MFR Newsletter – February 2017

This month Modern Family Realtor had the privilege to be the keynote speaker at the KPMG Diversity Conference.  We want to thank you for supporting a LGBTQ business and feel lucky to live and work in such a multicultural, diverse and accepting city.

It’s always good to be aware of the latest home and garden trends, especially if you’re looking for ways to make your home more appealing to buyers.  This month’s article highlights a few of the latest trends.

Thanks so much for checking out this month’s newsletter.  Please get in touch if you have any questions or comments regarding the articles, or real estate in general — it’d be great to hear from you!

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Keynote Speech at KPMG Diversity Conference 

The Modern Family Realtor team had the opportunity to speak to over 150 people at the KPMG head office.  It was an honour to be selected as a diversity leader and share our message of acceptance and love below.

The world is changing for the good and bad. Even with Trump in power it is even more important to stay united, not divided. We want Jasmine to grow up in a world that is inclusive of everyone no matter your gender, race, sexual orientation, religious belief and political affiliation. Love is love and we believe the world just needs more acceptance and less hate.

If I could leave you with one lesson it is that being who you are and accepting yourself first will make it easier for others to accept you.  Be with who you want to be with, do what you want to do and life will be your oyster.

If Trump has taught us anything it is that anybody, I mean ANYBODY can be president of the United States so what is stopping you from following your dreams and reaching for the sky!

Stay tuned for a video of the entire speech.

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The Toronto Real Estate Market Report

Toronto real estate market off to a strong start!

Toronto Real Estate Board President Larry Cerqua announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 5,188 residential transactions through TREB’s MLS® System in January 2017.

This result was up by 11.8 per cent compared to 4,640 sales reported in January 2016.  Annual rates of sales growth were higher for condominium apartments than for low-rise home types.

January 2017 picked up where 2016 left off: sales were up on a year-over-year basis while the number of new listings was down by double-digit annual rates for most major home types.

“Home ownership continues to be a great investment and remains very important to the majority of GTA households.  As we move through 2017, we expect the demand for ownership housing to remain strong, including demand from first-time buyers who, according to a recent Ipsos survey, could account for more than half of transactions this year.  However, many of these would-be buyers will have problems finding a home that meets their needs in a market with very little inventory,” said Cerqua.

The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark price was up by 21.8 per cent on a year-over-year basis in January.  Similarly, over the same period, the average selling price was up by 22.3 per cent to $770,745, with double-digit gains in the average prices for all major home types.

The National Home Show and Canada Blooms

Get inspired at North America’s largest home and garden event!

The annual National Home Show and Canada Blooms must mean that spring is right around the corner!

North America’s largest home and garden event is coming to downtown Toronto this March 10th – 19th at The Enercare Centre, Exhibition Place.2canadablooms

The National Home Show is a great place to visit if you’re looking for home improvement ideas.  Canada Blooms on the other hand offers inspiring and engaging fantasy feature gardens with some of the world’s top designers competing to win coveted awards for their unique creations.

Enjoy the co-location of two world class events — Canada Blooms, North America’s largest flower and garden festival and the National Home Show.  Hope to see you there!

Home Trends for 2017

The new year is a great time to update your living space!

It’s fun to follow the latest home and garden trends, especially if you’re hoping to make your home more attractive to buyers.  Here are a few of the latest trends to look out for:

  1. Shedquarters – A “shedquarter” is a private, backyard spot that can be used as an office, artist workspace or party area.
  2. Docking Stations – Small, pull down desks can be added almost anywhere as wireless technology enables us to shift away from traditional home offices.
  3. Vintage Vanities – Putting your bathroom sink on just about anything is huge this year!  Old dressers, filing cabinets and even tree trunks can be converted into unique vanities.
  4. Laundry Love – Homeowners are giving their laundry rooms some serious love with innovative storage solutions, bright lighting and even stylish wallpaper!
  5. Foodscaping – Instead of traditional vegetable patches, backyards are now being transformed into edible landscapes that include vegetables, berries, fruits and herbs.
  6. Smart Windows – Cutting edge window technology now allows our windows to be programmed according to the weather outside as well as the air quality inside.

Just like fashion, home trends can come and go so it’s important not to overcommit.  Hopefully these ideas have given you some inspiration as to what’s coming next, whether you’re thinking of selling or just simply looking to update your home.

Clean Up Your Digital Clutter

Get a jump on spring cleaning by clearing out your digital clutter.

_8s9nemczk0-oliur-rahmanPaper files are often the first items we purge during a spring clean but many times we neglect our digital files.  Kick off your spring clean this year with a deep, digital cleanse:

  1. Get a Pass – Use a password manager to encrypt one master password that can be used on all websites.
  2. Address Your Apps – Uninstall apps you no longer use to clear up space and keep your phone running smoothly.
  3. Manage Mail – Unsubscribe from emails you no longer read and delete old emails or organize them into folders.
  4. Clear Cache – Regularly clear your browser history, cache and cookies in order to create more storage and speed up your browser.
  5. Back it Up – Make sure all of your important files and photos are automatically backed up to the cloud to increase storage space.

This digital cleanse applies to your computer, smartphone and all your social media accounts.  While you’re at it, you should also review your privacy settings on apps and social media platforms to make sure you’re sharing information with the right audiences.

 

10 Tips For Buying a Condo in Toronto

Posted by Simone Garcia

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More people are buying condos in Toronto than ever before. And while acquiring a condo in the city can prove a valuable investment down the road, there are also pitfalls if you don’t make an informed decision on your building and unit. Keeping the following tips in mind will save you money, time, and the mental trauma of spending half your monthly pay cheque on unused maintenance fees.

Here are 10 tips for buying a condo in Toronto.

1. Know your location, and know it well
You probably already have a good idea of where you’d like to live. Still, before sealing the deal on anything, be sure to check out proximity to grocery stores, transit, schools, or any other relevant amenities. Some resources available to you in this capacity is this very site’s neighbourhood guide, theTDSB’s school finder, and the city of Toronto’s neighbourhood rankings.

2. Don’t be afraid to ask/pay for upgrades
If you’re shelling out mad cash for a pre-owned condo, do not hesitate to ask the former owners for upgrades before your move-in date. If you’re buying pre-constructed, it pays to invest in the right upgrades right off the bat. You’ll reap the rewards later. What should you do? Here are two lists of suggestions for Toronto condo upgrades.

3. Assess the building’s overall physical condition, inside and out
Some faults are easy to spot, while others pose more of a challenge. Hiring a home inspector is less common for condo units, but the investment is typically minimal ($100-200), and could prevent a lot of headaches down the line. Find a home inspector using this directory. Another option? Bring an experienced friend/relative/advisor.

4. Meet the building staff
This one is pretty much a given – if you like the people working there, chances are you’re going to like living there. Plus, if ever anything should go wrong with your unit, it pays to have the staff on your side. The same rule applies should you need to bend the rules: extra parking passes are a sweet, sweet gift.

5. Research the condo developer and corporation
You don’t want to put your faith in a developer with little experience building condos nor you certainly do you want to be buying into a place that’s loaded down by debt. Researching those who are behind the construction and management of your condo is crucial. Review the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s tip sheet for buying a condo, which covers the basic research you should do.

6. Make sure you won’t lose your view
What’s being built next door? If another sky-high condo is in the works and threatening to block your hard-earned view, you may want to steer clear. You might be able to check this just by touring the neighbourhood on foot, but you’ll want to also check the Toronto Development Applications website.

7. Evaluate the building’s current residents
Is your home to be comprised mostly of renters? Do the current residents seem loud, or, on the other hand, intolerable of noise? Your condo’s demographics are likely to have some impact on resale value – not to mention the happiness of your residence there. This can’t be internet research; you have to speak to staff and current residents to sketch the picture.

8. Ask your realtor to provide you with a detailed history of the place if it’s been previously owned, and to provide you with a future projection of the resale price
Condos.ca is a good resource for some of this information, but it’s a good idea to test the mettle of your real estate agent. Find out how much the unit sold for previously and try to determine how much money you can expect to make down the line. Market trends change, but it’s key to go through these exercises before buying.

9. Buy a parking space if you can
It might sound counter intuitive with condo dwellers increasingly giving up on car-focused lifestyles, but even if you don’t drive, if you’re buying a new condo, make sure to fork out for a parking space. When it comes time to sell, you’ll thank yourself for it.

10. Beware of occupancy fees
There’s always a period of time between when you take occupancy of your condo and the building becomes officially registered in Ontario, during which you must pay occupancy fees or what is sometimes called “phantom rent” (because it doesn’t go to your mortgage). This is unavoidable, but the period is generally shorter when dealing with 1) experienced developers and 2) the higher up your unit is (low floors move in sooner).

MFR December Newsletter – $2,500 to 50+ local Charities!

unnamedModern Family Realtor is proud and privileged to announce that we donated $2,500 to over 50 local charities!  We would like to thank all of the charities, volunteers and clients who participated in this year’s Modern Family Realtor Charity Gives Back Campaign!

If you’re planning on selling your home, it’s important to be aware of some common mistakes that sellers often fall victim to.  This month’s feature article discusses what not to do when selling your home.

There’s also some advice on how to spot online scams that are so popular during the holiday season as well as a few tips on how to avoid the flu.

Thanks so much for checking out this month’s newsletter.  Please get in touch if you ever have any questions or comments.  In the meantime, here’s wishing you all the best during the holiday season!

Paul Chan


A special acknowledgement to Save Me Rescue who generated the most votes.  Here are the top 5 charities that you voted for.

1. Save Me Rescue
2. Speaking of Dogs
3. TLC Animal Aid
4. Lotsadogs Rescue
5. Make a Wish


 

The Toronto Real Estate Market Report

Toronto Real Estate Board President Larry Cerqua announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 8,547 home sales through TREB’s MLS® System in November 2016.  This result represented a 16.5 per cent increase compared to November 2015.

For the TREB market area as a whole, sales were up on a year-over-year basis for all major home types.  The strongest annual rates of sales growth were experienced for the townhouse and condominium apartment segments.

“Home buying activity remained strong across all market segments in November.  However, many would-be home buyers continued to be frustrated by the lack of listings, as annual sales growth once again outstripped growth in new listings.  Seller’s market conditions translated into robust rates of price growth,” said Mr. Cerqua.

The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark was up by 20.3 per cent compared to November 2015.  The average selling price at $776,684 was up by 22.7 per cent on a year-over-year basis.

“Recent policy initiatives seeking to address strong home price growth have focused on demand.  Going forward, more emphasis needs to be placed on solutions to alleviate the lack of inventory for all home types, especially in the low-rise market segments,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.


Skate by the Lake this New Years Eve! 

The Harbourfront Centre’s family-friendly New Year’s Eve Skating Party is a great place to ring in 2017!

New Year’s Eve on the Natrel Rink will be a musical cornucopia of skate friendly tunes served by DJ P-Plus including R&B, old school hip hop, soul, top 40 and much more!

Details are still being announced but Nathan Philip’s Square is another fun place to head to as there will be skating and then later on live entertainment on the main stage.  The entertainment will likely then be followed by a dazzling fireworks display.

Whatever you decide to do this New Year’s Eve, here’s wishing you a very happy and healthy 2017!


Sellers Behaving Badly

There are various emotional side effects to selling your home.

Mistakes mean your home will sit on the market longer and eventually sell for less.  Try and get it right the first time by avoiding the following:

  1. Overpricing – Home sellers are often tempted to price their home way above market value but this tactic usually backfires.  The longer a home sits on the market, the more of a stigma it’ll develop.
  2. Restricted Access – It’s easy for buyers to skip your home if it’s not easily accessible.  The goal is to show your home to as many people as possible so using a lockbox is key, pardon the pun 🙂
  3. Hanging Around – Owners should always leave before a showing so buyers can browse without distractions.  If a buyer can make themselves feel at home, they’ll be better able to envision themselves living there.
  4. Poor Staging – You may love the statement your pink bathroom makes but odds are others won’t so consider a more neutral shade.  Also, make sure to get rid of excess clutter and take care of any outstanding repairs to portray pride of ownership.
  5. Going It Alone – Selling your home can be an overwhelming experience.  A real estate agent’s job is not only to expose your home to the masses but also to act as a 3rd party negotiator to help you get the highest price in the shortest amount of time.

Your home is most likely your biggest asset so when you decide to sell, it’s important that you do it right. Viewing the sale of your home as a business transaction and putting aside any emotional ties you may have is a great start to ensuring you sell your home quickly, easily and for top dollar!


Shopping Scams are Coming To Town

Make sure to be on high alert for online scams this holiday season.

It’s convenient to shop online from the comfort of your home during this busy time of year but the hectic holiday season is also a popular time for cybercriminals.  Here are a few scams to be aware of:

  1. Delivery Details – Be wary of emails claiming “you have a parcel delivery but your address needs to be verified” as it’s likely a scam.
  2. The Hot Ticket – Desperate shoppers eager to score hot holiday gifts are easy prey for cybercrooks who set up legitimate looking websites that show the popular item in stock.
  3. Fake Shopping Apps – Fake retail and product apps designed to steal your personal or financial details are increasingly common and hard to recognize as they closely resemble popular brands.
  4. Holiday eCards – Don’t open eCards if you’re not sure who they’re from.  Instead of a warm holiday greeting, it could be a cyber scammer whose gift comes in the form of a virus or spyware.

Unfortunately, there are many people out there who aren’t thinking about holiday cheer and goodwill to all.  Keep yourself safe by updating your antivirus software, visit only trusted, secure sites and never open messages from people you don’t know.


Forgotten Flu Spots

Your home could be a breeding ground for the flu.

It’s no fun having the flu, especially during the holidays, so it’s important to clean shared spaces and frequently touched surfaces.  Here are a few spots to focus on:

  • smartphones & tablets
  • computer keyboard & mouse
  • light switches and remote controls
  • door knobs and handles on appliances and cupboards
  • car steering wheel, seat belts and shifter

Washing your hands with soap and water is the best way to fight germs but regularly sanitizing common germ infested hot spots is also key.  Remember to keep the hand sanitizer on hand (pardon the pun 🙂) and hopefully you’ll be able to avoid the flu this year!

 

MFR Gives Back with $5K Leadership Scholarship

MFR Real Estate Update – October 2016

Record Sales in Toronto and the GTA

The Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) reported record sales in August with a huge increase of 23.5% in resale transactions.  In 2015 we had 7,943 units sold with a large jump to 9,813 sold in 2016.  Note that we did have an extra 2 working days in 2016 but still this shows that the Toronto market is still sizzling hot!

The average selling price was up to $710,410 up 17.7% year over year compared to August 2015.  All four major type of properties witnessed strong annual volume and price gains as follows: (as per the Toronto Real Estate Board)

  1. Detached homes +22.1% Volume Gain +21.5% Price Gain
  2. Semi-detached homes +8.6% Volume Gain +17.6% Price Gain
  3. Townhomes +22.8% Volume Gain +17.7% Price Gain
  4. Condos +32% Volume Gain +9.8% Price Gain

If you are thinking of buying, selling or investing please contact me for a free consultation and receive a $25 Tim’s Card courtesy of Modern Family Realtor.

Modern Family Realtor Partners with Out on Bay Street for Student Leadership Scholarship Worth $5,000

“We are proud and privileged to invest in the next generation of student LGBTQ leaders in Canada.” Paul Chan Founder of Modern Family Realtor.  Congratulations to our winner Haim Abraham who is a Doctoral of Juridical Science Candidate at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law and a LGBTQ+ activist. In his doctoral dissertation, Haim argues that states engage in combat have moral and legal obligations to pay compensation for civilians who suffered losses during the conduct of the war.  The second winner is Elliot Fonarev who is a third year law student at U of T.  He studied philosophy and political science at Western University.  Elliot will be articling with Iler Campbell, working in progressive law with grassroots organizations.

New Federal Mortgage Rules Impacting First Time Buyers

My clients are asking if these new rules will affect them as a potential home buyer?  The answer is MAYBE it could have some impact on some buyers especially first time buyers and insured buyers.  What will be the impact? These federal rules could limit or cut into the purchasing power of how much you could afford in the housing market.  For example, before the rules you may have been pre-approved by your local bank for a $500,000 mortgage. Now with the new rules you can only get a $400,000 mortgage due to the stress test they implemented.  With the rising cost of real estate in Toronto and the GTA this could make it more difficult for some people to afford the condo or house they really wanted.  You may now have to settle for something smaller or wait on the sidelines until you can save for a larger downpayment.  Please contact me today to get a better understanding of your own personal situation and if these rules will impact you.

As your real estate sales representative and former accountant I can assist you with any of your financial and real estate questions including creating a budget, RRSP Home Buyer’s Plan, Listing presentation, CMA, Buyer/Listing presentation and Income Taxes. Please contact me at 416-705-2444 to book a free consultation or visit our website for more information and listings at www.modernfamilyrealtor.ca.

From Your Modern Family Realtor Team – Paul, Ewan and Jasmine

Modern Family Realtor Contest

$1,500 in FREE Giveaways!
With over $5 million in sales last month, we are thanking our social media followers with free prizes as part of the Modern Family Realtor Gives Back Campaign!!

Like and share this post to enter contest.
Winners will be announced on Facebook Live at 5pm EST on August 20, 2016.  Go to www.modernfamilyrealtor.ca for full terms and conditions. #MFRGivesBack #MFRContest #MFRealtor

Modern Family Realtor Contest Terms and Conditions

NO PURCHASE IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE DOES NOT INCREASE THE CHANCES OF WINNING. THIS COMMUNICATION IS NOT INTENDED TO CAUSE OR INDUCE BREACH OF AN EXISTING AGENCY AGREEMENT.

Eligibility: This Campaign is open only to participants in Ontario. The Campaign is only open to legal residents ofOntario, and is void where prohibited by law. Employees ofModern Family Realtor, its affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, and suppliers, (collectively the “Employees”), and/or those living in the same household of Employees are not eligible to participate in the Campaign. The Campaign is subject to all applicable federal, provincial, and local laws and regulations. Void where prohibited.

Agreement to Rules: By participating, the Contestant (“You”) agree to be fully unconditionally bound by these Rules, and You represent and warrant that You meet the eligibility requirements. In addition, You agree to accept the decisions ofModern Family Realtor’s final and binding as it relates to the content of this Campaign.

Campaign Period: Entries will be accepted online starting onJuly 20, 2016 and endingAugust 20, 2016. All online entries must be received by August 20, 2016. Winners will be announced on Facebook Live at 5pm EST on August 20, 2016.

How to Enter:

The Campaign must be entered by a Like and Share on a social media platform such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.

If you prefer not to utilize social media, please email modernfamilyrealtor@gmail.com to enter contest.

All clients of Modern Family Realtor will be entered into the contest.

The entry must fulfill all Campaign requirements, as specified, to be eligible to win a prize. Entries that are incomplete or do not adhere to the rules or specifications may be disqualified at the sole discretion of Modern Family Realtor. You must provide the information requested. You may not enter more times than indicated by using multiple email addresses, identities, or devices in an attempt to circumvent the rules. If You use fraudulent methods or otherwise attempt to circumvent the rules, your submission may be removed from eligibility at the sole discretion ofModern Family Realtor.

 

Prizes: The Winner(s) of the Campaign (the “Winner”) will receive:

1st Prize – Free trip to Blue Mountain – Value $900 – 3 nights free accommodation Sunday to Thursday. No holidays allowed. Subject to availability. 1 week notice must be provided. Must be used within 6 months of receipt.

2nd Prize – $500 cash

3rd Prize – $100 in Tim Horton’s gift cards

The specifics of the prize shall be solely determined by Modern Family Realtor. Prize must be accepted in person within 30 days of notification. No cash or other prize substitution shall be permitted except at Modern Family Realtor’s discretion. The prize is nontransferable. Any and all prize-related expenses, including without limitation any and all federal, provincial, and/or local taxes, shall be the sole responsibility of Winner. No substitution of prize or transfer/assignment of prize to others or request for the cash equivalent by Winner is permitted. Acceptance of prize constitutes permission for Modern Family Realtor to use Winner’s name, likeness, and entry for purposes of advertising and trade without further compensation, unless prohibited by law.

Odds: The odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received.

Winner Selection and Notification: Winner will be selected bya random drawing through Facebook Liveunder the supervision of Modern Family Realtor and all the potential audience of the live. Winner will be notified by email and phone within twenty-four (24) hours following selection of Winner. Modern Family Realtor shall have no liability for Winner’s failure to receive notices due to spam, junk e-mail or other security settings or for Winner’s provision of incorrect or otherwise non-functioning contact information. If Winner cannot be contacted, is ineligible, fails to claim the prize within 30 days from the time award notification was sent, or fails to timely return a completed and executed declaration and release as required, the prize may be forfeited and shall be saved for next contest hosted by Modern Family Realtor. Receipt by Winner of the prize offered in this Campaign is conditioned upon compliance with any and all federal, provincial, and local laws and regulations. ANY VIOLATION OF THESE OFFICIAL RULES BY WINNER (AT MODERN FAMILY REALTOR’S SOLE DISCRETION) WILL RESULT IN WINNER’S DISQUALIFICATION AS WINNER OF THE CAMPAIGN, AND ALL PRIVILEGES AS WINNER WILL BE IMMEDIATELY TERMINATED.

Rights Granted by You: By entering this content (e.g., photo, video, text, etc.), You understand and agree that Modern Family Realtor, anyone acting on behalf ofModern Family Realtor, andModern Family Realtor’s licensees, successors, and assigns, shall have the right, where permitted by law, to print, publish, broadcast, distribute, and use in any media now known or hereafter developed, in perpetuity and throughout the World, without limitation, your entry, name, portrait, picture, voice, likeness, image, statements about the Campaign, and biographical information for news, publicity, information, trade, advertising, public relations, and promotional purposes. without any further compensation, notice, review, or consent. By entering this content, You represent and warrant that your entry is an original work of authorship, and does not violate any third party’s proprietary or intellectual property rights. You shall indemnify, defend, and hold harmless Modern Family Realtor from and against any suit, proceeding, claims, liability, loss, damage, costs or expense, which Modern Family Realtor may incur, suffer, or be required to pay arising out of such infringement or suspected infringement of any third party’s right.

Terms & Conditions:Modern Family Realtor reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Campaign should virus, bug, non-authorized human intervention, fraud, or other cause beyond Modern Family Realtor’s control corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, or proper conduct of the Campaign. In such case,Modern Family Realtor may select the Winner from all eligible entries received prior to and/or after (if appropriate) the action taken by Modern Family Realtor. Modern Family Realtor reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual who tampers or attempts to tamper with the entry process or the operation of the Campaign or website or violates these Terms & Conditions.

 

Limitation of Liability: By entering, You agree to release and hold harmlessModern Family Realtorand its subsidiaries, affiliates, advertising and promotion agencies, partners, representatives, agents, successors, assigns, employees, officers, and directors from any liability, illness, injury, death, loss, litigation, claim, or damage that may occur, directly or indirectly, whether caused by negligence or not, from: (i) such entrant’s participation in the Campaign and/or his/her acceptance, possession, use, or misuse of any prize or any portion thereof; (ii) technical failures of any kind, including but not limited to the malfunction of any computer, cable, network, hardware, or software, or other mechanical equipment; (iii) the unavailability or inaccessibility of any transmissions, telephone, or Internet service; (iv) unauthorized human intervention in any part of the entry process or the Promotion; (v) electronic or human error in the administration of the Promotion or the processing of entries.

Disputes: THIS Campaign IS GOVERNED BY THE LAWS OFCANADA ANDONTARIO, WITHOUT RESPECT TO CONFLICT OF LAW DOCTRINES. As a condition of participating in this Campaign, participant agrees that any and all disputes that cannot be resolved between the parties, and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Campaign, shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, exclusively before a court located in Ontario having jurisdiction. Further, in any such dispute, under no circumstances shall participant be permitted to obtain awards for, and hereby waives all rights to, punitive, incidental, or consequential damages, including reasonable attorney’s fees, other than participant’s actual out-of-pocket expenses (i.e. costs associated with entering this Campaign). Participant further waives all rights to have damages multiplied or increased.

 

Privacy Policy: Information submitted with an entry is subject to the Privacy Policy stated on theModern Family Realtor’s website.

 

Sponsor: The Sponsor of the Campaign isModern Family Realtor, 315 Castlefield Ave, Toronto, ON, Canada, M5N 1L4.

 

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn: If you use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn to communicate or administer a contest or sweepstakes, include the following: The Campaign hosted byModern Family Realtor is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

MFR Real Estate Update – January 2016

Home Budgeting Tips for 2016
With 2015 behind us some of you may be thinking on how to better budget for 2016.  As a former accountant with Deloitte and KPMG here are some budgeting tips to put more money in your bank and to potentially save for a down payment for your dream home!

Do you have a budget?  Less than half of Canadians actually use a budget to track spending and savings.  Is it worth your time?  As the individual responsible for the finances and paying the bills (every family typically has one) it was my job to make sure we were in the black and saving money each month and making appropriate investments based on our risk tolerance.

Why create a budget?  It can help you pay your bills on time, cover unexpected emergencies and better track your investments like buying a house or condo!  Here are 3 easy steps to create a personal budget.

1.  Add up your monthly income

  • Include your pay cheque, interest, dividends, rental or business income plus any other income you bring into your household.  Don’t forget if you share finances with a partner to include all their income as well!

2.  Budget your expenses and actual expenses

  • Create line items for all your expenses you incur monthly.  This may include rent, mortgage payments, maintenance fees, hydro, gas, phone, gym membership, transit, insurance, meals and entertainment etc…
  • Check your credit card statement and chequing account for a comprehensive list unless you like to pay in cash! (then keep all receipts).
  • I recommend budgeting your expenses on the 1st of each month and then calculate the actual on the last day of the month.  See where you went over and under budget each month and figure out why?

3.   Calculate your net income or loss

  • Now take all your income from step 1 and subtract it from all your expenses in step 2.  If you have a positive figure, congrats you are saving money this month!  If it is negative then you are in more debt and you should adjust your expense budget for next month.

A budget is a good exercise to do at least once a month.  It will help figure out if you can afford to buy a property and take on more debt.  It also shows if you are like most Canadians and spending more money than you earn!

2016 Tax Tip

  • Try to maximize your RRSP contributions by February 29, 2016 by utilizing your budget monthly savings or even use a line of credit or loan to claim your deduction for 2015.  The tax savings will be approximately 30% to 46% depending on your marginal tax rate ($20,000 will get you back $6,000 – $9,200 back in a refund).  You can then use your refund for a downpayment on a home, TFSA, savings account for a rainy day or to pay back debt like a mortgage, credit card or loan.

Winter Incentives

  • Winter is traditionally a slow season according to the Toronto Real Estate Board stats but it could also mean less competition and better value if you are looking for your dream home.
  • New clients who buy or sell with MFR this winter will receive a free all-inclusive trip down south or a $2,000 cash rebate.  Limited time offer.  Sign up extended to February 29, 2016.

As your real estate sales representative and former accountant I can assist you with any of your financial questions including creating a budget, RRSP Home Buyer’s Plan, TFSA and Income Taxes.  Please contact me at 416-705-2444 to book a free consultation or visit our website for more information and listings atwww.modernfamilyrealtor.ca.

From Your Modern Family Realtor Team – Paul, Ewan and Jasmine

If you prefer not to receive this monthly newsletter, please unsubscribe below.

Modern Family Realtor — How to Invest in the U.S. Market?

MFR Real Estate Update – December 2015

Be a part of Modern Family Real Estate – the team that treats clients like family!

How to Invest in the U.S. Market?
MFR’s Florida property has been our most successful investment to date.  With a high capital appreciation and strong ROI each year as a rental property our retirement home by the beach will be ready when the cold Toronto winter soon approaches.  As a former senior tax consultant at Deloitte Los Angeles I want to share with you my expertise on investing in the popular U.S. market.

1.  Why invest in U.S. real estate?

  • Looking for a retirement home, investment property or even a family vacation destination the U.S. market is huge and has many exciting opportunities!
  • Even with the lower Canadian dollar, U.S. real estate is significantly cheaper than Toronto and is appreciating each year, so don’t wait any longer.
  • Snow birds have been doing it for decades to escape our cold winters so why not join in.

2.  How to invest in Florida?

  • First take a vacation to your favourite U.S. destination (i.e. Florida – Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Orlando etc)
  • I will refer you to some top real estate agents to help you with your search.  The process is very similar to Canada except they still have some deals including short sales and foreclosures.
  • If you are a TD Canada Trust Bank customer, join a local U.S. TD Bank and you can merge accounts to get access to your Canadian credit to finance your mortgage.
  • I will assist you with your U.S. tax implications as well as filing your tax returns every year.  It is not as scary as you think.  You just need to file the right forms and pay your taxes which are lower in the U.S.

3.   Are you ready to be a real estate investor?

  • Do you own your principal residence?  Do you have cash and investments to cover a 20% down payment?  Do you prefer owning real estate vs stocks and bonds?  If you answered “Yes” to all 3 questions please give me a call at 416-705-2444 to start the process.

4.  Holiday Brunch Reminder – December 20 12pm – 3pm

  • A celebration for a successful 2015 with all clients, family, friends and referrals!
  • Please RSVP to paul@modernfamilyrealtor.ca with your guest names before December 13 to be entered to win a FREE trip and other giveaways.

5.  Winter Incentives

  • Winter is traditionally a slow season according to the Toronto Real Estate Board stats but it could also mean less competition and better value if you are looking for your dream home.
  • New clients who buy or sell with MFR this winter will receive a free all-inclusive trip down south or a $2,000 cash rebate.  Limited time offer.  Sign up before December 31, 2015.

If you have any real estate questions, please contact us at 416-705-2444 or visit our website for more information and listings atwww.modernfamilyrealtor.ca.

Enjoy the holiday season!

From Your Modern Family Realtor Team – Paul, Ewan and Jasmine

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