First Time Home Buyer


Are you thinking about getting into the real estate market?

The real estate market is powerful and constantly changing. In fact, the real estate market is responsible for the largest percentage of Canada’s GDP. Every single day, you can see new trends unfold. That’s why it’s important to have a solid understanding of today’s current market.

There is more to buying a property than just finding something that you can afford. You also need to look at things like location and type of residence. Of course, it is worthwhile to start saving your money in advance to cover all the costs associated with buying a property.

When looking into the real estate market, you need to first look at the location. In this regard, it is worth considering investing near schools as well as parks and public transportation outlets like buses and railways. This will help you earn more money because the demand for real estate areas will be higher.

Types of Residences
Households are buying homes that suit their unique needs and lifestyles, so you can also mix and match your preferred residential property style. Some people like to live in condominiums because of their convenience, while others prefer houses or townhouses for the available space. It is important to decide which type will work best for you and to consider your future plans.

Housing Market and Elections

How Can The Federal Election Shape The Housing Market?

“David: don’t make this blog political.”

That’s what I told myself each and every time I wrote parts of the blog in my head over the last seven days.

As I wrote on my blog last week, I was away in Prince Edward County, somewhere between Albury and Redernsville, and I didn’t have much of an outlet for my thoughts and opinions on all things real estate, politics, economics, and Toronto. Thankfully, my mother was on the trip, so we talked politics a lot over the course of the week, and I think that got most of it out of my system.

So can I actually write an entire blog about the upcoming election and how it might shape the future of housing in this country while holding back all the political commentary?

Unlikely. But I’ll try…

Alright, so we have a “snap” election that will take place a little more than thirty days from when it was called, which I suppose is better than the United States where they basically campaign from January 1st to November 20th. Then again, they hold elections every two years so aren’t they always campaigning?

In any event, there are going to be “hot-button” issues this fall, whether it’s the COVID-19 pandemic, the social/financial recovery from the pandemic, the economy, high inflation (unless you’re Trudeau and then monetary policy doesn’t matter…), education, healthcare, taxation, social justice, climate change, immigration, and of course, housing.

Now, I’m going to say this first and foremost, and I sincerely mean it: nothing is going to change.

There, I said it. And I’m just as sorry as I am not sorry, in that I feel awful for pointing it out, but it’s not my doing.

Not a whole lot has been done to address housing affordability since I’ve been in real estate.

There have been a lot of changes to the mortgage industry over the years, which comes from the government, via the CMHC and/or Bank of Canada. But how much has actually been done about housing? Next to nothing, in my opinion.

The true “issue” with housing affordability is that there are two sides to the coin. There’s the demand-side and the supply-side, and for years, all of the focus has been on the demand-side.

More than a decade ago, changes to the demand-side made sense and, looking back, were actually quite prudent.

The younger readers among you won’t remember the cause-and-effect of the 2008 financial crisis, although, you might have seen The Big Short so perhaps you’re aware. But I’m old enough to remember the mortgage industry before 2008 and I shudder to think about what our real estate market and the economy would be like in 2021 without the reactive changes that took place after watching the meltdown in the United States.

In 2007, I sold a house with 107% financing. My client, who ran a hedge fund and thought he knew everything, bought a house for $1,070,000, forked over a $50,000 deposit at the time of purchase, and then upon closing, the lender gave him a cheque for $124,900 which represented the 7% above his purchase price ($74,900) and the return of his $50,000 deposit.

In 2007, you could not only purchase a house without any money as a downpayment, but the lenders would actually give you up to 7% above the purchase price!

After watching the financial crisis play out in the United States, the federal government, led at the time by Stephen Harper as Prime Minister and Jim Flaherty as the Minister of Finance, sought to rein in lending practices in light of the madness that occurred down south.

The CMHC introduced a minimum 5% down payment on all properties. Think about that, for a moment. A minimum of 5%? Compare that to what we have today? It’s madness!

Over the next few years, we saw more and more changes to the mortgage industry.

A minimum 20% down payment on investment properties, vacation homes, or any second properties. Imagine how our market would look today if you could run around the city buying up investment condos with 5% down?

Gone was the 40-year amortization!

In 2007, a total of 37% of all new mortgages were for terms of longer than 25-years, as I wrote in my blog from July of 2008.

So just imagine in 2021, purchasing an investment property with $0 down, getting 7% back upon closing, and stretching your amortization to 40 years.

The changes made in 2008 and beyond were good. They weren’t implemented to address “housing affordability,” but rather to avoid the financial chaos that the United States experienced.

The changes made over the last few years were anything but good, however.

The changes to the demand-side of the market, over the last few years, were borne of a complete lack of understanding of how a market works, in my opinion. It’s also the “low-hanging-fruit” option for politicians who want to be seen as “doing something” in response to rising prices.

Making it more difficult for entry-level buyers in 2021, while leaving the door open for people with plane-fulls of cash to fly into Toronto and Vancouver and buy up real estate with Monopoly, er, Canadian Tire money makes little sense if you actually sit down and think about the problems in our market.

All the changes to the demand-side over the last five or six years have done nothing to help with true “housing affordability.”

So then, as the election approaches, do we believe that any of the candidates will do something to address the supply-side of the market?

The CBC put out a great summary of each party’s housing platform in this article last week:

“Main Federal Parties All Say They’ll Make Housing More Affordable”

Here are their bullet points:


The Liberals haven’t released their election platform yet, but we can glean some clues from the government’s 2021 budget, which doubles down on the government’s National Housing Strategy introduced in 2017.
The budget included a commitment of $2.5 billion to create 35,000 affordable housing units, $1.5 billion of which is dedicated to the government’s “rapid housing initiative,” which seeks to build new affordable housing units much faster than is typically possible.
The Liberals also proposed a new tax targeting “underused” housing.

The Conservatives’ election platform features a plan to build one million homes over three years, the conversion of at least 15 per cent of federal government property into housing and the creation of an Indigenous housing strategy.
A Conservative government would also bar foreign investors who are not living or moving to Canada from buying a home for at least the next two years.
The party also wants to encourage the offering of seven-to-10-year mortgages and to make tweaks to stress test and insurance requirements to help people qualify more easily for financing.

The NDP’s housing platform is centred on a proposal to build 500,000 affordable homes over the next 10 years.
The party is also proposing a 20 per cent foreign buyer’s tax on the sale of homes to individuals who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
To help buyers get into the market, the party is also proposing the creation of 30-year mortgages insured by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
Green Party

The Green Party has not released its 2021 election platform yet, but the party has recently advocated for the federal government to redefine affordable housing using an updated formula.
The Greens have also proposed stronger regulation of foreign investments in real estate, and the creation of a federal “empty home tax” that would apply to foreign and corporate property owners who leave units vacant.

Oh boy.

How can I follow this up without being cynical?

Alright, let me get this out of the way…

The Liberals haven’t put an actual platform yet, and probably won’t because Justin Trudeau’s best bet in this election is to avoid answering any questions whatsoever and simply continue to skate by on his smile and charm, which is how this university drop-out and former high school drama teacher was able to con his way into the most powerful position in the country in the first place.

I don’t think we’ll actually find out what the Liberals’ housing plan is.

The CBC is being kind to the Liberals by filling in the blanks with what was contained in the 2017 National Housing Strategy.

However, building 35,000 affordable housing units is barely what I would call “a start,” in a country of 38 Million people.

I will also add that we cannot tax our way out of this housing affordability problem, but I’ve beat that horse to death and beyond over the last few years. So the “tax on underused housing” won’t address the problem, unless every penny of that tax is used to build housing.

The NDP party, unlike the Liberals, have a platform.

Theirs isn’t as clean as the 160-page PDF that the Conservatives released, but they have a section called “Affordability” on their website and from there I can cut down on the fluff and give you their bullet points as follows:

Create at least 500,000 units of quality, affordable housing in the next ten years, with half of that done within five years. This will be achieved with the right mix of effective measures that work in partnership with provinces and municipalities, build capacity for social, community, and affordable housing providers, to provide rental support for co-ops, and meet environmental energy efficiency goals.

In order to kick-start the construction of co-ops, social and non-profit housing and break the logjam that has prevented these groups from accessing housing funding, we will set up dedicated fast-start funds to streamline the application process and help communities get the expertise and assistance they need to get projects off the ground now, not years from now. We’ll mobilize federal resources and lands for these projects, turning unused and under-used properties into vibrant new communities.

A New Democrat government will also spur the construction of affordable homes by waiving the federal portion of the GST/HST on the construction of new affordable rental units – a simple change that will help get new units built faster and keep them affordable for the long term.

We will re-introduce 30-year terms to CMHC insured mortgages on entry-level homes for first time home buyers. This will allow for smaller monthly payments, freeing up funds to help make ends meet for young families. We’ll also give people a hand with closing costs by doubling the Home Buyer’s Tax Credit to $1,500.

For Canadians who are open to innovative paths to home ownership, a New Democrat government will provide resources to facilitate co-housing, such as model co-ownership agreements and connections to local resources, and ease access to financing by offering CMHC-backed co-ownership mortgages.

To help put an end to speculation that’s fuelling high housing prices, we’ll put in place a 20% Foreign Buyer’s tax on the sale of homes to individuals who aren’t Canadian citizens or permanent residents

New Democrats will also fight money laundering, which fuels organized crime and drives up housing prices. We will work with the provinces to create a public beneficial ownership registry to increase transparency about who owns properties, and require reporting of suspicious transactions in order to help find and stop money laundering.

As for the Conservatives, you can download their girthy online PDF which is called “Canada’s Recovery Plan” and features Erin O’Toole in a black muscle-shirt that many people seem to think is photo-shopped. Of the 160 pages, it’s worth noting that eleven are of Mr. O’Toole and/or his family, and over thirty are stock images of people and places.

The section on housing can be found on pages 54 through 57.

Skipping through the political rhetoric and fluff, here’s their proposal in a nutshell:

Leverage federal infrastructure investments to increase housing supply by building public transit infrastructure that connects homes and jobs by bringing public transit to where people are buying homes; and requiring municipalities receiving federal funding for public transit to increase density near the funded transit.

Review the extensive real estate portfolio of the federal government – the largest property owner in the country with over 37,000 buildings – and release at least 15% for housing while improving the Federal Lands Initiative;

Incent developers to build the housing Canadians both want and need, by: encouraging Canadians to invest in rental housing by extending the ability to defer capital
gains tax when selling a rental property and reinvesting in rental housing, something that is currently excluded; and exploring converting unneeded office space to housing

Ban foreign investors not living in or moving to Canada from buying homes here for a two year period after which it will be reviewed. Instead, encourage foreign investment in purpose-built rental housing that is affordable to Canadians.

Encourage a new market in seven- to ten-year mortgages to provide stability both for first-time home buyers and lenders, opening another secure path to homeownership for Canadians, and reducing the need for mortgage stress tests.

Remove the requirement to conduct a stress test when a homeowner renews a mortgage with another lender instead of only when staying with their current lender, as is the case today. This will increase competition and help homeowners access more affordable options.

Increase the limit on eligibility for mortgage insurance and index it to home price inflation, allowing those in high-priced real estate markets with less than a 20% down-payment an opportunity at home-ownership.

Fix the mortgage stress test to stop discriminating against small business owners, contractors and other non-permanent employees including casual workers.

Last, but not least, this little ditty:

Canada’s Conservatives will never tax Canadians’ capital gains on the sale of their principal residence, something many within the Liberal party are threatening to do.

Alright, that last part had nothing to do with building 1,000,000 homes in the next three years, or their “detailed plan to tackle home prices,” but it’s worth noting because I remain 100% convinced that exemption on capital gains tax on a primary residence is coming to an end.

So how did I do?

I mean, about not making this political? 🙂

Okay, I’ll make you a deal: if the Liberals actually put out a platform in the form of a PDF or even a crayon drawing by Justin, then I’ll buy Tim Horton’s coffee for anybody who calls me out on it.

In the meantime, what measures do you think are necessary for the next government to undertake to actually enact meaningful change in the housing market?

For those who are low on initiative today, how about multiple choice? The topics to address:

a) Building affordable housing
b) Addressing foreign ownership
c) Building/investing in infrastructure to help urban sprawl
d) Tackling money laundering and chasing taxes owed by non-residents
e) Changes to CMHC policies regarding amortization, mortgage term, stress tests/qualification, etc
f) Incentivizing and/or partnering with developers to boost housing supply
g) Something novel that I haven’t included!

Real Estate Investments

The Most Important Questions to Ask Before You Invest in Real Estate

For many investors, real estate is coveted, highly attractive — and uncomfortably unfamiliar.

Although it’s widely accepted that a strong real estate investment has the potential to generate considerable wealth, until recently relatively few investors had the chance to acquire first-hand experience with the asset class. And despite its many advantages, real estate can be a complex investment. With today’s wide availability of opportunities, it’s as important as ever to know how to approach all types of real estate investment methods — both active and passive, from rental properties to public REITs to Fundrise.

Shrewd investing starts with knowing how to ask the right questions. That’s where this article can help. No matter which method you plan to use to put your first dollar toward real estate, these are questions you should consider beforehand. By studying the points and potential pitfalls outlined here, you can learn some of the crucial ways to assess an investment before committing your hard-earned cash.

Questions to Ask Before Any Real Estate Investment
Let’s start with questions that every prospective real estate investor should think about, no matter what kind of investment model they’re considering.

Do you have the time and expertise to invest actively, or would it make more sense for you to invest passively?
There are major differences between active and passive real estate investing, and most investors will have a clear inclination for one over the other. However, if you’ve just started to think about real estate generally, you might not have figured out exactly where your preference lies. Once you do, you’ll likely identify which option best suits your situation — or you might recognize that one model is simply not feasible or economical for you. For example, love the idea of being a landlord? Look at active options. Alternatively, simply don’t have the time to deal with properties and tenants first-hand? Consider passive investments. Those decisions can have an immediate impact on the specific investment you pursue, and how much it costs for you to get started.

What’s your investment timeline? How important will liquidity be to you in the future?
Defining a timeline, or investment horizon, is crucial for any investment, though some kinds are particularly illiquid (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing!). That makes identifying a comfortable timeline even more important when it comes to real estate investing. Make sure you know if and when you’ll need liquidity and, if so, whether the investment can support your particular needs.

What are the potential tax benefits?
Both active and passive real estate investments can offer tax advantages, but the exact tax benefits available to investors depend on the investment.

For example, on the passive investing side, thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, income earned from pass-through structures, such as REITs, can qualify for a 20% tax deduction.

On the active investing side, a 1031 Exchange offers investors a way to defer capital gains taxes on their initial investment indefinitely. While a 1031 Exchange doesn’t let an investor reduce their capital gains tax liability, it can offer a step-up in basis upon inheritance. This feature has made it a useful tool for estate planning for some active real estate investors.

Each set of tax advantages can help an investor achieve a different goal. That’s why it’s important to determine which tax advantages best help you meet your investment goals.

Read More: A New Tax Code is Now Law and Presents Opportunities For Real Estate Investing Nationwide

How will real estate affect your overall portfolio?
One of real estate’s most renowned benefits is its capability to diversify a portfolio. But not all diversification is equal. Make sure you understand exactly how the addition of a new investment will impact the overall risk and earning potential of your investment situation. For example, whether an investment is in the public or private market can play a huge role in its power to diversify.

Read More: Bringing Portfolio Theory into the Age of the Internet

What makes a particular real estate investment attractive to you? How would you define success?
“Money!” might seem like the obvious answer, but responses can differ as much as people themselves. For some, an adrenaline-pumping fix-and-flip is their first choice real estate scenario, while others want to stay as far away from hands-on work as possible. Knowing what matters most to you in an investment will help you determine a clear view of what success in this investment can look like. It will most likely involve a return goal, but will it include any other aspects, benefits. or responsibilities?


Before You Invest in Real Estate: Active Investments, Doing It Yourself
Think you might be interested in taking out a mortgage and buying a rental condo in that buzzing new neighborhood across town? Have you seen a coworker fund their summer vacations with a dedicated AirBnB — and now you want to set up your own? In other words, are you ready to become a landlord?

These are the questions to consider before initiating an active real estate investment, on your own, where you’re personally responsible for decisions that will impact the success of the investment.

How much of a down payment and mortgage do you need to get started? How much additional capital will you need in the future?
This is the first and probably most obvious consideration for an active real estate investor. A traditional, active real estate investment involves buying a property directly — land, building, and all — either for rental or resale. For many investors, that’s an expensive prospect. Additionally, investing in real estate is rarely a static enterprise, consisting of simple buy-and-sell transactions. Often you need to do some value-add work in the form of renovations or repairs. And those additional tasks cost money beyond your initial investment. On top of those, you need to consider ongoing costs like property taxes, home insurance, and mortgage insurance. When analyzing the price of an investment, don’t forget to take into account soft costs along with hard costs.

Depending on your risk tolerance, liquidity needs, and desired return, should you choose a debt or equity investment?
This question illustrates how entering an investment on your own can occasionally require much more specialized knowledge. On one hand, deciding between debt and equity implies a considerably advanced level of investment that many people will never encounter directly. But on the other hand, if you consider the full gamut of real estate, there’s the chance you might face these distinctions, and understanding the pros and cons of each of these structures can be crucial for maximizing potential performance and minimizing risk. Making the right choice requires you to have comfortable command over each one and how they work together, such as how the “cap stack” works. Investing in real estate directly can offer obvious upsides — any return earned is yours and yours alone — but it also means you shoulder all responsibility to understand any nuances.

What asset type and strategy are right for you in your given market?
The most obvious real estate assets for direct investment are residential — houses or condos. But are there any other variables that might make another asset type a more promising option? Retail or office space? Maybe there’s been a new influx of young professionals, thanks to a change in local laws, and office buildings are increasing in value. But, with a change in real estate class, there’s also a change in expertise required. Assess the options and make sure your money is doing the most it can in any obvious circumstances.

How well do you understand the specific city where you’re planning to invest? What are the local opportunities and risks?
“Location, location, location” is a saying as accurate as it is cliché. A warehouse in Brooklyn might have an altogether different outlook from an identical structure in Akron. How can you expect the area you’re eyeing to develop? You need to make sure you account for as many location-specific variables as possible, ranging from natural disaster risks to noise pollution, all of which can make it difficult to secure tenants. For example, maybe the building next door is a school. That can have a major effect on how you’re able to develop and use the property. Be honest with the fidelity of your expertise — try to know what you don’t know and fill in the gaps.

How much time do you have available to devote to your real estate investment?
For some investors, time is a more scarce commodity than dollars. Likewise, some investment models inherently apply far more of a time strain than others. If your investment requires a landlord, can you spare the hours? If not, can you afford to hire a property manager? Unlike other investments, which require attention only trading hours, an investment property requires constant administration as long as you own the investment.

Before you Invest in Real Estate: Passive Investments, Through a Fund, Service, and/or Platform
Purchasing real estate directly might be the most widely-known way to invest in the asset class, but it’s far from the only method. Today, there’s a wealth of options for accessing the market, for investors of all kinds. With “hands-off,” passive investment methods, the acquisition and management of real estate is left to dedicated and experienced professionals. Public REITs and online platforms can considerably streamline the investment process. However, these models also come with their own list of crucial questions, equally important to review if you decide this is the approach that’s right for you.

Do you qualify?
Again, we recommend leading off with one of the most basic but relevant questions. Before spending too much time envisioning your future with a particular service, be sure to check and confirm which kinds of investors it admits. For example, some funds provided by famous private equity real estate companies, like Blackstone, have a history of only admitting investors that meet certain salary thresholds, while newer platforms, like Fundrise, allow anyone to invest.

What is the investment manager’s historical performance?
You should always remember that past performance doesn’t and can’t guarantee future results — but looking at a service’s track record is one way to develop an idea of the organization’s expertise and character. How has the manager that you’re considering fared in prior years? Have they shown responsible custodianship over investors’ funds in the past? Each of these factors can help you determine what your investment experience will be like with a particular service.

How will the service behave if the market enters a downturn?
Does an advisor give an indication of how they’ll behave if the market changes its behavior from how it looks right now? Successful, knowledgeable investors will cite the fact that the market is fundamentally unpredictable – which is absolutely true — but that doesn’t diminish the importance of preparation. Be sure you know that your advisor has a plan for the next financial crisis, no matter how likely it is to come around the corner today, tomorrow, or in five years.

Do the expenses and fees make sense?
A real estate investment has a number of built-in expenses, whether it’s done actively or passively. These are a simple, inescapable byproduct of the asset type itself: in order to generate dividends, for instance, a property requires a certain amount of ongoing costs. The bottom line is to make sure you understand a service’s fee structure and confirm that it makes sense, given the value that the investment manager is creating for you using your capital.

How well can you track and manage the investment through the service?
One of the big advantages of investing in real estate directly is that you never have any doubt what your money is up to or how to track it. On the other hand, when you invest using a service, you can only track those things into which the service gives you visibility. What does that access look like? Is the information easy to access and understand? Now that most services are online, there are expectations for dynamic reporting and easy management. Be sure you understand how you’ll interact with your investment after your capital is handed over to the investment manager.

Would a public market fund or private market fund better serve your portfolio?
One of the biggest reasons people turn to real estate is to improve their portfolios’ overall diversification. Often, something like public REITs will appear satisfactory, as they can expose you to up to a hundred distinct properties, seemingly providing broad diversification. In reality, however, the public trading of these funds can seriously compromise how well they diversify beyond other public market assets, like the stock market — a publicly traded fund will often correlate closely to other public investments in your portfolio. On the other hand, platforms that invest in private real estate can provide exposure to dozens of properties in the private market, which, in total, can represent significantly deeper diversification.

What’s next if you want to invest?
In many cases, nobody but you can answer these questions, based on your financial circumstances, your personal preferences, your experience, and the particular opportunities to which you have access. But don’t let an abundance of options intimidate you into not choosing anything at all — there’s a great chance that real estate can benefit your investment portfolio in many ways.

Depending on whether you decide to invest in real estate, and the investment model you think is best for you, you might find that Fundrise represents a truly revolutionary opportunity: accessible to everyone, investments of virtually any size, truly passive, and with minimal fees.

Townhouse For Sale in Midland/Lawerence, Toronto

Photo Link

•  townhouse FOR SALE  CAD1,000,000 . starting from

MILA is a new townhouse and single family home development by Madison Group currently under construction at 2740 Lawrence Avenue East,
Toronto. Available units start from $1,000,000.
MILA has a total of 211 units.
Sizes range from 1787 to 3353 square feet.

Property information

Seniors Selling Home

My spouse and I are both seniors. We’re preparing to sell our home but have not sold a property in quite a few years. What advice do you have to help our sale go smoothly?

As you say goodbye to your property and look ahead to a new kind of home that better meets your needs, there are some things you can do so that you’re satisfied with your real estate transactions.

  1. Plan ahead. Do your research and take the time you need to make decisions. It’s important to bring yourself up to speed on how much the housing market in Ontario has changed since your last transaction.

A great place to start is the Real Estate Council of Ontario’s (RECO) website, Here you can find many buyer and seller resources, including information about real estate professionals, as well as frequently asked questions and other consumer newsletters and guides.

  1. Choose a suitable real estate professional. I encourage you to do your research to find a representative with experience helping seniors who have undergone a similar move. In addition to their professional expertise, reps often have a network of other experts who can help with related matters, such as tax counselling and financial and estate planning.
  2. Know your home’s value. Before setting your price, ask your rep for a comparative market analysis. This provides data on comparable properties that are selling or have recently sold in your area.

It can help you decide what to expect someone to pay, and inform your strategy to achieve the best selling price.

  1. Understand your rights and obligations. Confirm from the outset all of the services you will be receiving. You can expect your real estate representative to explain and document all steps clearly.

Be aware of the terms, including fees (such as when you might owe money, including holdover periods) of any agreements you sign. If you need support with this, consider having another family member or friend present who can assist with the process.

  1. Get expert advice before signing documents. Given that real estate agreements are legally binding contracts, ensure you thoroughly review and understand all the fine print.

I strongly suggest seeking the help of a real estate lawyer who can review the documents, investigate the title and complete the transaction.

Good luck! I wish you all the best as you go through this exciting transition.

July-2021 Market Watch


TORONTO, ONTARIO, August 5, 2021 – With almost 9,400 sales reported in July 2021, demand for
ownership housing remained well-above average for the time of year despite being below the record July
result set a year earlier. Market conditions actually tightened relative to July 2020, with sales accounting
for a greater share of new listings compared to last year. The sellers’ market conditions sustained a
double-digit annual rate of price growth.
“Demand for ownership housing has remained strong despite a pandemic-related lull in population
growth. Of specific note is the condominium apartment market, which has seen a marked turn-around in
2021 with sales up compared to last year. First-time buyers, many of whom were slower to benefit from
the initial recovery phase, remain very active in the market place,” said TRREB President Kevin Crigger.
Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 9,390 sales through TRREB’s MLS® System in July 2021
– down by 14.9 per cent compared to July 2020 result of 11,033. On a seasonally adjusted basis, July
sales were down by two per cent compared to June.
The MLS® Home Price Index Composite Benchmark was up by 18.1 per cent compared to July 2020.
The average price for all home types combined was $1,062,256 – up 12.6 per cent compared to July

  1. The detached market segment led the way in terms of price growth, driven by sales in the suburban
    regions surrounding Toronto. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the average price was up by 0.9 per cent
    compared to June.
    “The annual rate of price growth has moderated since the early spring, but has remained in the double
    digits. This means that many households are still competing very hard to reach a deal on a home. This
    strong upward pressure on home prices will be sustained in the absence of more supply, especially as
    we see a resurgence in population growth moving into 2022,” said TRREB Chief Market Analyst Jason
    “There is a huge backlog of people seeking citizenship or permanent resident status in Canada. A large
    share of these newcomers will ultimately choose to call the GTA home. This means ownership and rental
    market conditions will remain tight with upward pressure on prices for the foreseeable future. Policy
    makers at all levels must pursue a coordinated effort to bring on a greater diversity of supply in major
    metropolitan areas,” said TRREB CEO John DiMichele.
    Summary of TRREB MLS® System Sales and Average Price July 1–31, 2021
    2021 2020
    Sales Average Price New
    Sales Average Price New
    City of Toronto
    (“416”) 3,269 1,016,580 5,108 3,564 1,017,744 6,963
    Rest of GTA (“905”) 6,121 1,086,650 7,443 7,469 908,212 11,156
    GTA 9,390 1,062,256 12,551 11,033 943,594 18,119
    TRREB MLS® System Sales & Average Price by Home Type July 1–31, 2021
    Sales Average Price
    416 905 Total 416 905 Total
    Detached 850 3,271 4,121 1,633,649 1,346,186 1,405,478
    Yr./Yr. %
    Change -22.3% -27.4% -26.4% 5.7% 27.0% 21.7%
    Semi-Detached 278 590 868 1,205,814 944,062 1,027,895
    Yr./Yr. %
    Change -25.3% -14.9% -18.5% 2.1% 22.1% 12.2%
    Townhouse 368 1,326 1,694 893,347 837,906 849,950
    Yr./Yr. %
    Change -6.1% -8.7% -8.2% 5.1% 19.3% 15.9%
    Condo Apartment 1,756 858 2,614 715,977 589,582 674,490
    Yr./Yr. %
    Change 4.2% 17.2% 8.2% 4.8% 11.7% 6.0%
    July 2021 Year-Over-Year Per Cent Change in the MLS® HPI
    (All Types)
    Townhouse Apartment
    TRREB Total 18.06% 22.61% 21.59% 17.18% 8.14%
    Halton Region 22.97% 23.73% 25.27% 19.05% 15.48%
    Peel Region 18.72% 22.23% 21.90% 16.93% 8.33%
    City of
    Toronto 10.14% 14.67% 13.76% 11.71% 6.45%
    York Region 20.95% 23.03% 22.06% 17.56% 12.11%
    Region 31.53% 31.76% 32.11% 31.12% 22.82%
    Orangeville 24.75% 25.39% 27.11% 28.11% 2.24%
    South Simcoe
    County1 31.48% 33.98% 33.55% 20.86% 16.39%
    Source: Toronto Regional Real Estate Board
    1South Simcoe includes Adjala-Tosorontio, Bradford West Gwillimbury, Essa, Innisfil and New Tecumseth
    Year-to-Date Summary of TRREB MLS® System Sales and Average Price July 2021
    2021 2020
    Sales Average Price New Listings Sales Average Price New Listings
    City of Toronto (“416”) 27,411 1,047,681 41,524 15,699 980,148 29,705
    Rest of GTA (“905”) 52,058 1,088,031 73,986 31,213 864,800 52,828
    GTA 79,469 1,074,113 115,510 46,912 903,401 82,533
    YTD TRREB MLS® System Sales & Average Price by Home Type July 2021
    Sales Average Price
    416 905 Total 416 905 Total
    Detached 7,371 29,320 36,691 1,695,541 1,320,243 1,395,638
    Yr./Yr. %
    Change 58.2% 60.6% 60.1% 15.2% 30.9% 26.6%
    Semi-Detached 2,560 4,849 7,409 1,285,347 925,357 1,049,743
    Yr./Yr. %
    Change 80.7% 64.7% 69.9% 9.2% 23.3% 18.1%
    Townhouse 3,034 10,813 13,847 926,437 836,808 856,446
    Yr./Yr. %
    Change 76.3% 71.1% 72.2% 11.3% 21.7% 19.2%
    Apartment 14,277 6,519 20,796 700,061 592,454 666,329
    Yr./Yr. %
    Change 82.9% 98.5% 87.5% 1.8% 12.9% 4.2%
    Source: Toronto Regional Real Estate Board
    Seasonally Adjusted TRREB MLS® Sales and Average Price1
    % Chg. Average Price
    Month-over-Month %
    July ’20 9,492 41.8% $951,693 5.1%
    August ’20 10,612 11.8% $981,680 3.2%
    September ’20 10,153 -4.3% $953,064 -2.9%
    October ’20 9,805 -3.4% $957,859 0.5%
    November ’20 9,412 -4.0% $966,317 0.9%
    December ’20 11,276 19.8% $978,505 1.3%
    January ’21 11,706 3.8% $1,008,660 3.1%
    February ’21 12,844 9.7% $1,033,787 2.5%
    March ’21 12,970 1.0% $1,088,367 5.3%
    April ’21 10,812 -16.6% $1,050,546 -3.5%
    May ’21 9,854 -8.9% $1,061,622 1.1%
    June ’21 9,011 -8.6% $1,061,331 0.0%
    July ’21 8,827 -2.0% $1,071,405 0.9%
    Source: Toronto Regional Real Estate Board; CREA Seasonal Adjustment
    1 Preliminary seasonal adjustment undertaken by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). Removing normal seasonal variations
    allows for more meaningful analysis of monthly changes and underlying trends.


Are you thinking of downsizing? There are many benefits to having a smaller home. But there are also many things to consider when looking for a more compact place to live. Here are some of the things to consider when it comes time to reduce your home’s footprint.

Outdoor Access
Having a house with a yard is often taken for granted. If it was gone entirely, would you miss it? If the answer is no, then condo or apartment units are worth considering.

If, however, you enjoy walking out your front door to the great outdoors, instead of into a hallway, then houses or townhouses are a better option.

A smaller house doesn’t have to mean a smaller yard, though. If you love gardening or landscaping, or just enjoy spending time relaxing in a large yard, you’ll definitely want to look for a home with a sizable lot. If you’re downsizing as part of your retirement plan, though, consider the effort required to maintain that yard. In your later years, you may need to hire some gardening help.

If you’ve spent decades living in a larger house with a fair-sized yard, or in a rural area, chances are you’ve gotten used to your space. If you’ve decided to move to a condominium in the city, pause for a moment. You’re about to move from sharing a fence line to sharing a wall with neighbours. Are you ready for that? If you like your space, apartment living may not be the right option.

If, however, you want to be within walking distance of everything you need, it’s an ideal choice. Plus, you’ll never have to worry about property maintenance, or mowing the lawn.

Moving to a neighbourhood like Unionville will give you a mix of a detached house in an urban area.

Necessary Space
When downsizing, you’ll need to take a good look at which rooms or spaces you’re willing to give up, and which you absolutely need. Start with the bedrooms. You’ll need one for yourself and your partner, of course. And one for guests. Do you need a dedicated office space? Or a room for your hobbies?

What about vehicles? If you have a classic car, you’ll want indoor parking, whether that’s a garage or a car park.

Do your hobbies require their own space? Woodworking, metalwork, and many other hobbies are best suited to a garage or basement, rather than a spare bedroom.

How many bathrooms do you need? Are you fine with sharing a bathroom, or does each person in the home require their own bathroom?

Make a list of the minimum requirements – number of bedrooms, bathrooms, hobby/office space – and use that to guide your home search. This will filter out a lot of homes that don’t fit your needs.

Part of downsizing is deciding what furniture to keep. If you keep all of it, your new, smaller home will feel cramped. When deciding what to keep, consider the size of the piece. Will your king-size bed fit your new bedroom? Will that sectional couch be too large? Depending on the furniture you own, you may need to budget for new furniture when you move.

Townhouse For Sale in Elgin Mills, Richmond Hill

Photo Link

•  townhouse FOR SALE  CAD850,900 . Starting Price

The Hill on Bayview
930 Elgin Mills Road East, Richmond Hill, ON

From $850,900 to over $1,189,900
200 Units
1.5 – 3.5 Bedrooms
Est. Compl. Fall/Winter 2024
825 – 1654 SqFt
$896 per SqFt
The Hill on Bayview is a new townhouse development by Armour Heights Developments currently in preconstruction at 930 Elgin Mills Road East, Richmond Hill. The development is scheduled for completion in 2024. The Hill on Bayview has a total of 200 units. Sizes range from 825 to 1654 square feet.
The Hill on Bayview Details
Building Type:
Ownership: Condominium
Construction Status: Preconstruction
Construction Start Date: 2021
Estimated Completion: Fall/Winter 2024
AJ Tregebov
Ceilings: From 9’0″ to 10’0″
Interior Designer(s):
Bicycle Storage
Pet wash area
Car Wash Area

Cost to Purchase Parking: Included in the purchase price
(2 Parking Spaces included for units over 1,400 sq.ft)
Cost to Purchase Storage: Included in the purchase price

Deposit Structure
$5,000 on Signing
Balance to 5% in 30 Days
5% in 60 Days
5% in 120 Days
Balance on Occupancy

The Hill on Bayview Summary

Our brand new release of rooftop terrace units is now here featuring our most elevated designs of 2 Bed and 2 Bed + Den townhomes up to 1551 sq ft. These spacious townhomes offer expansive private rooftop terraces and contemporary finishes curated by award-winning design firm, U31. Rise up The Hill, an exclusive enclave of modern urban townhomes nestled in a beautiful setting at Bayview and Elgin Mills in the heart of Richmond Hill. Register now for an elevated experience.

Features & Finishes
1. Distinguished contemporary architecture featuring genuine clay brick, stone precast and EFIS.
2. Spectacular courtyard with private walking areas in a lush green garden atmosphere, as per plan.
3. Quality double glazed casement windows with simulated divided window lites.

1. Architectural entry door with hardware and complete with security viewer.
2. Smoke alarm detectors interconnected to sound within unit.
3. Remote control device, (FOB) and card access to underground parking, lockers, and bicycle storage.
4. Security entry phone at all garage stairways and entrance connected to every unit or Smart Phone.

1. Underground Parking Garage protected by sprinklers and connected to fire alarm system.
2. Designated area in underground for car washing and detailing for the residents’ vehicles.
3. Centrally monitored, strategically placed Panic Buttons and CCTV cameras for high level security in underground.
4. Electric Vehicle Charging Stations, pay per use.
5. Visitor Parking Electric Vehicle Charging capability, pay per use.
6. Individual Wire Storage Lockers or Storage Rooms.
7. Bicycle Storage Area in Underground for Residents.
8. Emergency Generator back up power for all emergency systems.

1. Ten-foot ceilings on ground floor (Kitchen, Living Room, Dining Room). Approx. nine-foot ceilings on all other levels throughout except for bathrooms, closets, laundry rooms and bulkhead areas to accommodate mechanical, plumbing, or architectural design, as per plan.
2. Eight-foot interior doors where ceilings are ten-feet high and seven-foot interior doors where ceilings are nine-feet high, as per plan, complete with chrome lever handle.
3. Smooth finished ceilings throughout, painted with Latex Flat (CC-30) Oxford White paint or equivalent.
4. Stylish 2 1/2” casing and 3 1/2” baseboards throughout.
5. All baseboards, casings, and doors to be painted with premium semi-gloss latex Oxford White paint (CC-30).
6. Engineered Laminate Hardwood Flooring throughout, as per plan.
7. Imported 12” x 24” porcelain/ceramic tile in laundry rooms, bathrooms and mechanical rooms, as per builder’s standard samples.
8. Premium quality low sheen paint in all areas except bathrooms, kitchen, and laundry room where Satin Latex Oxford White paint (CC-30) will be used. Choice of 2 colours from builder’s standard samples.
9. Sliding doors to all private balconies, as per plan.
10. Private patios and landscaped garden areas, as per plan.
11. Outdoor gas line for BBQ hookup available, as per plan.

1. Quality Custom Kitchen Cabinets with extended height uppers per builder’s standard samples.
2. Open Concept Kitchens with islands, as per plan.
3 . Under-cabinet LED lighting, as per plan.
4. Quartz countertops with breakfast area, as per plan, per builder’s standard samples.
5. Stainless steel undermount sink with pull out faucet or equivalent.
6. Designer selected backsplash tile, per builder’s standard samples.
7. Ceiling light fixture centered in kitchen and pendant fixture(s) over Kitchen Island or peninsula, as per plan.
8. Fully Integrated Appliances including:
• 24” Counter Depth Refrigerator
• 24” Electric Ceramic Glass Cooktop
• 24” Convection Wall Oven
• 24” Stainless Hood Fan
• 24” Panel Ready Dishwasher

1. Imported 12” x 24” porcelain/ceramic wall tile and acrylic shower base, as per plan.
2. Framed glass shower panel, as per plan.
3. Shower light in all standalone showers.
4. Custom-designed cabinetry with quartz countertop, undermount sink and faucet.
5. Single Lever Pressure Balanced Chrome shower faucet in all shower units.
6. Decorative lighting and mirror over vanity, per builder’s standard samples.
7. Bathroom accessories to include towel bar and toilet tissue dispenser.
8. High efficiency water saving toilet.
9. Exterior vented exhaust fan.

1. Custom designed cabinetry in main bathroom with quartz countertop, undermount sink and faucet.
2. Imported 12” x 24” porcelain/ceramic tiled walls to tub areas, as per builder’s standard samples.
3. Choice of imported 12” x 24” tile on floor, as per builder’s standard samples.
4. Single Lever Pressure Balanced Chrome tub faucet in all tub units, as per plan.
5. Decorative lighting and mirror over vanity, per builder’s standard samples.
6. Bathroom accessories to include towel bar and toilet tissue dispenser.
7. High efficiency water saving toilet.
8. Exterior vented exhaust fan.

1. 24” Washing Machine.
2. 24” Ventless Heat Pump Dryer.
3. Imported 12” x 24” porcelain/ceramic tile, per builder’s standard samples.
4. Free standing Laundry Sink, as per plan.

1. Individually controlled, high efficiency heating and cooling system in each unit for year-round comfort.
2. Smart Lighting Package includes: Controller, 4 Wireless Switches and 1 Engraved Keypad Dimmer.
3. Separately metered hydro, water and gas.
4. Pre-wired for telephone and cable TV in all bedrooms, living room areas and den (where applicable).
5. 100 AMP electrical service with circuit breakers.
6. Kitchen counter level electrical GFI outlets for small appliances.
7. Builder supplied premium light fixtures throughout, as per plan.
8. Switch-controlled wall outlet for lamp in living room.
9. One 3-way controlled receptacle at bedside in Primary Bedroom.
10. White Decora switches and receptacles throughout.
11. Hard wired smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
12. Copper wiring throughout each unit.
13. Electric door chime at front entrance door

Property information


The year 2021 is an interesting time for real estate as we’ve entered an age where the industry is being completely overhauled due to the impacts of the pandemic. Indeed, the housing market has always been a fickle beast, and no one knows that better than real estate agents and brokers. Likewise, the industry is constantly evolving, and in the next few years, there are a few trends on the horizon of which you should be aware.

Increased Development of Public Open Spaces
Everyone knows that one of the best ways to invest in real estate is by buying up public spaces that people frequent, such as parks and lots. But now more than ever, there’s a need for developing new public spaces so people have outdoor spaces to visit after being cooped up inside for so long.

As a result, there’s more need for outdoor space as a result of the pandemic. Since a lot of people are spending more time indoors than ever, they’ll have to find new ways to pass their time. Many people try to spend as much time outdoors as possible, so they can reconnect with the outdoors in some way.

A Decline in Storefront Retail
The number one trend that’s shaping the real estate market in 2021 is the shift from storefront retail to online retail. More people are spending more time online, so fewer storefronts stay open. Many store owners are finding it difficult to maintain their brick-and-mortar stores while eCommerce is taking over.

Suburban Migration is Increasing
The number of people moving to the suburbs is on the rise. With urban areas becoming more congested, new ways to live that are both big on space and cost are cropping up. Many employees will continue to spend less time at the office and more time at home, only needing to go into the city part-time.

Residential Investment Prospects Grow For Vacation Homes
The growing number of people leaving the city means more people are looking for other accommodation. Many will look for a second home in which to vacation, and this could include owning a new secondary residence somewhere in the country.

Single and Multifamily Housing Prices Expected to Plateau
Housing prices continue to increase in most major Canadian cities, but a recent report from BMO indicates that prices are expected to plateau over the next few years. The report indicates that prices are not expected to rise significantly, as mortgage rates remain low, and the country is still in the midst of an economic upswing. Additionally, housing construction is more limited due to the high costs of building materials and labour shortages.Want to know what else is coming up in the real estate market? Get in touch with me today.

Flipping Houses

The 70 percent rule is a common term used among many real estate investors when flipping houses. Don’t feel bad if you don’t know what it means, because I had never heard of it up until a few years ago and I have flipped more than 200 houses! The 70 percent rule is a way to determine what price to pay for a fix and flip to make money. The 70 percent rule can be a very helpful guide but it is not something I would write in stone and never deviate from.

70 percent rule
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What is the 70 percent rule?
The 70 percent rule states that an investor should pay 70 percent of the ARV of a property minus the repairs needed. The ARV is the after repaired value and is what a home is worth after it is fully repaired.

If a home’s ARV is $150,000 and it needs $25,000 in repairs, then the 70 percent rule states an investor should pay $80,000 for the home. $150,000 x 70% = 105,000 – $25,000 = $80,000. Buying a house for $80,000 that will be worth $150,000 may seem like an awesome deal, but you have to remember all the costs involved in a fix and flip.

Do I use the rule?
I rarely use the 70 percent rule when deciding on whether to flip a house or not. I like to write out all the numbers and decide on a deal after seeing my profit potential. On the above deal, I would write all my costs and see if the profit potential was worth the risk. Occasionally I will use the 70 percent rule to see how my numbers match up and sometimes I am very close to what the 70 percent rule estimates. Other times I am not even close!

If $150,000 is the value of the home after the repairs and $25,000 in repairs are needed. I always add at least $5,000 in unknown costs to my known costs on a flip. Selling the house would cost me a 3% commission plus title insurance and other closing fees; approximately $6,500 (My selling costs are going to be lower than most people because I am a real estate agent and do not have to pay a listing agent). I will have insurance, utilities, and lawn maintenance while owning the house; I estimate those costs at $2,500. My financing costs will be about $8,000 with my financing terms and loan costs.






-8,000 = $103,000

As you can see when I subtract all my costs, I have a break-even point of $103,000. I usually want at least a $25,000 profit on my low-end fix and flips (under $125,000 purchase price). If I figure in a $25,000 profit, I should buy the property for $78,000. The 70% rule did not work out to be enough of a discount on this property and I am a real estate agent. If I was not an agent I would have more costs and the rule would have been farther off. I would need to buy the property at closer to 65% of the ARV minus the repairs to make it a good deal.

How accurate is the 70 percent rule?
As you can see, the 70 percent rule was close to what I would pay based on my own calculations. When I buy more expensive houses I usually am willing to pay more than 70 percent and when I buy cheap houses I pay less than 70 percent. I also factor in how big the repair job is going to be and how much cash I will have into a deal. For beginner investors, I think the 70 percent rule is a great way to get an idea of what to pay for a flip but I would never rely only on the rule.

Why the rule does not work well on expensive homes
It is hard for me to find flips that are bought for less than $100,000. It is hard for me to find flips to buy that are less than $200,000! When the houses get more expensive it gets much harder to find flips that meet the 70% rule. What happens if I buy a flip with an ARV of $400,000?

The 70 percent rule says I should buy the flip for $250,000 if it needs $30,000 in repairs. Not only is it really tough to find a house for $250,000 that will be worth $400,000 after $30,000 in repairs, but I may not need that good of a deal to make it a good deal for me. If I write out all of my costs I come up with this profit number:






$336,000 is my breakeven point. If I buy the property for $250,000 I will make $84,000. That would be an awesome flip but I do not need that much profit margin to make the deal work! I would be happy with a $40,000 profit. 80% of the ARV minus repairs would be a good enough deal for me at this price.

What do you need to know to use the rule?
In order to use the rule, you need to know many things. The rule is useless if you do not know the repairs, the market value, and other factors.

The ARV is the after repaired value and you must know this to use the rule. You cannot guess the value or have a huge value range. Not knowing the ARV is a great way to get yourself in trouble.

You must know what the repairs will cost as well to use the rule. The repairs always seem to cost more than you think they will and take longer than you think as well.

These are the only two things you need to know to use this rule, which is one reason I do not think it is completely accurate. The rule does not consider taxes, insurance, financing, utilities, maintenance, selling costs, or buying costs. These costs can vary greatly in different markets and on each deal. That is why I like to write out all the costs of each deal.

Can wholesalers use the rule?
Real estate wholesalers try to flip properties right away without doing any repairs. Most wholesalers are selling properties to other investors for cash. A wholesaler needs to know what another investor will pay for a home and the 70 percent rule is a guideline to know what you can wholesale a house for.

Wholesalers will need to know what investors are paying in their market for flips or rentals. The rule can be a great tool if investors are paying 70 percent for flips, but if investors are only paying 65 percent the wholesalers will need to adjust. The wholesaler will also need to leave room for their fee to be added to the deal.

Wholesalers in my market do not use the 70% rule because they know investors will pay much more.

The 70 percent rule can be a decent guideline in certain markets, but it does not work everywhere. If you are struggling to find deals that meet this rule it could because you don’t need to meet this rule in order to make a deal work. The 70 percent rule could also be way too much to pay for houses if you are in a market with cheaper real estate. I prefer not to use rules and to write out the numbers on every deal I do.