Top 2012 housing stories, from crash warnings to rent vs. buy

The Financial Post published this article from Gary Marr a few days ago. Marr details the top ten housing stories from 2012, and not all of them were gloom and doom! Consumers must be getting tired of hearing the experts cry wolf about rising interest rates and a housing crash. Rates haven’t moved much if at all for most terms, if anything they’ve fallen and stayed put. Mortgages still hover around 3% for anyone willing to lock in for five years and consumers have been doing that more than ever — some even opting for a 10-year commitment. As for […]

7 houses that sold for $100,000 + over-asking in Toronto this year

From the Globe and Mail: It’s been a roller-coaster year in real estate, opening on a residential battlefield that saw sellers clearly with the upper hand. In Toronto, bidding wars for mid-range homes in which as many as a dozen or more eager buyers trumped and re-trumped their offer prices were commonplace. Listing prices in many neighbourhoods were simply a starting point for homes that would eventually sell for hundreds of thousands over asking. But as fall winds blew and the federal government’s new rules tightened financing requirements, sales – and sale prices – dipped across the country. Vancouver, Canada’s […]

House of the Week: $1.1 million for a brand-new family home just north of Christie Pits

If you’re a fan of modern design, you’ll want to check this one out – but the backyard, is, well… small. The house is about 2700 square feet, with a deck off the master suite. ADDRESS: 132 Yarmouth Road NEIGHBOURHOOD: Dovercourt-Wallace-Emerson-Junction PRICE: $1,149,000 THE PLACE: A newly constructed three-bedroom home with a contemporary look near Dupont’s bustling strip of design stores. BRAGGING RIGHTS: An abundance of glass—from the front exterior to the glass curtain running down the three flights of stairs—gives the house an undeniably clean vibe. BIG SELLING POINT: The master ensuite feels like a Zen spa, with its […]

House of the Week: $8.8 million for a Caledon country home

This home in Caledon was once owned by the inventor of Trivial Pursuit. With 24 acres of land, it’s more of a compound than a simple house. At 15,000 square feet, this home has six bedrooms and ten bathrooms, as well as parking for 20 cars (perfect for big dinner parties), a pool and a log cabin guest house. ADDRESS: 18696 The Gore Road NEIGHBOURHOOD: Caledon PRICE: $8,800,000 THE PLACE: A 15,000-square-foot West Coast–inspired home with panoramic views across a 24-acre property in Caledon, a popular woodsy escape for the wealthy (members of the Eaton family, Norman Jewison, Shania Twain […]

Bill’s story

I am writing to describe  a very pleasant experience in the purchase of a condo recently.  My family requires a home in downtown and I happen to know certain condo buildings along Bloor Street.  I happen to come across a specific condo unit for sale from the internet MLS and this unit is exactly what my family needs.  This leads to my meeting with Shawn Venasse. Having decided to purchase this condo, the remaining task is to present the offer.  At this stage, Shawn really came in with his excellent professionalism in terms of setting the negotiation strategy,  control of […]

Under-insured house can spell ruin

With more people renting out basement units, not having the right kind of property insurance becomes a bigger issue. Here’s an article from the Globe with some information – and it’s not even from an insurance broker! You’ve purchased the coveted house, you’ve converted the old cellar into a basement suite and maybe even gone the extra mile with radiant-heat floors in the bathroom and a gas fireplace in the living room. After a thorough search for the perfect tenant or tenants, you sign the lease, collect the damage deposit and sit back and start collecting the monthly rent that […]

House of the Week: $3.5 million for a Summerhill townhouse that used to be a church

Toronto Life’s latest House of the Week, a Yorkville townhouse in a building that used to be a church, but you’d never know it. 4300 square feet, includes a wine cellar that will hold 5400 bottles. Three bedrooms, four baths and you can’t beat the location… ADDRESS: 12 MacPherson Avenue, Townhouse 5 NEIGHBOURHOOD: Yorkville PRICE: $3,495,000 THE PLACE: One of just five units in the ultra-exclusive Macpherson Church loft conversion, this three-bedroom townhouse has luxurious touches like heated marble floors, cathedral ceilings and an elegant staircase that spirals through all three floors. BRAGGING RIGHTS: The sprawling back patio is perfect […]

Cooling housing market shows stricter mortgage rules working: Flaherty

The latest numbers from the Toronto Real Estate Board show that although sales were down in volume by 16% as compared to last November, the average price was up by 1.6%. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is taking credit for a more moderate market, saying it’s the changes to mortgage rules that have slowed sales down while some critics are still pointing to the dreaded Land Transfer Tax as having an adverse effect. Here’s the article from the Financial Post: Canada’s finance minister is taking credit for the recent cooling in the hot housing market, saying a slowdown now is better […]

Toronto Life House of the Week: $14 million for an unimaginably grand Bridle Path mansion

It’s both an event space and a home at 22,000 square feet (plus a 2500 square foot coach house, which can always be rented out to help with the mortgage…). The decor may not be to everyone’s taste, but the comments on the Toronto Life site are a bit extreme… ADDRESS: 52 Post Road NEIGHBOURHOOD: Bridle Path-Sunnybrook-York Mills PRICE: $13,995,000 THE PLACE: An over-the-top European-style mansion with five bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, a jaw-dropping front foyer and the same Versailles-like charm as Suzanne Rogers’s place. BRAGGING RIGHTS: At 2,500 square feet, the coach house is bigger than most of the city’s […]

College Park is getting a $3 million makeover

Chances are you haven’t been to College Park recently, at least not since construction started on Aura. The city is getting $3 million from the developer to renovate College Park, but some say that’s not enough. In addition to the damage, the park is built over a parking garage! From the Toronto Star / Patty Winsa College Park has seen better days. Litter pervades the muddy leftover water in the Barbara Anne Scott rink, named after Canada’s only Olympic Gold medalist in women’s singles. The stucco on the once elegant skating pavilion is peeling away and small plants have sprung […]