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Showing posts from March, 2016

Title Insurance?

I am often asked by buyers if they should take their lawyer's advice and buy title insurance. And my answer is the same ' yes, unless you have a crystal ball and can see the future." Title insurance protects the value of your home. Please follow the link to read more. This article is written by my colleague Brian Madigan, Broker with RE/MAX West in Toronto. Title Insurance - article by Brian Madigan

Toronto Real Estate Unplugged

This article was written by my colleague Asif Khan, Realtor with RE/MAX All-Stars. It does a good job of addressing the 'real estate bubble' fear. Asif's comments are applicable to any market.  Toronto Real Estate Unplugged A housing bubble is defined as “a temporary condition caused by unjustified speculation in the housing market that leads to rapid price increases in Real Estate prices”. Recently there have been many articles written about the “bubble” and how it will burst in the next few months. Chief Economist David Madani predicted a 50% price reduction through the crash of the housing market in 2011, 2013 and 2015. Garth Turner has consistently predicted a crash since 2009. It’s easy to predict these crashes without having to back them up with real numbers. Let’s take a look at the three contributing factors we need for the “bubble” to burst: 1. Interest rates need to increase dramatically. Now, I don’t mean a 0.5% increase, or even a 2% increase. A $300,0

Spring real estate market in Hamilton and Burlington

“Relatively low listing inventory continues to be the story for the local real estate market,” said RAHB CEO George O’Neill. “New residential listings are well below the 10-year average, while the number of residential sales is 9.2 per cent higher.  The result is that there is only a month and a half of listing inventory.”   Wow - I certainly agree with George. And I don't expect much change as we go into the spring market. 

Cleaning Your Condo

Cleaning your Condo This article also appears on the Ontario Condo Group website. I am a member of the group and contribute regularly to their platforms. Living in a ‘ smaller-to-me apartment’ has made me think more about keeping the air pure and limiting my dependence on chemicals to clean. Organizing precious little storage space has required me to really consider how many different bottles of cleaning product is really necessary. I have become a big fan of liquid castille soap. One bottle will cover my laundry and cleaning needs. I decant and add water to a decorative bottle which sits on the counter top in the kitchen and in each bathroom. From this bottle I can clean the space, wash hands and clothes. So much simpler than multiple bottles and going from room to room to find a specific cleaner. I occasionally switch up the scent but always enjoy the savings.

First of all – What is a Condominium?

This article has been provided by my fellow member of the Ontario Condo Group Laurie Gagnier, Sales Representative with Brussieres.Gagnier.Miller Real Estate Team of RE/MAX Metro-City Realty Ltd. Brokerage in Ottawa. When people refer to a condominium, they are referring to a form of ownership as opposed to a place to make a home. They are often thought of as being high-rise residential buildings, but could be applied to townhouse complexes, individual houses and low-rise residential buildings. In British Columbia they are known as strata and in Quebec they are referred to syndicates of co-ownership as opposed to the condominiums in other regions of Ontario.   It will be important for you to contact the member of the Ontario Condo Group that works in your area to learn about your local condominium styles. Condos consist of two parts. The first part is a collection of private dwellings called “units”. Each unit is owned by and registered in the name of the purchaser of the unit.

Condo Ownership – Pros & Cons

This post also appeared on  The decision to purchase a condo for personal use is popular amongst two key demographics: seniors and singles. More and more we are seeing a sole woman who is making the decision to purchase a condo citing low maintenance and high security. Active seniors appreciate the amenities of a gym or a pool. Those who may otherwise be starting to slow down may enjoy the community aspects of living in a larger condominium complex. Singles appreciate that condos are low maintenance with less demands on their busy lifestyle. They also know that they usually sell quickly as the current population of young singles are often required to stay mobile to optimize career opportunities. The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation has published   the pros and cons of condo ownership. Pros of Condominium Ownership Fewer maintenance and repair responsibilities.Access to on-site amenities, such as a sauna or Fewer maintenance and repair

Condo Fees, and the Perks of a Low Maintenance Lifestyle

This post has been contributed by my fellow Ontario Condo Group member Kristin Ghent. Kristin, with real estate partner Anita Van Rootselaar, are Sales Representatives with RE/MAX Real Estate Centre Inc. in Guelph. A big draw to owning a condo is the luxury of the low maintenance lifestyle. Do you like mowing the lawn, shoveling the snow, and cleaning the pool?  Imagine the time you save when living in a condo that includes property maintenance! In many cases owning a condo gives you the opportunity to focus on what you love most – living in your own space without the work of freehold ownership. When you own a condo, you also own a portion of the common areas shared by all residents in your building. These areas are called common elements, and they include front lobbies, parking garages, elevators, hallways, and other building amenities such as pools and party rooms. Typically, as the owner of a condo unit, you pay a portion of the expenses through a monthly fee to maintain common

What is there to know about a Status Certificate?

This post has been contributed by my fellow Ontario Condo Group member Kristin Ghent. Kristin, with real estate partner Anita Van Rootselaar, are Sales Representatives with RE/MAX Real Estate Centre Inc. in Guelph. A Status Certificate is a document disclosing important information about the property to help potential Buyers make an informed decision. This is likely the most important document in your Purchase Agreement because:  It will provide essential information concerning the financial status of the unit as well as the Condominium Corporation. It will advise prospective buyers of all fees, any large increases that may come into effect, if a Special Assessment that is pending, and any arrears or liens registered on that a particular unit.  It allows potential buyers to have as much information as possible on the physical and fiscal situation with the building.   It is ordered in real time so that the information you are searching for will be current to your purchase.  I

Is a Condo A Good Investment?

This post has been contributed by Brian Madigan, who is also a member of the Ontario Condo Group. Brian is a Broker with RE/MAX West Realty Inc. Brokerage in Toronto.  This is a question that is frequently asked. Essentially, it depends upon your expectations and your analysis of an investment return. Traditionally, individual single-family homes have outpaced the return over time of other classes of real estate. So, for overall long-term appreciation, single-family homes offer the greatest prospect for reward. But, you must appreciate that it also means good well-located homes. If that is the case, then do you only include good well-located, well-managed condominiums? It is often said that real estate is a good investment because they’re not making any more of it. However, that is really not entirely true when it comes to high-rise condominiums. You can acquire an excellent apartment on the 23rd floor of an expensive condominium. Ten years later when it is time to sell, you find

What are the Responsibilities of Condo Owners?

This blog was written by my fellow member of the Ontario Condo Group Ian Smith. Ian is a Broker, and who along with real estate partner Nina Wilson (Sales Representative) work with Royal Lepage Niagara Real Estate Centre Inc., Brokerage Know the rules – and play by them. The condominium lifestyle is a wonderful concept, but its success depends upon respect for the rights of others, acceptance of and adherence to the rules and a spirit of cooperation. When you live in a condominium environment, the rules you must abide by are specified in the bylaws of the Corporation and in the policies that the Board sets. Every owner and tenant should have a copy of the bylaws and know what the Corporation is responsible for, what the Owner is   responsible for and what each can and cannot do. For example, exterior alterations, or changes to the common property are generally not allowed without prior written approval from the Board. Some communities do not allow pets, or they limit the type an

I am pleased to announce that I am a member of the Ontario Condo Group

I am pleased to announce that I am a member of the newly formed Ontario Condo Group. We are a collective of Realtors who have committed to providing the public with a greater understanding of the issues and opportunities surrounding condominiums in Ontario. Please visit our web site at  and follow our Facebook page to learn more.