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Sunday , 26 April 2015

Category Archives: Urban Living

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Features on the downtown scene, events and urban living.

Staging: good for sellers, but buyers should see past it

Here’s a  bit of a real estate quandary for you. Home staging is the “art” of increasing the perceived value of a home by “fluffing” it up with nicer furnishings and lighting and flowers. The actual value of the home is not affected by staging, though the perceived value clearly is. Staging is strictly an exercise in trompe l’oeil, making sure that the home makes a good first impression on potential buyers when they walk through that front door. Look at “before” and “after” photos of homes that have been staged, and you can see that they have not been improved in any meaningful way, just made to look more ... Read More »

More home buyers turning to parents for financial help

Great news for you parents of twenty- and thirty-something kids. You’ve always told them that buying a home of their own was the best financial move they could make, and now they’re ready to take your good advice. With it, they’ll also be taking your good money, about $37,500 of it. That’s about 12 per cent of what they plan to spend on their first home, and 12 per cent is the amount young first-time buyers expect their families to help them with, according to a new BMO survey. Consider yourself lucky if your kid is a first-time buyer and expects just that 12 per cent assist. If your adult ... Read More »

Tarion Awards honour builders with best customer service

Only one award in Ontario recognizes the province’s home building industry solely based on customer service: the Tarion Awards of Excellence. As Tarion president and CEO Howard Bogach put it in the announcement of this year’s nominees, “A great home builder ensures their customers feel supported long after they’ve settled into their new home. The 2015 Tarion Awards of Excellence finalists demonstrate that excellenct customer service is an essential part of a home builder’s job and can make the difference between a good home builder and a great one.” Awards are given in four categories: high rise, large volume, medium volume, and small volume, referring to the number of homes ... Read More »

Unconditional offers in Toronto’s hot real estate market common but risky

A new report on real estate markets across Canada, this one from RE/MAX, covers territory that will be familiar to many. Home prices are rising in sellers’ markets like Toronto and Vancouver, where inventory is tight, and falling in buyers’ markets like Calgary and Regina. Condominiums are an affordable choice for many buyers, especially first-time buyers just entering the market. Millennials are attracted to an urban lifestyle in the heart of the city. A statement about Toronto and Vancouver market conditions stands out, however, and should serve as a warning to anyone thinking of buying, especially in a hot sellers’ market like Toronto. “Multiple bids and offers without conditions are ... Read More »

Royal LePage honoured for work with women’s shelters

The terrible part of this story is that thousands of women and children in Canada endure domestic violence every day. Shockingly, every six days, on average, a Canadian woman is killed by her partner. The violence against women occurs in all cultures and religions, at every age, and in every income group. Half of all women experience at least one incident of physical or sexual violence after the age of sixteen. The cost of this abuse is estimated at over $4 billion a year, including social services, criminal justice, lost wages and productivity, and healthcare. Responding to all that suffering and waste, in 1998 real estate company Royal LePage established ... Read More »

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