Buying a Condo in a Master Planned Community.....Anne Lok
2013-07-23 | 18:56:29
here are a number of communities undergoing master planned redevelopment in Downtown Toronto, such as Regent Park, West Don Lands, and Canary District. There are many benefits in buying, living and investing in a master planned community.
Our top 5 reasons are:
1. Beyond the concrete jungle with less homogeneity
The design and planning begins with a vision from micro to macro level, from treed walkways, parks and open space, schools and amenities, zoning density and building heights, roadways, to overall transit and city infrastructure planning. These are usually areas that fall in the downtown urban infrastructure map. Every step of the development is followed closely by media and the public with a critical eye.
2. Better quality of living
An integrated sustainable community undergoing detailed planning means that purchasers are not just buying into a condo, you are buying into a community lifestyle with mixed use development, recreational, schools, banks, grocers and services that will be built into the neighbourhood. Developers make more effort to screen first time commercial tenants when leasing their new spaces in order to bring in attractive businesses to help build a vibrant neighbourhood offering more atypical and diverse shopping experience for local residents.
3. Variety of housing types and people focused
The builder in a master plan community tends to make more effort into sourcing the architect with more thoughtful design of the condo, living spaces and amenities. Each completed building sets a blueprint and precedent for future builds. More efforts are put into the architecture of each building to offer distinct characteristics as landmarks or features in the neighbourhood. The housing type and building amenities for each building are geared towards a researched demographic as the community grows in harmony, from first time buyers, investors, young professionals, downsizing empty-nesters to growing families with children and pets.
The variety of housing types and selections from mid-rise/high-rise apartments to townhomes offers the home buyer a range of choice and price range geared towards their particular lifestyle and budget. These communities allow homeowners to grow in the same area as they move up, often with parents buying into the same master plan development as a multi-generation mix.
4. New utility and smart energy system
Part of the master plan requires immediate updating and improvement of existing utility system, and establishes more efficient and sustainable strategies for water and waste water management as the area grows, as well as building on smart energy.
5. Market appreciation
Buyers can get the best value when buying into the first phase of the development as the builder generally rolls out prices at a much more competitive rate per square foot cost compared to established neighbourhoods. Home owners and potential purchasers can keep track of how developer prices increase over time within the master planned community over future sales launch.
Start your Toronto condo search right. Get in touch with us first if you want to buy a condo in a master plan community. We will help you put everything into perspective and select the best neighbourhood based on your needs. Email us for more information.
You are not a Real Estate Agent until.........
2013-07-23 | 18:54:28
ou are not a Real Realtor, until you have gone through the ordeal of selling your own “pride and joy” in record time.
That’s right! We do it day in and day out for our clients and we try to do whatever we can to sell their home, but we can never understand the stress they are under until we go through it with our own home. I have gone through it a few times, in fact in one incident my husband and I decided to buy unexpectedly a few years ago, and with a lot of other interest in the property we went with a 30 day closing without any conditions. Excited and thrilled at getting the place that we wanted we seemed to have forgotten that now we have exactly 29 days to sell our home that we just decorated with an abundance of Christmas decorations for the season, remember it was an unexpected purchase. My husband looked at me and said, “Well, go do your job.” I took a deep breath and pretended that I didn’t hear what he had just said and started to throw out anything and everything to start the first stage of preparing the home for people to see. 10 Garbage bags later, a sore back and let’s not forget it is the holiday season, so there are social obligations as well, I take a shower do my hair and makeup, and head out the door. The next day the same routine, throw out, drop off to charity, and de-clutter. 3 days later, I called a professional cleaner, took down some pictures, removed all my Christmas decorations, and by the end of the week had a “FOR SALE” sign in the front and the listing was live on MLS. I was ready for my first open house, with signs everywhere and fresh baked cookies, egg nog, the whole works… And just as it came closer to the time of the open house, the biggest blizzard began. It lasted a full day and took another 2 days for the cleanup. At this point I’m having severe stomach cramps in the middle of the night and starting to get a tad irritated at small things. STRESS!!!
So long story short, I get into professional expert real estate mode and decide to do a full weekend open house from 9 am to 10 pm for both days with signage everywhere. Everyone that came into that house, got a full presentation about all the features with a smile. By Monday morning there were 2 offers registered. DONE!!!
From that point on I have taken that same approach, thought and care for each of my clients whether they are purchasing or selling. I personally have an emotional tie with all of them. Some may say it’s a bad thing, however I see it as a plus, it’s “one on one” service. I have realized that each client has different needs and requirements. In fact the only thing that is the same amongst all of them is the actual paper transaction, but the rest is so different from one person to another.
So to all those agents that are claiming to be experts and “the best”, I have one question: Have you listed and bought your own home within a month?
Bidding Wars in Toronto
2013-05-31 | 13:24:47
Would you pay $171K over asking????
Well somebody did for a 2 storey, 3 bedroom and 2 washroom in the “Heart of Leslieville,” and oh, wait did I mention a semi detached.......I just want to say that the Realtor that told their client to go that high over asking with only a handful of offers was looking out for only one thing: Their Commission
Let me explain how it works as an agent representing a buyer.
A buyer pays absolutely nothing to an agent for showing them 1 or 100 hundred places, for the gas or parking, or the time put in to book and find suitable places. However they get paid once you purchase and close the deal. So if an agent has an opportunity to make some more money from a bidding war, is he or she really looking out for their client’s best interest or their pockets????
I have been in this situation quite often, and always ask my clients, “next year at this time,would you be able to sell this place for this price, not that you want to ,but could you if anything were to disrupt your finances?”The answer is usually NO,they are not paying the extra from their pockets, yet in their mortgage on monthly basis, so they really don’t feel the pinch. Remember what you paid over asking is not something that you will get back when you are selling ever, and you shouldn’t expect it.Also there is a land transfer tax that must be paid when purchasing a property that can’t get rolled into your mortgage,it has to be paid along with your lawyer’s fees.
So next time you want to purchase a home ,make sure you have an amount set for the maximum you will pay for any property,and if it goes above that in a multiple bidding war, then it wasn’t meant to be.You will get over it....there’s always another house,you are the one that makes it a HOME.
East Toronto or West Toronto...Where should i buy?????
2013-05-19 | 18:26:41
f you are debating whether to live in Downtown East or Downtown West, you may want to learn more about my neighbourhood. The past few weeks, I have come to realize that I live in one of the most ingrained communities in Downtown Toronto. A community where every store, restaurant, kiosk, etc… has a story, including the culturally diverse residents from various parts of the world. These individuals are not just passing through, they are here to stay, and some of them have been here in Regent Park for decades. They call Regent Park “home”. Some of the kids that grew up with my younger brother in Cabbagetown are coaches for the hockey leagues and soccer teams, and the kids love them and really look up to them. Some of the retired residents are teaching music and dance in the parks to kids that don’t know what to do with their spare time. They even brought snacks for them.
The revitalized Regent Park community is aesthetically beautiful, with the new buildings blending into the parks and also the exterior of the commercial spaces by matching the tones and colours to the brick and sidings. And let’s not forget the amazing Nelson Mandela School brought back to life with kids playing in their new fields after school until their parents come and get them at 9 pm.
Then when I take clients along King St up to Liberty Village in West Downtown Toronto, they say that everyone there is just passing through as a stepping stone to find their perfect place. In Liberty Village, we see a suburban plaza with big box franchise stores situated right in the middle of these condos and townhomes, with one patch of green space where the children play and the dogs poop.
Daniels, along with the City of Toronto, really came up with a vision bigger than we all thought it would be. I know that Regent Park may not yet be the first choice for condo buyers, however in the long run I believe it to be the best choice for living in a well designed sustainable neighbourhood in urban downtown Toronto.
Toronto..Long weekend.I heart Toronto
2013-05-19 | 18:23:24
Not sure what you did this long weekend but since I was working I was not able to get away, so I thought I must at least get a great meal in, some great wine along with some great company.
So this is how it all went down:
Lunch at Against the Grain on Queens Quay on their patio ..not so much, an hour wait, and then realised that people looked really uncomfortable and cold on the patio. So bought a round of drinks and then decided to head down to College...to Barraida Churrasquiera for some great Portuguese food on a great patio. Accomplished .....food and wine with a piri piri sauce to die for made our meal complete. Fully satisfied we decided to walk along College St to digest the feeling of being overfed .I noticed the LCBO store still open until 6 pm and a Service Ontario still open and yes this is on a Sunday of a long weekend. Are we really in Toronto??? because on the east side thinks seem to shut down by 5 pm latest if we’re lucky.
Then noticed the new Queens Park Subway stop all re done and looking fantastic, re visited the MARS building and admired the future graduates of Rotman Business School. Shortly thereafter I was quite taken by the new Marshalls at Aura. Then as I continued my walk home, I realised what a great city we live in. I heart Toronto!!!!
Feel free to share any of your unexpected interesting walking dates .
Should you Home stage your home....
2013-04-04 | 17:34:47
To Home stage or not to Home stage.....
One of the most asked questions when speaking to potential sellers is , “What do you think about Home staging? Is it going to cost me extra? Why do I need it?”
Well in the last two months right here in Regent Park at 1 and 25 Cole St. there were 5 , 2 bdrm,2 baths sold ranging from $350K to $399K.The one that sold the quickest, which was 2 days and the for the most amount of money was the unit that was tastefully furnished with the right amount of furniture and accessories, minimum clutter and most importantly spotless, meaning cleaned by a professional cleaner. The one that sold for the least amount and was on the market for the longest time had a full family always home during showings ,with tons of furniture and knick knacks(nice way of saying junk) everywhere, always smelt like they were deep frying something and definitely was not clean.
Would you buy a dirty car? A car that had junk left in it with a dirty ashtray? Would you buy a bruised, dirty fruit, a wilted flower....May be!! But you would not pay the asking price and it definitely would not be your first pick. I can assure that.
So sellers, it’s not a scam, or something we try to “get” you to do, it’s just common sense. When you
invite your friends and family to your home for a special occasion , don’t you clean extra and make
everything look perfect? Well imagine that day and set up your home just like that so when people walk
in they feel that great energy. The potential buyers feel that the owner really takes pride in their home.
Home ownership is something to be very proud of.
Some Home Staging Tips:
Depersonalize: Take down all the family pictures, sports posters, collections and fill in the holes or cover
with a piece of art. If you don’t have any, borrow some paintings from a friend even IKEA has prints for
less than $10.Change bright painted walls to neutral colours.
Make sure everything in the house is in top condition. No torn screens, cracked plaster or burnt out pot
lights/bulbs. You may have gotten used to seeing them, and repair anything that needs it.
A clean kitchen. Counters should be clear and clutter-free. A single bowl or vase holding cooking
utensils is okay, but that's about it. Store small appliances in cupboards. Clean inside drawers and
cupboards, and organize them neatly. Buyers do open them .And let’s not forget the FRIDGE, keep it to
the minimum items required, and ensure it is clean.
Fresh linens and towels. Make sure any visible linens (tea towels, chair cushions, oven mitts, etc.) are
brand new or at least look brand new or clean them and iron them.
Hire a professional cleaner.They range from $75 for 3 hours up to $150 for 5 hours. No excuses.