Sold…Maybe Not…

Sold…Maybe Not…


After getting an offer on a house, and after negotiating the terms of a deal, your house may or may not be sold. Typically there is a 5 business day clause in 95% of contracts that allow the buyer to secure 100% finances and do a home inspection. In a bidding war these clauses are waived and for good reason. In a condo sale there may be status certificate clauses which can last 10 Business days and in commercial deals there can be 30 – 45 days for lawyers accountants and inspectors to verify everything in a property. During this period a house is sold conditionally. While its sold, its really not.

I always explain and try to protect my clients for the simple fact that for any reason the buyer can ask for their money back, this is why in a bidding war even if more money is on the table on one offer, a seller would rather take the sure thing with little or no clauses that allow a buyer to back out. I know what you’re saying, how can they just back out of the deal, well technically they have to come up with an excuse, say a problem with their finances, or some made up problem during home inspection and there are a few ways to deter this activity which is hard, but in the end, when you must sell a house you cannot waste your house with a lame duck buyer and you need to move on to get the house sold and fast!
In a condo deal, a lawyer can come up with any reason and say the status certificate is not to their liking. Even easier.
Sold…Maybe Not…

Are Million Dollar Condos A Good Investment?


I’m gonna start off by saying that there are a lot of stats I’m not bringing into this article because really this question is about common sense.

I was driving around downtown Toronto and I guess its been a while since I actually looked around with precision at all of the building that are actually up already. Usually I go about my business and don’t smell the roses at all of the construction projects. Well those projects are up and nearing completion with more to come.
Its a little mind boggling  to see all of those buildings go up and predict if there be enough investors to buy them or people to afford these units. Many two bedroom condos are in the 400k range. However there are a lot of condos in the upper million dollar range which have yet to be bought in these buildings and typically it takes 3 or more years to sell them out after a building project is finished. (I think that’s ridiculous) A building should be sold out by closing. I guess now we are going to have to get used to the fact that this may be the normal state of affairs with all of the competition coming.
This is my opinion and while there is a market for everyone and every agent out there, I believe spending 1 million dollars on a condo downtown is not a great investment in this point in time in Toronto. While space is definitely out in the Greater Toronto Area, there are still many options out there with regarding to housing.
Since Toronto is so close to so many areas with housing solutions, it makes sense to go out there and buy a semi-detached or detached, or townhouse at a 600-800k price point and put in 100-200k of renovations. In the long term that property will be worth a lot more then another unit. Let’s face it, they are not building any more new developments with regards to semis, towns and detaches, so the value on those properties will go up more percent in the long term.
Another drawback to buying a condo at these price points are the fees & Taxes (commercial read below). A condo with that kind of price is going to run you over $1000 a month in fees. That is a lot of money compared to zero fees a month on a house. In a house you might pay more taxes but the fees will always bring your bottom line lower.
With regards to taxes I bring that up because if this is a multi use building, you might be charged commercial tax. Not residential tax annually. This is the case in the Trump Tower downtown and this is why they are having so many problems with finalizing deals because the buyers didn’t know that and didn’t anticipate that in their investment.
I’m not completely biased against condos, I sell many of them and I live in one. I do love the lifestyle and convenience of it, but I don’t believe If I had a million dollars to spend, that I would go out and buy a condo downtown with so many options out there!
Sold…Maybe Not…

Pet Odor Will Lose You Thousands of Dollars



Beautiful House fully renovated, great neighbourhood, great schools and close to all amenities and highways.

This is the blurb that attracts the most buyers when posting a house on MLS.
I book an appointment, take my clients there, show them the pictures and match their criteria to this house. Looks great so far.
This could be the house for my clients…Think again
As soon as we walk in the house we smell cat and cat litter. Within seconds we rush out due to the bad smell and the fact that the seller has not vacuumed or taken care of pet hair. We even smell a hint of cat urine in the basement.
What a disaster. It happens and it happened to me. Truthfully its happened to me on both ends. Seller had tenants that had cats that stunk up the joint!
Those cats lost these people on both ends thousands of dollars. In the end sellers don’t understand why the house won’t sell or why they are getting low ball offers.
Its simple.
By the house smelling like crap and animals and feces and urine and cat and dog food, it deems your place un-clean. Therefore buyers think that the rest of the place has not been kept up. Chances are it hasn’t. Pet oder is the worst thing for selling a house.
If you are selling a house, call in Sears or some professional and get those carpets cleaned, get the couches cleaned and get the pets out for the duration of the listing.
If not, you will lose thousands of dollars in an offer because people deem your place dirty and that they will have to clean it up and it will cost them to do that. Or they might not even give you an offer which most likely will happen. If one of the buyers are alergic they will run right out. See ya
Sold…Maybe Not…




Q: What are the key places to consider upgrading insulation?


A: To achieve long-term energy savings, it makes the most sense to perform upgrades throughout your house. There are, however, a few key places to consider. Since up to 15 per cent of a home’s energy is lost through the attic, it is a good place to start. Much like a toque, insulation minimizes the amount of heat that is escaping outside during the colder months. Typically, attics should be insulated to a value of R-40 to maximize energy efficiency. Once installed, homeowners should conduct yearly check-ups to ensure that the current recommended R-value is met.


Q: What is R-Value?


A: R-value indicates the insulation’s resistance to heat flow. A key phrase to remember is the higher the R-value, the greater the insulating power. Check your local building code to determine the minimum R-Value in your region. More information on household insulation is available online at


Q: What tools and equipment will I need to install insulation?


A: As with any home improvement project, you’ll need several different tools to perform the job. Basic tools include a tape measure, utility knife, straightedge or 2×4, lightweight stapler, hammer and appropriate fasteners to apply an interior finish. Depending on the project, you may also require special equipment such as a portable work light, boards or plywood sheets, insulation supports and a pole or rake to push insulation into out of the way places. Be sure to have work gloves, approved safety glasses and a disposable dust mask on-hand to protect yourself while working with insulation. You can find all of these items at your local home hardware store.


Q: How do I determine the amount of insulation I need to complete my project?


A: Fortunately, there’s a simple formula to calculate the number of insulation packages you’ll need to purchase. Multiply the walls length times the height to determine the total square footage to be installed. Next, measure the distance between joists to determine the correct insulation width. Then divide the total square footage to be insulated by the square footage per package and round up to the next whole number to determine the total number of packages required. When purchasing insulation, check the price per square foot rather than the price per bag. Some packages appear to contain more insulation when they actually contain less.




For More information Click here

Sold…Maybe Not…

Avoiding CMHC (Canadian Housing and Mortgage Corporation)


I know that most first time home buyers will pay a CMHC premium because they do not have the required amount to put down on a house. I understand that, and for first time buyers …. I will let you have this exception.

However, the minute you sell your first house and get into another house, you should not move until you either save enough to put a proper down payment to avoid CMHC fees, or wait for the equity to build so you can use that toward your deposit.

Why am I so against CMHC? Your mortgage broker incorporates that fee into your mortgage. What you do not realize that after you pay that amount on top of your mortgage, you are also financing that fee for however long you amortized your mortgage for. Average 25 years. 

The next time you go and get a mortgage ask your broker or banker to factor the mortgage with and without the CMHC premium. It might make you think about how much damage that fee is actually doing to your bank account over the years. Its like a double penalty. 

What I suggest is to calculate how long it will take you to save the extra money. Or why not buy a house that is less so you don’t have to pay that fee. Calculate how much longer it will take you to pay your mortgage with the fee included in the mortgage. I bet you it would take you less time now to save that extra money to avoid the fees than it will take you to pay it back later. Its common sense.

Your future self will thank you later on when you are living a mortgage free life in a shorter amount of time!

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