March 28, 2014
New property listed in Bedford Park-Nortown, Toronto C04
I have listed a new property at 2nd Flr 1961 Avenue RD in Toronto.
Fully Renovated Professional Space In The High Income Demographic/High Traffic Retail District Of Avenue Rd. A Bright Modern Space W/Clean Lines, Individual Rms & An Open Concept Area Has The Mechanical/Plumbing Rough-Ins To Accommodate Medical, Cosmetic & Dental Treatment Services, Professional Offices Or Any Business Where Your Clients Will Appreciate A High End Presentation. A Destination Location W/ Easy Access To Transit & The Hwy.
March 28, 2014
New property listed in Bedford Park-Nortown, Toronto C04
I have listed a new property at 1st Flr 1961 Avenue RD in Toronto.
Excellent Store Front Opportunity In The High Income Demographic, High Traffic Area Of Avenue Rd. Large Open Concept Space Includes Full Usable Basement With Separate Entrance. Surrounded By Million $$ Homes, Boutiques Shops & Restaurants, This Is The Perfect Location For Your Retail/ Service/Professional Or Hospitality Venture. 2 Car Parking At Back Of Building & Lots Of Street & Green P Parking Available.
March 27, 2014
New property listed in Eglinton East, Toronto E08
Categories:Eglinton East, Toronto E08 Real Estate
I have listed a new property at 995 Midland AVE in Toronto.
A Cherished & Beautifully Maintained Home By The Same Family For Nearly 50 Years. Situated On A Rare 50 X 203Ft Lot, This Bright & Inviting Home Spans Almost 2,400Sqft (W/Bsmt) & Includes 4 Bed, 3 Bath, Eat-In Kitchen, A Family & Recreation Room. You Won't Be Wanting For Space & Have The Potential For An In-Law Suite. Separate Side Entrance Leads Out To A Deck & Park-Like Backyard With Fruit Trees & Wide Variety Of Plants/Flowers.
March 20, 2014
Where's the Professionalism?
I came across these photos on MLS today. Besides taking such bad pictures, likely with a phone camera, what shocks me is this agent actually uploaded them to the public MLS and felt they would be a good representation of his client's property. Anybody that had some small sense of professionalism or self respect would never have even wasted the time to use these pictures but head back down to the unit and ensure they take new photos. Better yet, they would have actually hired a professional photographer. While bad pictures in real estate listings aren't something new, these are some of the worse I've seen. What is even more shocking is that the client hasn't fired this guy! What's the lesson here? When hiring an agent to manage your largest asset, do your due diligence, hire a professional and make sure you're part of the process, that way if you end up with someone like this you can get rid of them ASAP and save yourself a lot of stress!
March 19, 2014
Spring 2014 Interior Design Trends
Categories:Interior design; Getting ready to sell
With such a long winter and spending so much time indoors, you may be considering creating a change of scenery in your home with some design changes. For some ideas and inspiration check out these predictions for what is going to be hot in the world of interior design for 2014! If you're getting your home ready to sell some of these ideas might help add that little bit of extra emotion to make someone fall in love with your home!
March 11, 2014
Looking to Generate Some Extra Money with Your Home? Consider Starting Your Own Micro Hotel
Looking for some extra money to cover bills? Perhaps you have a guest room that hasn’t been getting a lot of use and you’d like to find a way to do something more productive with it? Or maybe you travel for work and are gone for days on end. If this is the case www.Airbnb.com might be something that interests you. A new take on the concept of a bed and breakfast (the breakfast is optional) www.Airbnb.com connects home owners and travelers looking for a place to stay on a short term basis.
To list your place on www.Airbnb.com is free and as part of their service, Airbnb takes care of the logistics and money side of the transaction, as well as providing screening tools and an insurance policy to help ensure things go smoothly for all parties. The great thing about Airbnb is that you can rent our your entire house/condo, a room, or even provide shared accommodation for the budget traveler.
As the manager of your new micro hotel you set the price for the accommodation you're offering, which can be offered on a nightly, weekly or monthly basis depending on how long you make the space available for. With a price in mind you create an ad that includes a description, neighbourhood info, and photos. As part of this you can also include your expectations and guidelines for guests in a section called “House Rules”. If you’re going to still be in the property while a guest is visiting, Airbnb has a profile section where you can let your prospective guests know a little about yourself and who they’ll be living with while they’re in your home.
One of your immediate concerns for trying out Airbnb might be safety and the protection of your property. Because of this, Airbnb provides what they term “sophisticated communication and screening tools”. These include setting up a list of reservation requirements that a prospective guest sees before they send you a booking request. These can include requiring the guest to send a trip itinerary/description, verification of their phone number, scanning of their Id, as well as social network access. You’ll also be able to communicate with the prospective guest and can ask any additional questions to assess your level of comfort with the person wanting to stay in your home. This can be done through Airbnb's secure “Voice Connect” system. In addition to these tools, there are also guest reviews for visitors that have used the service before and personal references can be requested.
With every booking of your home, Airbnb provides what they call a "Host Guarantee." The Host Guarantee is an insurance policy from Lloyd’s of London that is meant to provide additional peace of mind by covering up to $900,000 in damages caused by a guest (should something go wrong). As with any insurance policy there’s some exclusions, so make sure you’re aware of these.
Once you’re new little business is all set-up on the site and ready to go, as soon as you get your first reservation request you'll have 24hrs to confirm or decline before the request expires. Airbnb suggest that you respond to all requests, even if you decline the reservation as a non-response can negatively impact your rating and placement in search results on the website.
Now I’m sure the question on your mind at this point is how does the money thing work and what’s in it for Airbnb? After you've accepted a reservation, the guest is charged the full cost of the booking by Airbnb who keep these funds for 24hrs after the check-in date. Once this period has past, the funds are sent to you either via PayPal, bank transfer or cheque, minus a 3% fee. In addition to the rate you charge, guests are also charged a fee of 6%-12% to cover airbnb's customer support and the Host Guarantee insurance.
For people looking to travel to another City without having to pay hotel prices, or to meet new people by connecting with hosts and staying with them, Airbnb provides a great alternative to the traditional and often expensive hotel stay. For homeowners the service allows you to generate income for those times when you’re away or monetize space in your home that isn't being used.
While this is just a summary of the www.Airbnb.com service and some of the tools they have available to make the process for both travelers and hosts go as smoothly as possible, they have more resources and helpful information on their site that is worth checking out if you think this is something you’d be interested in doing.
March 7, 2014
Market Minute for February 2014
Categories:Toronto Real Estate Market
With the start of March break fingers crossed spring is around the corner. As you've probably heard in the media, Toronto's real estate market has been red hot. The Toronto Star captured the sentiment with it's recent headline, "Shortage of new listings fuelling desperation among Toronto home buyers." While overall sales were up in the Toronto market, they were primarily driven by condo sales where there is both a good supply of listings and buyers. In the freehold market a short supply of quality detached, semi's and townhouses kept prices increasing with the average price going up by 8.9% to $599,414. What's interesting to note is that for detached homes the average price increased by 15.7% to $955,314, while townhouses increased by over 20% to $545,043. Check out the infographic below for more details on what is happening in Toronot's real estate market.
March 4, 2014
Are You Planning for Retirement...Consider a Travel Triplex
With the deadline for RRSP contributions now behind us, retirement may have been at the forefront of your mind. Particularly when there seems to be an increase in the voices out there warning that more and more people will be working beyond retirement age not because they want to, but because they have to. When you hear statistics like 50% of Canadians will be carrying a mortgage into retirement, or 24% see their home as their source of retirement income, giving retirement a bit more thought, whether you're five or fifteen years away, could go a long way to ensuring you have the type of retirement you want and resources to fund it!
When it comes to downtown living and retirement, there is definitely a trend toward people planning to sell their current home (whether in the City or the suburbs) and downsizing to a condo so they can enjoy the amenities a big city has to offer. The other convenience retirees see with a condo is it allows them to travel (which tends to be at the top of the list for most people when they retire) without having to worry about security or maintenance. While a condo can be a great option for retirees, another option that can meet many of the same conveniences, but also be a funding source, is what I've called, a "Travel Triplex." I've used the term because alliteration makes things sound cooler, but what I'm really talking about here is any multi-unit property in which you can live in one unit and generate income from one or more other units in the property.
If you're planning to move to the City from the suburbs or even from a home to a condo, consider the benefits of purchasing an income property you can live in. Hopefully, you're home is paid for or almost paid for, or you have a big chunk of money for a down payment. The first thing this does is either let you purchase such a property outright or with a small mortgage that is paid for by tenants, rather than your retirement savings/pension. If you don't have a mortgage, the travel triplex allows the rents (or the majority of them) to cover your property's maintenance expenses, insurance, utilities, and of course travel! Depending on the income, such a property could actually become your pension plan if you don't have other resources. As a condo owner you don't have this option, and while you're not doing the maintenance to maintain the property, you're still paying for it via your monthly fees.
When comparing the idea of owning a travel triplex to the condo lifestyle, people like being able to lock the door of a condo and board a plane to their next destination. Well, you can do the same thing with an income property. It all comes down to tenant selection. Because you're going to be living in the property you'll take care as to whom you rent to, but if you pick someone that is willing to do outdoor maintenance and look after various aspects of the property, they essentially end up acting as a pseudo property manager. And while you're away, this person can look after the property for you. You may have to provide some compensation to the tenant, but you'd be doing the same in a condo. If you want to be even more enterprising and generate additional income, you could even rent out your unit during those times when you're away on a short term basis with a service like airbnb.com. The other option, which may cost you more, is to hire an actual property manager. Personally, I don’t think this is necessary if you only have the one property, but it all depends on your comfort level and financial resources.
In a triplex I used to own, I used this system of having one of my long term tenants manager things for me. He took care of the outdoor maintenance in the winter and summer, as well as stick handled various repairs for me. In return I gave him a break on the rent and when he asked for a longer garden hose to water the lawn and plants, I got it for him!
Another consideration you might be thinking about is that long term you want to be living in a property without stairs. This is a valid point, but when you're purchasing your travel triplex you can achieve this by ensuring there’s a ground floor unit that doesn't have stairs. You may even decide to live in an upper unit for a while and switch to the ground floor unit in your later years.
In Toronto's current real estate market, those who own a home have experienced the benefits of home ownership when it comes to appreciation in property values. The benefit of making a travel triplex part of your retirement assets is you have the potential to continue getting this benefit as a home owner, combined with the income potential to fund your retirement. In addition, your travel triplex becomes an asset that you can leave to your children, which may end up helping fund their retirement!
March 1, 2014
New property listed in Toronto
Categories:Toronto Real Estate
I have listed a new property at 1961 Avenue Rd in Toronto.
Fully renovated 2nd floor professional space in the high income demographic neighbourhood & boutique retail district of Avenue Rd. A bright modernist space w/clean lines, pot lights, individual rooms & open concept area has the mechanical/plumbing rough-ins to accommodate medical, cosmetic & dental treatment services, professional offices or any business where your client's will appreciate a high end presentation. A destination location with easy access to transit & the hwy. Fully gutted & renovated, including 3-peice bathroom and kitchen area. Comes with small fridge, stove top, dishwasher, and one parking space at the rear of the building. Street & a Green "P" parking also available. Rent is $3,000/month inclusive.
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