My Candidacy For RECO Director – Region 1


I am excited to announce my candidacy for the upcoming RECO (Real Estate Council of Ontario) election for Region 1 Director.  I want to take this opportunity to introduce myself and tell you a little bit about my platform and reasons for running.  Consumer protection is RECO’s mandate and I believe there is a strong connection between protecting the public and protecting our profession.  Without highly educated, experienced and professional registrants, the public is at risk.  I am sick of seeing our industry getting torn apart for the bad apples that have slipped through the cracks and become one of us.  If elected, I intend to lead the way to make changes in the areas of education, fines for Realtors as well as technology, which I think will have the biggest impact on consumer protection.

The real estate industry is constantly changing and as a result, we need to make our education for our new and current registrants as relevant as possible.  Let’s look at the RECO update course – how many of you feel that this course is currently a waste of time?  I think an in-class update course, for example, that brings the experiences and expertise of a group of registrants together is far more productive for our own learning as well as for the protection of our clients.

Fines need to be stiffer for registrants who break the rules.  We need to look at all infractions and determine an appropriate fine that will have a larger impact on the registrant as well as convince the public that punishment has been appropriately administered.

Finally, technology.  We need to be willing to evolve so that we stay relevant to consumers.  Consumer needs are changing and the next generation is not going to be buying or selling their home the same way as they do today or twenty years ago.  We have to adapt, keep an open mind and I want to take advantage of all of the technology and innovation at our finger tips to keep our industry competitive and viewed as a vital role in the real estate process.

Finally, I believe transparency is another part of the consumer protection equation. I currently own and manage my own real estate brokerage and have incorporated new approaches including an online auction platform into our list of services.  This is just one example of the many different ways that the industry can start thinking of new ways to address the concerns of frustrated consumers and Realtors.  The key is to actual DO something about it. It does us no good to talk about what is needed without making an attempt to move forward and act. RECO is positioned to be the leader of that change, and as your Region 1 Director, I will be committed to spearheading the effort.

I am open to new ideas, different opinions and encourage anyone to reach out to me anytime to discuss my candidacy.  Voting begins March 12th to 26th and you will receive an email with a link to vote.

I appreciate your time, thanks for listening and have a great day.


Realtors Need To Step Up Their Game – Some Basic Guidelines


Agents can make me mad sometimes. We are paid a good amount of money for the work that we do and some of us can’t seem to do the minimum amount of work to list a home. Today, as I was reviewing the new listings that were released on MLS for my clients, I came across a bunch of listings with pictures upside down, toilet seats left up or clutter everywhere. This is unacceptable and these agents need to step up their game or get out of the business. Our job is to represent our clients to the best of our ability and some of us can’t seem to do the basics. Here are some basic guidelines when listing a home on MLS:

1)     Put the f-n toilet seat down and remove the clutter from bathroom counters before taking pictures. I get so irked when I see a disastrous bathroom. Not only does it look messy, it sends the message that this bathroom is DIRTY and will need some major TLC and who wants to clean someone else’s bathroom dirties anyway??

2)     If you can’t take good pictures, hire a professional. Taking some quick pictures with your iPhone is not good work. Purchase some professional equipment, learn how to use it and buy some editing software or better yet, HIRE A PROFESSIONAL who can make your listing look its best.

3)     Take pictures when the sun is out. A dark room looks awful and doesn’t accentuate the home’s best features.

4)     Buy a measuring tape and measure the rooms so people don’t waste their time by seeing a home in person only to realize that their must needed king size bed will definitely not fit in the 9×9 foot master bedroom.

5)     Take pictures – as much as I hate seeing horrible pictures, it’s better than no pictures at all. I will not take listings as seriously if the pictures aren’t posted because the home is likely a disgusting mess and not worth seeing.

6)     Add a description to your MLS listing. Take some time and highlight the important features of the home. This is a true sign of a lazy agent. If you don’t have the time to do this, then hire someone to come up with some creative genius.

7)     REVIEW your listing once it’s been posted onto MLS. Make sure the pictures aren’t upside down, that there are no grammatical errors, the map location is accurate, the home is classified correctly, the number of bedrooms and washrooms is accurate. SIMPLE THINGS PEOPLE! So many times, I’ve done a map search and come across a home that should have been mapped in Aurora but shows up in downtown Toronto. Spell check was invented for a reason – use it! Make sure your condo is classified as a “Condo Apartment” vs. a “Detached” home because that will impact the amount of serious buyers seeing your listing, don’t you think?

I could go on but I’ll stop here. I just want my fellow Realtors to understand that our job is important and we need to take the time to serve our clients properly. If you got into this business to make some quick money, get the hell out because you aren’t doing the industry or yourself any favours. Hopefully, your reputation will catch up to you and you will lose business and eventually need to consider a career change.

To anyone looking to buy or sell their home, please make sure you are hiring a professional who will take a vested interest in doing what’s best for you. Ask for referrals, conduct interviews and do some background digging on the agents you are considering. The decision to purchase or sell your home is a HUGE one and should be taken seriously.

The Challenge That Toronto Home Buyers Face


Toronto, we have a problem.  Specifically, new home-buyers looking to get into the housing market.  This is a problem that won’t be fixed by lowering or raising interest rates or haphazardly fiddling with mortgage rules.  This is a simple economic issue of a lack of desirable housing and way too much demand.  When I say ‘desirable housing’ I mean the type of homes that your average Torontonian would want to purchase given their personal situation.  For example, a family of four would ideally like a 3 bedroom semi but would have no use for a two bedroom, 900 square foot stacked condominium with endless stairs and narrow living quarters.  Empty-nesters would ideally like a small, updated bungalow with some privacy between their neighbours within the city but cannot wrap their heads around a 600 square foot shoe box condo within the concrete jungle of downtown Toronto.  Students or recent graduates would ideally like a one bedroom condo unit close to school or work but can’t even afford a 395 square foot condo, let alone want to live there.

According to Statistics Canada, the Greater Toronto Area is Canada’s largest metropolitan area, accounting for a whopping 46.51% of Ontario’s population.  When you look at the population increase within the city of Toronto, it is obvious that people from near and far want to live in Toronto.  Statistics Canada reported a population of 5,868,700 in 2012.  This number increased to 6,129,900 for 2015. Projections of 9.1 million people are estimated for 2036.  That’s a hell of a lot of people.

The Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) recently published its year-end report for the GTA housing market.  It was noted that new listings (the amount of homes listed on the market) was down 11.7% from 2015 to 2016.  The amount of time a home stays on the market decreased in the GTA by 31%.  As a result, the average price of homes increased a staggering 20% over this same period.

Basically these numbers point to a few issues:

  • People aren’t selling their homes because the options available as a next step aren’t very enticing. For example, empty-nesters don’t want to sell their three bedroom semi because they can’t wrap their mind around paying close to $1,000,000 for a decent sized condo with exorbitant maintenance fees or moving further away from the city.  As a result, the amount of new listings dwindles.
  • With a smaller amount of new listings, the available options get scooped up within a day or two, likely by a buyer making a ridiculously high bully offer, leaving other potential buyers in his/her dust.
  • Cue the 20% increase to selling prices over a one year period – this lack of supply is putting a strain on people’s ability to comfortably afford a home. Some people end up overpaying (and screw things up for other buyers by artificially inflating home values in a particular neighbourhood) and others continue their hunt for months and years as they lose out on bidding war after bidding war.

So what happens?  Buyers normally have three options:

  1. Change your criteria dramatically:
    • “Do we actually need 3 bedrooms?”
    • “Parking spots are so overrated.”
    • “Living beside a power plant isn’t that bad, is it?”
    • “Sure I wanted Leslieville, but I can settle for Aurora.”
  2. Unfortunately, this solution isn’t as reasonable these days.  While rent prices were once affordable, giving people the opportunity to save money toward a down payment, the increase to home prices has added pressure to the GTA’s rental market, causing prices to skyrocket to levels that just don’t make sense anymore.
  3. Live with the ‘rents until they will you their home.

So how do we make things better for buyers in the GTA?  I believe that governments need to think outside the box when it comes to offering a wide array of options to the diverse population that makes up our city.  I understand that packing smaller units into a condo building or building single family homes with a 3 feet gap between each home is the more profitable option for developers.  However, the city needs to take a look at the needs and wants of its population and while building up helps to take advantage of the available land, building 400 square foot condos inside the building are of no use to the majority of Torontonians.

Recently, an article about laneway housing was featured in the Toronto Star.  It featured two families that built a small home behind their existing home where another person, couple or family could reside.  Now this is what I call thinking outside of the box!  A 2003 study indicated that there is potential for 6,000 more alleyway homes in the Toronto area bounded by Bloor to Queen and Bathurst to Dufferin.  Could you imagine the potential throughout the city?  Those that lived in these homes were surprised at how quiet they were as the front home helped to block out any street noise and traffic.  A well thought out design would help to maximize the space and bring in natural light to the home, which might be a concern for some.  Of course, this might not be an ideal option for those looking to live with some privacy between their neighbours, but you can’t please everyone and this would be a very logical option for many looking to purchase in the city.  Lanescape, a laneway advocacy group, together with Evergreen Brickworks (an environmental charity promoting sustainable cities) and two Toronto city councilors (Mary-Margaret McMahon and Ana Bailão ) are currently advocating for city councilors to consider laneway housing as a solution to the  housing deficit the city currently faces.  It is my hope that ideas like this are supported in order to make the home purchase process a bit easier for the thousands of buyers searching throughout the city.

Ontario’s New Rebate for First Time Home Buyers

First time home buyers in the GTA have received a new incentive to keep searching in this fast and furious market.  Today, Ontario Finance Minster, Charles Sousa explained a new change aimed to help first time home buyers (FTHB) with the biggest purchase of their lives.  An additional rebate on the provincial land transfer tax for fist timers will be implemented as of January 1, 2017.  Below is a summary of how this will change the cost of purchasing a home:

Purchase Price Municipal LTT Provincial LTT Total Previous FTHB Total* New FTHB Total
 $           400,000  $              4,475  $              3,725  $    8,200  $                          2,475  $                   475
 $           450,000  $              5,475  $              4,725  $  10,200  $                          4,475  $               2,475
 $           500,000  $              6,475  $              5,725  $  12,200  $                          6,475  $               4,475
 $           550,000  $              7,475  $              6,725  $  14,200  $                          8,475  $               6,475
 $           600,000  $              8,475  $              7,725  $  16,200  $                        10,475  $               8,475
 $           650,000  $              9,475  $              8,725  $  18,200  $                        12,475  $             10,475
 $           700,000  $            10,475  $              9,725  $  20,200  $                        14,475  $             12,475
 $           750,000  $            11,475  $           10,725  $  22,200  $                        16,475  $             14,475
 $           800,000  $            12,475  $           11,725  $  24,200  $                        18,475  $             16,475
 $           850,000  $            13,475  $           12,725  $  26,200  $                        20,475  $             18,475
 $           900,000  $            14,475  $           13,725  $  28,200  $                        22,475  $             20,475
 $           950,000  $            15,475  $           14,725  $  30,200  $                        24,475  $             22,475
 $       1,000,000  $            16,475  $           15,725  $  32,200  $                        26,475  $             24,475

* Before January 1, 2017, first time home buyer rebates were $2,000 (Ontario) and $3725 (Toronto) for a total of $5725

** As of January 1, 2017, first time home buyer rebates are $4,000 (Ontario) and $3725 (Toronto) for a total of $7,725

The land transfer tax is the largest cost associated with purchasing a home.  As of October, 2016, the average selling price for all home types in the GTA was $762,975.  This price would cost a non first time home buyer a whopping $22,719 in land transfer tax ($11,735 provincially and $10,985 municipally).  As of today, a first time home buyer would receive a credit of $5,725 ($2,000 provincially and $3,725 municipally) and would be on the hook for $16,994.  With the new provincial rebate, this cost would be reduced to $14,994.  This extra amount is not allowed to be added to your mortgage so as a home buyer, it is important that you are prepared to pay for this cost out of pocket.

What do you think of this change?  Did you expect more?



Foreign Real Estate Investors Are Adding Fuel To Toronto’s Fire

If you want to live in or close to Toronto, buying a home has become a full time job .  With a limited amount of affordable homes in the city, buyers are forced to compete with hundreds of others, endure multiple bidding war situations, be on alert at all times for bully offers, move further away from the city causing issues with their commute to work and adding pressure to the city’s already congested highways and roads .  When a new home is listed, buyers sometimes have to see it within hours of its release onto MLS for fear that it will get scooped up immediately.  Does this sounds appealing?

In my opinion, the Canadian government is doing very little to ease the home purchasing burden for those living in the craziest markets in the country – Toronto and Vancouver.  The Canadian government is doing a lot, however, to enable wealthy foreign investors to swoop into these markets and scoop up homes without having to pay any sort of capital gains or other taxes.  Yes, there are rules in place but a lot of foreign investors use tax avoidance loopholes to move their wealth into Canada and the truth is, Canada is not set up for dealing with this type of scenario.  There is very little information and statistics on foreign real estate investment in Canada and this is the first step that needs to be taken in order to understand the true affect on Toronto and Vancouver’s real estate market., a Shanghai-based real estate website that promotes real estate around the world to mainly wealthy Chinese investors has provided some useful statistics based on its business:

  • Inquiries about Canadian homes has jumped a shocking 134% in the first quarter from a year earlier
  • The total value of all Canadian properties that Chinese have made inquiries into has almost tripled to $14.9 billion in 2015 from $5.6 billion in 2014
  • The top city by total value of properties searched was Toronto, where it more than tripled to $7.4 billion.
  • Chinese buyers are shifting their focus for multi-million dollar homes from Vancouver to Toronto within Canada.  While this may not affect the average local buyer, an increased demand for any price point trickles down to all property price points over time
  • Canada is the third most popular country for Chinese buyers after the U.S. and Australia (Britain was just bumped to fourth by Canada)
  • Chinese buyers are attracted to Toronto due to the highly-ranked schools, the large Chinese community and the lower prices (vs. Vancouver)
  • Chinese investors are extremely savvy and do their homework, which makes me wonder if there is so much concern for a severe price correction in the market, why are we seeing an increased demand from Chinese investors?

Don’t get me wrong – I’m all for foreign investment, especially in areas of the country that rely on tourists (i.e. the Maritimes).  However, the Canadian government needs to put more resources into understanding the wealthy foreign investor, adopt better ways of collecting money via taxes or other payments in order to level the playing field for every buyer.   The most recent federal budget has allocated a whopping $500,000 (less than the average cost of a home in Toronto) to Statistics Canada to look at this issue in depth.  This is not enough.  In a recent answer to foreign real estate investment in Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was quoted as saying: “You have to be very, very cautious about restricting foreign investment in our country at a time where we know we need foreign investment in businesses and resource development.”  Trudeau also stated that putting the brakes on foreign real estate ownership could do more damage than good and “potentially devalue the equity of what a lot people have in their homes right now.”

While I am all for homes appreciating in price, it’s difficult to see my buyer clients attempting to purchase a home in this market when the supply is extremely low and the demand is partly fueled by wealthy foreign investors who are finding ways around the system to avoid paying taxes.  In addition, while any home owner loves to see their home appreciate in price, a lot of owners are not selling to avoid purchasing another home in this market.  They are either concerned that they can’t afford their next home or won’t be able to find what they are looking for.

These are localized issues within the Southern Ontario and Vancouver area markets and I don’t believe it’s useful to use such a broad brush approach to try and cool things down. Why hurt the millions of other Canadians within other cities that are trying to purchase a home?  Let’s take an in-depth look at this foreign investment situation within the out of control Canadian real estate markets and figure out ways to eliminate the loopholes.  Stop arbitrarily increasing down payment requirements and decreasing amortization rates across the country and crossing your fingers that this will help the situation.  It’s not!


Devaluing the Real Estate Profession


The Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) has been fighting with the Competition Bureau since 2011 over restricting sales data to buyers and sellers within the city.  A few days ago (June 3rd to be exact), the courts ruled in favour of the Competition Bureau and ordered TREB to allow its members to provide more sales data to the public (mainly sale prices).  Part of this ruling allows sellers the opportunity to opt out of having their information posted to the public.  In order to drag process out even longer, TREB has appealed this ruling.

I don’t understand why TREB is fighting this.  They say it’s to protect the privacy of buyers and sellers but if someone really wanted to know the sale price of a home, they can simply contact any one of the 40,000 + realtors in the city to get this information – it’s not rocket science.  Sure, making this information readily available on a website makes life a bit easier for those curious about sale prices in their area of interest but the job of a realtor is not to just spit out sale prices to our clients and expect them to do the rest of the work.  Sure, there are those agents out there who are in the business to make as much money as possible while doing the least amount of work and on behalf of the real estate industry, I sincerely apologize if you’ve met a greedy, arrogant and unprofessional realtor like this.  Every profession has some bad apples, and real estate is no different.

In a way, I think TREB is insulting realtors by trying to hold back this information to the public.  They’re sending the message that all we as realtors have is this sales data and if it were to get out to the public, our whole industry would fall apart.  Sales data, in my opinion, is just one of the many tools we have at our disposal to do our jobs properly.  Sure, we use sales data to look at industry trends, determine a reasonable value of a home and help our clients to make logical decisions about a home purchase.  However, this information can only take you so far.  Let’s take a look at some other areas where a realtor is a very important piece of the home selling and buying process:

Multiple offers – in today’s market, multiple offers are a way of life.  You need someone experienced in this process to help you out – whether you are a seller trying to maximize your sale price with minimal risk or a buyer trying to purchase a home without drastically overpaying and having to drop conditions like there’s no tomorrow.

Advertising (for a listing – not the super annoying, straight to the blue bin real estate postcards you get in the mail daily from one of many realtors in your area that are riddled with spelling and grammatical errors).  As a realtor, we should be using multiple advertising platforms to get the word out about a home.  This all depends on the neighbourhood the home is located and the target market but things such as professional photography, video tours, newspaper advertising, postcards, feature sheets, etc. aren’t free and aren’t cheap.  Our job is to make your home look its best in order to sell it for the best possible price in the least amount of time.  In order to do that, we need to work our magic and spend some money.

Listing price – there are several other factors that impact a sale price that isn’t broken down within the sales data that TREB is so hell bent about keeping private.  Location on the street, upgrades, view, lot size, parking – these are just a few of the factors that need to be taken into consideration when pricing a home.  Should you set an offer date?  List the home lower to attract the maximum amount of buyers and create a bidding frenzy?  Are you in a neighbourhood where listing closer to value is the better option?  You realtor is someone who should provide you with this information and help make the best decision based on your situation.

Negotiations – as a realtor, this is our time to shine.  We’ve taken the courses and have experienced enough negotiations to know what works and what doesn’t.  We know when to make the other party sweat it out a bit before making our next move.  This is the fun part and the part where we will get you the best deal possible.

Time – we work when our clients are available so that means midnight texts, early morning showings and hanging out in a car for hours at a time while we participate in a multiple offer situation.  Our schedules can also be unpredictable based on when our clients need us so scheduling in our personal life can sometimes lead to cancellations and lots and lots of rain checks.

Emotional support – purchasing or selling a home is a BIG ASS decision.  The money part is a big component but not the only thing involved in the decision making process.  As a realtor, we are expected to be sensitive to our clients needs, understand their reservations, help them through their decision, balance the needs when two or more people are involved and so much more.  We are the salt to your pepper, the pen to your paper, the window to your wall….you get the drift.

The smorgasbord of random issues and problems – every single real estate transaction is different and as a result, realtors are constantly learning and adding to their arsenal of best practices.  Over the years, we come to expect certain hiccups that we can overcome easily and without any disruption to the real estate process.  For example, wording conditions a certain way to work in your client’s best interest.

As a realtor, these are just some of the things I have come to expect and am happy to deal with in order to work within this exciting industry.  So, when TREB is fighting tooth and nail to keep their beloved sales data away from the public, I feel like they are enabling the haters out there who believe that without this information, our usefulness decreases significantly.  The sales numbers are just a small piece of what we bring to the table and I encourage all of my fellow realtor colleagues to show your true value within this industry.

The Truth About Bidding Wars


I’m no going to lie – if you are purchasing a home and looking within the GTA, you will likely be forced to participate in a bidding war or two.  Bidding wars have become an unfortunate reality due to the lack of supply and consistent demand for freehold homes in the city.

As a seller, multiple offers on your home is the best case scenario.  You get to sit back in a cushy office chair or choose to hang out in the comforts of your own home while agents file through presenting their client’s offer.  You are showered with compliments about how lovely your home is, you witness agents tell stories on behalf of their buyers about why this is the only home for them and they don’t know what they will do if they don’t have the best offer, etc, etc.  Just know that you may someday be at the opposite side of the table and it’s very important to treat every agent, buyer and the offer they are presenting with respect.

If you happen to be a buyer in a multiple offer situation, good luck.  You will be told not to fall in love with a house until you have actually purchased it, but let’s be honest, how is that possible?  If you walk into a house that checks off most of the requirements on your house hunting list (which is pretty hard to do), how is it not love at first sight?  You will feel pressure to remove any conditions that you want to put in the offer in order to make your offer more competitive.  You will sit in a car, or ideally a coffee shop (at least until they close for the night) for what feels like an eternity while you wait for the sellers to review all of the offers that have been presented, only to be told that you need to do better or you aren’t even close to the better offers in the bunch. Does this sound like something you want to do?

OF COURSE NOT!  Unfortunately, if you want to own a home in one of the many demanding neighbourhoods in the GTA, you need to be well equipped to handle this situation.  This is why you need an experienced, respectful and diligent Realtor who will fight the battles for you and with you in order to make the process as painless as possible.  If you want to have a fighting chance at purchasing the home you want, here are some pointers:

  • Only view homes that are within your price range AND take into consideration what the home might actually sell for.  These days, the list price is a load of bologna – you’ll see homes in Leslieville priced at $599,000 and unless pigs start flying, that home WILL NOT sell for anywhere close to that price.  That means your Realtor needs to do his or her homework prior to sending you listings to ensure that the home is actually within your price range
  • Become friends with your mortgage provider – it’s really useful to have them on call in case you want to make an offer on a home without a financing condition.  Having them review the MLS listing ahead of time will give you some degree of confidence that you can go forward with an offer without that condition.  Of course, if you overpay for a home, you might not get the full financing you need so make sure you and your Realtor review the comparables in detail ahead of time before going batshit crazy with an offer price
  • Become friends with a contractor or someone handy – a lot of times, the seller’s agent will provide a pre-list home inspection report for buyers to review.  This provides some degree of comfort for some buyers that they can then remove the home inspection condition.  However, if a pre-list inspection is not provided or if you have any questions about some of the findings within the report, your handy friend can walk through the house with you and point out some of the bigger items that you’d want to look at (i.e. roof, furnace, AC, plumbing, electrical, etc.).
  • Drink, drink and drink – when all else fails, have a drink or eat a doughnut.  Some buyers have to go through this process multiple times before buying their home.  Others will take a break for a bit to regain some of their sanity.  Try to have fun with it – make a game of how many offers will be made on a particular house, guess how much a home actually sells for and find all of the faults in the home you didn’t get (“sure that home was nice, but you couldn’t even stand up in the basement!”)

At the end of the day, you should be proud of yourself for getting into this market.  It can be a lengthy process but at the end of the day,  you will make one of the best purchases of your life – a purchase that comes with a lifetime of memories.  Make sure you are well equipped to get started down this path and the best way to get started is to find a Realtor who is experienced with this process, who is willing to respect your decisions, who is creative with the search process and will fight until you get what you want.  Start by asking for referrals from friends and family and make sure you interview at least a few agents before making a decision.  You want to ensure your personalities and expectations align in order to make the process as easy and seamless as possible.

Go get ’em!

Renting a Condo in Toronto – A checklist to help you through the process

You’ve decided to rent a condo in the big city!  It’s exciting to start the search process and find a condo rental that you can call home for the next year or more.  Over the years, I have had the pleasure to work with many clients on their condo rental search and from my experience, I have created a checklist of things to keep in mind as well as prepare for as you start your search:

  1. Set your budget: it’s important to keep in mind that some condo rentals don’t include all utilities (i.e. electricity, heat, cable, etc.).  When you are setting your budget, make sure to keep these factors in mind.  For example, electricity in an average size one bedroom unit in Toronto will cost approximately $40/month (depending on your usage).  Other costs include a tenant insurance policy (approximately $15 – $20/month), internet and phone.
  2. Determine your requirements in a condo rental.  If your budget is limited (which is completely normal!), your requirements may have to be compromised slightly so be prepared to make some small concessions here and there.  Some important requirements to consider include: moving time frame, parking spot, building amenities, number of bedrooms/washrooms, balcony, pets and geographic location.
  3. Find a great Realtor with experience in the condo rental market: you need someone who can guide you around the city and give you pointers on buildings that are great and those that should be avoided.  A Realtor can get you set up on a personalized MLS search and send you listings relevant to your requirements.  When you want to see a unit or two, simply contact your Realtor who can set up showings at a time that is convenient for you.  A Realtor will provide you with guidance on your offer price based on recent comparables in the building and will ensure all of the proper clauses are inserted into an offer (see Agreement to Lease) so you are fully protected.
  4. Get everything together ahead of time that you need to make an offer including:
    1. First and last month’s rent: when you have finally found the condo rental you want and your offer is accepted, you will need to provide first and last month’s rent within 24 hours.
    2. Credit check: use Equifax’s online service to get your credit check completed as this will need to be provided to the landlord so they can ensure your credit is in good standing
    3. Employment letter: the landlord will also want to confirm that your are employed and can afford the monthly rental amount
    4. Rental Application: your Realtor can provide you with this document to complete.  This application is provided to the landlord and details any past rental history, your employment information, references and any debts you currently possess
    5. Reference letters: this is usually not necessary, but it’s nice to have reference letters on hand to provide to the landlord especially from past landlords

I also find it helpful to review this MLS Listing Sample so you can see some key information that is helpful when reviewing condo listings.

All the best with your search and never hesitate to contact me if you need assistance with an upcoming rental search!

188 Redpath Avenue – A Great Toronto Condo!

For those buyers who are looking for a condo with an amazing location as well as the extremely reasonable maintenance fees, I often point them towards 188 Redpath Avenue. First of all, the location can’t be beat! The building is located within walking distance to Yonge & Eglinton, an amazing area filled with restaurants, shopping, cafes, a subway station and so much more. Second, the building is very well managed and offers very low maintenance fees (for example: my recent listing in the building at approximately 650 square feet cost only $316.69/month for maintenance). In addition, the building consists of a lot of long-time owners, which helps to create a close-knit community with residents who care about their homes. Here is a breakdown of some of the important information regarding this great building:

  • Location188 Redpath Avenue
  • Year Built: 2000
  • Number of floors: 8
  • Number of units: 86
  • Maintenance Fees Include: heat/central air conditioning, water, parking, common elements and building insurance
  • Amenities: lots of visitor parking, games room, party room, BBQ area on ground level, gardens
  • Pet Policy: one pet allowed per unit (no restrictions on size)

I am very familiar with this building so please contact me at if you have any questions regarding this building or if you would be interested in receiving updates for listings for this condo.