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When do you have to pay capital gains tax?

When it comes to paying taxes, Canadians are used to footing the bill for income tax. But what about capital gains tax? When do you have to pay capital gains tax? This unique tax is applied to profits made from the sale of certain assets, such as stocks and real estate. While the rate of capital gains tax varies depending on the province in which you live, it is generally lower than your marginal income tax rate.

What Is Capital Gains Tax?

When you buy a property and later sell it for more than you paid, the difference is your “capital gain.” If the sale price is less than what you paid, the difference is a “capital loss.” Keep records of all improvements you make to the property so that you can add their cost to your “base cost” (what you paid plus the cost of these improvements), this will help to reduce your capital gain.

You pay tax on half your capital gain. So, if your capital gain is $50,000, for example, you include $25,000 in your income for tax purposes. The taxes you pay on a capital gain are usually lower than the taxes you pay on other types of income.

In order to calculate the capital gain, you must first determine the “taxable gain.” The taxable gain is equal to the sale price of the property minus the “adjusted cost base” of the property. The adjusted cost base is generally equal to the purchase price of the property, plus any improvements that have been made to the property, minus any depreciation that has been claimed.

If you are selling your principal residence (i.e. your home) and you lived in your home each year that you owned it, you will likely be eligible for a Capital Gains Tax exemption.

Capital gains tax

What Are Some Situation When You May Need To Pay Capital Gains Tax?

There are a number of situations where you may be required to pay capital gains tax in Canada. If you sell a property that is not your primary residence, you will typically be subject to capital gains tax. Similarly, if you sell shares of a company or other investments, you may also be required to pay capital gains tax. Capital gains tax is calculated based on the difference between the purchase price and the sale price of the asset. The rate of tax depends on a number of factors, including your marginal tax rate and the particular tax laws in the province which you own the property in. In some cases you may be able to make qualify for the principal home exemption. For example, if you sell your home and purchase a new one, you may be eligible for the exemption. However, there are restrictions and conditions that must be met in order for the exemption to apply.

Toronto real estate agents

What Is A Principal Residence?

As of the time of this blog post, the Canadian Government states that the following criteria are required in order for a property to “qualify” as a principal residence:

  • It is a housing unit, a leasehold interest in a housing unit, or a share of the capital stock of a co-operative housing corporation you acquire only to get the right to inhabit a housing unit owned by that corporation.
  • You own the property alone or jointly with another person.
  • You, your current or former spouse or common-law partner, or any of your children lived in it at some time during the year.
  • You designate the property as your principal residence.
  • The land on which your home is located can be part of your principal residence. Usually, the amount of land that you can consider as part of your principal residence is limited to 1/2 hectare (1.24 acres). However, if you can show that you need more land to use and enjoy your home, you can consider more than this amount as part of your principal residence. For example, this may happen if the minimum lot size imposed by a municipality at the time you bought the property is larger than 1/2 hectare.

As you can see from the above information, if you are considering investing in Toronto real estate, it is important to take capital gains tax into consideration when forecasting your return on investment. It is also important to keep in mind that you will likely be required to pay capital gains tax if you should decide to sell your principal residence and transition to renting a property. It’s important that you speak with your accountant or your real estate lawyer to see if you will be exempt from having to pay capital gains on the sale of your property.

 

Are you thinking of making a move or have questions about the Toronto real estate market? Contact me any time, I’m always happy to help.

The Beaches Restaurants

As someone who lives in The Beaches and as an agent who works in the community, my clients often ask for suggestions regarding different restaurants in The Beaches, especially if they are new to the area.

One of the things I love the most about living and working in this part of the city is the fact that it doesn’t feel like you are in the city and it has the vibe of a small town even though it’s quite a large area geographically speaking. One of the best features this community has to offer are the many different restaurants that provide a wide range of food options to local residents and visitors.

I’ve put together this  directory of Beaches restaurants in hopes of making your search for your next meal that much easier. Although this list may not include every single restaurant in The Beaches, it does include many of the prominent restaurants in the area. Feel free to send me a message if you think of a restaurant that isn’t on the list which you feel should be added.

The Beaches Restaurants

 

Restaurants In The Beaches

 

The Beacher Cafe 

2162 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON

416-699-3874

thebeachercafe.com

 

Slate Restaurant & Bar (Italian Food)

2237 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON

416-686-0800

 

Mamma’s Pizza (Italian Food / Pizza)

2118 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON

416-690-0707

mammaspizza.com

 

6ix Pizzas (Italian Food / Pizza) 

2070 Queens Street E

Toronto, ON

416-551-4894

6ixpizzas.com

 

The Hideout On The Beach (Pub Food)

2282 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON

416-693-2727

 

Bagels On Fire (Bagels)

2248 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON

647-343-8484

 

The Haven Low-Carb Cafe (Low-Carb, Gluten Free Food & Coffee)

2256 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON

416-698-2265

thehavencafe.ca

 

Remarkable Bean (Coffee Shop & Cafe)

2242 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON

416-690-2420

 

Oro Cafe & Eatery (Coffee Shop & Cafe)

2377 Queen Street East

Toronto, ON

416-690-6555

orocafeandeatery.com

 

Tori’s Bakeshop (Coffee & Cafe)

2188 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON

647-350-6500

torisbakeshop.ca

 

Bud’s Coffee (Coffee & Cafe)

1966 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON

416-699-9410

 

Sauvignon Bistro & Bakery (Coffee & Cafe)

1862 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON

416-686-1998

sauvignonbistro.com

 

Juice & Java Cafe (Juices, Coffee & Cafe)

2102 Queen Street East

Toronto, ON

416-913-9977

juiceandjava.ca

 

Gong Cha (Bubble Tea)

1918a Queen Street E

Toronto, ON

416-686-1005

gong-cha.ca

 

Starbucks (Coffee & Cafe)

1960 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON

416-690-0731

starbucks.ca

 

Tim Hortons (Coffee & Cafe)

2002 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON

416-694-8393

locations.timhortons.ca

 

Zane Patisserie (Coffee & Cafe)

1842 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON

416-690-2813

zanepatisserie.com

 

Isabella’s Mochi Donut Boutique (Cafe / Japanese Style Donuts)

2066 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON

416-699-5050

isabellasdonuts.com

 

Freshii (Healthy Food Options)

2032 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON

647-812-3601

freshii.com

 

Sunset Grill (Breakfast Food)

2006 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON

416-690-9985

 

Beaches Brewing Company (Beer & Pub Food) 

1953 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON

647-492-3224

beachesbrewing.com

 

The Stone Lion (Pub Food)

1958 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON

416-690-1984

stonelionpub.com

 

Breakwall BBQ & Smokehouse (Pub Food)

1910 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON

416-699-4000

breakwallbbq.com

 

The Gull And Firkin (Pub Food)

1943 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON

416-693-9337

firkinpubs.com

 

Outrigger (Casual, American Food)

2232 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON

647-748-2232

outriggerto.com

 

Gabby’s (Pub Food)

2076 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON

416-699-5699

gabbys.ca

 

Ed’s Real Scoop (Ice Cream Shop)

2224 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON

416-699-6100

edsrealscoop.com

 

La Diperie Beaches (Ice Cream Shop)

2196 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON

416-567-3226

ladiperie.com

 

Xola (Mexican Food)

2222A Queen Street E

Toronto, ON

647-827-9070

xolarestaurant.com

 

Kyouka Ramen (Japanese Food)

222 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON

647-748-6288

Kyouka.ca 

 

Delhi Bistro (Indian Food)

2214 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON

647-351-6112

delhibistro.ca

 

955 Chinese Food (Chinese Food)

2252 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON

647-354-3818

955chinesefood.com

 

The Goof! Garden Gate Restaurant (Chinese & American Fare)

2379 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON

416-694-9696

thegoof.menu

 

Genji Sushi (Sushi)

2250 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON

416-699-9335

sushigenji.com

 

Yumei Sushi (Japanese Food)

2116 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON

416-698-7705

yumeisushi.ca

 

Hajime Japanese Restaurant (Japanese Food)

2209 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON

416-690-5959

hajimejapanese.com

 

Bikkuri Japanese (Japanese Food)

2197 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON

416-693-5775

bikkuriqueen.ca

 

Torisho (Japanese Food)

1940 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON

416-255-3584

torisho.ca

 

Green Basil (Thai Food)

2120 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON

416-698-2120

greenbasilrestaurant.com

 

Thai House Cuisine (Thai Food)

2213 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON

416-686-8541

thaihousetoronto.net

 

Inmigrante (Latin Food)

1959 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON

647-628-8180

 

Swiss Chalet (Rotisserie Chicken)

2148 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON

416-693-2881

swisschalet.com

 

Subway (Sandwiches)

2229 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON

647-436-1105

restaurants.subway.com

 

The Souvlaki Hut (Greek Food)

2100 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON

416-690-1927

souvlakihut.com

 

The Nutty Chocolatier (Chocolate & Sweets)

2179 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON

416-698-5548

thenuttychocolatier.com

 

Green Eggplant (Mediterranean Food)

2024 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON

416-913-3361

 

Delina Restaurant (Mediterranean Food)

1891 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON

647-348-2009

 

Toronto Beach Club (Mediterranean Food)

1681 Lake Shore Blvd E

Toronto, ON

416-694-8844

thetorontobeachclub.com

 

Friends Burgers (Burgers)

1922 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON

416-691-4545

 

Hero Burgers (Burgers)

2018 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON

647-748-7977

heroburgers.com

 

Fat Bastard Burrito (Burritos & Mexican Food)

2008 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON

416-551-3338

fatbastardburrito.ca

 

Tiflisi Restaurant (Georgian Food)

1970 Queen Street E

Toronto, ON

416-686-7389

tiflisitoronto.ca

 

 

Are you thinking about buying or selling in The Beaches or do you have questions about the market? Contact me any time with your questions or to discuss how I can help you achieve your specific real estate objectives.

 

Who is the best Toronto real estate agent?

If you’ve come across this blog post you’re likely either looking to hire “the best Toronto real estate agent”, you’re just curious to know who the best Toronto real estate agent is or you’re a real estate agent checking to see if Google has you listed as “the best Toronto real estate agent”. Regardless of reason, you’ve ended up here.

So, who is the best Toronto real estate agent?

That’s a great question and although many people will throw around certain “luxury agent” names during conversations, it’s hard to specifically define what “The best Toronto real estate agent” means or who they are. Are we talking about an agent who sells the highest volume of properties each year, an agent who sells very few properties but the ones they do sell are in the multi-million dollar price range, an agent who sells few properties but each one they list sells for record breaking numbers, are we talking about the agent that provides their clients with the absolute best level of service each and every time no matter what the price point is, is it the most honest agent, the one with the highest education, the one who is a part of elite social circles, the one with the most brokerage awards, the most Instagram followers or the most Google reviews?

“The best Toronto real estate agent” is quite a subjective term that will mean something different to everyone depending on what they value and what they are looking for in an agent.

As a full-time Toronto real estate agent who works with both sellers and buyers, I have had my fair share of experiences with working along side and opposite of agents on the other side of the deal table. I’ve had the opportunity to work with and opposite of “high end”, “low end”, experienced, new agents and everything in between, and what I have learned over the years is that Toronto real estate agents come in all different shapes and sizes, with different skills, backgrounds and personalities. Some are good and some are not so good, just like any other industry.

There are many great agents out there and when it comes to selecting the “best Toronto real estate agent” for your specific real estate objectives, it’s important to consider your specific needs and expectations. It’s essential that you consider what is important to you, what do you need from an agent to succeed at achieving your specific real estate goals. The agent who sells multi-million dollar homes may not be the right one for you if your home’s value is closer to the average Toronto home price. Conversely, if you’re looking to sell your $15M home in the Bridle Path, an agent who specializes in selling condos for $500k is probably not the one for you either.  These are just a couple of examples as to why the Google results for “the best Toronto real estate agent” may not be the right ones for you to make your decision, depending on what you specifically need and value.

Your search inquiry to Google shouldn’t be “who is the best Toronto real estate agent?” when looking to hire a real estate agent, the right question you should be asking yourself is “who is the best Toronto real estate agent for me?”. Who is going to provide you with the best results, the best customer service based on your home type, budget and specific needs and expectations. Who will you relate to the most and and enjoy working with and who will empower you as a seller or buyer by providing you with valuable information before, during and after the buying or selling process. Do you want to work with a real estate team and potentially get passed around amongst the team’s junior and less experienced agents or do you prefer to work with an experienced individual agent who will provide you with more one on one and personalized service. These are just some of the things you should be taking into consideration.

Whether it’s real estate, sports, fashion or otherwise, many people want to be associated with whomever is currently perceived as number one, but in real estate, the reality is that the perceived best Toronto real estate agent may not be the right one for you and your specific needs and values will determine who is actually the best fit for you and your real estate objectives.

 

Are you thinking about buying or selling or do you have questions about the current market? Contact me any time. I’m always happy to help.

 

What Is A 3D Virtual Home Tour?

Whether you are looking to buy a home or sell your home in Toronto, you may have wondered “what is a 3D virtual tour?”.  Although this technology isn’t new, it has become extremely popular over the last several years due to the pandemic restrictions that took place. The industry leader responsible for providing this technology is Matterport.

What Is A 3D Virtual Tour

Matterport has created a web-based platform that allows users to create 3D virtual twins of any space with the use of their 3D cameras. Once the photos have been taken, the system then creates a 3D twin of the space which viewers can then walk through virtually by toggling throughout the space. Below is a short video explanation with some examples.

When it comes to buying or selling a home, there are a lot of important decisions that need to be made. One of the most crucial decisions is whether or not you should rely on a virtual home tour for either buying a home or selling your home. Below are some things you should consider before making your decision.

The Advantages Of Virtual Home Tours

  • Convenience – They are incredibly convenient. You can view them 24/7, from anywhere in the world. All you need is an internet connection and a computer or mobile device. This means a buyer can fit them into their busy schedule, without having to take hours out of their day to travel to a physical location, at least not until they are seriously ready to view the property in person.
  • Virtual Home Tours Provide A Somewhat Realistic View Of A Property – You can get a sense of the layout and size of the rooms, as well as how the light comes in. Many virtual home tours include a measuring tool that allow you to measure room dimensions. This can be helpful when you’re trying to decide if a particular home is right for you and your existing furniture.

The Disadvantages Of Virtual Home Tours

  • The disadvantage of virtual home tours are that they can sometimes be less reliable than in-person tours. This is because the viewer doesn’t get a true sense of the space, the neighbourhood and the fine details throughout the home. Due to this, I always recommend that buyers view a property in person before submitting an offer.
  • Although virtual tours are convenient, you don’t get to make use of four important human senses including sight, smell, touch and hearing. Without viewing a property in person, you won’t be able to see the scratches on the hardwood floors, smell the bad smell coming from the basement, feel the broken front door handle or hear the noise from the subway which runs near the home. Additionally, virtual tours can sometimes be less informative than in-person tours, as you’re not able to ask questions about the property during the tour like you can in real life.

Overall, 3D virtual home tours are a great option for anyone who is buying or selling a home. They are convenient, offer a realistic view of the property, and can be edited to your liking. Just keep in mind that they may not be as reliable or informative as in-person tours. For that reason, when buying, I’m a firm believer that you should always view the property in person.

Hopefully the above has answered any questions you may have about what a 3D virtual tour is.

Are you thinking about making a move or have questions about the current market? Contact me any time, I’m always happy to help.

New Exclusive Listing Rules
UPDATE: Since the time that this blog was originally posted, CREA has clarified that one to one marketing between agents at different brokerages will be permitted.
The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) recently released the announcement below to all Ontario real estate agents informing them of changes that will become effective starting January 2023. These changes will affect the way that exclusive listings are marketed. It is important to review the below information if you have any plans of listing your home exclusively in the future. Unfortunately, for sellers who prefer to market their property privately, there is no option to opt out of these new rules.
“On January 1, 2023, the REALTOR® Cooperation Policy will require that REALTORS® must place their listing(s) on their board/association Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System for cooperation with other REALTORS® within three (3) days of public marketing. This policy seeks to reinforce cooperation among REALTORS®, which will better serve the needs of consumers, strengthen the MLS® and REALTOR® trademarks and increase the level of professionalism.
Either directly or indirectly, nearly every homeowner in Canada has used an MLS® System. They are REALTOR® to REALTOR® cooperative marketplaces that bring together REALTORS® who list properties on behalf of sellers and REALTORS® who represent buyers. When more listings are placed on an MLS® System, it becomes more comprehensive and valuable to REALTORS® and their clients: a real estate marketplace with more homes for sale will attract more buyers, and a marketplace with more buyers will attract more sellers. In other words, the interests of both REALTORS® and Canadian consumers are better served. These benefits were recently validated in a white paper we commissioned (you can read the full report here).
Early last year, the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) established a REALTOR® Cooperation Working Group made up of CREA staff and Executive Officers from various boards and associations across the country. The group was tasked with a review of the issues surrounding cooperation in the industry and solutions that could help address them.From feedback collected through consultation with industry stakeholders throughout Canada, the REALTOR® Cooperation Working Group put forth a recommendation to CREA’s Board of Directors that a policy be adopted as one of the solutions to address cooperation issues in the industry. The REALTOR® Cooperation Policy was approved by CREA’s Board of Directors.Boards and associations that operate MLS® Systems will have six months (until July 1, 2023) to adopt and enforce this or an equivalent policy in their MLS® System Rules.You might be wondering:How does placing a property listing on a board/association MLS® System benefit REALTORS® and consumers?From a seller’s perspective, a property listing with extensive exposure on an MLS® System may increase the number of offers received and improve their chances of receiving the most competitive offers for their home. At the same time, buyer clients benefit when their REALTORS® have access to a more complete inventory of homes for sale that may meet their needs.Can a listing brokerage or REALTOR® “opt-out” of the policy’s obligations? No, there is no mechanism for listing brokerages and/or REALTORS® to “opt-out” of the policy. This policy will be adopted by all board/association members of CREA as part of their MLS® System rules or equivalent policy and apply to all members who publicly market property listings.Does this policy apply to non-active property listings (like “Coming Soon” listings)?Yes. This policy applies to all listings that are publicly marketed, whether they’re active when public marketing begins or not. REALTORS® should be prepared to place all property listings on their board/association MLS® System within the required timeframe once public marketing begins.What’s considered “public marketing”?The policy defines “public marketing” as the representation or marketing of a listing to the public or any REALTOR® not directly affiliated with the listing brokerage/office in a business capacity and includes any representation regarding the sale of the property (flyers, yard signs, digital marketing on public-facing websites, brokerage website displays, social media posts, etc.).”
What Is Virtual Staging

If you’ve been considering selling your home and have completed some preliminary research as to what the process is, you may have come across the term “virtual staging” and wondered “What is virtual staging?”. I have put together this blog post in order to help you understand what virtual stating is along with the pros and cons of this staging method so you can decide if it is right for your home.

When selling or leasing a home, it’s important to make sure that it looks as appealing as possible to potential buyers or tenants. One way to do this is by using virtual staging. Virtual staging is the process of adding or removing furniture and other objects from an image in order to create a more appealing visual. This can be done for photos of individual rooms or for entire home, both inside and outside.

If you’re thinking about virtually staging your home for sale, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, you’ll want to make sure that the furniture you use is in line with the overall style of the home. Second, you’ll want to choose pieces that are neutral in colour and design. This will help potential buyers or tenants visualize themselves living in the space. Finally, you’ll want to make sure that the furniture is arranged in a way that makes sense for the room.

Below are the pros and cons of virtual staging.

Pros:

  • You don’t have to bring in or remove real furniture like you normally would with real staging
  • There won’t be any nail holes in your walls from hanging wall art and other wall decor
  • You won’t need to worry about cleaning your home after real stagers leave your home
  • Some potential buyers or tenants will prefer to view an empty space vs one with furniture

Cons:

  • Although virtual staging is pretty impressive, buyers with an eye for detail may be able to determine if your property is virtually staged. This isn’t to say that they won’t be interested in viewing your property in person but it may give them an off feeling when viewing your property photos online
  • Some potential buyers or tenants will be more impressed by a space with nicely staged furniture in place rather than seeing virtually staged photos online and then seeing an empty space in real life

In order to help you visualize what virtual staging is, I have included some before and after photos below of a space that my team of stagers and I recently virtually staged for landlord clients of mine for their investment property. As you will be able to see from the photos, the virtually staged photos provide a sense of how the space can look with furniture. The best part about this process is that it simply involves taking professional photos and my virtual stager’s time to put everything together using their virtual staging software.

What Is Virtual Staging

What Is Virtual Staging

What Is Virtual Staging

What Is Virtual Staging

What Is Virtual Staging

What Is Virtual Staging

What Is Virtual Staging

What Is Virtual Staging

What Is Virtual Staging

What Is Virtual Staging

Below are additional photos of another space that my team and I virtually staged for a client.

What Is Virtual Staging

What Is Virtual Staging

What Is Virtual Staging

What Is Virtual Staging

What Is Virtual Staging

What Is Virtual Staging

What Is Virtual Staging

If you’re working with an experienced real estate agent who is up to date with current staging and marketing trends, they will likely be familiar with virtual staging and they should be able to explain if it’s right for your home. Either way, virtual staging is a great way to make your home more appealing to potential buyers and tenants.

Hopefully the above information was able to answer any questions you may have had about virtual staging.

Are you thinking about making a move or do you have a property that you are thinking of selling or leasing? Contact me any time with any questions you may have about the current market and how I can help you achieve your specific real estate objectives.

How To Choose The Contractor

Understanding how to choose the right contractor can be a daunting task. You want to make sure you get the best value for your money, and that the job is done correctly.

Before starting my career in real estate, I owned a design and build company that specialized in a wide range of projects. Whether it was installing custom pools and landscaping or providing project management services for interior renovation projects in some of Toronto’s most affluent neighbourhoods, I helped many clients with turning their renovation dreams into reality. With over 15 years in the design and build industry and interviewing and hiring sub-contractors for many projects, I’ve seen it all and know what to consider and look out for when hiring a contractor.

Below are seven tips to help you choose the right contractor in Toronto for your project.

How To Choose The Right Contractor

#1: Ask For Referrals From Friends, Family And Neighbours

The best way to find a good service provider is through referrals from people you know and trust. Friends, family, and neighbours are all likely to have had work done on their homes at some point, so they can give you first-hand insights into the quality of workmanship and customer service you can expect. When speaking with people who have had similar work done, ask about their overall experience and whether they would recommend the same company to others. Once you have a few referral names, take the time to do your own research by reading online reviews and checking out the company’s website. This will help you make an informed decision about which service provider is right for you.

#2 Check The Contractor’s License & Insurance

Before hiring a contractor, be sure to check their license and insurance information. This will help to ensure that they are properly qualified to do the work and that they have the financial resources to cover any damages that may occur. To check a contractor’s license, contact your local City of Toronto building department. For insurance information, ask the contractor for a certificate of insurance or contact their insurer directly. You will also want to ask for proof of WSIB. By taking these precautions, you can help to protect yourself from costly mistakes and avoid potential legal issues.

How To Choose The Right Contractor

#3 Get Estimates From Several Contractors

Before you begin any home improvement project, it is important to get estimates from several contractors. This will give you a better sense of the overall cost of the project and allow you to compare prices. It is also important to ask each contractor for a list of references. This will give you an opportunity to speak with past clients and get a better sense of the contractor’s workmanship. Once you have gathered estimates and spoken with references, you will be in a better position to choose the right contractor for your project.

#4. Review The Contractor’s Work And Reviews

Before you decide on which contractor to use, meet with each contractor in person and see if you can view some of their completed work in person. This will give you a chance to ask questions and get a feel for the quality of work they provide.

How To Choose A Contractor

#5: Make Sure The Contractor You Choose Is Clear And Concise:

A construction project can be an overwhelming task, no matter how big or small it may be. There are many factors to consider, and the last thing you want is to end up with a contractor who is not up to the job. When choosing a contractor, make sure that they are clear and concise in their communication. They should be able to explain the scope of the project and give you a realistic timeline for completion. In addition, they should be able to provide you with a detailed estimate of the costs involved. By taking the time to find a contractor who meets these criteria, you can ensure that your construction project will be completed on time and on budget.

#6 Make Sure Your Contractor Gets The Necessary Permits Before Starting The Work

Before beginning any construction project, it is essential to obtain the proper permits from your local government. Building without a permit can result in expensive fines, and in some cases, your work may need to be torn down. The permitting process can seem nerve-racking, but it is relatively straightforward if you know what to expect. In most cases, you will need to submit a set of plans to your local building department, along with a fee. Once your plans are reviewed and approved, you will be issued a permit. Make sure to check with your local building department for specific requirements in your area. Taking the time to obtain the necessary permits will help ensure that your construction project proceeds smoothly. You can begin your building permit application HERE.

In addition to avoiding delays and potential fines, obtaining the necessary permits also ensures that you do not run into any issues when selling your home. Not obtaining the necessary permits can be a costly mistake when it comes time to list your home for sale. Discover the 5 reasons why you should get a building permit HERE.

#7 Read The Contract In Detail:

Finally, be sure to review the contract carefully before signing it (including any fine print). This will help you avoid any misunderstandings or unexpected costs down the road.

By taking the above precautions, you can be sure that you’re hiring a reputable contractor who will hopefully do a great job and provide you with good service.

 

Are you thinking about making a move and have question about the current market or what renovation projects will add the most value to your home? Contact me any time with your questions or to book a free consultation to learn what renovations will add the most value to your home.

Chestnut Park Real Estate Market Report (September 2022)

In September 5,038 residential properties were reported sold in the greater Toronto area. This is the lowest number of recorded sales for September since 2001 when only 5,021 properties were sold. This data is even more dramatic and the decline is more striking when correlated to the greater Toronto area’s population. In 2001 Toronto’s population was almost 4.7 million people. Currently, it is approaching 6.4 million.

There is no mystery as to why sales have decreased so dramatically. In March of this year 10,871 properties were reported sold. This was not a monthly record. The record for monthly sales is March 2021, when 15,627 sales were recorded. The decline in sales can be directly attributed to the rise in the Bank of Canada’s benchmark rate. In early March it was 0.25 percent. It’s now 3.25 percent and expected to rise once again by the end of October when the Bank provides its analysis of the economy and its views on inflation.

The basic market data for September is set out in the chart below.

Chestnut Park Real Estate Market Report (September 2022)

As mortgage interest rates have continued to increase, more than double since March, sales and average sales prices have declined. Current 5 year fixed mortgage interest rates hover around 5.5 percent. Potential buyers however must qualify at 7.5 percent when mortgage stress testing is applied. The increase in mortgage interest rates have effectively made housing even less affordable than it was in February of this year when the average sale price for all properties sold in the greater Toronto area was $1,334,093, almost 20 percent higher than it is today.

Chestnut Park Real Estate Market Report (September 2022)

The decline in average sale prices is, except for condominium apartment sales, universal. Both in the City of Toronto and in the 905 region, prices for detached, semi-detached, and townhomes decreased on a year-over-year basis. Condominium apartment sales prices, the least expensive housing in the greater Toronto area, increased by 3.4 percent in the City of Toronto and by 3.3 percent in the 905 region. In central Toronto, where most of the greater Toronto area’s condominium apartments are located, the average sale price came in at $827,478. Notwithstanding the overall decline in average sale prices over the last six months, the least expensive housing form in the greater Toronto area has not become less expensive.

Sales prices are now consistently lower than asking prices. That’s because buyers have more choices and multiple offer competitions are the exception and not the norm as they were during the height of the pandemic. In September the average sale price compared to the average list price was 98 percent. In February and March, all properties sold (on average) for more than 110 percent of the asking price.

The only trading area that is bucking this trend is, once again, Toronto’s eastern districts. In September, all properties reported sold in Toronto’s eastern districts sold for 101 percent of their asking price and in only 19 days. Semi-detached properties sold for 104 percent of their asking price and in only 13 days. Multiple offer competitions are not unusual in the eastern districts, especially Riverdale, Leslieville, and the Beach, although they are nowhere near as frequent as they were prior to March of this year.

Unfortunately, there are no signs of relief for the rest of the resale housing market in the near future, although it does appear that average sale prices have stabilized and have even risen since July. At the beginning of September average sale prices in the City of Toronto were slightly over $1 Million. At the end of September, they were hovering around $1,080,000. Based on public statements made by the Bank of Canada in its crusade to reduce inflation, a further increase in the benchmark rate is expected in late October. The consistently increasing rates have had a negative financial and psychological impact on buyers. Consequently, we can expect a continuation of September’s market trend right through to the end of 2022.

Have questions about the market, selling or buying?

Contact me any time. I’m happy to answer any questions you may have.

Prepared by Chris Kapches, LLB, President and CEO, Broker, Chestnut Park® Real Estate Limited, Brokerage.

Your Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

The mornings are brisk, the leaves have started changing to beautiful vibrant colours and we begin to see our breath. It’s hard to believe but it’s that time of year again, the time to look over your fall home maintenance checklist. Below is a list of items you will want to consider addressing this fall before the temperature gets too cold. Not only are the items in this list below important for general home maintenance, they are also important to consider if you have any plans of selling your home in the near future as ignoring them could reduce the value of your home.

Clean And Pack Away All Af Your Patio Furniture Cushions – Before the temperatures get too cold, spray down your patio furniture cushions and let them dry out in the sun before storing them for the winter. If you wait too late into the fall or early winter to do this, your cushions won’t dry.

Store Or Wrap Your Outdoor Furniture – If you don’t have any indoor space to store your outdoor furniture, consider wrapping your furniture in order to protect it from the ice and snow. This is especially important for any metal furniture as the moisture from the ice and snow will potentially cause it to rust.

Deadhead And Prune Your Gardens – It is best to deadhead and cut back and prune the plants and trees in your garden that require this type of care in the fall. Don’t forget to check your local garbage schedule HERE to see which days collect compostable garden waste bags.

Your Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

Aerate, Overseed & Fertilize Your Lawns – Aerating, overseeding and fertilizing your lawn in the fall will help it look its best in the spring. This is very easy to do on your own if you are comfortable with using simple hand tools. You can also hire a company to provide this service.

Clean Your Eavestroughs & Downspouts – This is extremely important as you don’t want to experience any water or ice damage during the winter months due to clogged eavestroughs and downspouts. You may want to try contacting Sunnyside Window & Eaves Cleaning if you live in the east end of the city such as The Beaches, Upper Beaches, Birchcliff, East York, Danforth Village, Leslieville or Riverdale.

Test Your Sump Pump – If you have a sump pump, it is important that you test it before the winter to ensure that everything is running properly in order to avoid basement flooding which can happen when snow thaws during the winter months and in the early spring. If you don’t already have one, you may want to consider installing one as the cost of installing a sump pump definitely outweighs the costs and inconvenience that comes along with a potential flood in your basement. In addition to having a sump pump, it is best to also have a back-up battery connected to it so that your sump pump is always ready to do its job even if your power goes out.

Your Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

Get A Check Up On Your Heating System – This may be too obvious to have on a fall home maintenance checklist, but I’ve included it just in case you haven’t thought of it. With the freezing cold winter months coming, the last thing you want is for your heating system to break down. Hire an HVAC company in the fall to complete a check up on your system to ensure that everything is in good working order.

Cover Your Air Conditioner – Cover your air conditioner with a waterproof cover to avoid any ice getting into it and damaging it. This will also keep out other unwanted items like leaves, twigs and branches which could potentially damage your air conditioner.

Change Your Furnace Filter – Since you are going to be spending more time inside over the winter months, it’s essential that you are breathing clean air. Many people forget to change their furnace filter on a regular basis which can not only lead to an unhealthy living environment but also potentially cause damage to your heating system which is very expensive to replace.  It’s recommended that you change your air filter every 90 days. In addition to changing your air filter, you may also want to consider upgrading your air filter to a higher grade.

Your Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

Check Your Fire And Carbon Monoxide Alarms – With the use of fireplaces and other heating systems during the winter months, it’s important to test your fire and carbon monoxide alarms and to have any glitches addressed immediately. If you have independent alarms that run on batteries, make sure you switch out the batteries with new ones in the fall to ensure that they work if needed.

Get A Checkup On Your Fireplace – Whether you have a gas fireplace or a wood burning fireplace, it is important to ensure both are in good working order and are safe to use this fall and coming winter. If you have a wood burning fireplace, it is important that you use a WETT certified inspector to inspect your chimney and fireplace. Most gas fireplace companies have their own inspectors that will inspect your fireplace to ensure that it is safe to use.

Clean Your Windows – Fall is a great time to clean your windows before it gets too cold in the winter. You may want to try contacting Sunnyside Window & Eaves Cleaning if you live in the east end of the city such as The Beaches, Upper Beaches, Birchcliff, East York, Danforth Village, Leslieville or Riverdale.

Your Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

Declutter Your Summer Items – Many homes in the east end of the city such as The Beaches, Upper Beaches, East York and Leslieville are quite small and don’t have front hall closets. Fall is a good time to move your summer belongings into storage.

Turn Off Your Outdoor Hose Bibs – This is an important one to include in your home maintenance checklist. It is extremely important that you either turn off all of your outdoor hose bibs or replace them with non-freeze hose bibs in order to avoid any flooding due to freezing pipes.

Drain garden hoses – Drain any garden hoses you may have and store them indoors. If you leave water in your hose, it can freeze and expand to the point that it damages your hose.

Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

Blow out irrigation pipes – This is a very important step if you have an irrigation system. If you neglect to do this, you could be looking at costly repairs to your irrigation system.

Prepare Gas Operated Equipment For The Winter Storage – Remove any remaining fuel or add fuel stabilizer to any gas powered equipment. This will ensure that your equipment will start properly in the spring and keep your equipment in good working order.

Test And Tune Up Your Snowblower If You Have One – Don’t wait until the biggest snowfall of the year to test your snowblower. Make sure everything is running properly before the first snowfall to avoid any issues.

Although it may seem like a lot to tackle, most of these items are essential to address prior to the winter months. What seems like a bit of a hassle now will definitely pay off over the winter. Save this list as your fall home maintenance checklist for years to come.

 

Are you thinking about making a move or have questions about the current market or buying and selling processes? Contact me any time with your questions, I’m always happy to help.

10 Best Ways To Declutter Your Home

Are you feeling overwhelmed by the clutter in your home? If so, you’re not alone. Clutter can be more than just an eyesore. It can actually make you feel stressed and overwhelmed, leading to decreased productivity and even health problems. If you’re looking for ways to declutter your home, check out these 10 tips!

1. Purge your home of unnecessary items – Start by going through your home room by room and getting rid of anything you no longer need or use. This can be a difficult task, but it’s important to be honest with yourself about what you really need and don’t need.

2. Store food in sealed jars – One way to gain additional cupboard and counter space in your kitchen is by storing certain foods in sealed jars instead of leaving them in the bags and boxes that they come packaged in. This will allow you to keep your kitchen more organized. Foods to consider storing in jars include pasta, rice, oats, cookies etc.

Ways To Declutter Your Home

3. Create a donation pile for things you no longer want or need – If you have items that are in good condition but you no longer want or need them, consider donating them to a local charity. This is a great way to declutter your home and help others in the process.

4. Set aside a space for things you want to sell – If you have items that are still in good condition and are valuable but you no longer want or need them, consider selling them. This is a great way to declutter your home and make some extra money in the process.

Decluttering Your Home

5. Pack away seasonal items to free up storage space – If you have seasonal items that you only use a few times a year, consider packing them away until you need them. This will declutter your home and give you more storage space.

6. Organize the remaining items in your home – Once you’ve decluttered your home, it’s important to organize the remaining items. This will help you keep your home decluttered and make it easier to find things when you need them.

10 Best Ways To Declutter Your Home

7. Find creative ways to store unused items – If you have items that you don’t use often but can’t bear to get rid of, find creative ways to store them. This will declutter your home and give you peace of mind knowing that your belongings are safe. If you have a garage, maybe you can add shelving to provide additional storage space, if you have room in your yard, building a shed can be a good option as well. Alternatively, you can rent storage unit.

8. Make a plan to keep your home decluttered in the future – Once you’ve decluttered your home, it’s important to make a plan to keep it that way. This may require you to change your habits or the way you organize your belongings. But, if you make a plan and stick to it, you can keep your home decluttered for good.

How To Declutter Your Home

9. Get help from friends, family members or a service if needed – If you’re struggling to declutter your home on your own, ask for help from friends and family members. They can offer support and advice on how to declutter your home. If you don’t have any friends or family that may be helpful with this subject, you may want to consider hiring a decluttering service to help you organize your home.

10. Celebrate your accomplishments – Once you’ve decluttered your home, take a moment to celebrate your accomplishment! This is a big task and it’s important to congratulate yourself on a job well done.

Decluttering your home will not only provide you and your family with a healthier living space it will also make certain daily household chores such as cleaning easier. For all you parents out there, as a parent myself of two little ones, I understand how hard it can be to keep things organized. You may not be able to keep your home in a picture perfect state on a daily basis but decluttering will provide you with additional space to store certain items such as toys out of the way so you no longer need to worry about stepping on them.

Hopefully the above tips have been helpful to you and have given you some ideas as to how you can declutter your home.

 

Are you thinking of making a move or have questions about the current Toronto real estate market? Contact me any time with your questions, I’m always happy to help.

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