August 5, 2021    中文(简体)   

How to Maintain a Swimming Pool

24. June 2021 11:19

Whether you are laying out, soaking up some rays or hosting a backyard summer barbeque, owning a home with a pool certainly has its perks.

 

In fact, the number of homeowners that invested in adding a swimming pool to their home went up in 2020, partially to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic1.

 

Some companies have experienced so much more volume that they are pushing orders into 2022 as the industry experiences a shortage of materials for installation and landscaping2.

 

But while having a pool is great, there is a lot that goes into maintaining one. It's especially important to make sure your pool is equipped to weather the colder months and for growing families, safety can also be a concern.

 

After spending days outside splashing in the water and enjoying the sun, here are the key things you should do to help maintain your pool while it's in use and during the off-season.

 

 

 

Check Your Primary Components

 

Pools have a lot of working systems that you should look over periodically throughout the year. Verifying the pumps and pipes are all in working order becomes even more important when the summer starts to taper off into fall.

 

As temperatures drop, pipes can freeze and damage systems. Cracks can also form that can cost you a substantial amount of money to remedy.

 

To help prevent major maintenance and repairs, make sure to drain the water from the heater, filter, and pump with a motorized pump or pool vacuum.

 

You should also clean your pool walls and floor with a pool brush and use a pool skimmer regularly (don’t forget to check the basket!). Similarly, check and clean your filtration system and replace any older filters where applicable.

 

Chemicals Are Your Friend

 

While nobody really loves that residual chlorine smell, the fact is that adding the right chemicals and solutions to your pool will help it survive the winter and last longer.

 

Algaecide is a tool that many pool providers recommend you add to your water before you close it down in the off-season to help prevent algae from building up. Adding other winterizing products, such as PoolTec's Winter Lay-Up Pool Treatment, will also help prevent bacteria and growth of other microorganisms.

 

Other enzyme products, such as Pool Perfect, can also be employed to help breakdown contaminants. Things like pollen, bird droppings, and other organic particulates can get into the water which if untreated can cause a ring to form, like a bathtub if left uncleaned for some time.

 

Rather than scrubbing out your entire pool every year, adding specific solutions to your pool can help reduce the amount of physical maintenance you need to perform throughout the seasons.

 

Lastly, it's important you maintain the right pH level throughout the year as well as periodically adding chlorine. Many homeowners make the mistake of adding too much chlorine right before winter. However, adding too much chlorine can bleach your pool liner.

 

Make Sure to Cover Up

 

One of the best ways to maintain your pool for years to come is to invest in the right pool safety cover. Make sure you get a pool cover that properly fits your pool to help prevent the accumulation of debris, bugs, and other particulates.

 

If your cover has cables, make sure to check these throughout the winter to make sure they are tight and secure.

 

An air pillow can be a great investment by protecting your pool from ice and snow damage. It can also help keep your cover secure and stable.

 

Additionally, keeping the pool maintained may require you to clear your cover of organic matter, such as sticks and leaves during the warmer months, and ice and snow build up during the winter.

 

Removing ice and snow is important otherwise your cover may stretch and become damaged. Do not use a shovel or anything with sharp edges to remove snow or else you run the risk of puncturing your cover. Instead use a broom to push snow off the cover or a leaf blower for lesser accumulation.

 

Leave it to the Professionals

 

Maintaining a pool can be a lot of work. If you are having trouble finding the time to take care of the basic upkeep or are unsure if you are taking care of all the tasks needed to properly open and close your pool for the seasons, consider hiring a professional pool maintenance company.

 

There is no shame in asking a professional pool maintenance company to maintain the pool especially when opening and closing the pool. In fact, this might be the best option if you only occupy the property on a seasonal basis. Just make sure you do your research and find a reputable pool maintenance company that will give it the proper tender love and care it deserves.

 

Sources

 

1 Canadian Press. (2020, June 25). CANADA: Homeowners outfitting backyards with pools to deal with COVID-19 pandemic. Retrieved June 17, 2021, from https://www.thoroldtoday.ca/around-ontario/canada-homeowners-outfitting-backyards-with-pools-to-deal-with-covid-19-pandemic-2518791

 

2 Foran, P. (2021, June 02). Ontario pool companies now taking orders for next summer as pandemic drags on. Retrieved June 17, 2021, from https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/ontario-pool-companies-now-taking-orders-for-next-summer-as-pandemic-drags-on-1.5453687

 

 

 

Buyers Introduction to Oakville, Ontario

19. April 2021 18:25

Looking for a unique suburban city with a healthy mix of adventure and relaxation? Then you may want to consider calling Oakville, Ontario home.

 

This quiet, mid-sized city is the perfect escape from the bustle of downtown Toronto living, all while offering residents a little bit of everything from culture and arts, to a robust sports community.

 

Dubbed 2018’s Best Place to Live in Canada by MoneySense Magazine, Oakville is full of places to explore and amenities to try. If you are considering moving to this beautiful little town near the water, here are few things to know about this amazing city.

 

 

 

Neighborhoods

 

Oakville comprises roughly 13 to 14 local neighborhoods, all of which have a fairly strong European influence but are flavorfully unique depending on your lifestyle and personality.

 

If you want to be immersed in culture and tradition, there is no better place than the historic downtown district of Old Oakville, nestled next to Lake Ontario. College Park offers easy access to shopping and public transit.

 

Alternatively, if a newer more modern home is more your style, consider buying around Iroquois Ridge to the south. You can often find townhomes and condominiums at a price below an average single-family home in the area.

 

Many Oakville neighborhoods like Morrison and East Lake offer luxury living to those seeking larger lots, sizable suites, and custom builds. Clearview, West Oak Trails, and Glenn Abbey are other popular communities to consider.

 

According to Zolo’s April 2021 Housing Market Report, the average sales price for a new home in Oakville is $1.5 million. While it is one of the more expensive areas to live in, it is also highly sought after as the average amount of time a property stays on the market is roughly 9 days.

 

Amenities and Places to Visit

 

Deciding where to start exploring can be difficult as Oakville offers a multitude of museums, shops, and recreational areas to visit. You can’t go wrong with a trip to the Bronte Harbour, which offers a boardwalk, marina, lighthouse, and beach park.

 

Looking for a relaxing night out with some friends, Cameron’s Brewing Company is a top destination for residents looking to enjoy (arguably) some of the best beer in Canada.

 

Get lost in Lion’s Valley or Coronation Park, both of which offer scenic trails and vistas that every outdoor enthusiast can appreciate. Not feeling active? The Oakville Museum and Joshua Creek Heritage Art Centre both provide a touch of sophistication that won’t disappoint.

 

Don’t forget about Oakville’s 60 soccer fields, complete with a FIFA certified Soccer Club Facility, and home to the infamous Canadian Soccer League’s Blue Devils. Lacrosse, golf, and watersports are also popular among the locals.

 

Demographics

 

Leveraging the strong labor market in Toronto, Oakville offers numerous employment opportunities to those in affluent professions. Common industries include software development, engineering, and healthcare. Most residents commute to neighboring urban epicenters.

 

Oakville’s low crime rate also makes it an attractive place to live, especially for buyers with growing families. In fact, 30% of the city residents are 19 years or younger which is higher than the national average. However, the median resident age is approximately 40 years old.

 

In general, the city’s overall population sits at nearly 200,000 residents with the average family median income reaching just over $100,000. Almost two thirds of residents have a college diploma.

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Spruce Up For Spring With These Fresh Home Maintenance Tips

11. March 2021 14:43

For years the warmer temperatures and melting snow have been synonymous with the changing seasons. As winter turns to spring, it also carries another popular tradition: spring cleaning.

 

But before you leap into enjoying springtime activities including hiking, bike riding, or even neighborhood cookouts, it's always important to take the time to inspect your home and complete any necessary maintenance.

 

Completing annual inspections and routine upkeep can help maintain the useful life of your home and it's resale value. Furthermore, it will help prevent smaller, inexpensive issues from becoming major out-of-pocket expenses. Lastly, it's important to address any potential safety issues that might be bubbling under the surfacing.

 

However, compiling a comprehensive list of features around your home that need annual due diligence can be tough, especially since every home is unique. For example, you wouldn’t expect to complete all the same spot checks for a traditional single family home as compared to a condominium.

 

If you are a homeowner, here are a few features you should be on the lookout for when completing your annual maintenance check and sprucing up your dream home in preparation for spring.

 

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Exterior Maintenance

 

1. Check Your Roof and Gutters

Toronto has been known to experience serious arctic temperatures over the winter months. Excessive snow and ice build-up on the roof can lead to ice damming, which can cause damage to your roof, gutters, and insulation1. It can even cause paint to warp.

 

One of the best things you can do for your home is to inspect your roof annually as the snow begins to melt, checking for excessive deterioration or even water damage. Make sure there are no missing shingles, cracks or leaks.

 

If you do start to see that the integrity of your roof is in jeopardy, consider a full roof inspection and/or replacement. Many homeowners elect to install new metal roofs that can withstand some of the harsher winters, allowing for easier removal of snow.

 

While checking your roof, make sure to also inspect your gutters, ensuring they are clear of debris. Seal any apparent holes or leaks and also make sure to position your downspouts to face away from the home to help maintain proper drainage.

 

2. Repair and Reseal Siding, Windows, and Doors

Much like a knight has a suit of armor to protect himself against imminent danger, your siding, windows, and doors act like armor by protecting your home against the seasonal elements.

 

To make your home run more efficiently, it's always a good idea to complete a visual inspection of exterior features to make sure there are no cracks or leaks that can allow drafts or moisture into the home.

 

Be especially vigilant of larger exposed gaps or opening near the ground level. These areas can be conducive to rodents and other pests that like to sneak into the walls and ceilings during the winter.

 

While you're at it, if you have any exposed woodwork or decking, consider hitting it with a clear coating sealant that will repel moisture and help retain the integrity of your finish. Installing a quick clear coat can also create a moisture barrier to help prevent and repel mold and mildew from building up. You don’t want a green deck when it comes time to host the neighborhood barbecue.

 

3. Prune, Plant and Trim

Speaking of green, spring time is the perfect excuse to exercise your green thumb. In fact, real estate experts say that landscape can even help increase your home’s value by around 15-20%2.

 

Start by dethatching and fertilizing your lawn so that as temperatures continue to warm, you will get that fresh and healthy green lawn you have come to know and love. Also collect and dispose of any yard waste such as fallen tree branches, left-over leaves, and mildew ridden mulch. Trim down any hedges or shrubs.

 

Consider installing fresh mulch for a nice clean look or even planting fresh flowers around your walk and entryways, giving your home a vibrant splash of color.

 

Interior Maintenance

 

1. Clean and Inspect Your Furnace

The outside of your home isn’t the only area that needs attention. Lets face it, everyone wants to stay inside, cozy and warm, when it's freezing outside. That said, as the season shifts it's a good idea to make sure your furnace and air conditioner are in proper working order and ready to handle temperature shifts.

 

Most service technicians recommend you order a tune-up for your HVAC system every year or two to make sure it is in tip-top shape. It will also help make your unit run more efficiently, preventing you from having to shell out a lot of money on a replacement system.

 

Don’t want to spend the money on a service call? At least take the time to replace your system’s air filter. Most traditional air-filters need to be changed every three months or so, but some newer units have filters that only need to be changed annually. When in doubt follow the recommended maintenance instructions provided by your system’s manufacturer.

 

2. Examine Your Basement

Spring certainly provides an opportunity to purge the basement of junk and clutter, but it's also a good time to make sure there are no observable maintenance issues with your foundation or lower level.

 

While some moisture can be common, depending on how your home was constructed, it's always a good idea to inspect your basement (especially around mechanical systems) for excessive staining, leaks, and even water damage. Evidence of water damage may be an indicator of cracks in your foundation as well as other drainage issues.

 

3. Alarms and Smoke Detectors

A common home maintenance task that often goes unnoticed is checking and replacing the batteries in your home’s smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms. Although less common, it is also a good idea to check any fire extinguishers you might have on-hand or installed throughout the home.

 

If you are extra concerned about safety, you may also want to consider having a radon inspection completed in areas where it is more prevalent. Radon is the number one cause of lung cancer in non-smokers3. Roughly 7% of buildings in Toronto have levels of radon that may pose a health risk3.

 

One way to help counteract higher levels of radon is by installing a radon mitigation system. Radon mitigation systems are quite common and can be fairly inexpensive to install.

 

Sources

 

1 Cusack, L. (2021, February 12). Tips to prevent leaks and ice damming on your roof this winter. Retrieved March 9, 2021, from https://ottawa.ctvnews.ca/tips-to-prevent-leaks-and-ice-damming-on-your-roof-this-winter-1.5306719

 

2 Murray, A. (2020, June 02). Landscaping tips to increase your home's value. Retrieved March 9, 2021, from https://ottawacitizen.com/life/homes/landscape-tips-to-increase-your-homes-value

 

3 City of Toronto. (2018, November 13). Radon & Your Health. Retrieved March 9, 2021, from

https://www.toronto.ca/community-people/health-wellness-care/health-programs-advice/radon-and-your-health

 

The Top 3 Best and Worst Renovation Projects That Will Impact Your Property Value

5. February 2021 14:51

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, mortgage rates have hit near all-time lows while property values continue to climb. As a result, many homeowners are taking this opportunity (and excess free time) to complete deferred home renovation projects.

 

If you own a home at some point you have probably wanted to change a specific feature you just feel is a little bit out of date or functionally limited. You even may envision adding a new feature such as an in-ground pool or a decked-out entertainment room.

 

But whether you desire to install new hardwood floors, replace your kitchen countertops, or install a state-of-the-art wet bar, when starting a new project, it's important to know what improvements will actually add value to your home and which ones can negatively impact your bottom line.

 

In short, if you are looking to complete a few modest (or extensive) updates and add value to your home here are three of the best and worst projects that will impact your property’s value.

 

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Best #1: Complete Kitchen Renovation or Upgrade

Tired of living in the same old space? One of the best ways to fall in love with your home again is by renovating or upgrading your kitchen area. Updating your kitchen can make if functionally better as well increase your enjoyment when you are at home.

 

According to a recent survey, 55% of real estate experts surveyed mentioned that upgrading your kitchen can increase the sales price of your home by nearly 12.5%1.

 

While a complete kitchen renovation isn’t cheap, costing upwards of nearly $50,000 on average, you can often expect to recoup anywhere between 75-100% of your total project costs2.

 

Best #2: Bathroom Remodel

If the kitchen isn’t the most used room of your home, you may find that your bathroom is. Bathrooms can be an important selling point to new prospective buyers so keeping them clean and updated can add tremendous value.

 

One great thing about completing a bathroom remodel or renovation is that it can be done for fairly cheap. A new vanity, updated mirror, and a pop of colorful paint can really make your home shine.

 

The cost to renovate a smaller, 5’ x 8’’ bathroom could be as low as $9,200-12,300; redoing a larger bathroom with high-end luxury features may run you over $40,0003. While you may not recoup as much on splashier projects, remodeling or renovating your bathroom can still net you one of the higher returns on your investment.

 

Best #3: Dedicated Home Office Space

More and more people are working from home as a result of the recent pandemic. As companies continue to invest in technology and resources to accommodate employees being able to work remotely, more new buyers are searching for dedicated office space when buying a new home.

 

A 2017 study found that nearly 47% of Canadian employees work remotely meaning adding a formal office to your home can really increase its resale potential4. In fact, an office space will continue to be marketable as the business environment becomes more digital and a younger generation of home buyers seek remote opportunities.

 

Worst #1: Backyard Patio and Landscaping

The reason realtors use the phrase “curb appeal” is because you want a home to draw the attention of potential buyers at first sight. But amenities located toward the back of the home and out of eyesight of prospective buyers aren’t the most effective way of adding additional value to your home.

 

While you may be tempted to roll up your sleeves and put your DIY hot on, most backyard landscaping and patio projects don’t measure up in terms of resale value. You would be lucky to recoup half your investment on any modest project using average materials.

 

Worst #2: Installing a Backyard Pool

Installing a new inground or above ground pool in your backyard may sound like a great idea, until you see what kind of price tag it comes with.

 

National Bank notes that the average cost to install an inground pool is between $25,000 and $40,0005. But what you might not realize is the amount of money that goes into maintaining this asset.

 

General maintenance for the chemicals and cleaning as well as increased water and power usage will end up costing you hundreds of dollars a year. Furthermore, homes with pools generally cost more to insure, so expect to see a bump in your monthly homeowner’s insurance premium.

 

Worst #3: Combing a Second Bedroom and Creating a Larger Master Suite

One of the worst things you can do that will really lower your home’s resale value is to knock out a wall to combine rooms into one larger master bedroom suite. While you might think this is a perfect luxurious option for the right buyer, the truth is that it lowers the functionality and utility of the home.

 

Typically, homes with more bedrooms will appraise for more money. Removing a room may decrease the number of comparable homes on the market and can really impact your bottom line.

 

Similarly, removing a room can impact the overall floor plan of your home in a major way. This is often a common pitfall for those seeking to install a new addition or add a second story. Try to stick to projects that won’t tangibly impact the floor plan on a grand scale.

 

Sources

 

1 Alini, E., & Global News. (2018, July 23). Kitchen or bathroom reno? One is likely much better than the other for your home value. Retrieved February 5, 2021, from https://globalnews.ca/news/4314336/kitchen-bathroom-reno-best-value/

 

2 Ontario Securities Commission. (2017, June 19). Adding value with home renovations: Real estate. Retrieved February 5, 2021, from https://www.getsmarteraboutmoney.ca/invest/investment-products/real-estate/adding-value-with-home-renovations/

 

3 Sclafani, L. D. (2019, December 23). Bathroom Renovation Cost in Toronto & Montreal in 2020: A Breakdown. Retrieved February 5, 2021, from https://www.renoassistance.ca/en/bathrooms/bathroom-renovation-cost/

 

4 Staff | BenefitsCanada. March 9, 2. (2017, March 09). 47% of Canadian employees work remotely: Survey. Retrieved February 4, 2021, from https://www.benefitscanada.com/human-resources/other/47-of-canadian-employees-work-remotely-survey-94694

 

5 National Bank. (2020, July 30). How much does an inground pool actually cost? Retrieved February 5, 2021, from https://www.nbc.ca/personal/advice/home/pools-true-cost.html

 

5 Hot Tips for Selling Your Home During Winter

6. January 2021 16:52

While there is certainly some seasonality with the real estate market, many realtors often advise you not to sell your home during the winter months. In reality, winter can be one of the best times to sell your home.

 

The truth is that there are all types of buyers that shop in all the seasons, so it is a bit of a misconception that people do not buy in the winter season. In fact, if you sell between December 1st and February 28th (loosely categorized as the winter season), not only will you find motivated buyers, but you may also experience less competition from other sellers1.

 

But selling in winter does not come without its share of challenges. Many buyers wait until winter to get houses at a discount, so prepare yourself for some lowball offers. Also, it may be harder to accentuate the exterior features of your home that you could normally do in the spring.

 

To overcome some of the obstacles associated with selling your home during the winter months, consider some of these secret staging and selling tips.

 

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1.Price Your Home to Sell

Pricing your home correctly is one of the most important things you can do to ensure a successful sale in the winter months. While figuring out the right sales price is always important, it is especially relevant in the “off-season” because there are often less buyers on the market.

 

Overpricing your home can disinterest potential buyers but you also do not want to undercut your home’s value. Figuring out the right sales price can be as simple as finding the right real estate agent that knows your local market. An agent can run a competitive market analysis to help target the appropriate price point for your home.

 

Do not be afraid to complete your own independent research as well. Check out recent comparable sales in the neighborhood to give you a better idea of what similar homes in the area are selling for.

 

2. Don’t Go Overboard with Holiday Decor

For many, winter is holistically associated with the holiday season. But one of the biggest mistakes homeowners make selling their home during the winter months is over decorating for the holiday season.

 

For starters, not all buyers may celebrate the season like you do. Furthermore, excessive decorating can draw interest away from some of the basic features of the home.

 

If you decide to decorate for the holidays, ease up on the decorations and make sure they are tasteful. When done properly, this can be a perfect staging opportunity. Consider a small lit tree with a few wrapped gifts underneath, an eye-catching wreath on the front door, and warm lighting to maintain a cozy ambiance.

 

 

3. Turn on the Lights, Turn Up the Heat

One obstacle with selling in the winter months is that you naturally have fewer hours of natural light to work with compared to warmer parts of the year. This means it is extremely important to keep your lights on whenever possible.

 

Using more powerful bulbs to enhance the brightness of your space can never hurt. In fact, lighting can create a nice warm cohesive feel. It also draws the attention of potential buyers from the street.

 

Similarly, winter is synonymous with the cold so make sure to keep your home adequately heated. While it may have a small impact on your gas bill, potential buyers will be more likely to consider buying your home if it is toasty warm. It also adds a cozy factor, especially when combined with a lit fireplace or strategically staged throw blankets.

 

 

4. Make Sure to Clear a Path

Not everyone lives in areas of the country that experience snow during the winter months. That said, if you do live somewhere where snow is prevalent make sure to shovel or plow your walkway and driveway. This will allow potential buyers access to your home for showings as well as indicate that the home is properly maintained. Shoveled pathways also provide a bit more curb appeal compared to properties blanketed with snow.

 

5. Staging Can Be Key

Since selling in the winter months often means trying to appeal to a lower pool of potential buyers, try optimizing your chances for success by having your home professionally staged.

 

A recent study found that a staged home will often sell for 17% more on average than non-staged homes2. Similarly, on average staged homes sell faster than non-staged homes. The National Association of Realtors noted that for every $100 invested in staging, the potential return is $4002.

 

 

Sources

1 Zillow Group. (2019, November 27). Selling a House During Winter Holidays: Tips, Pros & Cons: Zillow. Retrieved January 6, 2021, from https://www.zillow.com/sellers-guide/selling-house-during-winter-holidays/

 

2 McGrady, V. (2020, July 15). 7 Pro Tips To Help Your Home Sell Faster, For More Money. Retrieved January 6, 2021, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/vanessamcgrady/2015/11/04/staging/?sh=58972b7e50c9

 

3 Reasons Now Is the Perfect Time to Get a Toronto Mortgage

17. December 2020 20:49

If you're looking to get a mortgage for a home or condo in Toronto, now would be a perfect time. That may sound a little counterintuitive given the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic headwinds our city is facing. However, these situations are temporary and have created the ideal conditions to lock in a Toronto mortgage. Here are three reasons you should consider getting a mortgage now.

 

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Rates Are Low for a Toronto Mortgage!

Rates are the lowest they've ever been - literally. 2020 saw HSBC post a mortgage rate below 1%1 for their five-year variable rate product. Most industry experts believe that this is the lowest rate any bank has ever offered in Canada.

While the marketing gurus at HSBC designed the offer to make a splash, it indicates the overall interest rate structure right now. RateHub shows the average 5-year fixed mortgage as low as 1.39%2 and a 10-year fixed as low as 2.84%3.

To put these rates into context, consider that, according to the Bank of Canada4, historical rates have been much higher. Nearly 40 years ago, in 1981, the interest rate got as high as 21.46%!

So, if you're looking to save some money on interest, now is the time to lock in a great rate!

 

The Winter Season Is Creating an Ideal Buying Opportunity

With winter and COVID-19, competition for Toronto area homes is not as high as it once was. The market is still doing well overall. However, if you're looking to buy a home right now in the GTA or surrounding regions, you'll find a lot less competition and fewer challenges getting your offer accepted.

In other words, not only will you save money on your interest rate, but you'll also find it easier to get your offer accepted on the home or condo of your dreams.

 

Qualifying for a Toronto Mortgage Is Easier Now

The federal government implemented rules in 20185 to ensure Canadians can afford mortgage rate increases. All banks needed to ensure that applicants could afford the actual mortgage interest rate plus 2%, or the current Bank of Canada 5-year benchmark rate.

With interest rates this low, most banks are using the Bank of Canada 5-year rate. As of right now, this rate sits at 4.79%6, and while that might be a full 3.8% above the 0.99% offer that HSBC has, it's still the lowest interest rate since these rules went into place.

Therefore, qualifying for one of these mortgages is easier now than almost any time since 2018.

 

If You're Looking To Buy, Now's the Time!

With relaxed qualification rules, record-low interest rates, and a less competitive market than years prior, this winter is shaping up to be one of the best times to get a Toronto mortgage. Whether you're looking at buying a condo or you want a single-family home, now is the time to see what's available and lock in a rate that can save you money!

If you're interested in making a move, please contact me! I would love to understand more about your circumstances and help you find the perfect home in this beautiful city.

 

Sources

1 Pete Evans CBC News (2020, December 06) Mortgage rates hit a new low, with Canadian bank posting below 1%. Retrieved December 18, 2020, from https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/mortages-covid-hsbc-1.5828934 

2 ratehub.ca (2020, December 18) 5-Year Fixed Mortgage Rates. Retrieved December 18, 2020, from https://www.ratehub.ca/best-mortgage-rates/5-year/fixed

3 ratehub.ca (2020, December 18) 10-Year Fixed Mortgage Rates. Retrieved December 18, 2020, from https://www.ratehub.ca/best-mortgage-rates/10-year/fixed

4 Bank of Canada (Date Unknown) AVERAGE RESIDENTIAL MORTGAGE LENDING RATE ‐ 5 YEAR. Retrieved December 18, 2020, from https://www.bankofcanada.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/selected_historical_v122497.pdf

5 Lisa Rennie (Date Unknown) The Canadian Mortgage Stress Test in 2021. Retrieved December 18, 2020, from https://loanscanada.ca/mortgage/the-canadian-mortgage-stress-test/

6 Bank of Canada (2020, December 18) Daily Digest. Retrieved December 18, 2020, from https://www.bankofcanada.ca/rates/daily-digest/

 

Is Now a Good Time to Buy a Downtown Toronto Condo?

16. December 2020 17:30

Buying a new home or getting your feet wet as a real estate investor in Toronto has never been easier than it has today. Despite the country experiencing several economic headwinds as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canadian housing market has shown no signs of slowing down.

 

In fact, November was one of the best months on record for resales, far exceeding the previous mark by more than 30% set back in 20181. But despite increasing consumer demand for homeownership coupled with cheap mortgage financing, many buyers are concerned about a weakening condominium market.

 

While the Toronto condo market has softened over the last year, an increasing supply of inventory offers opportunity if you are looking to expand your real estate portfolio, setting yourself up for massive gains.

 

If you have been on the fence about buying a condo located in downtown Toronto, here are a few reasons why now is a great time to buy.

 

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Increasing Number of Renters

It is no surprise that the supply of condos in downtown Toronto is increasing. Many real estate investors have decided to sell off portions of their holdings because the tourism markets that they relied on have dried up (at least for the interim) as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

But even though inventory is creeping higher, the silver lining is that the number of renters is also increasing. In fact, the number of leases signed in July was up nearly 12% compared to the same period in 20192.

 

Although vacancy rates are a concern if you are a real estate investor, consider that these might see downward pressure with the recent announcement of approved COVID-19 vaccines.

 

Furthermore, if you are looking to call downtown Toronto your home, you may be able to find a real estate investor eager to sell you that unit with the perfect skyline view for cheap. Lock in a low interest rate on a new home loan and you can call that a win-win.

 

Mortgage Rates to Remain Low

The Bank of Canada has, on numerous counts over the last few months, dedicated itself to holding a policy of suppressing interest rates until the economy recovers, labor markets stabilize, and inflation reaches an appropriate target level.

 

The next schedule rate announcement is set for January 20, 2021 and is expected to remain at 0.25%3. This trend for the benchmark interest rate is forecasted to continue through the end of 2022, with an incremental increase in 2023 only if economic trends become favorable3.

 

Effectively, this means that mortgage interest rates will remain low for the foreseeable future, fueling the Canadian housing market. If you are looking to buy a downtown Toronto condo, you may never get an opportunity to lock in a lower interest rate again.

 

Since most mortgage loans span terms of many years, that could be a massive savings over the life of your loan.

 

Low-Maintenance Life

Sales data supports the notion that homebuyers over the last few months are skewed towards buying detached single-family housing. But the problem with buying a house is that there is a lot of maintenance that goes into keeping it functional and modern (or else it begins to impact safety and market value).

 

However, if you are seeking a low-maintenance experience, a condominium is great because your monthly condo fees go towards normal maintenance tasks such as lawn care and snow removal.

 

Most condo buildings also offer amenities that many detached homes cannot provide such as gyms, recreational areas (i.e., basketball, volleyball, tennis courts, etc.), or even pools. While you can install many of these with a traditional single-family home, you will be stuck floating that $50,000 bill to have that heated pool installed and you may not even recoup all of your investment when it comes time to sell.

 

Lastly, location can be a considerable driving factor. There is not a ton of inventory in downtown Toronto in terms of single-family homes compared to condos or townhomes. While COVID-19 does have many concerns about health risks living in more urban epicenters, understand that at some point society will have to return to some sort of normalcy. Why not set yourself up to live by all the attractions that Toronto has to offer once that time comes.

 

Sources

 

1 Hogue, R., & RBC. (2020, December 15). Canada's Housing Market Kept on Rolling in November. Retrieved December 16, 2020, from https://thoughtleadership.rbc.com/canadas-housing-market-kept-on-rolling-in-november/?utm_medium=referral&utm_source=economics&utm_campaign=housing

2 Punwasi, S. (2020, August 14). Toronto Rental Market Hit by 82% Spike in Apartments for Rent. Retrieved December 16, 2020, from https://wolfstreet.com/2020/08/13/toronto-real-estates-latest-problem-is-soaring-rental-inventory/

3 MortgageSandbox. (2020, December 14). Canadian Mortgage Interest Rate Forecast to 2023. Retrieved December 16, 2020, from https://www.mortgagesandbox.com/mortgage-interest-rate-forecast

 

Don Valley Village社區簡介

13. December 2017 09:14

Don Valley Village 社區位於西起Leslie St往東到Highway 404北邊從McNicoll Hydro Corridor 往南到Sheppard Ave E的區間屬於North York的東北角。本社區各種族裔的居民都有,華人比例也很多。

 

Don Valley Village交通非常方便,位處於404401高速路交匯處,數分鐘便可以上這兩條高速公路。Sheppard地鐵線通過本區的南邊,有LeslieDon Mills兩站,搭地鐵通往Downtown或多倫多其他地點都非常方便。

 

住在這個社區裡到鄰近購物極其方便,社區內著名的Fairview Mall商場,各大知名品牌精品服飾皆有進駐。社區的中心點是一個花生形狀的商場,因而取名叫Peanut Plaza。此外Skymark PlazaFinch & Leslie Square也在本區內,西人及華人各大超市皆有,生活機能極佳。

 

Don Valley Village社區有兩個社區活動中心Oriole Community Center提供居民戶外游泳池和室內冰上运动場,Seneca Village Community Center有室內籃球場,提供各種年齡層的人可以參與的多樣化休閒活動。此外還有Fairview 圖書館提供人們學習及讀書的最佳去處。

 

這個社區著名的小學Seneca Hill Public School 在安省排名第一,是一所頂尖的好學校。Crestview Public School 也在安省排名前9%。中學有著名的AY Jackson Secondary School,而著名的Seneca CollegeNewnham校區也座落在本區中,超過11,000名的全職學生在此就讀,同時學校也提供夜間及周末課程,是全加拿大最大的College校區之一。

社區的南面Sheppard Ave上近來快速發展,許多公寓大樓陸續興建,著名建案包括Emerald CitySoul Condos,展現蓬勃的生機!這個社區因為有Seneca College在此,所以有一些屋主將房間分租給學生。半獨立屋價格大約在80萬到110萬,而獨立屋的價格大約在120萬到180萬之間。近來舊屋翻新也漸漸在這一區出現。

本區好房推薦:

80 Silas Hill Dr半獨立屋,叫價 $1,098,000

4+2 臥室,4 洗手間,1+1 廚房,完成地下室有分門出入

 

 

 

 

10 Hollybrook Cres獨立屋,叫價 $ 1,499,000

4+1 臥室,2 洗手間,1 廚房,完成地下室

 

 

61 Cobblestone Dr獨立屋,叫價 $ 1,758,000

4+1 臥室,4 洗手間,1 廚房,完成地下室

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pleasant View社區簡介

6. December 2017 12:26

Pleasant View 社區位於西起Highway 404往東到Victoria Park Ave北邊從Apache Trail (Finch之北) 往南到Sheppard Ave E的區間屬於North York的東北角早期居民以義大利與希臘族裔居多,社區內處處可看到美麗的庭院園藝,近幾年來中國移民也逐漸增加

 

Pleasant View社區環境優美寧靜非常適合家庭居住。交通尤其方便,位處於404401高速路交匯處,數分鐘便可以上這兩條高速公路。Sheppard地鐵線的Don Mills站就位在Fairview Mall旁,搭地鐵通往Downtown或多倫多其他地點都非常方便。

 

住在這個社區裡到鄰近購物極其方便,附近有Fairview Mall商場,各大知名品牌精品服飾皆有進駐。鄰近的Peanut PlazaSkymark PlazaVictoria Park Square,西人及華人各大超市皆有,生活機能極佳。

 

Pleasant View是一個Family Friendly的好社區,Van Horn 公園每逢夏天總有許多家庭在此遊樂,享受戶外時光。Pleasant View 社區中心提供各種年齡層的人可以參與的室內休閒活動。圖書館以及室内、室外冰上运动場與戶外游泳池,更提供社區許多學習以及休閒運動的去處。

 

這個社區的小學Cherokee Public School 在安省排名為前4%Ernest Public School則排名在前10%,另外有Brian Public School 提供French Immersion課程。中學銜接到Pleasant View Middle School,高中則到Victoria Park Ave以東的Sir John A Macdonald CI就讀。

社區的南面Sheppard Ave上近來快速發展,許多公寓大樓陸續興建,展現蓬勃的生機!本區與其他北約克地區相比,價格相對偏低,非常具有投資價值。這個社區因為鄰近Seneca College 所以有一些屋主將房間分租給學生。這裡有許多的半獨立屋都有分門出入的走出式地下室帶廚房,非常適合分租。價格大約在80萬到100萬之間。而獨立屋的價格大約在120萬到150萬之間。近來舊屋翻新也漸漸在這一區出現。

本區好房推薦:

126 Apache Tr半獨立屋,叫價 $ 899,000

3+3 臥室,4 洗手間,1+1 廚房,完成地下室

   

 

19 Crossbow Cres獨立屋,叫價 $ 1,288,000

4 臥室,3 洗手間,1 廚房,完成地下室

   

 

93 Pleasant View Dr獨立屋,叫價 $ 2,188,000

5+2 臥室,6 洗手間,1 廚房,完成走上式地下室

   

 

 

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