Rurban Living - An Affordable Option for Buyers

By: Carol Austin

Rurban Living - An Affordable Option for Buyers

Tags: toronto real estate, first time home buyer

As a prospective home buyer, you might think your only choice is between city living or the suburbs. But there’s a third option that we feel is an exciting new trend for GTA dwellers – it’s called rurban living. "Rurban" is a cross-cultural blend of the best aspects of both worlds—the art, culture, trendy shops and great restaurants of city living--combined with ...Read More

5 Important Questions to Ask a Realtor Before Signing a Listing Agreement

By: Carol Austin

5 Important Questions to Ask a Realtor Before Signing a Listing Agreement

Tags: toronto real estate, selling my home

  Did you know that the average Realtor licensed in Toronto might only list one single property a year? There are over 30,000 licensed Realtors in Toronto and, as a result, the 80/20 rule applies--about 20% of the agents are highly skilled and actively conducting 80% of the business.   If you are about to sell one of the largest assets you own, do not trust the job to just anyone. Don&r...Read More

The 7 Most Important Things First-Time Buyers Should Know!

By: Carol Austin

The 7 Most Important Things First-Time Buyers Should Know!

Tags: toronto real estate, first-time home buyer

1. Don’t Start House-Hunting Until You Hire a Real Estate Agent to Represent You In January 2000, the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) introduced consumer protection known as written “Buyer Agency.” Prior to that time, all real estate agents represented the Seller and brought “customers” to the Seller. RECO recognized this was unfair to buyers and that they deser...Read More

Is your listing agent worth it? Bad Agent vs Good Agent

By: Carol Austin

Is your listing agent worth it? Bad Agent vs Good Agent

Tags: Toronto real estate, hiring an agent

Since most real estate commissions are based on a percentage and not a flat fee, the money earned by a real estate agent on the sale of a house or condo can be sizeable when the value of your house is $300,000, a half million, or more.  With any other profession, trade, or service-for-hire, consumers expect a standard of customer service that matches the value paid for that service. Why is it...Read More

Buyer representation agreements - know what you are signing!

By: Carol Austin

Buyer representation agreements - know what you are signing!

Tags: Toronto Real Estate, Buyer Representation Agreements

I noticed this article in the Toronto Star by writer Ellen Roseman, A buyer agreement with a realtor can be risky. This piqued my interest because as a real estate agent, I hold an unpopular view about buyer representation agreements among my colleagues. I understand the need to ensure that agents get paid for the work we put in with clients, however, I really dislike the current bu...Read More

How to buy a pre-construction house or condo in Toronto

By: Carol Austin

How to buy a pre-construction house or condo in Toronto

Tags: toronto real estate, preconstruction, toronto condos

Interested in buying a brand new condo from a developer? Whether you are an investor or buying a new condo for yourself, your first step should be to hire a real estate agent to help you through the process and act as your Buyer's Agent. Many people walk into a developer’s showroom and sign on the dotted line without knowing: what upgrades and incentives can be negotia...Read More

What is a Status Certificate and why is it important?

By: Carol Austin

What is a Status Certificate and why is it important?

Tags: Toronto condos, Toronto real estate, Status Certificate

When you buy or sell a condo in Ontario, the sale will always include the buyer's review of the condominium documents--also known as the “Status Certificate”. The Status Certificate is a set of documents prepared by a property management company on behalf of the condo corporation. It sounds like one document, but it is actually a stack of documents, usually very lengthy. One ...Read More

By: Carol Austin

Why First-Time Buyers Should Consider a Condo

Tags: toronto real estate, toronto condos

With the average house price in Toronto inching toward a million dollars, first-time buyers are getting shut out of the market. It used to be great to meet a typical nice young couple in Toronto at an open house...maybe thinking soon about having their first baby...young professionals making decent money and starting their search to buy a house in Toronto. Now you practically run screaming because...Read More

By: Carol Austin

Legal Requirements for a Basement Apartment

Tags: basement apartment, toronto real estate, legal apartment

People often ask us how to know whether a basement apartment is considered “legal.” And, if it is not, how they can make it legal. You should never claim that your house has a legal basement apartment unless you know that it complies fully with all applicable fire codes, building codes, Electrical Safety Authority regulations, and zoning and housing standards by-laws. If you are renov...Read More