Friday, September 27, 2013

Will you use video?

If a picture is worth a thousand words then a VIDEO is worth 1.8 Million Words  * Dr. James McQuivey
The second largest search engine behind google is Youtube.  To avoid this medium would be the same as missing the launch of new Yellow Pages directory for your market in the early 80's.  You might be waiting a whole year for your phone to ring.
Today your clients and prospects, Text, email and fax their enquiry to your numbers.
Video presents a unique opportunity for you to connect with a new audience. They watch you, listen to your pace and cadence, your articulate delivery and planned script.  You are telling a story and providing a solution to their problem. Remember Aesop's Fables?
Lets plan your video and control all the aspects we can.
  • Camera
  • Sound
  • Lighting
  • Script
  • Length of Video
  • Editing
  • Being Seen
  • Promotion Distribution
A story will spark interest in seconds; It is imperative to catch the viewers attention in 6 - 9 seconds or they move on. 
There are some great points here;
Get help coaching and educating you through the process as you move towards either self production or professional video work; Shoot stage and help you script. Help with editing and then it needs to be SEO keyworded and uploaded to multiple platforms.
Who am I to give you any advice? The 2103 Stefan Swanepoel Technology Report, David Pylyp was named as one of the Top 10 individual real estate channels on YouTube.
Call me 647 218 2414

Danger Will Robinson! Danger

There is danger in the Real Estate market;  but it may not be the Bubble or Over Supply, Meddling and tinkering with Finance Programs or even the addition of higher lot Levy's to the purchase price. Demand continues unabated.

The Toronto Real Estate market just seems to defying logic and continues to increase in price (5% yoy) [and competition] for single family homes.  Taking the average sale price in the 905 [ ring of homes around the 416]   Land Transfer Tax Calculator net of First Time Buyer Rebates.

Average Sale Price in 905          $598,708
Ontario Land Transfer Tax              8,449
Toronto Land Transfer Tax              7,699
Inspection Legals      +/-                 2,500

Mitigating Factors;
You are impacted by two land transfer taxes PLUS the legal fees to close.   I am assuming that CMHC Hi Ratio fees do not apply ( unless you are media where everyone is buying with 5 % down)   Average Mortgage in Toronto is $270,000.

Buyers have been reduced by the Bank of Canada reducing restricting amortization terms to 25 years.* (Yet other insured lenders continue to offer 30 year ams on insured mortgages) You will be taking a five year fixed rate because that is prudent with all the rhetoric about increasing interest rates.  

Selling after 4 years of ownership will incur the following expenses;
  • Lawyer Fees      $ 1,600
  • Mortgage Penalty at 3 months differential  $3,000
  • Real Estate Fees   assumes 5% but we all negotiate  $30,000
  • Irrespective of the property taxes and living expenses of heat, hydro, water, insurance repairs gardening, repairs and improvements....
The Toronto Real Estate market would need to gain just shy of 10% accumulated over the next 4 years JUST to BREAK EVEN.

Real Estate is something to buy and hold for decades; raise a family. Plant roots in a community, Join volunteer Groups and Community Watch.  Worship, have christenings and weddings.  Graduations.

I appreciate the benefits and concepts of home ownership and building equity.  I do not believe in Buying to Flip with our Expense and legal structure of ownership.

What do you think?  Ready to Buy a house?   You're staying put, Right?

Thursday, September 26, 2013

What is US vs Canadian Mortgage Delinquency?

The already low rate of arrears on mortgages insured by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp (CMHC) declined further in the second quarter, an indicator which might temper concerns about a possible hard landing for the housing sector.
The government agency said in its quarterly financial report that the arrears rate had declined to 0.32 percent as of the end of June, down from 0.35 percent both at the end of 2012 and at the end of March.
Canada did not suffer the housing crisis that triggered the 2007-2009 recession in the United States, and its government has taken steps to try to cool the Canadian market without causing a crash.

The total amount of insurance CMHC had on loans was C$562.1 billion ($535.3 billion) at the end of June, just C$500 million less than the end of March and comfortably under the C$600 billion ceiling set by the government.

It is vital to understand that in Canada, Mortgage Interest is not deductable [from your income taxes] and we are a full recourse* Mortgage country. *Full Recourse means the BANK will sue you for both the house and your signature (future earnings) .
What are the recent number for Mortgage Delinquency in the United States?

Monday, September 16, 2013

Changing Your Tire = For Sale By Owner

Following the weekend festivities at the Roncesvalles Village Festival we headed home in a soft rain. It was cool and drizzling like an October evening feels. 

The SUV had been parked all day,  It was dark so I didn't notice the flat tire. The low pressure warning had been on for a few days. I ignored it. The vehicle felt funny, awkward, not rolling the same.  I stepped out and walked around. Circle Check...  FLAT.

Found a PetroCanada near the condo, PAID a dollar for the free air and tried to pump it up. The sound was as loud going in as going out.  There was real serious leak. I drove it back to the Condo to have a look in a dry well lit garage.  At least, it would be warm and dry, where I could simply change the tire.

The wheel well contains a tire that needs to be dropped.  OK, Snapped the plastic handle off. (damage item 5) Unscrewed the retaining bolt and the whole well dropped. Thank goodness the tire had a safety belt attached or it could have slipped out.  [I never would have comprehended the storage safety strap in the dark, in the rain.]

Removing the jack from the German Engineered Highly efficient storage area took 20 minutes. It will never go back. Found the secret LOCKING NUT in its resting place. Loosened the wheel lugs prior to jacking up the car, correct procedure, removed scissor jack. Found the correct contact point for scissor jack while sliding under the vehicle. (refer to rain and street comment in para 1)

Removed all the lug nuts and but could not remove the wheel from the car. [Frozen} Playing with it. Kicking it and finally using the 5 pound persuader (sign install) hammer, I successfully shifted the car off the jack, rendering it twisted and inoperative. (damage)

Abandoned the task, REINSTALLED lug nuts on the flat tire, drove to service shop in the morning on a flat, guaranteeing that it would require replacement.

Tire  $ 225
Jack maybe used at $75
unreplaced damage $ 400
Repair $50

Life Lesson?  Priceless.

If I could not finish this job inside a condominium garage; in a well lit and dry area, Parked in a secure safe location, with access to flashlight to read the manual study the components, assemble the pieces, remove the lugnuts with a tire wrench, I would never accomplish this task in the dark in the rain.

Selling a condo is easy,  they are all the same...   We understand the process clearly.
Sound familiar?  You know all the details about your building, Status Certificates, Maintenance Fees and Management. You know the property best.

Reading, Understanding and comprehension is good.  Experience, doing is better. Having right tools and knowledge..   Priceless.

I paid to repair and replace the tire.  Mistakes and choices with real estate are much more expensive to fix. Usually it involves lawyers.   If you think mechanics are expensive... Selling by Owner is more exciting! 

If you are relocating to  or within Toronto, ON Canada, I would like to meet with you.
Call me.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Dirty Dozen Reasons you still need me

The Newspapers and media are telling you, how things have changed, you can do everything by yourself and all the information is there...  on the internet


  1. I know where to look up what I need; If I don't know from experience.
  2. I provide a needed buffer or filter between other agents and builder's agents for puffery and embellishment. I am your wingman.
  3. Realtors have specific neighbourhood knowledge. I don't serve the entire GTA from Oshawa to Milton, nor would I dream of going with you to Peterborough. I work a radius of a half hour from 427 and the QEW.
  4. Since, I work a smaller area, I generally have seen and know what has sold and for how much as a barometer of value.
  5. This permits me to evaluate asking to sale prices based on improvements and square footage. Similarly, even Condominiums next door to each other can have vastly different values.
  6. While I recommend an asking price and disclose my expectations of what a seller should expect on a final offer, the Seller decides their own asking price, as the Buyer TRIES their First Lowball Offer  I do not factor in memories and experiences.
  7. We need to understand what market conditions exist that govern your asking prices and time for sale. Are we in a Buyer's or Seller's Market?
  8. We are able to present or receive your offer without emotion; in a business like fashion. Too often, Buyers and Sellers are too emotionally vested in the unique improvements that they installed in the house. We will negotiate on your behalf.
  9. The paper work required to protect you and disclose information to Buyers is getting longer and disclosure is required. We complete all the paperwork, even attending at inspections and the final closing with you.
  10. We have working relationships with other service providers, inspectors, appraisers, accountants, lenders, lawyers, trades people for repairs and agents to find listings.
  11. When Purchasing a Home Verified Reports are available for knowledge of previous Insurance Claims (IE flooding) 
  12. When Selling a Home I can provide Transaction Insurance to guarantee a smooth closing without delay.

Realtors are freeing up the equity that has been locked in properties very often, for 20 or 30 years. While technology has changed our communication methods from mail, to phone, to fax, to email; the underlying function and responsibilities remain the same. Presentations are done iPad or Powerpoint but we need to listen to your needs, Identify the challenges you face and propose solutions.  If I can do that in your presence, face to face, or if need be on the phone, voice to voice,  then I have done my job well.

Or you can email or text me at 647.218.2414

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Homes Closing Insurance

Mark Weisleder makes an excellent point in his recent email (August 26th, 2013) about the cascading effect of one purchaser's financing not coming through and the Seller's purchased another home and then could not close.

This follows on the heels of another conversation I had with Stan Gelman about a bank withdrawing the Financing because the house did not appraise for the agreed Selling Price.  We can debate the details, but a BANK issues a Commitment to Finance based on certain conditions being met; in this case appraisal was only one. Since the property did not appraise the Financing was withdrawn and a DOMINO effect ensued for NON closing transactions.
Due to the growing possibility of buyers being declined their financing at the last minute, sellers need some protection in the event their closing is delayed or cancelled and they are forced to carry 2 homes for an extended period of time.
One company that I have dealt with that provides this coverage is Canadian Home Shield. Their President, James Vlachos, who is an insurance broker, advises me that for as little as $99, sellers can purchase a $25,000 insurance policy that will cover all mortgage payments, real estate taxes, utilities and insurance premiums up to a total of $25,000 in the event that the deal does not close through no fault of the seller. I personally have had 2 seller clients recover over $9,000 in costs after a buyer failed to close their purchase agreement.
Buyers can also purchase breakdown insurance protection for their home systems and appliances. Since most real estate contracts provide that sellers only warrant their systems and appliances to the date of closing, this provides buyers with the opportunity to purchase additional insurance protection for a year after closing.
For further information, please see the attached website: 

The Agents in the transaction should not have waived the Condition for Financing UNTIL the appraisal had been completed.  However, within the logistics of the transaction, a Financing Waiver is prepared 5 days post the Acceptance and Acknowledgement [of a Deal being made]. This has no bearing on the closing date. I am not making excuses or blame, this is exactly how I would normally proceed with a transaction. 

With changing Home Values, spirited Bidding, Slipping Condo Values, Changing Credit qualifying Criteria  there is ever more need for vigilance on the part of Buyers and Sellers. I intend to meet that challenge with West Toronto Homes.

I will be including this Transaction Insurance in all future Listings as a part of my Bundle of Services. If you are buying all cash, none of this applies; it doesn't matter does it? 

Would you take this insurance?