Posts Tagged ‘lofts’
BLAHHHH, Multiple Offers!!!
For those who haven’t had their dream home snatched from them at a ridiculous number more much more than it’s value, let me tell you how they work…
Typically, a bidding war is strategically planned when demand out weighs supply. Essentially the home is priced much less then fair market value to give hopefuls the illusion of a “great deal” on an under-priced home. In reality the seller of that bargain price is expecting more and won’t part with their home until a much higher price is achieved.
I’ve personally worked with buyers who’ve submitted up to 7 different offers on homes, only to be disappointed time after time. I kept reassuring them that their strategy was sound and they were approaching the difficult challenge in the smartest of ways. Basically I’d show them my finding as to what past sales dictated a fair market price range. Once that was known, they’d a agree on a price ceiling for how much higher than fair market value they’d want to go… heck, if it’s your dream home, and you really love the place going a few thousand dollars over, won’t really matter after 10 years of living there!
Since all offers are given in secrecy in Toronto, it’s impossible to know the terms and prices each buyer is giving. This creates a further problem of people giving blind bids without truly knowing what they’re up against. With so much at stake and emotions running high I’ve seen homes sell for flat out stupid numbers that I don’t think anyone without the pressure of a bidding war would pay… and this creates a further problem of pushing up prices much faster and artificially then it should.
Enter my latest adventure to Melbourne Australia… it was down there that I discovered a solution to our problem described above in the form of an 7 lettered word: AUCTION
It’s a brilliant idea that truly embodies over used “transparency” word that so many real estate professionals up here claim to promote. The process working like this: for a week or two before the auction date, buyers and their realtors tour the home and get their home inspections and financing in order. For pricing, a range is given as to where bids should start (typically 10% below the homes value) and a minimum amount the seller would accept is also often known (For example, a price must hit a price floor before the sellers agree to sell). Saturdays are the most typical days set for auction. Groups of buyers and their Realtors meet in-front of the house to start the OPEN style of bidding. The technicalities of how the auction happens, strategies for winning, and the paperwork that follows aren’t really important to the point I’m trying to make, so I’m not going to get into things further… the key phrase to focus on is: open style bidding.
In Toronto we’re restricted from disclosing any of the terms related to an offer in a bidding war, but to be completely honest – I don’t understand why? Save for the personal name of the buyer… everything else should be completely open to the parties bidding on the home.
Think about it – if you really want the home, maybe you’ll pay the premium to get it. But in our current system, there’s no way of knowing what the other person is offering. This causes a lot of blind bids and foolish offers based on some made up number that you feel might win you the place!
Bidding wars have been the “new norm” since at least 2008… that’s 5 years already. It’s time we look at ways to do it right, and truly be transparent to the people that are supporting this market. I’m really curious to what others think, so please take a second to fill out the poll below. If you disagree with an open auction style, please do leave a comment explaining why!
So long sweet sun, clean air and endless beaches… my time “Down Under” has sadly come to an end! Truthfully, my mind is still stuck in the Aussie way – but that may be thanks to the 16 hour time difference. Regardless, I plan on writing all about my trip in the next few posts and share some ideas on what I’ve learned over these last 3 weeks!
But first… one of my highs: The Eureka Tower!
It’s not every day one gets to view the world from the highest public vantage point in the Southern Hemisphere! Travelling in a elevator at more than 9 meters per second, I made my way up to the skydeck on the 88th floor of this 92 storey residential condo (I could have also taken the 3,680 stairs, but it was a hot that day). Once at the top, I took in the buildings 360 degree views covering all of downtown Melbourne!
I’m in my final week of travels down under, yet still finding it incredibly hard to find time to blog vs. getting an even tan throughout my pasty white body! Thankfully I’ve got great guest bloggers like Chris Molder to help me out on the blogging side, and beautiful beaches to help me with the tan!
This week Chris compares shopping for mortgages with purchasing toaster ovens:
What’s the difference between a mortgage and a toaster oven?
Seems like a pretty silly question but there is one major difference that you need to understand before you take the real estate plunge.
When you shop for a toaster-oven or any consumer good for that matter, the price is set and firm. You can shop it around to get a better price from one store to the next but once you pay, the amount you paid for that toaster oven won’t change. Your cost is fixed and nothing you do later will ever cause the price to change.
Mortgages are different from almost every other item you’ve ever bought.
Why? Because the price you pay, also known as interest, is impacted by the choices you make throughout the life of your mortgage.
Let me explain.
Borrowers are mostly concerned with the lowest interest rate. The thinking is that the lower the rate the more I save. This is only half true. The lowest mortgage rate will save you money compared to a higher rate but if you want to minimize the total cost of your mortgage you have to look beyond just the rate.
You have the opportunity to affect how much interest you pay. For example the simple choice of setting up bi-weekly accelerated payments can save you tens of thousands of dollars in interest not paid to the lender. Every dollar not paid to the lender is a dollar in your pocket.
Consider the example bellow; column #1 shows regular monthly payments and column #2 shows bi weekly accelerated payments. The last two lines show the amount of interest saved simply by making payments more frequently. That’s $13,493 of interest saved.
As a borrower you have choices throughout the life of your mortgage that will effect the total cost of your mortgage. If you stay focused on just the interest rate as your mortgage reduction strategy you’ll end up paying more to the lender than you should. But with a some simple strategies and cashflow management you can save yourself thousands of dollars and be mortgage-free years sooner.
Imagine what you’ll do when you are mortgage free? Think of all the toaster ovens you can buy!
Christopher Molder is a Toronto Mortgage broker with Tridac Corporation Ltd – The Mortgage Centre. He writes on his blog sonofabroker.com with a primary focus on showing Canadian mortgage borrowers how to reduce their mortgage debt. He’s my buddy and a true professional, you can sign up on his blog for more great mortgage reduction tips.
With Mark off basking in the sun in Australia, he left his trendsetting Must Have Mondays blog series to the most trendy gal he knows, me. Or, at least that’s what I’d like to think, and he is not here to say otherwise.
So, let me bring your attention to my latest discovery, or, if we are getting technical here, rediscovery, the Calling Card.
As someone who obsesses over bygone eras and BBC period dramas (the recent success of Downton Abbey suggests I am not alone), I am fascinated by historic fashions and customs. One such fascination is the Calling Card. Before the business card and before business people were even considered amongst the ranks of good society, proper gentlemen (the old money kind) used to “call” on a household and present their card.
When I spotted a modern-day Calling Card amid my Pinterest feed, I immediately set out investigating the source. I soon found out that the cards are slowly gaining momentum again.
Why might one need a Calling Card when one has business cards, you might ask? Well, let me count the ways. Let’s say you are a girl (or guy)-about-town who frequents new places and people, or are seeking out a new career or love life, the Calling Card could come in handy. In fact, this comprehensive Gentleman’s Guide to the Calling Card lists many opportunities for its use and vendors where you can order them.
I favour the old school letterpress versions myself, and like the metallic foil and embellishments offered by this Bespoke Letterpress Calling Cards site. However, these can get a bit pricey. As an alternative, you can design one yourself like I did that allows for a little more self-expression. With the fuchsia and bronze colour scheme and fun typography I would like to think my Calling Card says: lively, amusing, confident and unapologetically girly.
Now the next time I am presented the occasion to utter “Call me maybe” and slip my card, I can keep the interest going long after I am gone with a distinctive Calling Card.
Kerri-Lynn McAllister is the Chief Marketing Officer at Ratehub.ca, a site that compares Canadian mortgage rates
You can’t look at the numbers without understanding the story… and if there’s anyone out there that understands both – it’s Urbanation! Urbanation is Canada’s leading condominium market research company. Since 1981, Urbanation has analyzed the Toronto condominium market, publishing the “industry bible” – Urbanation’s Condominium Market Survey. This quarterly report tracks new, resale and future condominium projects. Urbanation also provides the development community with essential consulting services, which include site and topic specific market studies and surveys.
This afternoon I received the latest report from them looking at condo sales within the last quarter of 2012. Some of the key points from the report include:
- There were 17,997 sales in the Toronto CMA new condominium apartment market in 2012. The 3,841 fourth quarter sales were a 16% increase over the Q3-2012 total of 3,317.
- Unsold inventory increased 7% quarterly in the Toronto CMA to a record market high of 18,366 units after experiencing a 5% drop in Q3-2012. 79% of the 89,251 active units were sold at the end of Q4-2012, which remains above the 10-year average of 78%.
- The number of units under construction in the CMA set another market high at 56,866 units in 207 projects.
- The average sold index price rose in Q4-2012 to $536 psf in the Toronto CMA, an increase of 5.2% annually ($536 psf vs $509 psf). The unsold index price dropped to $568 psf in the Toronto CMA, down from $573 psf in Q3-2012. On an annual basis, the average sold index price increased by 2% (up from $557 psf in Q4-2011).
- The resale condominium apartment market in the Toronto CMA realized 2,941 sales in Q4-2012, down in comparison to both Q3-2012 (3,413) and Q4-2011 (3,987). The 2,941 Q4-2012 resales brought the 2012 resale total to 15,292.
- The average resale index price dropped 2.5% quarter-over-quarter to $397 psf, and was also down -0.7% annually.
The full report can be read below:
The large “Casa del Treviso” sales centre at Dufferin and Lawrence is on the move! Lanterra is gearing up for the start of construction for Treviso Condos Phase 2 and needs to relocate the structure before digging can begin. It’s new location will be in front of the McDonalds on the north west side of the parking lot.
Earlier in the week, a crew was on site prepping the sales centre to be loaded and pulled to it’s new home! Check out some of the pics from Lanterra’s official Facebook Page:
This also means that Phase 3 isn’t too far from being launched as well! Contact me below if you’d like to purchase at Treviso Condos!
The first day of the Interior Design Show kicks off in Toronto today, and I’ll be there snapping some pics of the cool trends to look out for in 2013! The show runs from January 24-27 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and tickets can be purchased online.
I have my ticket in hand and am ready to go!
Just arrived and have a lot of ground to cover!
There’s a mini car show going on at the entrance… The Kia Design icons is the first display to see at IDS! Part of the “Design Icons” exhibit, several well known designers including Karim Rashid, Christiane Lemieux, Douglas Coupland and Jürgen Mayer H. have lent their talent to styling the cars!
Coolest wine case ever? Easily the most organic! Now if only it came in a whiskey version. Tomas Berinstein of Wood | Stone | Metal Inc. was a pleasure to talk to and a modern day master of his craft. Located in Toronto, Tomas offers a variety of services for modern furniture, cabinetry, doors and wall treatments.
Soy mineral material and wood? Sure why not! I loved everything about WET Style – from the booth set-up to their innovative tubs. The shell shaped tub is nothing new, but the addition of the “surround shelf” adds a welcomed level of practicality… and the walnut grain is the perfect look for the tub!
Relax on your very own spider chair! This Chinese traditional inspired bamboo woven art got a ton of attention from passerby’s. According to it’s display card: it’s elegance and unconventional design is a bold statement. Add fun to your space and show your unique attitude toward life. The adjustable legs allows you to enjoy utmost comfort and an extraordinary view of your space. Ingenious design; bold originality and function; humorous form. The series symbolizes your passion for life and independent spirit. In my own words – it’s just really gnarly! Spin by the Limitless both to see this and more.
A mans kitchen must have the CornuFé AlberTine from La Cornue. The company has it’s roots deep within Canada dating back to it’s humble beginnings in 1908. Three generations later the company is still thriving with 15 Showrooms, more than 250 retailers, in 30 countries all over the world!
The CornuFé range is available in 4 enamelled colours and 3 different finishes: Satin-finish nickel, satin-finish nickel and polished brass or even satin-finish nickel and copper.
Summer isn’t that far away in this patio! Presented by Earth Inc, these guys put together one of the most impressive displays, in fact one of my biggest regrets of the show this year was not taking more pics of their work. With all the traffic of the show, it was walking through this booth that calmed the day down. Instantly you felt like you were in another world (even with a mini snow storm a stones throw away).
According to their website: we specialize in transforming landscapes into award-winning extensions of your home. Through our unique horticultural and architectural expertise, outdoor spaces (gardens, bowers, pools, ponds, patios, porches and decks) are re-imagined, becoming peaceful retreats that offer a welcome respite from everyday stress. This is Earth Inc. – thoughtful landscape design informed by your personal objectives, tastes and styles.
Can you believe it’s Ikea?!? Time and time again they impress me with their affordable designs and modern flair… case and point, the lamp chandelier above!
More ikea… Brass brass baby! Though I don’t think this is available in stores, the look it perfect for a rustic themed home!
Tile, not wood from Tile Curation
Stir stick swag at the Beauti-Tone booth.
This ain’t your mamma’s wallpaper… Custom Wallpaper by ROLLOUT. Established in 2005, ROLLOUT is a creative studio that designs and digitally prints custom wallpapers by the square foot. From maps of New York to the stars on the ceiling at Grand Central Station these guys have an incredible collection to choose from!
Tat Chao’s loligo lumineers! Hailing from Montreal, Tat’s booth had a ton of interest… We shared a quick chat and a promise to follow up with a blog post in the near future!
Sit on your investment with the “Toronto Condo Chairs” from The David and Chico Show! The newly formed duo (aka DACS) have a pretty cool story behind the chairs:
Some very close friends recently purchased a Condo in the heart of Toronto. They asked if I would design a pair of unique and original stools for the kitchen. The result… ‘Toronto Condo’ To personalize the stools, the main building was given 21 floors, representing the floor they lived on. Also, clear views of the CN Tower and the Island Airport can been seen from their east-facing balcony, so the tower and plane were added to the graphics, through reflections in the glass.
You can view this and other items from their gallery online!
I’ll take one of each please… From NickDay Design
And last but not least, a long sit down to relax the feet in the media lounge! What’s not pictured here were my accomplices for the day (and access to the lounge lol) - Ola Oleksak of Realty Queen TO and Renee Elliott of Re: Creative!
The Show runs until Sunday and is a “must see” for inspiration in design! And of course if you need a home to design, Contact Me… I’d be happy to help!