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Iris Khodkar & Evelyn Lee Sales Representatives
RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage Independently owned and operated
148 King Road
Richmond Hill, Ontario   L4E2T4

Office 289-234-8552Toll Free 1-866-787-1629

Featured Listings

  • Top amenities to look for in your future neighborhood

    When it comes to your next home purchase, location will play a vital role in your decision! Although people's wants and needs are different, the majority often want their homes to be close to certain areas and amenities. Here are some of the amenities wanted that are common to most potential buyers: 

    1. Restaurants, Shops and Services: 

    Often home buyers are willing to pay extra in order to live close to different services, restaurants and shops. A typical buyer is looking for a place where they can purchase a few items needed before or after a long day at work. Furthermore, a community that is walking distance to said restaurants, shops and services results in a more vibrant locale which is always a goal for a common home buyer/ house owner. 

    2. Rapid Transit

    Many buyers are willing to pay extra in order to secure a home close to public transit like the GO or TTC. For those that cannot afford to live in expensive downtown Toronto, they choose to live in the suburbs instead. In these areas, walking distance to a close bus stop or station is a needed amenity for many. Considering that commuters often spend a long time on commutes, the last thing they want is to spend more time in order to get on that commute! 

    3. Schools: 

    With the percentage of young couples/ families on the rise, being close to good schools is a major key. Although being close to an elementary school is nice, it is not advisible to live close to a high school, as it may not be the best place to settle. Living close to a high school increases the chances of dealing with consequences of petty crime, graffitti or even car vandalism

    4. Children's Activities: 

    Sports, fields and community centers are always amenities that most families are looking for. Many parents tend to spend an immense amount of time driving their kids back and forth from these facilities. Considering that physical activity is an important aspect in children's growth, its a great idea for young families to be located in a neighborhood that has these types of resources close by! 

     

    Have Questions regarding Real Estate? The Iris and Evelyn team are here to help! With their countless years of buying and selling Real Estate Properties, their experience and knowledge can help you make the right choice!

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  • Closing Costs! A 101 for Home Buyers

    Closing cost payments are one of the last processes that occur during the home buying process. For a potential home buyer, it is very important to understand what these pesky fees are and how much they cost. Home buyers who go into the home buying process with knowledge of the process are often more prepared to buy a home. 

    CLOSING COSTS? WHAT'S THAT? 

    In simple terms, closing costs are the administrative fees associated with certain steps of the home buying process. Closing costs can vary depending on whether the house is new or not, how much it costs, location of the house, and other factors. Most home buyers pay anywhere between 1.5-4% of the purchase price of the home in closing costs. Budgeting for these costs can help home buyers who are just starting the process of purchasing a home! 

    Closing fees are paid on the last day of the home buying process. On said day, all financial transactions are handled by the lawyer. After such transactions are settled, the lawyer transfers the keys to the buyer where the home is considered officially purchased! 

    FEES INCLUDED IN THE CLOSING COSTS: 

    Fees that get paid as part of the closing costs vary from one home sale to the next. Some of the expenses that buyers often pay as part of the closing costs are as follows: 

    1. LAND TRANSFER TAX

    Land transfer tax is a percentage of the home's purchase price. In some areas, this fee is administered by both the city and province. The best way to find out about a property's land transfer tax is to speak to a lawyer. 

    2. REAL ESTATE LAWYER 

    Most home buyers choose to hire a real estate lawyer to help them with the purchase process. Lawyers help home buyers by looking over the documentation and checking the title. The lawyer is usually the one who gives the keys to the buyers at the end of the transaction. 

    3. NEW HOME WARRANTY FEE

    A new home warranty is only applicable for home buyers who are purchasing newly constructed homes. The home warranty is usually offered as a part of the cost of the new home. The new home warranty protects buyers against major structural defects, problems with appliances and any other problems with the building that might be discovered within a stated period of time. 

    The new home warranty fee functions like a home oweners insurance policy. However, it is not the same. Home buyers who choose to go with insurance may still need to get a home warranty if they are planning to build a new home. 

    4. PROVINCIAL SALES TAX ON CMHC INSURANCE

    CMHC insurance is the mortgage insurance that is required on home purchases where less than 20% is put down to purchase the home. Typically, a homeowner will pay for their mortgage insurance as a part of their normal monthly mortgage payments. However, some areas require the sales tax on the mortgage insurance to be paid with the rest of the closing costs. 

     

    Have Questions regarding Real Estate? The Iris and Evelyn team are here to help! With their countless years of buying and selling Real Estate Properties, their experience and knowledge can help you make the right choice!

    Visit us on Facebook!

     

  • Selling In a Competitive Buyers Market

    A lot of people might ask what a buyers market is....Simply put, a buyers market means that there are more homes for sale that there are buyers interested. 

    HOW CAN SELLERS IMPROVE THEIR HOMES FOR BUYERS? 

    When sellers are aware that the market they are entrering puts buyers at an advantage, they should do whatever they can to help their homes seem more appealing! 

    People who have upgraded their homes recently might just need a coat of paint, a few minor repairs and some expert staging to draw buyers in. Homes that do not meet a buyers minimum standards could require a greater investment to update the property in order to make it work for a larger number of potential buyers! Fortunately, some improvements tend to increase the resale value of the house, making it a worthy expense. Just be sure to seek appropriate permits for any major renovations.

    PRICING STRATEGY FOR A BUYER'S MARKET

    Pricing a home to sell in a buyers market is sometimes more difficult that it may seem! Since a lot of buyers are contingent upon mortgage financing, and given that lenders require an appraisal before granting funding, pricing the home high does not make much sense in any kind of market! 

    On the other hand, pricing the property too low in order to spark bidding wars may draw more buyers, but possibly offers that are not any higher in prices. If you are not knowledgeable about the conditions of the market, it may be best to ask an expert, like a Real Estate Salesperson, to do a competitive market analysis to determine the fair market value of your home! 

    SELLERS AND MARKET FLEXIBILITY WITH BUYERS

    When buyers have the upper hand in the market, they may ask for more flexibility in time in order to get a home inspection or an appraisal. They can also negotiate any necessary repairs that result as well as the closing date on the sale. Real Estate Representatives can play a great factor in negotiating these terms and reaching to common grounds between the buyer and the seller. Sellers do not have to accept any purchase offer they receive. However, they should seriously consider that ramifications of rejecting or countering any reasonable offer! 

     

     

    Have Questions regarding Real Estate? The Iris and Evelyn team are here to help! With their countless years of buying and selling Real Estate Properties, their experience and knowledge can help you make the right choice!

    Visit us on Facebook!

  • Real Estate Housing Market March Update!

    The Toronto Real Estate Board report has stated that only 7,228 homes changed status last month, compared to the 11,954 in the previous year! This follows two consecutive months of decline since the start of 2018. Not to mention, the decline of 17.6% from the 10-year average. 

    The number of homes listed for sale also tightened to 12.4%, with 14,866 homes placed on the market. However, despite less choice, buyers are enjoying softer home prices which have dropped 14.3% from last years high, to an average of $784,558

    BOARD EXPECTS SLOWER ACTIVITY: 

    Slower sales and price activity was on course in early 2018, thanks to the ongoing adjustments the new real estate and mortgage regulations implemented last April and this past January. 

    Lower home prices can be laregely attributed to falling detached home values. The luxury market has also declined considerably, with half as many sales for homes in the $2 Million range. 

    ANY HOPE FOR RECOVERY?

    It may be a weaker start to the 2018 market, but shorter-term data indicates that sales and price growth are already heating up, signalling a competitive spring season! 

    Sales and prices are ramping higher across all home types from February, with the exception of condo townhouses, which saw slight price declines from the previous month. 

    Detached home sales surged in March, up 31% in the TOTAL TREB area and 39% in the city of Toronto, and relatively flat price growth, at 3 and 0 %, respectively. 

    Semi-detached homes saw the greatest uptick in demand in the 416, with 55% more changing hands and 6% price growth compared to Febraury, and up 25% in the TREB region, with prices rising 5% !

    While sales for condo townhouses remain robust, up 38% in both the TREB and Toronto regions, prices softened slightly. Condos continue to perform steadily, with sales increasing 28% and 27% in TREB and Toronto. 

    This uptick has returned the City of Toronto to a sellers market, compared to the mostly balanced and buyers conditions found throughout the TREB- tracked markets. This is determined by the regions sales-to-new listings ratio, which indicates how many of the newly-listed homes for sale are being sold. A ratio between 40-60% is considered balanced, while ratios below and above that range indicate buyers and sellers conditions, respectively. 

  • Good Friday 2018

    On Friday March 30, 2018 Christians around the workd will be celeberating the very well known statutory holiday known as Good Friday. Good Friday is the most solemn day of the Christian year. Many Christians around the world observe this statutory holiday on the Friday before Easter Sunday. It commemorates Jesus Christ's Passion, crucifixion, and death, which are told in the Christian Bible.

    Why is this day called “Good Friday”?

    Despite the fact that "good" is a common English word, the meaning of Good Friday is somewhat contested. Some believe it comes from the old meaning of good, which used to signify something, holy or godly and others think the name stems from the words “God Friday”.

    As Good Friday is celebrated in memory of Christ’s Passion, crucifixion, and death, it is important to note that this day is symbolized by specific religious pieces. What symbols represent Good Friday?

    The most important Good Friday symbol is the crucifix, or cross. These symbols represent the way in which Jesus died. Some crosses bear a figure of Christ. Other symbols of Good Friday include black cloth used to cover the cross, paintings and statues in churches and some homes to signify mourning.

    On this day, many Christians fast and pray and, and many church services are held in the afternoon, to remember the hours when Jesus hung on the cross. Good Friday is “good” despite the terrible event that took place on that day because it brings us to the joy of Easter. God poured out his wrath on sins over Jesus in order to give forgiveness and salvation out to the nations. If Good Friday and Jesus’ death would not bring suffering, sorrow, and blood loss at the cross; God would not be revered as the “just and the justifier” who trust in Jesus. On a paradoxical note, Good Friday signifies the greatest triumph over evil and God’s plan to release the world from oppression.

  • Toronto Real Estate and the new Rental Control Rules

    Since Ontario announced the Fair Housing Plan, individuals including developers and even politicians have said the province is attacking the landlords. These individuals are under the impression that the new controls will force the landlords to rent at a future loss. However, rent controls are designed to preserve cap rates, while preventing predatory increases against tenants! 

    WHAT IS A CAP RATE?

    A cap rate is the percentage of net operating income (NOI) that a landlord makes, compared to the cost of the rental. What is the NOI, you ask? The NOI is the amount of annual rent the landlord charges, less expenses. Basically, a cap rate is the percentage of profit you'll make annually, compared to the price you paid for the rental unit. 

    ONTARIO FAIR HOUSING PLAN, AND EXPAND RENT CONTROL

    The new Ontario Fair Housing Plan extends rent controls to almost all rental units. This means that if you bought a condo, and decided to rent it out, you're probably bound by rent control guidelines. The maximum amount the rent can be raised is limited to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for that province. For example, this year, your rent can only be raised by 1.8% in Ontario, as outlined in the Rent Increase Guidelines. 

    ABOVE GUIDELINE INCREASES 

    The Landlord tenant tribunal have confirmed that landlords may qualify for an above guideline increase. If the landlord faces a sudden rise of expenses, they can apply to have the province accomodate the new costs, even above the guidelines. They just need to prove that the costs are necessary and not frivolous. They can make valid increases. They just cannot raise rent whenever they want. 

    RENT CONTROL TACKLES QUICKLY RISING PRICES 

    Rent controls do not impact cap rates, they control rising home prices. If you can apply for an above guideline increase, you'll likely maintain your cap rate. The only people that are impacted, are new investment property buyers. These people cannot offer 18% more than the previous buyer, and pass on the new cap rate to the existing tenant. 

    Buying an existing rental property means you are now buying the cap rate, as is, for the most part. This limits the price increase on the unit, because no one would buy a property with a bad cap rate. Killing the ability to raise rents by as much as a landlord would like, kills rapid price increases. This is especially true for secondary units in the condo apartment segment. If you entered your career as a landlord with a decent cap rate, you should expect it to hold up fairly well. If you enter with a terrible cap rate, expect that to last the lifetime of that property. 

  • New Condo Development Planned near the Rogers Centre

    Do you enjoy Toronto’s city atmosphere? Well you may just be in luck! A new condo tower is creeping its way into Downtown Toronto. In fact, there are actually going  to be three of them, how exciting!

    Nearly 2,000 new condominium units have been proposed across three buildings at the corner of Front St. and Spadina Ave. According to Urban Toronto, the curved complex, designed by Kirkor Architects, consists of a trio of towers rising to 26, 57, and 59 stories high as currently planned. All together this new development would nearly bring 2,000 new residential units and up to 3,600 square meters of retail space to the corner, lightening up our beautiful city of Downtown, Toronto, as the area has remained largely underdeveloped thus far. Putting the tallest buildings near the back corner of the lot will make for a smoother visual, and structural, transition between existing nearby low-rise buildings and the soaring condo tower.

    Cities have an endless abilities to evolve, to rebound, to reinvent and regenerate themselves, sometimes in ways that would astonish generations past. The changes in store for this stretch of the city are remarkable. As it will surely take years for some of these projects to get the green light, the future is coming into view on the west side of Toronto's old lakefront street.


     

  • Happy Nowruz

    Every year, millions celebrate Nowruz! In Iran, the new year begins with the advent of spring where those who celebrate go through a deep cleaning of their homes, celebrating a season of life and wishing good luck in the year ahead! 

    WHAT IS NOWRUZ? 

    Nowruz marks the end of the old year and the beginning of a new one, and it occurs on the day of the vernal equinox. No one knows exactly how far back Nowruz dates. The best estimates sit somewhere in the range of 3000 years. Nowruz's origin story is rooted in zoroastrianism, an ancient Persian Religion that predates both christianity and Islam. 

    PREPERATION FOR THE BIG DAY!

    People start getting ready for Nowruz about three weeks before the actual vernal equinox. Everyone goes into serious spring-cleaning mode, ridding their homes of any unneccesary clutter and lingering grime thats settled in over the past year so they can start fresh 

    In these weeks leading up to the actual day, families set aside a "haft-seen", or a collection of items that symbolize a different hope for the new year! While some families add their own variations to the haft-seen, there are seven things that are always included. 

    1. Sabzeh: Some kind of sprout or grass that will continue to grow in the weeks leading up to the holiday, for rebirth and renewal. 

    2. Senjed: Dried fruit, ideally a sweet fruit from a lotus tree, for love 

    3. Sib: Apples, for beauty and health

    4. Seer: Garlic, for medicine and taking care of oneself

    5. Serkeh: Vinegar, for the patience and wisdom that comes with aging

    6. Samanu: A sweet pudding, for wealth and fertility 

    7. Sumac: A persian spice made from crushed sour red berries, for the sunrise of a new day. 

    While these seven items are the foundation of a haft-seen, the traditions has evolved to the point where there are several other things you can include. For example, some people include a mirror symbolizing reflections, colored eggs for fertility, coins for prosperity and maybe a live goldfish for new life. 

    Once the day of Nowruz arrives, it kicks off a 13-day celebration of dinners, family visit, and reflections on the year ahead. On the 13th day, those who celebrate take the sabzeh growing in the haft-seen to a natural body of water having it float away to release the old and usher in the New Year. 

    NOWRUZ IS A CELEBRATION OF THE POSSIBILITY OF NEW LIFE 

    As is fitting for persian and Zoroastrian culture, the ceremonies surrounding Nowruz center on community, family and a deep respect for tradition! 

    Nowruz is about closing the door on one chapter and turning the page to the next one with excitment. The hope of being able to start new, and better is very universal- which could be a plausible reason as to why the tradition survived generation upon generation for thousands of years! 

    The Iris and Evelyn Team would like to wish all those celebrating a safe, prosperous and fantastic Nowruz. For those not celebrating, have a sun-filled first day of spring! 

     

    Have Questions regarding Real Estate? The Iris and Evelyn team are here to help! With their countless years of buying and selling Real Estate Properties, their experience and knowledge can help you make the right choice!

    Visit us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/irisandevelynteam/?fref=ts

  • Update on The Toronto Detached Real Estate Inventory

    Toronto detached homes are seeing a decline in demand, almost as quickly as it rose last year. The Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) numbers for February show falling prices. The price movement is expected, as higher inventory levels meet declining sales. 

    BENCHMARK PRICES VARY FROM A 9% GAIN, TO DECLINES OVER 10%

    The prices of a detached home is lower across Toronto. The benchmark price fell to $915,300 across TREB in February, a 2.06% decline from last year. Detached homes in the City of Toronto saw the benchmark fall to $1,090,000, a 1.51% decline from last year. Prices in the suburbs are most definitely falling faster than those in the city. 

    In terms of the city, the benchmark across the City of Toronto is showing HUGE swings. Central downtown Toronto is seeing the highest increase in prices. The benchmark detached price reached $1,075,800; a 9.49% increase from last year. However, the Steeles-L'Amoreaux region is falling the most. The benchmark detached reached $888,500, a 10.31% decline compared to last year. Swings are likely a sign of price discovery, as the market attempts to figure out where prices should be. 

    For those who are skeptical of the benchmark, there's the median price. It's a more commonly used indicator across the world.The median sale price of a detached house fell to $841,000 across TREB, a 13.74% decline from last year. 

    The average price also saw huge declines across the board. All TREB regions saw an average sale price of $1,000,736 , a 17.2% decline from the year before. The city of Toronto had an average sale price of $1,282,240, an 18.6% decline from last year. In the suburbs, the average sale price fell to $911,065, a 178% decline from last year. Average sale prices are helpful for determining the flow of dollar.s 

    DETACHED SALES ARE DOWN OVER 41% 

    TREB reported 2,169 sales in February, a 41.71% decline from last year. The City of Toronto saw 524 of these sales, a decline of 33.36% from last year. The suburbs saw sales drop to 1,645 detached units, a 43.3% decline from last year.

    DETACHED INVENTORY SOARS OVER 199% 

    TREB reported 5,556 new detached listings, a rise of 15.15% from last year. The City of Toronto saw 1,134 new detached listings, a modest 2.16% increase from last year. Despite the mild increase, some serious inventory is building up 

    The increase in new listings, combined with the decline in sales have led to a rise in active listings which are the total available inventory. TREB reported 7,852 active detached listings, a 199.24% increase from last year. The city of Toronto saw 1,453 of these active detached listings, a 121% increase from last year. 

     

    Have Questions regarding Real Estate? The Iris and Evelyn team are here to help! With their countless years of buying and selling Real Estate Properties, their experience and knowledge can help you make the right choice!

    Visit us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/irisandevelynteam/?fref=ts

  • Bank of Canada Overnight Rate Update

    On March 7th, the Bank of Canada maintained its target for the overnight rate at 1.25%. The Bank rate is correspondingly 1.5% and the deposit is 1%. 

    In Canada, national accounts data show that the economy grew by 3% in 2017, bringing the level of real GDP in line with the projection in the Bank's January Monetary Policy Report. However, in the 4th quarter, GDP was slower than expected, largely due to higher imports, while exports only made a partial recovery from their 3rd decline. The gain in imports mainly reflected stronger business investment, which adds to the economy's capacity. 

    Strong housing data in 2017, and softer data at the beginning of this year indicate some pulling forward of demand ahead of new mortgage guidelines and other policy measures. It will take some time to FULLY assess the impact of these, as well as recently announced provincial measures, on housing demand and prices. The bank continues to monitor the economy's sensitivity to higher interest rates. 

    With this information in mind, the Governing Council maintained the target for the overnight rate at 1.25%. While the economic outlook is expected to warrant higher interest rates over time, some continued monetary policy accomodation will likely be needed to keep the economy operating close to potential and inflation on target. The Governing Council will remain cautious in counselling future policy adjustments, guided by incoming data in assessing the economy's sensitivity to interest rates, evaluation of economic capacity and the dynamics of both wage growth and inflation. 

    The next scheduled date for announcing the overnight rate target is April 18, 2018. 

     

    Have Questions regarding Real Estate? The Iris and Evelyn team are here to help! With their countless years of buying and selling Real Estate Properties, their experience and knowledge can help you make the right choice!

    Visit us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/irisandevelynteam/?fref=ts

     

Contact Me

Iris Khodkar & Evelyn Lee Sales Representatives
RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage Independently owned and operated
148 King Road
Richmond Hill, Ontario   L4E2T4

Office 289-234-8552Toll Free 1-866-787-1629