• The Pros and Cons of Buying vs. Renting in Toronto

    The Pros and Cons of Buying vs. Renting in Toronto

    What’s the difference between buying vs. renting in Toronto? Rental pricing is through the roof, and tenants might not see any relief in sight, whether rising mortgage rates or the supply-demand imbalance. According to the September 2023 Rentals.com report, the average asking rent in Canada climbed nearly two per cent on a month-over-month basis and skyrocketed close to ten per cent to a record high of $2,117. 

    “Over the last three-month period between May and August, asking rents in Canada have increased by 5.1 per cent, or by an average of $103 per month,” the report states. 

    What are the two most expensive rental markets? You guessed it: Vancouver, British Columbia, and Toronto, Ontario. Researchers found that the typical one- and two-bedroom apartments in Vancouver were $2,988 and $3,878, respectively. In North America’s fourth-largest city, the average one- and two-bedroom apartments are $2,620 and $3,413, respectively.  

    What makes the data even more fascinating is that the asking rent for roommates in Toronto is $1,300. In Vancouver, it is $1,455. 

    This will undoubtedly be fodder for the age-old debate: Is Toronto more affordable than Vancouver – or vice versa? 

    Meanwhile, the three cheapest rental markets in the Canadian housing sector? Saskatoon, Saskatchewan ($1,005) and Regina, Saskatchewan ($1,121). 

    The good news coming out of all of this is that construction activity for purpose-built rentals has accelerated. The bad news? “Despite rental apartment completions in Canada over the past 12 months reaching their highest level since the 1970s, rent growth has remained exceptionally strong,” the report stated. 

    “This can be attributed to the country’s record-high population growth and sharp deterioration in homeownership affordability,” the report added. 

    The latest conditions have many families stumped as to what to do next. Buy or rent? 

    Are you trying to decide whether to buy or rent in the Toronto real estate market? Let’s break down the benefits and drawbacks of both options so you can make the right choice for your financial situation and lifestyle. 

    The Pros and Cons of Buying vs. Renting in Toronto

    Here is a breakdown of the pros and cons of buying versus renting in Toronto. 

    The Price 

    First, let’s get down to the brass tacks. Here is a breakdown of home prices in the Toronto real estate market: 

    • Detached: $1.416 million 
    • Semi-Detached: $1.067 million 
    • Townhouse: $935,800 
    • Condo Apartment: $705,572 

    Renters do not have to bear the plethora of taxes that buyers do, such as the municipal land transfer tax or the HST, or become (directly) vulnerable to rising interest rates. 

    “While higher interest rates have certainly impacted affordability, the prospect of higher taxes will also hit households’ balance sheets, especially younger buyers with limited savings,” said Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) CEO John DiMichele in a report. 

    Cost of Ownership 

    Indeed, one of the advantages of renting compared to owning is the amount of savings you can enjoy for monthly expenses. 

    Renters do not need to worry about replacing appliances or taking care of the property (though this can vary from property to property). On the other hand, homeowners routinely have monthly expenses that can set them back by vast amounts. 

    So, by comparison, for owners of condominium suites, there is the condo fee, utilities, property tax, and property insurance. For renters, there is the rent, utilities, and renters insurance. 

    In an environment where the cost of everything has increased significantly, renters can find considerable savings by not having to maintain their properties regularly and pay out of pocket to replace a broken refrigerator. 

    Flexibility Versus Responsibility 

    Renters enjoy something that owners do not: flexibility. Homeowners have much more responsibility for owning property, from regular upkeep to unexpected expenses. It is easy for renters to budget since the rent is a fixed monthly cost. Plus, if you wish to relocate to another building or another area of the city, renters can do this once their lease is up. 

    Who Has the Advantage? Buyers or Renters 

    A core component of the Canadian Dream has been homeownership. The idea of owning your own home while building equity to fund your retirement or children’s education is an appealing one. 

    Is this an outdated concept? Not necessarily, but accomplishing this objective will depend on where you live, household income, interest rates, public policy, and the broader Canadian real estate market. From a long-term perspective, homeownership is superior to renting because home prices generally trend higher over time, and, as a result, your equity grows over time. In the short term, it can be advantageous to rent, wait out the market, and wait for the right opportunity. 

    Ultimately, the renting versus owning debate boils down to personal circumstances and overall economic conditions.  

     

     

    Courtesy of REMAX.ca

    Our Commitment During The COVID-19 Crisis – A message from RE/MAX Canada

    To our valued customers and real estate consumers,

    We know this is a trying and stressful time for all of us in Canada.  Things are changing almost hourly with government recommendations at the federal, provincial, and municipal levels.

    At RE/MAX, we want to offer you stability and comfort knowing your real estate needs are still being met in a safe and responsible manner.  On remax.ca, we continue to offer up-to-the-minute listings, accurate home estimates, and timely, valuable real estate news — especially important at this time.

    Rest assured, while we remain open for business, our agents and brokers are taking all necessary precautions as recommended by the various health agencies and government.  

    • Our agents are limiting contact with the general public and will use alternative means of communication wherever possible such as texts, phone calls, and emails
    • We have strongly recommended the postponing of all open houses immediately until a future date where it’s deemed safe
    • Any agents that feel unwell are instructed to self-isolate and not interact with the public
    • Information around hand washing and sanitizing has been circulated with our agents and we are strongly encouraging them to follow all guidelines as outlined by public health officials to help keep themselves and their clients protected
    • RE/MAX offices are reducing hours and seeking alternative technologies to connect with clients and host offer presentations 
    • RE/MAX agents are committed to using technology to help safely deliver the best service possible. This includes virtual tours of the home or digital presentations. 

    The strength of our RE/MAX agents is knowing and being a part of your communities.  We are all in this together and remain committed to keeping you and your loved ones safe. 

    To those who are already with our RE/MAX agents buying or selling a home, our agents are there for you and if necessary, will make arrangements with you if there are any concerns around illness or potential spread of the virus.

    Nothing is more important right now than the health and safety of our colleagues, clients and fellow citizens across Canada.

    Check our blog frequently for our updates on how this situation is impacting the real estate market, and we will continue to be here to answer your questions and serve your real estate needs.

    Sincerely,

    Christopher Alexander

    EVP & Regional Director of RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada

    Elton Ash 

    Regional Executive Vice President, RE/MAX of Western Canada

     

    Courtesy of REMAX.ca

    Top Things Sellers Often Forget to Do Before Showing Their Home

    There can be a lot of stress involved when trying to sell your home and one of the biggest factors that is always on a seller’s mind is showing process. While your home is on the market, you never know when a showing is going to be scheduled and therefore sellers must be on their toes in making sure their home is tidy and looks its best to potential buyers. However, with so many things to organize before a showing, it can be easy for a seller to forget to do something essential before an agent brings a potential buyer through your home.

    We’ve reached out to our RE/MAX Influencers – a panel of RE/MAX Sales Associates throughout Canada – to narrow down a list of the top things that sellers often forget to do before showing their home.

    Lighting & Blinds

    When it comes to showing your home, lighter is brighter! For daytime showings, opening up those blinds and curtains and turning off all artificial light will allow the natural light to flood your home. Walking into a bright, airy space is going to give a much better first impression to potential buyers than walking into a dark space.

    “For showings after dusk, you want to showcase your home right from when a potential buyer pulls up to your property. Having all exterior lights on will help guide the agent and clients to the front door, as well as reduce the potential for any injuries if it Is winter and there may be a slip hazard on the driveway. All lights on in the interior will give a better first impression of the home if the potential buyer has just come from looking at a property where it was dark upon entering,” says Cheryl MacIsaac, RE/MAX Baughan Realty, Wainwright, AB. “This will also help the showing agent as they will not need to search for light switches to turn on lights. It also lets the seller know if the showing has occurred as most agents will turn off the lights upon leaving each room, if instructed to do so.”

    Clean & Tidy

    One of the most important things that a seller must do when selling their home is keeping it clean and tidy. While sweeping floors and vacuuming the carpets will speed up your cleaning process, sellers often forget to tidy things that they may be accustomed to, such as pet items, which may end up turning buyers away.

    “Sellers often forget to make sure that family pets and their bedding, toys and litter boxes/yards may not be clean or out of the way. It is so important as some buyers are allergic, don’t have pets or if they smell pet odours it may turn them off from buying,” says Sandra Benz, RE/MAX Performance Realty, Delta, BC.

    Another important thing to remember when preparing your home for showings is to open a window or two and allow some fresh air into your space! As Ray Yenkana, RE/MAX Little Oak Realty, Surrey, BC says, “Sellers are used to their smells, but those smells may be an instant turn off to potential buyers!”

    Close that Lid!

    A simple, yet easily forgotten thing that sellers often forget about when preparing to show their home is to put the toilet seat down. As easy as it is to close the lid behind you, many sellers completely overlook this aspect of cleaning their bathroom.

    “Sellers often forget to put the toilet lid down. First impressions are everything; you want people to see the room, not the inside of a toilet,” says May Smith, RE/MAX Little Oak Realty, Surrey, BC.

    As Shauna Thompson of RE/MAX Fort McMurray says, “It becomes a distraction to the buyer, and the buyer’s agent doesn’t want to have to touch the toilets to put the seats down!”

    Personal Items

    When it comes to preparing your house for a showing, it can be easy to overlook the little things that may deter a potential buyer, such as displaying personal items. Things like family photos and sentimental items may seem like a good idea, as it can make the space look more inviting and lived-in, but many potential buyers have a hard time imagining themselves living in the space if it is filled with personal items.

    “It’s harder for buyers to imagine themselves living in the house with other people’s photos and they waste time trying to figure out if they know the sellers or what the relationship may be/family composition/reason for selling may be,” says Curtus Collins, RE/MAX Crown Real Estate, Regina, SK.

    Garage & Driveway

    The garage and driveway are two areas that sellers often overlook when preparing their home for a showing, yet these are two areas of your home that potential buyers will be extremely interested in. Whether a new buyer is planning to use the garage for storage or parking, it is important to prepare the garage for a showing so anyone walking through can get a good idea of how much space there is to work with. As Kimberly Graham of RE/MAX River City in Edmonton, AB says, “Leave a way to access the garage. Most often it is a space where sellers store everything they have decluttered, so they can keep their things safe. However, buyers still want to see the garage!”

    The driveway is another part of the home that is often not considered but is very important to potential buyers, as it is often one of the first things they will notice when driving up to the property. In particular, potential buyers will be considering their parking situation and how their vehicles and recreational vehicles, such as RV’s and boats, will fit in the driveway. If possible, ensure that your driveway is as clear as it can be to allow buyers to get an accurate representation of just how much parking is available.

    “When buyers come to view the home if they are driving along with their agent, or separately, it draws attention to limited parking. This can be particularly challenging for homes in cul-de-sacs or places where parking could be a concern as the driveway will announce it as a challenge,” says Taylor Hack, RE/MAX River City, Edmonton, AB.

    If you are considering selling your property, give us a call!

     

     

    Courtesy of REMAX.ca

    How to Prepare for the Fall Real Estate Market

    Real estate is sold 365 days a year; it’s the new norm!  Fall can be a great time to sell your home. Below are some of the best tips for selling a home during the fall.

    Analyze the Market & Price Your Home Right

    Analyze the current state of your local real estate market. Understanding the type of market your area is experiencing is important: Is your local market type a sellers’ market, a buyers’ market, or a balanced market. It’s important when it comes to pricing your home accordingly. If you don’t know ask your Real Estate Agent!

     

    Perform Applicable Inspections & Cleanings

    If you’re planning on selling your home in the fall, tackle the inspections and cleaning part prior to listing your home for sale.

     

    Decorate & Embrace the Fall

    The most exciting part about fall! If you decide to sell your home during the fall, there are many decorating tips, staging tips, and ways to embrace the fall season. Be tactful with your decorating and try to appeal to the masses!

     

    Clean Up the Exterior

    The least exciting part about fall…is raking leaves. Don’t neglect the exterior of your home. Tasks that should be completed when selling a home during the fall include:

    Raking leaves

    Removing loose sticks

    Weeding flower beds

    Trimming flowers, bushes, and shrubs

    Aerating the lawn

     

    Prepare Your Home for Showings

    When selling in the fall, ensure your home smells good. Popular ways to make your home smell warm and cozy while selling in the fall include:

    Brewing a fresh pot of pumpkin spice coffee

    Boiling cinnamon sticks

    Burning fall scented candles

     

    Selling a home in the fall is not for everyone, however, these tips can help expedite the sale of your home and maximize the sale price!

    Keep Your Plants Green!

    Tip 1: If you don’t have enough time to water your plants or you travel a lot, set your plant in a shady area and remove the buds. This way they need less water.

    Tip 2: Use proper soil, or better yet use fully composed yard waste. Supply your plants with the right nutrients, quality soil is key.

    Tip 3: Give plants plenty of water – it’s crucial to their survival. It’s like plant 101.

    Tip 4: Use a proper pot or container; it’s going to be your plant’s home for the rest of it’s life, talk about pressure. Nothing too big or too small, go with something just right; medium is the word. Your plant will grow the longer you take care of it and the right amount of space is fundamental to it’s growth.

    Tip 5: Watch out for bugs! Some insects actually transport viruses from one plant to another.

    Tip 6: Deadheading (cutting off the faded bloom) encourages the plant to keep producing more flowers or leaves.

    Toronto’s Tree Campaign

    Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation has been helping Toronto transform its parks and green spaces since 2002. They work with the City of Toronto, community groups, neighbourhoods and individuals to better the community and reimagine your local parks.

    Every Tree Counts is a program in Toronto to grow our tree canopy to 40%. For all you tree lovers, this is the perfect chance to fill in that empty space on your lawn! By simply calling or messaging the City of Toronto, you can request to have a tree planted in front of your lawn or business. The Foundation’s website (http://everytreecounts.ca/) elaborates on the benefits of this initiative: “Making Trees Count funding aims to encourage innovative partnerships and support projects and collaborations that improve the quality of life for all of Toronto’s residents”.

    Key objectives are to increase the number of native trees and shrubs planted on private land, to support tree care activities and to support communities including neighbourhoods with less trees. The program also strives to build community capacity, knowledge sharing, partnerships and networks while facilitating community driven, locally owned tree upkeeping efforts.

    A representative will come to your property to examine exactly where your tree should be planted. They will determine which species of tree is best suited for your area depending on the sunlight and soil. Toronto is presently at 19.5% and is continuing to run this program to encourage communities and neighbourhoods to get involved and take the initiative to become a part of the Making Trees Count campaign.

    For those who want to be further involved, they can also apply for a grant through the city’s Every Tree Counts initiative which funds tree giveaways and community events while providing an excellent opportunity to be hands-on in helping the community

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