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Wednesday , 29 March 2017

Monthly Archives: November 2013

How to know if a charity deserves your support

We’re all asked to give, too frequently some might say, especially at this time of year—from panhandlers on the street to supermarket check-outs collecting for one thing or another, to Santa Claus bell-ringers at the mall. Then there are the telephone solicitations and the requests that come in the mail. All good causes, we tell ourselves, but we can’t give to all of them. But are they really all good causes? Are they all equally deserving of our hard-earned money? Leaving aside the outright scams, not all “legitimate” charities are equally worthy of your generosity, if you look at them as businesses. Though they may have the best intentions in ... Read More »

Let there be LED light this Christmas

Anyone heading out to purchase Christmas lights for the upcoming holiday season should stop and consider skipping the old incandescent lights and switching to LEDs instead. If the environmental argument doesn’t persuade you, maybe the financial one will. That environmental point is well worth making, though. The burning of all those tens of millions of festive lights strung through outdoor tree branches and shrubs, over indoor Christmas trees and windows, framing houses and store fronts and churches and street light poles from Alaska to Florida and all points in between, adds up to one enormous energy bill. The US Department of Energy estimates that holiday lighting—and this doesn’t include Canada—consumes ... Read More »

Huge over-asking price on Toronto home raises question of appraisals

There’s new evidence of shocking behaviour in Toronto, and we aren’t talking about Rob Ford. It’s reported today that a five-bedroom detached Edwardian house in Little Italy sold for 30 per cent more than asking. No fewer than sixteen real estate agents presented offers. The buyer paid $271,000 over the asking price of $849,000. The $1.12 million paid sets a new milestone for the street, according to a realtor quoted in the Globe and Mail. The sale dramatically highlights just how desirable detached homes in the downtown core have become. The incredible premium this buyer was willing to pay made us think about the financing of the home. Paying that ... Read More »

One NYC trend Toronto is not following, so far

Is this a trend we’ll be seeing any time soon in Toronto? We refer to the move to ever larger condos in New York City, where space is now “the ultimate status symbol.” Forget about that other trend, the one that has city dwellers around the world choosing micro apartments for economic and environmental reasons. A report in the Wall Street Journal says that the average size of new condos, in New York, from studio to penthouse, has now reached 1,564 square feet. That is a 24 per cent increase over the previous average of 1,265 square feet, which was set during the peak of the real estate boom in ... Read More »

Prospects good for real estate investors in 2014: PwC

An investor looking for somewhere to put his or her money in Toronto real estate might do well to look at a mixed-use redevelopment project, with plenty of retail and residential space, somewhere in the city core, as opposed to the suburbs. Retail development has not kept pace with residential in the city, and this makes “urban and infill retail” extremely attractive for investors. Said investors can proceed with the confidence that 2014 will be a good year, the market being relatively stable, with plenty of capital available to developers, and the nation’s economy expected to continue to grow. Investment and development prospects are closely tied to that economic growth ... Read More »

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