interest, from the date of the transaction.
For the mortgage broker’s part, says Butler, it’s “our duty to know when we’re applying for the mortgage whether it’s a rental property or not.”
“I’ve seen people who try this and get rental insurance and that information is sent to the mortgage company and they immediately cancel the mortgage because it was claimed as owner/occupied and now they have rental insurance.”
What Renos Should I do?
While few homeowners recoup the full cost of home renovations, updated bathrooms and kitchens, plus other improvements, can help you sell your home more quickly, and for more money. The added bonus is if you do the renovations while you live in the home, you get to enjoy the renovated spaces for at least a little while before it goes on the market.
But some renovations can actually damage your home’s value. These supposed improvements not only add nothing to your bottom line, they may make your home less attractive to potential buyers and bring down its value.
How much they hurt will depend. If the home is in a highly desirable location, potential buyers may be willing to overlook purple walls and an ugly kitchen counter, or they may be willing to do their own renovations. In a subdivision where many similar homes are for sale, the one with bad renovations may linger unsold.
In general, real estate agents and design experts advise keeping resale in mind when you renovate, especially if you don’t plan to stay in the home forever.
“Renovations are always best done when they’re neutral and tasteful,” says Gea Elika, principal broker of Elika Real Estate in New York and a regional director of the National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents. “Don’t personalize it if you plan on selling it.”
According to Remodeling magazine’s 2015 Cost vs. Value report, the home renovations that bring the greatest return when you sell are a new entry door (which brings you 101.8 percent of what you spend on the national average), the application of manufactured stone veneer (92.2 percent) and a garage door replacement (88.4 percent). The ones with the smallest return are a sunroom addition (48.5 percent), a home office remodel (48.7 percent) and a bathroom addition (57.8 percent).
The value of some features varies by geography. A swimming pool, for example, is more desirable in Florida or Hawaii than in Minnesota or Maine, but even in Florida some buyers might not want the added maintenance cost.
In Pittsburgh, where flat yards are rare, a home with a fabulous flat yard may sell quickly no matter what has been done to the interior. “You could get away with doing certain things to a house here that you couldn’t in Florida,” says Kevin Brown Jr., president of Praedium Real Estate Services in Pittsburgh and a regional director of NAEBA.
Here are six renovations that may hurt your home’s selling price or keep it on the market longer than it would be otherwise.
Converted garage. Some homeowners see converting a garage as a cheaper way to add more living space than building an addition – and it is. But many buyers would prefer a garage, especially in cold and rainy climates. “That room will always feel like a cold garage,” says Sabrina Booth, an agent with Redfin in Seattle. “A garage is much more valuable than an extra room in Seattle.”
Eliminating a bedroom or powder room. In older homes, combining smaller rooms in the public living space might add to the value because today’s homeowners like large, open spaces. Eliminating a powder room, however, is a bad idea. And turning a bedroom into a master closet or combining two bedrooms to create a large master suite may not pay. “You’ve eliminated a whole living space,” Brown says.
Heavy personalization. We all want to make our homes into our signature spaces. But some unusual features may turn off potential buyers. Matt Francis, branch manager of Better Homes and Gardens Mason-McDuffie Real Estate in the San Francisco Bay Area, once showed a $1.5 million home with a custom kitchen that had two college dorm refrigerators instead of a full-size fridge and no freezer. “Anything that is too personal or too specific would not appeal to the broadest pool of buyers,” Booth says.
Too much color. If you love color, paint the walls of your home all the hues of a rainbow – and then paint over them in a neutral color when you’re ready to sell the place. Be aware that aqua appliances or neon tile may not appeal to most buyers. “Everybody has an opinion about a color. Nobody has a strong objection to neutral color,” Booth says. “Even though they can paint over it, their impression of the house is negative.”
Adding a pool. In some neighborhoods in warm states such as Florida, Hawaii, Arizona and California, pools are expected, and adding a pool to homes in those neighborhoods is unlikely to scare off buyers. In cooler climates, where pools have to be opened and closed every season, a pool may be seen as more of an expensive hassle than an asset.
Renovations without permits. Nearly every municipality requires permits for major (and sometimes minor) renovations. That’s partly to ensure that all home improvements are up to code. Savvy buyers will ask whether renovations were done with permits (requesting copies of them is a good idea), and some cities require inspections before homes are sold. Buying a home with unpermitted work can cost later if the city requires the work to be torn out and redone or levies a fine.
By Teresa Mears
It’s the most wonderful time of the year……. Yes, the kids are off to another wonderful year of academic adventure allowing parents to get some sort of routine going once again.
I truly hope that everyone has enjoyed the summer and are looking forward to a fantastic autumn.
Have a wonderful week, Anthony