NEWS

Toronto's New Land Transfer Tax - Effective March 1st, 2017

City of Toronto Council has approved changes to the Toronto Land Transfer Tax that mean additional Toronto Land Transfer Tax costs for some home buyers with a closing date on or after March 1, 2017, when it will be harmonized with the provincial LTT.

The following changes to the Toronto Land Transfer Tax were considered and approved by Toronto City Council on February 15, 2017. The changes are effective AS OF MARCH 1, 2017, for real estate transactions closing on or after this date:

  • Added an additional LTT of 0.5% of the value of a residential or non-residential property from $250,000 to $400,000 (an additional $750)
  • Added an additional LTT of 0.5% of the value of a residential property above $2 million
  • Added an additional LTT of 0.5% of the value above $400,000 of a non-residential property
  • Increasing the maximum allowed First-Time Home Buyer Rebate to $4,475, up from $3,725
  • Amended the first-time home buyer rebate program eligibility rules to restrict rebate eligibility to Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada

More details on the Toronto Land Transfer Tax, and an online calculator can be found here.

York Downs Golf & Country Club - Development Proposal Details

With so much history in the midst of the growing Unionville community, the details of the proposed York Downs Golf & Country Club redevelopment are of interest to many residents.  At the end of January 2017,  'Sixteenth Land Holdings Inc.' the developer group representing the builders for the YDGCC lands, held an information session, presenting their initial proposal details.

Some highlights of the presentation include:

  • Total property size = 417 acres, with 311 being available for development, the balance is green space
  • Development to be split into 3 stages of "East and West" plans, on each side of the north-to-south green space divide
  • Development includes everything from 70' single lots to high and low-rise residential, and a small portion for mixed-use commercial
  • Residential Units proposed:  West = 1,164, East = 1,257, for a total of 2,421 residential units
  • Density of this proposal is approx 19.2 units / hectare - compared to Angus Glen at 16.7/ha, Upper Unionville at 20/ha
  • Plan includes 5 'gateway' access points to Kennedy Road and 16th Ave, three of which closely align to some of the existing YDGCC roadways and access
  • One transit loop through the community is proposed
  • One Elementary school is proposed

York Downs Golf and Country Club - Development Proposal for Lot Sizes

Myths vs. Reality - Real Estate Offers

Understanding A Real Estate Offer

There's a lot of misunderstanding about what a Buyer's obligations are/may be when they make an offer on a residential real estate property in Ontario.  Here are some examples of things buyers often ask (or worse, just assume)

1. IF WE CHANGE OUR MINDS WE CAN ALWAYS PULL OUR OFFER BACK, RIGHT?

The answer is no you can't. If your written offer has been presented to the Seller (or even in the possession of the Seller's agent), your offer is "live and real" until the expiration of the Irrevocable time specified in your offer. If the Seller signs and accepts your offer, you're committed to the contract. An exception to this is a new build condominium where the law permits a 10 day cooling off period.

2. WE HAVE A HOME INSPECTION CONDITION. WE CAN ALWAYS FIND SOMETHING WRONG TO GET OUT OF THE PURCHASE, RIGHT?

The short answer is probably not. Until recently, home inspection clauses contained language saying the offer was conditional on receiving a "satisfactory report on home inspection in the sole and absolute discretion of the Buyer". A ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada (Basin v. Hrynew) has changed that. It obligates principals in a contract to complete their obligations in good faith under that contract. Unless there is some major latent (hidden) defect discovered that would have caused the Buyer to make a different decision, you're obligated to continue the transaction.

3. IF WE CHANGE OUR MINDS WE AUTOMATICALLY GET OUR DEPOSIT BACK, RIGHT?

The short answer is it's not automatic. Return of a deposit depends on Buyer and Seller agreeing in writing to release each other from a contract. If you have a firm deal (conditions removed), and attempt to cancel a deal, or fail to close as agreed, it's quite possible you will not see your deposit back. The Seller can make an application to court for the deposit to be directed to them as damages for your failure to close, and it's highly likely they will get it.

 

4. WE NEED TO CHANGE THE CLOSING DATE BY A MONTH. WE CAN DO THAT, RIGHT?

Possibly, but not unilaterally. It can only be done in writing, and with the agreement of both Buyer and Seller. It can be done by an Amendment of the Agreement of Purchase and Sale, or by another instrument generated by the lawyers representing the Buyer and the Seller.

5. OUR AGENT FORGOT TO PUT THE FRIDGE AND STOVE IN THE AGREEMENT, BUT THEY'RE ON THE LISTING, SO WE GET THEM ANYWAY, RIGHT?

No. The only document that matters here is the Agreement of Purchase and Sale. If it's not in the Agreement, it's not part of the deal. 

6. WE'RE BUYING A CONDO APARTMENT, SO WE DON'T NEED TO PUT IN ANY CONDITIONS, RIGHT?

Professional advice is you should ALWAYS have a home inspection. If you choose not to, you should sign a waiver (Form 127) that you are acting against our advice. Our experience is that inspections have revealed many important issues in condo apartments related to health and safety, and structural integrity. Another important consideration is your lawyer's examination of the condo documents, called the Status Certificate. When you buy a condo, you're buying into the financial condition and obligations of the condo corporation. Legal advice is important here!

When you sign an Agreement of Purchase and Sale, you are signing "under seal". A seal on a contract is a solemn commitment, a pledge to go forward. You will be held to its terms.  You need professional advice from a REALTOR® and, in some cases, your lawyer BEFORE you commit to signing an offer.

Great decorating tip for your popcorn ceilings

If there is one thing that seems to always come up when looking at a home with popcorn-style stucco ceilings, it is the question about what can be done with them.  Typically, if the stucco has been painted-over at some point in the past, it is nearly impossible to simply scrape-off and smooth -- you are relegated to a much larger, and more expensive, repair.

In this great DIY article, they show a different approach - to simply put up a decorative material over the old ceiling finish, and have something that is beautiful and very unique!  

See the results at Lifestyle And Design Online

RE/MAX Recreational Property Report - 2015

RE/MAX Recreational Property Report - 2015

According to the report, 68 per cent of Canadians would rather spend a long weekend at a cottage or cabin over a getaway in the city, and many would give up destination vacations and downsize their main residence in order to purchase a cottage, cabin, or ski chalet.

6 Common Home Pricing Mistakes

If you’re getting ready to sell your home, you want to get the most money for your investment, right? One of the key factors that will sell your home is price, and having a sound pricing strategy is a must if you want to find the right buyer.

Here are six common pricing mistakes all sellers should avoid.

1. Overpricing from the start – You might think your home is the best on the block and should command a price relative to the value you see. Wrong. You have to appeal to the value homebuyers see. Overpricing your home at the onset could leave out strong potential buyers, especially if recent sales and other factors in your neighborhood don’t justify your listing price. You also run the risk of needing multiple price reductions, which keep your home on the market that much longer.

2. Leaving out potential buyers in online searches – Entering a price range is the first search parameter most homebuyers use to narrow down their options. If a buyer’s price range is, say, $250,000 to $300,000, they won’t see your home if it’s listed at $305,000. It might make sense to list it right at $300,000 so that you capture potential buyers in the ranges above and below. Ultimately, this is up to you and your agent, but the range your home's price falls into is certainly worth thinking about – especially if you're teetering between price ranges anyway.

3. Not considering recently sold properties – To arrive at a listing price that will generate buyer interest, you can’t base your price solely on the prices of other homes in your area that are listed for sale. You also need to consider recent sales in your neighborhood and the final sale prices. An experienced agent can provide you with information on recent sales to help you see the bigger picture.

4. Getting too creative with your asking price – Make it easy for buyers and pick round numbers. Listing a home for $512,477, for example, will give potential buyers pause about your intentions and divert attention from your property to you, as the seller. Maybe it's best to save the creative juices for the property description.

5. Not being open to negotiation – The quickest way to kill a sale is to dig in your heels on asking price before the for-sale sign even goes in the yard. Negotiation is a two-way street, and if you refuse to budge on pricing or other conditions, you might be in for very bumpy (and long) ride. Ask yourself: Is it more important to get full asking price, or can you make a few concessions to find common ground that will ensure a closed sale?

6. Ignoring your agent’s insights – The best route to the right price starts with picking a great agent and then listening to his or her advice. Your agent will look at your situation from all angles – your home's features, the local market, recent sales and more – to help you make an informed decision about pricing.  

It's time for the Cornell Community Garden Party!

On behalf of the Cornell Community Garden we would like to invite you to the Cornell Community Garden Party - A celebration of growth!

Sunday, June 22nd  2 - 5 p.m.

Join us at the Cornell Community Garden, a community-run food and flower garden supported by the City of Markham.

  • Welcome speech by Ward Councillor Colin Campbell
  • Activities for children and families
  • Silent auction with great prizes from local businesses
  • 50-50 draw
  • Free cake

Located at: Corner of Almira Ave and Murray Wilson Drive Please walk if possible