Category Archives: Buyer Advices

Neighbourhood Highlight – Downtown Vaughan, The Heart and Core of this Rising City

Neighbourhood Highlight – Downtown Vaughan, The Heart and Core of this Rising City

     Downtown Vaughan is an area that should be on everyone’s radar due to the vast infrastructure improvements made in these past few years. The city has plans to mold it into the financial and cultural center of the city. One of the biggest additions to this neighbourhood has been the addition of the Vaughan Metropolitan Center and the extension of line 1 on the TTC subway, seamlessly connecting Vaughan to Toronto. This area has been massively developed with office spaces, retail centers and lifestyle amenities. Some large companies have already established their presence there with their commercial spaces including KPMG, BMO, Scotiabank, and YMCA. It’s expected that over 63,000 people will move into this new downtown core by the year 2031. This neighbourhood is definitely something both investors and end user’s want to keep an eye out on.

There are many properties in the preconstruction phase in the neighbourhood for residential use. Some of these include:

     Residents have access to transit galore; on one side the TTC subway can take commuters to Union Station in around 45 minutes. For motorists, highways 400 and 407 are both close-by allowing easy access around the city. Many amenities can be found nearby with retail stores, grocers and plenty of entertainment surround the area. As an investor, the property value of these buildings is only expected to increase with more and more funding being provided. Downtown Vaughan is continually growing with more commercial spaces and the like, it is expected to become a hotspot in the coming years. From 2015-2020, the Vaughan Metropolitan Center has attracted over $9 billion in economic activity. This area will be continually funded with the coming years to promote economic growth in the city. As people slowly move away from the core of Toronto due to increased costs of living, the areas nearby will be swarmed with more and more people.  

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Hidden Costs for Pre-Construction Condo Purchases

Hidden Costs for Pre-Construction Condo Purchases

     With the current condition of the pre-construction, it is very important to have your finances in orders before you the purchase. Unfortunately, it is not as simple as paying the advertised purchase price for your brand-new state-of-the-art luxury condo.

Lawyer Fees – Lawyers are a very necessary resource for you when purchasing a unit. They provide services to review the paperwork to check for potential errors or flaws that typically arise during these transactions. Being stingy on this front is not recommended as they provide a very useful service to save yourself many headaches during this time.

Title Insurance – This is a fee where the process is typically handled by your lawyer. The payment is typically a one-time premium for an insurance that covers the buyer from title related financial losses.

Ontario Land Transfer Tax – This is a tax applied to any purchase of a home that is a one time premium within the province of Ontario. However, first time home buyers can expect a rebate which can be calculated online through various tools.

City of Toronto Land Transfer Tax – On top of the Ontario Land Transfer Tax, the city of Toronto has its own additional tax that needs to be considered. Like the Ontario Land Transfer Tax, first time home buyers can expect a rebate as well.              

Other Costs – Utility hook ups, HST, Tarion Warranty Fees can all be expected which will all vary based on your purchase price.

These are some of the costs that pre-construction purchasers can expect to see that are normally hidden away from the common eye. Many of these will add a hefty bulk in expenses that you should really consider before making your purchase. Ensuring you are in the proper financial situation to prepare for hidden cost’s can save you a world of stress and worry without compromising your own finances. 

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Should Virtual Property Tours Be the New Norm?

Should Virtual Property Tours Be the New Norm?

     With the pandemic in this last year, leaving your home to meet an agent for a property tour has never been more unnerving. However, buying a home is not the same as ordering your stationary goods from an online retailer; you want to see the property with your own eyes. Typical listings on MLS (Multiple Listing Service, the premiere software for real estate listings in the Greater Toronto Area), generally list the features of the property alongside some photos. Some real estate agents have taken it upon themselves to upload of video tour of the property on their listings as well.

     In the past few years, some have taken it upon themselves to 3D video tours to their properties as an additional way to show it. This allows for clients to use tilt or move their phone to see a 360 view around the room. There are possibilities of combining this with virtual reality headsets alongside a voice call with an agent to provide a full immersive experience without needing to leave your home

Advantages

     The best part of this would be being able to see all these homes within the comfort or your own home. Seeing these properties without needing to travel to a different location can save you plenty of time while still giving you the opportunity to check the property out. Also, in these times of this pandemic you can limit your contact with others

Disadvantages

     With any digital content that we consume in the current day, there are always concerns of digital alterations done. Given the current abilities of technology, these changes can be subtle and unnoticeable. Visual details can be changed, the perspective of rooms can be altered to give you a false interpretation of its size. In the end, it just depends on your trust that the agent has your best interests in mind and wouldn’t mislead you.

     So, are virtual tours the future of real estate showings? It could possibly become a part of it for those who want to take the first look at a property before they visit it again in person. But it is likely never going to fully replace your standard house showing as that is too vital for the purchasing process.

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Reddit joining the Downtown Toronto Office Trend

Reddit joining the Downtown Toronto Office Trend

     This week, popular social news and discussion website announced that they would be opening their first office in Canada in Toronto, Ontario. Reddit has an active userbase of 52 million daily users with Canada being the third largest in number of users. The exact location of the office has yet to be disclosed. The positions for hire will range in plenty of areas including engineering, community engagement positions and sales and marketing. More details regarding the hiring’s will be announced in the coming weeks. The company has stated keen interest in working with Canadian brands to better establish themselves in the market. This office opening shows their dedication to a long-time investment into Canada and engage with their Canadian users.

 

     With this news, Reddit joins in on the big tech company recruitment in downtown Toronto matching those of Twitter, Tik Tok and Pinterest that also recently announced their own hiring’s. Toronto has been an employment hotspot that is continually growing with more big tech choosing it as their headquarters. Reddit plans on working with many Canadian brand’s and marketers ensuring many potential job opportunities there as well. This is a great sign for condo and homeowners in the downtown Toronto area. Employment opportunities is always something that is one the top of the list for desirable home location traits. The more alluring its location, the higher the value will be on the property.  Toronto is already one of the top real estate markets in Canada and is not showing any major signs of slowing down. This trend will likely continue with many more companies expanding into Toronto

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ActiveTO makes its return, is it time to Reconsider Lakeshore Properties?

ActiveTO makes its return, is it time to Reconsider Lakeshore Properties?

     With the stay at home orders placed last year many citizens of Toronto had troubles finding ways of keeping active and enjoying nature. To combat this, last year the city of Toronto launched the ActiveTO program, that would shut down major roads like Lakeshore West and Yonge St from Dundas St to Queens Quay, during the weekends for people to bike, jog or any type of mobile physical activity of that nature. This year would see a return of the program but without the beloved Lakeshore West resulting in a very crowded Martin Goodman trail, the areas most popular trail. The reason given was due to roadwork in nearby streets that would result in major traffic congestion. The Lakeshore closure would attract nearly 18,000 cyclists each weekend with a very large spike in Toronto Bikeshare Use, . With its occlusion, many citizens have demanded for its return. In a recent meeting, a motion was approved to find ways for partial or full closures during select weekends. It may not be like the 25 weeks from May to October like the previous year but still shows glimmers of hope for cyclists of lakeshore.

With the many condos surrounding Lakeshore, current or potential owners may rejoice or be furious with this news. Cyclists loved this closure having local roads all to themselves, feeling safe from collisions from motor vehicles. On the other hand, this move can be very irritating for motorists. Major traffic congestion can occur during some periods and it must be frustrating too see road closures with no one using the road during rainy days. If you’re looking into a property in this area, this might help in your decision of sealing the deal. Are you a motorist that works during weekends? It may seem small but over time you’ll feel your quality of life impacted compared to a property in a different area without these closures. If you love cycling, there’s great enjoyment to be had biking on a road originally meant for cars; and all the space it has compared to your average park trail. As ActiveTO originally started as a measure against COVID-19, continuing this year shows signs that this may become a permeant edition to Toronto.

Interested in a condo in this area? Check out CondoTrend for new developments today!

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Photo by @Penalosa_G On Twitter

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Brampton Recieving a Medical Makeover with Ryerson University

Brampton Recieving a Medical Makeover with Ryerson University

     One of Toronto’s most well-known educational institutions, Ryerson University has announced a new medical school that will be located in the city of Brampton. The Government of Ontario released their 2021 budget this past Wednesday and, in that document, announced financial backing for their new medical school. This new medical school will have a large focus on creating innovation for health care for the next generation. The proposal is to include curriculum for undergraduate and post graduate studies for this institution. This follows the news when Ryerson moved their Internationally Trained Medical Doctors Bridging Program was moved to Brampton just last month. Additionally, it was announced at the same thing that there would be a new hospital located in Brampton, making it the 2nd one that the city holds. Further details are not currently known including funding amount, release date or structure. It has been stated that it will be an important part of the city as per Brampton City Officials.

     The province’s investment into Brampton is great news for any homeowners in the city. Provincial investment and commitment of working on infrastructure changes always increases the attractiveness of the location. Having an extra hospital and a brand, new, innovative medical school will entice many to look at Brampton as a new potential home. This becomes a great location to raise a family with a potential post-secondary education option and that your well-being is well taken care of with a nearby hospital. There are currently dozens of development projects set in Brampton from condos to single family homes. This may be a great time to enter the market in Brampton with an expected increase on all values of properties within Brampton thanks to the provincial funding. Brampton looks to have a bright future with many quality of life changes over these next coming years.

Interested in properties in this area? Visit CondoTrend to view homes in Brampton.

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Photo by Jimmy Kwan
Photo by Ryerson University

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5 Tips On Making Your First Condo Purchase

5 Tips On Making Your First Condo Purchase

     Whether you’re looking to invest or to live in a condo in the future; jumping across that initial hurdle can seem incredibly daunting. There are many considerations that you must make before you ultimately sign on those dotted lines. Some due diligence beforehand can save you a world of headaches afterword’s. The goal for this is for you to feel more comfortable and prepared before you make this big decision.

1. Decide if you’re an end user or investor

     Although this may sound obvious to some, being firm on this decision will alter the choices that you make throughout this process. Some of the criteria that both sides look for can be similar, but you ultimately want to consider the best options for your use of it.

End User

     For those choosing to live in the condo, consider your daily lifestyle; how you commute, what errands you typically run often, and whether you live alone or are wanting to raise a family. This will make you consider the location with the proximity to the nearest public transit station or the highway for motorists. The size of the unit becomes more significant as you should bear in mind how much space you require to live comfortably. End users also must consider the feasibility of pre-construction (will touch on more later) vs. resale. With pre-construction condo’s, end users can expect a fantastic brand new and modern building compared to some resale ones that may look outdated. However, there is genuinely a long waiting period usually between 2-5 years. You’ll have to consider this as it means you’ll need to have another home to stay in for that long and potentially longer with occupancy delays being very common.

Investors

     Investors on the other hand need to decide whether they plan on renting or selling. You need to consider having a reserve fund for some surprise costs that might pop up for amenities (see Understand your Financial Situation). Investors also need to consider Capital Gains Tax that will tax 50% of gains that you would profit from. However, if you choose to make it your principal residence, you can avoid this tax, but this would require you to occupy the property for a year. This would require you to manage this condo for a year and base your decisions with this in mind. In terms of renting the condo out, some condo’s ban rentals while others have limitations to deter short-term rentals usually having the renter occupy the unit for at least 6 months. It can also be difficult to make your condo cash flow positive with considerations to the rising condo prices and many expenses that might be incurred to make it rentable.

2. Research Your Developer

     Regardless of how you plan on using your condo, make certain that you spend your time researching and getting to know the developer. Just as you check reviews for a new restaurant or the latest piece of tech, you’ll want to do the same with the developers. There are hundreds of developers just within the GTA, and they are not of all the same quality. Research their previous projects and treat that as their resume. See how many they’ve completed or cancelled, if they typically stay on schedule or always face multiple delays and their overall reputation in the industry. Its also important to see how their buildings age over time as it’s a telling sign of their craftsmanship. You wouldn’t want to purchase a unit that looks like it needs to be demolished after 5 years time. You can find many developers with 20-year-old buildings that still looks up to par to this day.

3. Location, Location, Location

     Condo purchases should always be looked at with a lens of what it means in X years. The location is one of the most key aspects for a condo. Most pre-construction condos have a 2-5 year wait time, imagine how that area will change in that period. Keep an eye out on news that include what investments that are being made to improve that area like when the government invests in community expansions and infrastructure improvements. Quality of life injections make the neighbourhood more appealing and will reflect in its price.

Think of its area and whether or not its in demand. Areas near post-secondary institutions and major employers are always in high demand as people will also look for places to stay nearby.

4. Understand your financial situation

     Considering your own financial situation is very important before making this big decision. These condo’s cost a lot of money that could put you in serious financial trouble if something goes wrong. You may have enough to cover the down payment (usually 5% of the purchase price) but you’ll need more for other costs. Consider the occupancy date if you plan on being the end user; can you afford to wait that long your new residence? There are many hidden costs associated with purchasing a condo that wouldn’t be obvious at first glance. These costs can include the HOA dues that can range in price depending on the price of the building, (higher as the building ages). Condo owners are also subject to monthly payments including mortgage and property tax & insurance. There are also special assessment payments that are used to cover non-routine, unexpected expenses such as certain rebuilds within the building. When purchasing a pre-construction unit, you’ll have to keep some funds for legal fees on a lawyer, title insurance, utility hook-ups and closing costs. Set aside some funds and speak with an agent where they can help break down all the costs for you to ensure that you are financially prepared for this.

5. Work with an agent

     It is highly recommended that you work with an agent when making your first purchase. In the condo purchasing process, there are many nuances that is difficult for a beginner to grasp. This is especially true when you’re making a pre-construction purchase. The sales representative doesn’t have your best interests in mind, but the agents do. There are many decisions to be made during this process which the agent can guide you on. For investors, they know which floors can fetch you the biggest return on investment, and they have plenty of sales data to help you pick the unit that will certainly sell. There will be many offers to purchase these additional add-ons, but your agent can help distinguish the good from the bait. The agent will also help you negotiate with your best interest in mind to ensure that you can sign those purchase agreements without worry. There are still many steps after the signing such as the 10 day cooling off period and closing costs that aren’t typically made well known. They can help explain the tax implications and they’ll help you with the leasing process if your intent was to sell. Simply put, just use an agent, they’ll save you many headaches down the line.

Interested in making your first condo purchase? Check out CondoTrend for available condos now!

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Photo by Haseesh Rahithya
Photo by Scott Graham
Photo by Sylwia Bartyzel
Photo by Adeolu Eletu
Photo by Cytonn Photography

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What the Tik Tok Hires Mean for the Toronto Condo Market

What the Tik Tok Hires Mean for the Toronto Condo Market

        In the past year, Tik Tok has exploded in its popularity becoming the zenith of social media for mainly the younger generation. Despite the issues with its ownership, there’s no doubt that this platform is here to stay. Their Liberty Village office was opened late last year and initially began with around 50 employees. In these last 2 weeks, they’ve posted 15 job openings for their Toronto based office. These jobs range from multiple types of management positions, strategic partnerships, and human resource positions. It is also expected that over these next couple of years, TikTok plans on hiring over 3,000 engineers spread around Canada, Singapore, and Europe. If their growth continues at this current rate, more hires will be inevitable. Additionally, news broke of social media titan Twitter building its engineering hub in their Toronto office adding at least 2 dozen members to their team.  To further match this, the Shopify and Pinterest offices are also taking this opportunity to bulk up their staffing numbers with multiple hires to the engineer departments and many other specialty positions found through their LinkedIn and career pages.                                                                                  

         With these behemoths of employers offering very desirable positions in their company, Toronto is only becoming a more and more worthwhile location to live. As one of Canada’s hotspots for restaurants and entertainment, it’s no surprise that Toronto is one of Canada’s hottest real estate markets. Living downtown becomes more and more attractive over time with the vast employment opportunities. Over the coming years, many will search for the hottest condo properties to take advantage of this continually growing city. With dozens of Condo projects currently in development in Toronto, the future of the six only seems to become brighter.

Interested in a condo in one of these locations? Check out CondoTrend for available condos in Toronto now.

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Photo Courtesy of Tik Tok Careers

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