You are browsing the archive for 2013 November.

Car Stolen From Northern Dancer Blvd

November 29, 2013 in Latest Community News Blog, Neighbourhood Alerts Blog

See following report from Northern Dancer resident:

Last week my car, a 2005 Honda Accord, was stolen from in front of my house on Northern Dancer Blvd.  It happened in the early morning hours of Wednesday November 20th, sometime between midnight and 7am. The car was locked after we parked it.

Police were notified and a report was taken.  The car was found mid afternoon on the same day, parked on Hiawatha Rd, in the Greenwood and Dundas area. The only reason police found the car was because it was partially blocking a driveway and the homeowner called parking enforcement, who ran the plate when they arrived and discovered the car was stolen.

It’s a bit of a curious situation.  When police arrived, the car was locked.  There was no sign of forced entry and the ignition system was still intact and had not been tampered with.  We only have two sets of keys for the car and they were still in our possession.  However, the glove compartment and console were rustled through and a number of items were stolen such as a blackberry, dvd player, portable car Bluetooth device, charging devices, dvds and cds.

Police and the insurance company have come to the conclusion that someone has some type of master key or that when I had a key replaced at the dealership back in 2011, someone made a copy of it.  As a result we are getting the locks, and ignition cylinder replaced in hopes that this won’t happen again.

Even though we did the right thing and locked our car, police have advised us to always make sure the doors are locked and that all valuables be hidden and out of sight of potential thieves.

 

 

RBC report says it’s getting tougher to own a home

November 27, 2013 in Real Estate Blog

We’ve been seeing evidence of this RBC report in Toronto for some time now. The most startling stats show how much of a family’s pre-tax income goes towards principal, interest, taxes and utilities.  For an average bungalow in Canada, it’s 43% of a family’s pre-tax income; for a two-storey home, it’s 48%; and for a condo it’s 28%.

In Toronto, the combination of low inventory of resale homes and low interest rates are the major contributing factors.

Here’s the Canadian Press story, via CTV:  http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/higher-prices-mortgage-rates-affecting-home-affordability-rbc-1.1562527

Ever thought of living in Leaside?

November 22, 2013 in Real Estate Blog

I have a great condo opportunity in South Leaside for just $434,900.  The address is 928 Millwood Suite 402.  It’s a 2 bedroom, 1,100 square foot unit with a new kitchen and new bathrooms.  This is a wonderful unit for first time buyers or empty nesters who want to live in one of the best neighbourhoods in the city at an affordable price. This unit is in a boutique building of just 35 suites and comes with private parking, a locker, ensuite laundry, a private balcony and much more!  Watch this virtual tour to see more: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DS01wkLmbxY&feature=player_embedded

 

Video Released of Suspects in Upper Beach Murder

November 18, 2013 in Latest Community News Blog, Neighbourhood Alerts Blog

Crime knows no boundaries.  We hear about murders and crime around the city and are often relieved when they’re not in our neighbouhood.  However, on November 10, a young man, just 20 years old, was shot and killed in the lobby of his apartment building at 11 Main Street, just north of KIngston Road, after trying to escort out two uninvited guests. Have a look at this video and if you recognize these suspects, get in touch with police.

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2013/11/18/video_shows_suspects_in_upper_beach_shooting_death.html

 

 

Tips on How to Tend Your Credit

November 7, 2013 in Uncategorized

Whether you’re applying for a loan to buy a car, a mortgage or applying to rent, your borrowing history is crucial.  Here’s an article written by my regional director at TD that I’m sure you’ll find useful.

 

By Farhaneh Haque, Regional Director – TD Canada Trust

For each article, I look for inspiration in what’s going on in the mortgage or real estate industry, to share some insights for the readers. This month, I wasn’t so much inspired rather distressed about something that happened, and so here I am writing about it!

Last week, I opened up my cell phone bill and was surprised to see that my balance was 3 times my normal monthly bill. At first, I thought perhaps I had forgot to pay last month’s bill – very unlike me – but about 2.5 hours and 5 different customer service representatives later, I was informed that someone had used my “excellent account repayment history” to obtain a free hardware upgrade to a smart phone and renewed me into a 3 year contract!

Well as the fraud analyst reversed everything and reset my account, he said to me “Farhaneh, I recommend that you contact Equifax to confirm that your good credit record hasn’t been used to obtain fraudulent credit elsewhere.”

Sound Advice, I thought myself and an appropriate topic for my next issue.

A survey conducted by the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) found that most people (90%) don’t know that you can get your own credit bureau report for free simply by requesting it by mail.¹ Sixty-two percent do not know that you can dispute an entry in your credit report, even though it’s as easy as writing a letter to the bureau.

Who compiles your credit history?

In Canada, credit information is collected by two major credit-reporting agencies, Equifax Canada and TransUnion Canada. They record how you have used credit and whether you pay your loans and bills on time, as reported by your lenders. They may share that information with others only in certain circumstances, one of which is when you have provided your consent, such as when you apply for a loan.

Finding out what’s in your report is easy. You can pay a small fee to request a copy of your credit record online – I paid $15 – or obtain it for free if you send a request by mail or fax. It’s a good idea to check your record once a year to ensure that it’s accurate.

What’s in your report?

Your credit report contains relevant details about your personal and financial situation, such as:

Basic personal history including your social insurance number

Any credit you have such as credit cards, loans or mortgages

Public records such as bankruptcy

Whether a debt was referred to a collection agency

Any inquiries made by you or other institutions about your credit

Mistakes can happen and you have the right to dispute any inaccurate information that may appear on your credit report.

You can find detailed guidance on how to correct an error through the FAQs and resources available on the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada website.

Why it’s important

The information in your credit history is the basis of your credit score, a measure that reflects your current financial situation and your ability to repay a loan.

Lenders take this score into account when you apply for a loan, mortgage or credit.

How to maintain a passing grade

To maintain a good credit rating, or improve one that’s not as good, the following dos and don’ts may help.

 

Do:

Pay your bills on time

Lower your debt ratio — the amount you owe relative to the amount you earn

Keep your credit balances well below their authorized limits

Close or cancel any credit accounts you don’t really need

Don’t:

Constantly max out your credit card limit

Be late with payments

Have your account sent to a collection agency

gnore any debt issues

TIP:

The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) recommends that you not accept or use any form of credit before being comfortable with its terms and conditions, to avoid potential misunderstandings between you and the credit issuer that may end up in negative consequences.

 

Where to get help

 

To obtain your personal credit rating, contact Equifax or TransUnion. For more guidance, read the FCAC publication Understanding Your Credit Report and Credit Score.

Home Prices and Sales Continue to Climb!

November 6, 2013 in Real Estate Blog

Latest stats show that there is no sign of a meltdown in Toronto’s real estate market. Sales are up 19% and the average price of a home is close to $540,000, up $37,000 compared to this time last year.  Check out this article that appeared in today’s Toronto Star. http://www.thestar.com/business/real_estate/2013/11/06/gta_home_sales_rise_in_october_study.html

There’s a cost if you don’t plan your estate

November 4, 2013 in Legal Advice Blog

Calculation of Estate Shrinkage

What is the cost of NOT planning your estate? Use this form to get a rough estimate of the costs your estate will incur when the time comes for a trustee to step in and establish what your estate is worth and how it will be distributed.  Click here for an example

This simple calculator makes 2 assumptions:

  • The deceased was either single or a widow/widower.
  • In the case of a widow/widower, at the time of their partner’s death, there was a tax-free rollover of assets to the survivor.
A. Income Tax Value Tax
RRSP / RRIF $_________ $_________
Non-registered capital assets $_________ $_________
Unreported interest income $_________ $_________
Unreported dividend income $_________ $_________
TOTAL $_________ $_________
B. Legal and Other Expenses
Funeral costs $_________ $_________
Court Fees $_________ $_________
Legal Fees $_________ $_________
Real estate commission $_________ $_________
Equity brokerage fees $_________ $_________
Trustee compensation $_________ $_________
TOTAL: A+B $_________ $_________

Why does real estate market in GTA continue to boom?

November 4, 2013 in Real Estate Blog

Over the past decade we’ve heard from numerous real estate experts, economists, and kindergarten students that the Toronto real estate market is going to collapse. Despite all of these predictions, the Toronto market continues to boom.

Although we’re seeing longer marketing periods in the $1-million plus market,  there are still numerous multiple offer bids on properties in the price range under $800,000.  Just three weeks ago, my client was lucky enough to win such a bid on a home in the Coxwell and Danforth area that was listed for $739,900. My client beat out another offer by paying $753,000.

Anyway, there have been many opinions on why Toronto’s real estate has continued to prosper even when the rest of the world was going through financial and economic meltdowns.  Click on this link to check out a real estate lawyer’s take on it:

http://www.thestar.com/business/personal_finance/2013/11/01/why_2013_has_been_a_good_year_for_gta_housing.html