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

Featured Listings

  • Buying a Condo? Watch out for Kitec Plumbing!!

    With condominium sales on the rise, it's important to understand the concept of kitec plumbing and its effect on the condominium owner! Whenever a condominium displays (through a status certificate for example) that the unit contains kitec plumbing, you should take that information as a red flag. Here are some reasons why: 

    1. Kitec is a brand of plastic piping used in hot and cold water supplies to plumbing fixtures. This piping was made from 1995 to 2007. The pipes are usually colored blue to specify cold water pipes and orange to specify hot water pipes. Although there's a notion that Kitec plumbing weakens over time resulting in leaks and water damages, there actually have been few reported failures over the years. However, the perception is still prevalent that Kitec plumbing is a problem that needs to be addressed. 

    2. There is always the question of whether Kitec plumbing will affect the value of a condominium unit. Although you cannot give an exact number, a good guideline to follow is $5000 for a one bedroom, $10,000 for two bedrooms and up to $15,000 for a three bedroom condo. In addition to that, it is good to know whether there is Kitec plumbing in the coomon elements and whether they need replacing. In most cases, it may only be in bathrooms or kitchens in party rooms or similar common areas of the building. 

    3. If a condo contains Kitec plumbing, this should be addressed and disclosed as it is a material fact! In addition, every buyer should disclose this to their lender, as it could impact the buyers ability to successfully obtain a mortgage. 

    4. Condominium corporations, alothough not required, by law, to disclose Kitec plubming, should be disclosing such information to their insurer, as it may impact any coverage the building has for flooding! 

    In order to protect yourself, it is advisable to have in the agreement a clause that the seller represents and warrants that the unit does not contain any kitec plumbing to the best of their knowledge. It is also advisable to have the condominium unit inspected to be extra sure that Kitec plumbing is not within your unit of purchase. A home inspector should be able to tell if the unit has Kitec plumbing by looking under the sinks in the kitchens and washrooms. 

     

    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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  • Bank of Canada Keeps Interest Rates at 1.25%

    Here’s a bit of recent history: The central bank has raised it’s key rate three times since last summer. In return, these increases have prompted the big Canadian banks to raise their prime rates which are used to set the rates charged for variable-rate mortgages and other variable rate loans.

    Fast forward to last week: Last Wednesday, the Bank of Canada kept its interest rate the same, at 1.25%. However, the bank hinted that a rate hike could be coming considering the Canadian economy was a little stronger than expected in the first quarter. In the Bank of Canada’s statement, it was expressed that exports of goods were more robust than forecast and data on imports of machinery and equipment suggest continued recovery in investment.

    The bank also stated that housing resale activity has remained soft into the second quarter, as the market is continuing to adjust to new mortgage guidelines and higher borrowing rates. According to the latest stats, solid labour income growth is supporting the expectations that housing activity will pick up and consumption will continue to contribute to growth in 2018

    In regards to Canada and the global economic activity, the central bank stated that it remains broadly on track, but added that ongoing uncertainty regarding trade policies is dampening global business investment.

    It’s noted that recent developments might reinforce higher rates in the future in order to keep inflation near its target. The bank added that it will take a grounded approach and have the economic data as its guide. Inflation will likely be a bit higher in the new term than was forecast in the April monetary policy report due to increases in gas prices, but it will look through the transitory impact of the fluctuations at the pump.

    The next scheduled interest rate decision is set for July 11th, 2018. On top of announcing its decision, the central bank will also update its outlook for the economy and inflation in its monetary policy report.

    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! Go Canada!

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  • News on Toronto's 416 Real Estate Market

    A new study has found that Toronto home sales have had month-over-month growth in eary May coinciding with the return of heated bidding wars in the 416 region! YES, I SAID BIDDING WARS! 

    TREB data revealed that for the period of May 1st to May 15, 2018, sales volume went up by 39% compared to the period of April 1st to April 15, 2018. However, the May figures also represented a 22% decline on a year-to-year basis. It was found that 197 active house listing in Toronto inlclude the words "accepting offers" and 209 active listings include the words "register by...". In the condominium world, 127 condo listings in the city include the words "accepting offers". while 206 have the words "register by.." on the listings. These wordings are clear indicators of potential bidding wars.

    Now, let's break these sale figures down by property type in Toronto: 

    Toronto condo apartments saw a 46% month-to-month increase in sales, but down 18% in terms of year-to-year sales. Condo Townhouses on the other hand shot up by 46% but declined 21% annually. 

    It has been noted that these developments in Toronto's Real Estate Market have led to more balanced conditions. With the sales-to-new listings ratio in TREB's full jurisdiction increasing from 35% in April to 39% today! In the city specifically, the ratio went from 38% to 45% further proving this shift from a buyers market to a balanced one! 

     

    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! Go Canada!

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  • No Plans for The Victoria Day Long Weekend? We got you covered!

    Looking for things to do with your family and friends this long weekend? Say no more! We got a list for you to choose from: 

    1. Victoria Day Fireworks: 

    Victoria Day celebrations would not be complete without a display of fireworks! Luckily there's a few options for you! 

    You can catch fireworks TODAY at Canada's Wonderland! Spend the afternoon and evening checking out the 200+ rides and attractions! After that, you can stick around for the fireworks show which boasts over 6000 explosions! Did you know that it takes 2-3 days of prep of set up for the show?? The show will begin at 10PM today! 

    If you prefer to save your money, you can head over to Ashbridges Bay Park on Monday! You'll want to get through early to avoid traffic and get a good spot! You can make use of the day by packing a picnic and making a day of it. The show begins at 10PM. 

    If you prefer a drive, you can always drive down to Dundas Driving Park in Hamilton to watch fireworks! Fun lighting up the night sky with a magical display of fireworks to live music, food trucks and more; Victoria dat in Hamilton is certainly a fun experience, plus it's free! 

    2. The Nobelton Victoria Day Fair

    On Monday May 22nd, bring your family and friends to the Nobelton Victoria Day Fair where you get to experience a parade featuring a number of community floats, fire trucks and classic cars! Bring your children and have them enjoy midway rides and a free bouncy castle village! If you feel a little hungry, you can always pass by the food trucks and vendors to grab a snack! Finally, enjoy the fireworks show that will be held at night! The event will be happening at 15 Old King Road, Nobelton.

    3. FREE Films at Ted Rogers Hot Docs Cinema

    This Victoria Day, you can celebrate the works of Canadian filmmakers at Ted Rogers Cinema. The theatre will offer free screenings of four noteworthy Canadian documentries. The show begins at 12PM on Monday May 22nd with a look at a marriage in trouble in Allan King's "A Married Couple". Next at 2:15PM will be "Lonely Boy", a behind the scene's look at the life of a 19-year old Paul Anka. At 2:45PM, you can catch "Foster Child", which follows filmaker Gil Cardinal as he searches for his biological family and indigenous roots. Lastly, at 4PM, :Manufactoring Consent" explores Naom Chomsky's view on media. This event will be happening at 506 Bloor Street W, Toronto

    4. Artfest Toronto @ The Distillery District 

    If you're looking for something for the whole family to enjoy, The Distillery District has you covered! This FREE arts and crafts show features over 80 artisans selling a variety of fine art and handmade goods. In addition to the art on display, there will be plenty of food, live music, and childrens activity stations. The event will be happening from the 20th-22nd of May from 11am-6pm @ 55 Mill Street, Toronto

    5.  Junction Flea Market @ Echo Beach 

    You can spend the afternoon pursuing the flea markets many offerings! You'll find vendors selling everything from painstakingly refinished antiques to collectible kitsch and vintage clothing! This event will be happening on May 21st at 909 Lakeshore Blvd W, Toronto, 

    6. BBQ in the Park! 

    Nothing says summer like a barbecue, and Toronto has several great parks with charcoal grills for plenty of picnicking fun! If you're planning a larger gathering, check out Sunnybrook Park. This park has enough grills and picnic tables to ensure you won't have trouble securing a spot! Sunny brook also features bike trails, dog parks, and open fields for soccer games! You can go from May 19-22nd at 1132 Leslie Street, Toronto

    If you prefer your burger or hot dog after a nice swim, check out Cherry Beach on the north shore of the Outer Harbor! Plan an evening barbecure, and stay for the beautiful sunset views! You can go from May 19-22nd at 1 Cherry Street, Toronto

     

    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! Go Canada!

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  • Its National Real Estate Day!

    The Toronto Real Estate Board has declared May 17th to be National Real Estate Day! The purpose of the day is to provide a forum for all Canadians to discuss why they love their homes and how home ownership has positvely impacted their lives. 

    Canada has a high rate of home ownership, at nearly 70%, showing that Canadians have embraced the idea of owning a home as a good thing. In a general sense, it is perceived as a smart financial move or an investment that you can live in! 

    Typically speaking, home prices in Canada rise at or above the inflation rate so that the owners equity in the home can increase. Considering today's mortgage rates, mortgage payments are often comparable to rents in many locations making it better off to own a home rather that renting. There's also tax benefits to home ownership, the primary one being that capital gains on the sale of one's primary residence are tax exempt in Canada. 

    Other factors that make home ownership attractive are the less tangible ones, like the quality of life a homeowner enjoys. A Canada mortgage and housing corporation study of lower income families who had become home owners found that most of them reported being happier and healthier since moving into their own homes. They also found that their children performed better in school and the majority of families reported being better off financially. 

    To celebrate this day, you can join the national conversation by sharing why you love your home, and how home ownership has positively impacted your life using the hashtag #iheartrealestate on facebook and twitter @TREBhome. By doing that, you have a chance to win prizes on TREB's social media! Happy National Real Estate Day! 

    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! Go Canada!

    Visit us on Facebook!

  • New Qualifying mortgage Rate vs The Banks

    You might have heard the news of the central bank's five year benchmark qualifying rate increasing to 5.34% last week. This qualifying rate will be used in stress tests for both insured and uninsured mortgage. And an increase only means that the bar for borrowers to qualify is even higher....

    It's no doubt that the national home sales volume sank to the lowest level in more than 5 years in the month of April, falling by 13.9% from the same month last year. The national average sale price decreased by 11.3% year over year. Home sales have slowed due to factors including the measures introduced by the Ontario government to cool the housing market. Furthermore, higher interest rates and a new financial stress test makes it more difficult for would-be homebuyers to qualify with federally regulated lenders, like the banks.

    Speaking of banks..amdist the difficulty of homebuyers to be approved for a mortgage, TD bank has announced that it will be lowering it's five year varible closed rate to 2.45%, or 1.5% lower than its TD mortgage prime rate until May 31st! This move was followed by the Bank of Monteral's announcement of discounting its variable rate to 2.45% until the end of the May. TD Spokesperson, Julie Bellisimo, has stated that its special five year variable rate will apply to new and renewed mortgages, as well as the variable rate term portion of certain TD home equity lines of credit.

    Canada's lenders often offer special spring mortgage rates as homebuying activity picks up. However, this year BMO and TD's special offers are considered to be the biggest widely advertised discount ever by a Big Six Canadian Bank! 

    Since July, the Bank of Canada has raised interest rates three times to 1.25%, adding pressure on consumers. However, a rising interest rate environment also means that the margins on mortgages for banks will improve. Rising these interest rate also drive up demand for fixed rate mortgages and banks may discount variable mortgage rates in an effort to balance the books as seen with TD Bank and The Bank of Montreal.

    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! Go Canada!

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  • The Federal Government announces new housing investment fund

    The Canadian government has announced a new investment fund as part of the National Housing Strategy. The National Housing Co-Investment Fund (NHCF) will see the government work with partners to build up to 600,000 new affordable housing units and repair over 240,000 affordable and community units over the next 10 years! These will also be funding for thousands of homes for the most vulnerable people in Canada!

    The focus is on strengthening the middle class, fuelling the economy, and giving thousands of people affordable housing options. The minister responsible for CMHC, Jean-Yves Duclos, said that the National Housing Strategy is partly built on the Federal government collaborating with partners. According the the minister, by working with partners at all levels, more middle class Canadians along with those working hard to join it, will find safe, accessable, affordable homes, in vibrant and inclusive communities where families thrive, chilldren accessible, affordable homes, in vibrant and inclusive communities where families thrve, children learn and grow, and their parents have the stability and opposrtunity they need to succeed. 

    To maximize the impact of the NHCF, up to $200 Million worth of Federal lands will be made available to social and affordable housing providers at a discounted or no cost to encourage the development of affordable homes. 

    The NHCF will be delivered in tandem wit the recently created $3.75 billion rental construction financing initiative and the $208.3 Million affordable housing innovation fund. Combined, these three initiatives represent an investment of over $17.15 billion. This includes investments under investing Canada Plan! 

     

    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! Go Canada!

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  • Updates on Landlords, Tenants and Leases

    The Ontario government has issued the new Ontario standard lease form that is now mandatory to use for all new residential leases in Ontario starting after April 30th, 2018! Here are some answers to commonly asked questions (courtesy of Mark Weisleder of Real Estate Lawyers.ca): 

    1. HAVE THE FORMS BEEN CHANGED FROM THE ORIGINAL OFFER TO LEASE? 

    The OREA form 400 offer to lease has been changed in order to have the landlord provide the Ontario standard form lease, incorporating the terms of the offer to lease for the tenants signature. 

    2. WHAT HAPPENS IF THE LANDLORD DOES NOT PROVIDE THE NEW LEASE FORM TO THE TENANT? 

    For new leases occuuring after April 30th, 2018 the tenant has the right to request the new lease to sign. If the landlord fails to provide said lease within 21 days of the request, the tenant has the right to withhold one month's rent. Furthermore, the tenant has the right to terminate the lease at any time given a 60 day notice is issued to the landlord.

    **This does not apply to lease signed before April 30th, 2018 that renew as month to month tenancies after April 30th, 2018**

    3. CAN YOU ADD ADDITIONAL CLAUSES TO THE NEW STANDARD FORM LEASE? 

    Yes, you can! An example of a clause that you can add is a no smoking clause. Here's an example of a standard no smoking clause: 

    " No Tenant, resident, guest, invitee or visitor shall smoke a Marijuana or other tobacco cigarettes, cigars, electronic cigarette or any simalar product whose use generates smoke or vapors within the building and the Leased premises. This prohibition includes all residential units within the building, all balconies and patios, enclosed common areas, as well as outside within 9 meters of doorways, operable windows and air intakes. Smoking shall include inhaling, exhaling, burning or carrying of any tobacco or electronic cigarette or similar product whose use generates smoke or vapor." 

    4. HAVE THE RULES CHANGED REGARDING MOVING YOUR FAMILY/RELATIVES BACK TO THE RENTAL UNIT?

    Besides waiting until the end of the tenancy, a landlord has to give 60 days notice to end the tenancy if they want to move a member of their immediate family back into the rental unit and pay one month's rent to the tenant as a penatly. If a buyer is moving in, then no penalty is required. However, a strategy must be developed to make sure vacant possession can be given on closing. 

     

    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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  • Thinking of Downsizing?

    People downsize ALL THE TIME! If you are one of those people, then you have come to the right place! Downsizing can be a great opportunity provided that the current sale offers incentive. Keep reading to learn how you can improve your odds: 

    WHAT ARE YOUR DOWNSIZING GOALS? 

    Sellers should work on setting a few goals based on the reality of their current market. For instance, selling in a hot market can return a lot more money than expected. However, it should be noted that a higher cost might need to be paid for a smaller home within the same market conditions. Here are some things to consider when thinking about downsizing: the status of the market you'd like to move too (hot market or not?), the thought of supplementing your income with the sale of your current home and the amount of money that you wish to have left over. 

    Answers to these questions will help sellers identify how much they would like to get from the sale of their current homes, and a budget for the amount the plan on buying to acheive their downsizing goals.

    DOES YOUR CURRENT HOME NEED IMPROVEMENTS?

    Everyone wants to get a little more out of their home for sale. One way to do such is to consider making certain upgrades that appeal to home buyers. A modern home buyer is looking to find an energy efficient home with a decent number of bedrooms and storage space. Although making these improvements may cost a lot of money, a few targeted upgrades could dramatically increase the sale price! For instance, adding a custom storage to closets and the garage is less expensive, and offers buyers what they want! 

    Sellers who plan to upgrade their appliances should think about selecting those with the energy star designation. A minimal extra investment could imrpove the home's comeptitiveness in the market. 

    WHEN SHOULD YOU SELL YOUR CURRENT HOME? 

    The main goal to downsizing and using the profits to fund retirement or other enterprises is to sell high and buy low. Under normal market conditions, the best time to sell a home is typically mid spring. By comparison, the optimal time to buy is typically in the month of January. Downsizing could be a dream come true, with extra money as an added benefit! By maximizing interest in the home and selecting an ideal time to sell, sellers may get a higher sale price and a better return on their investment! 

    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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  • 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!

    Visit us on Facebook!

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