Sunday, 19 February 2017

Top tips for real estate investors in 2017

Despite all the advice about not buying a residential property for income purposes, many still do. Rental markets are still tight in the hottest real estate markets, with vacancy rates still hovering in the mid-1% range. As such, buying property to rent out makes sense, as long as you have a large enough down payment to ensure that rent covers expenses.

For the best value, consider multi-unit rental properties—like duplexes, triplexes, and beyond. This type of rental stock is still far more favourable than single-unit rentals, such as condos, as you can spread out the risk of rental loss across multiple units. But it also means paying a premium on this type of income property. Not only do you compete against other investors, but also against families and first-time buyers who are trying to find a way into hot property markets. 

Also, consider markets that are located near university or hospital hubs but away from larger city centres. Quite often, these smaller college towns offer steady tenant stock, but not much long-term price appreciation. Just remember, as an investor, cash-flow must come first.

As in the past, anyone thinking of buying an investment property should first start with a financial plan and a budget. Then work the numbers. If you can’t withstand a loss—say the roof collapses or you need to hire a lawyer to legally evict a tenant—then you shouldn’t be buying an investment property.

Source: Money Sense 

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Average price of Canadian home sold in October up 5.9% from year ago

October was another record month for Canadian real estate, even as the average price increased by a relatively modest 5.9 per cent.

Last month, Ottawa implemented new stress test rules for first-time buyers aimed at making sure they are capable of paying a higher interest rate on their mortgage than the one they have been offered. That change kicked in last month, and it's going to be a factor in the numbers over the long term, CREA said.
Typically not a strong month for home sales, October 2016 was the strongest on record for the month, up more than two per cent from last year's strong level, with sales going up in about 60 per cent of Canada's housing markets.

Source:  CBC News

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Refreshing your home this fall?

Great idea! Touching up paint marks or chips makes a real difference. In fact, I've just dome the same myself. I found a great tip for how to store felt over paint written by Danny Seo in the first issue of "Naturally".

"If you only need a little bit of left over paint to save for touch ups down the road try this upcycling idea: Use old plastic water bottles. Start with a clean, dry water bottle and lace a funnel on the top. Pour leftover paint into the bottle until it's about 95% full, remove the funnel and toss in about 6 glass marbles. Replace the cap tightly and secure it with a few strips of painters tape. When it's time to use the paint, shake it; the marbles will blend the paint, and you'll be good to go to till in any nicks or scratches."

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Conditional Building Permits: A Very Useful Tool

There are many situations in which a developer may need to begin construction before a certain date, but cannot get their building permit in time. In Ontario that is usually because they cannot yet meet some very minor "applicable law" requirement that, according the Building Code Act, they must comply with in order to obtain the permit.

A conditional building permit can often get around this problem, even though many municipalities in Ontario use them so infrequently that they seem barely aware that they have the authority to issue them. Conditional building permits allow an applicant to proceed with construction even though all "applicable law" requirements necessary to obtain a building permit have not yet been met. Instead, there is only a much shorter and less onerous list of "applicable law" requirements that must be met. Even in larger municipalities conditional building permits are not always raised as an option to applicants, even if they could potentially benefit in reduced fees and commence their construction much sooner.

Some of the more common circumstances in which a conditional building permit can be useful include:
  • Beating an upcoming development charge (or other fee) increase, typically payable upon issuance of the first above-grade building permit;
  • Where a Record of Site Condition pursuant to the Environmental Protection Act has not yet been secured and is expected to delay issuance of the building permit significantly;
  • Where a Committee of Adjustment has approved variances but the statutory Ontario Municipal Board appeal period has not yet expired.
The conditional building permit agreement that is required typically sets out the timelines within which the applicant must comply with the remainder of the "applicable law" requirements for a building permit, and deals with how and if the site must be restored should those requirements not be fulfilled.


Source:  http://www.mondaq.com/canada/x/364642/real+estate/Conditional+Building+Permits+A+Very+Useful+Tool

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Home sales volume down 1.3% in July

The Canadian Real Estate Association says July marked the third consecutive month of fewer home sales. The number of transactions fell 1.3 per cent nationally between June and July, as more than half of all markets tracked showed declines in July. However, despite the drop in the number of sales, the national average price for a home sold in July was $480,743, up 9.9 per cent compared with a year ago.

Overall, the number of newly listed homes in Canada rose by 1.2 per cent in July compared to June, while the national sales-to-new listings ratio eased to 61.6 per cent in July. It was the second monthly decline.
CREA says a sales-to-new listings ratio between 40 and 60 per cent is generally consistent with balanced housing market conditions, with readings below and above this range indicating buyers’ and sellers’ markets, respectively.

Source: Financial Post 

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Home sales down month-over-month

Although Canadian home sales started off the year at a torrid pace, the Canadian Real Estate Association says sales in the country's hottest markets are expected to slow in the second half in the face of high prices and a shortage of available properties.
Still, due to the strong start to the year, the association raised its full-year forecast for home sales to a record 536,400, an increase of 6.1 per cent. That compared with its March forecast calling for an increase of just one per cent to 511,400.
The new forecast came as CREA reported that home sales through its MLS system dropped 2.8 per cent month-over-month in May. But compared with a year ago, sales in May were up 9.6 per cent and stood 15.1 per cent above the 10-year average for the month.
The national sales-to-new-listings ratio climbed to 64.8 per cent in May, suggesting a seller's market and the highest reading since October 2009.
The national average price of a home sold in May was $509,460, up 13.2 per cent from a year ago.

Source:  CTV News

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Disclosure Obligations in Residential Real Estate Transactions

What happens when the home you bought turns out to be not quite what you expected? Perhaps the roof leaks or there is a rodent infestation. Maybe the plumbing is faulty or the construction defective. What recourse does a purchaser have against the vendor?
The critical question is what disclosure obligations the vendor has when selling their property. As is often the case in legal matters, there are competing principles at play in determining who bears the loss for such defects. In many cases, a purchaser should retain an inspector to inspect the property and the failure to do so cannot shift blame to the vendor.
A competing principle is consumer protection. This means the court will intervene to prevent fraud and non-innocent misrepresentation where a purchaser has been lied to about a property’s condition. However, the court may also intervene where a vendor has failed to disclose material (meaning dangerous) latent defects about the property that they knew about or ought to have known about. A latent defect is one that is not discoverable by a purchaser through reasonable inspection and inquiry. But not every latent defect will result in a remedy against a vendor.  It must be a defect of “substance” that makes the property uninhabitable or dangerous.
Most residential sales involve the vendor providing a Property Disclosure Statement (PDS). A PDS is meant to identify any problems or concerns with the property, not to give detailed comments in answer to the questions posed.  A vendor need only say that they are or are not aware of problems.  When completing a PDS, a vendor must correctly and honestly disclose their current actual knowledge about the property, but that knowledge does not have to be correct.  The contents of a PDS are representations upon which a purchaser can rely.
If you are caught up in the residential real estate frenzy, remember that generally it is “buyer beware”. Before you close a purchase, properly inspect the property and, if necessary, retain professionals to help you.  As a purchaser, if you want a promise of fitness for the home you are going to buy, your safest bet is to negotiate express warranties by the vendor to that effect by the vendor.


Source:  http://www.westerncanadabusinesslitigationblog.com/real-estate/1357/?utm_source=Mondaq&utm_medium=syndication&utm_campaign=View-Original