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Saturday , 25 March 2017

Monthly Archives: February 2016

Condo owners still without answers five years after quake forced them from their homes

Admittedly, losing one’s property in an earthquake is not a big worry for the average Toronto condo dweller. It’s such a slight risk that as of 2014, you could get earthquake insurance in Toronto for just $15 a year. Unlike San Franciscans, for example, who live with the real risk of losing it all in the next “big one,” Torontonians live a mostly natural disaster-less existence. Even though there are literally thousands of earthquakes every year in Canada, many of them in Ontario, people here just don’t worry about them. Many people also assume, wrongly as it turns out, that the government will provide financial assistance for earthquake damage in the ... Read More »

Bjarke Ingels’ Toronto condos: playful form for a change

It would be sad if the most diverse city in the world had the most homogeneous real estate. So said one of the world’s favourite architects, Bjarke Ingels, speaking about Toronto, where he gave a lecture last night. The Danish-born, New York-based founder of BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) has his first Toronto project in the works, and it promises to put into practice what he spoke about in his lecture: building communities through architecture. Ingels is certainly not the first, whether famous architect or ordinary observer, to note that much of Toronto’s architecture is bland and boring. Frank Gehry called it mediocre. What Ingels has proposed for the King Street ... Read More »

Should I stage? and other common home sellers’ questions

Buying or selling a home, especially the first time, is a big deal, literally. Participants on both sides of the table usually have many questions and more than a few anxieties. It’s all quite normal, according to realtors. Not being at least a little bit emotional when so much is at stake would be strange. A trusted, experienced real estate agent can be a buyer or seller’s best friend, for they have seen it all before. When it comes to selling a home, here are a few of the questions agents say come up again and again. How much do I have to spend to get the place ready for ... Read More »

What does Vienna have that Toronto doesn’t? Low rents.

Vienna, the city of the waltz, the schnitzel and the woods, is the best city in the world to live. At the other extreme sits poor. beleaguered Baghdad, rated the worst. Toronto is near the top, placed fifteenth of 230 cities rated by the international consultancy, Mercer. Vancouver has the honour of being the fifth most livable city in the world. The highest ranking American city is San Francisco, in twenty-eighth place. Global cities like Paris, New York, London and Tokyo were shut out of the top rankings. Cities are rated for the Mercer Quality of Living Survey according to ten major criteria and a slew of other factors—political stability, ... Read More »

Research shows many homes don’t sell on first attempt because price is wrong

An interesting perspective on Toronto’s resale housing market comes from the online brokerage TheRedPin.com. According to the TheRedPin, about one in six of the 101.299 properties sold last year—that’s 17,254 homes—did not sell on first listing. We’re so used to hearing about the shortage of listings, fast-rising prices, multiple offers and short selling times that it comes as a bit of a surprise to hear that one-sixth of sellers had to take their homes off the market and try again later. When they did, sellers generally re-listed for a “shocking” average of nearly $24,000 less than the original asking price. In the GTA, that amounted to an average drop of ... Read More »

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