Thursday, 5 July 2012

My listing featured in the Toronto Star

I have some very exciting news to share with you today. My listing at 33 Kelso has been featured in the Real Estate section of today's Toronto Star!!! 
I am very proud to be associated with this wonderful property.  Not a detail has been spared in this exquisite home! This home was designed and completely renovated by locally coveted firm Eurodale Developments, Toronto’s Renovator of the Year (2011 by BILD).  
Due to the high-energy efficiency level of the systems, the insulation and window/door package that was installed, this house will cost less to operate in comparison to other homes on the market. Located in the Bedford Park community, this house is within walking distance to Avenue Road, local shops, bakeries, and restaurants. Please view the link for more information on this amazing property.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

End of June not such a happy time for some children

The end of June, when most children can't wait for the holidays, can be a very unhappy time for some kids who are moving in the summer. This may be the last time they will be with their friends.  Don't wait for moving day to introduce your child to the new neighbourhood and to new friends.  Perhaps the following ideas may help:
  • Enrol your child in summer camp or lessons in their new neighbourhood.
  • Play in the playground and go swimming in the pool near the new house.
  • Older children can use Google maps to locate parks, movie theatres, malls nearby.
  • Use Skype to maintain contact with long distance friends.
  • Explore the city and neighbourhood. See Family Guide to Toronto.

Monday, 25 June 2012

The home as a system

Wake Up Buyers!!! Forget the wall colour and focus on the systems in a home!

Many buyers in the Toronto market are getting too wrapped up in the aesthetics of a home and not taking the time to consider the internal systems and how these systems affect the physical and financial health of the occupants. Most buyers and owners do not realize that often builders are putting materials and systems into new and renovated homes that are to their detriment. Eurodale Developments, winners of BILD Renovator of the Year refuse to do so as exemplified in their latest home renovation at 33 Kelso Avenue.

Brendan Charters and Jim Cunningham co-founders of Eurodale Development chose to take a holistic approach to renovating this house in the Avenue and Lawrence community. They treated moisture and air management through waterproofing and an air/vapour barrier, they created air sealing and insulation upgrades to existing non insulated masonry walls with high density spray foam (to avoid potential mould issues with cellulose based insulation) and also increased efficiencies with a high efficiency boiler to heat floors and domestic hot water. This allows for reduced dependency on the forced air heating system and the elimination of a wasteful traditional hot water tank. Complete air sealing with foam and caulking and tape in areas of air and vapour barriers, as well as new energy star window and door installations were a sizeable replacement to the old leaky units. Once they had a tight home, they addressed air quality with material selections such as formaldehyde free cabinetry and low VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints to reduce off gassing. The ventilation systems in the home were also improved to ensure proper exchange of air inside the living space.

Due to these upgrades it will now cost the owners substantially less to run the home. It will also be more comfortable as there will be less of the exterior forces of nature able to affect the humidity levels and temperatures inside the space.
 In a hot real estate market like this, location, most commonly referred to as the most important factor in any real-estate deal, may not prove to be everything – you need to start looking at how the house works as a system. The house at 33 Kelso Avenue has both a great location and great system design, making it the perfect combination.
For more details on this listed property check out:

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Moving to Toronto Series - I have to be on the subway line. Where should I live in Toronto?

TTC Route Map

How to get around in Toronto? Living  close to  work is one of the main reasons people want to live in Central Toronto.

Riverdale, Yorkville, Summerhill, North Toronto, High Park, Davisville are some of the neighbourhoods close to the subway lines. Street cars link the Beach, Leslieville, Parkdale, Roncesville, King East and King West to the downtown. See the TTC (Toronto Transit Commision) maps.

See Toronto Neighbourhoods  High Park

Monday, 2 April 2012

Moving to Toronto - Get the lay of the land

Find your way in Toronto
  • Neighbourhoods farthest south near Lake Ontario  were the oldest communities.
  • The further you go north or east and west the newer the neighbourhoods are.
  • South and Central neighbourhoods date from the 1800s.
  • North to midtown around Davisville  were built in the early 20th century.
  • Go further north to North York where Don Mills was built in 1960s -70s.
  • Leaside's homes built in the 1940s are almost entirely renovated and enlarged.
  • East and west communities follow the same pattern.
  • Toronto subways  run:
          north from downtown to North York
          from downtown northwest to North York 
          east/west from midtown to Scarborough to Etobioke
          east through southern North York
  • Highways run across the waterfront, north on the Scarborough/North York border, across lower part of North York and along the Etobicoke border.
Among those older homes are new condominium developments mainly confined to the main arteries. Older houses and even whole neighbourhoods  have been renovated. The old downtown  and lakefront have been taken over by condos and revitalization in some previously deteriorating neighbourhoods has resulted in new infill projects of modern townhouses and conversions of older factories and warehouses.
Source: Map from the Toronto Real Estate Board

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Relocating to Toronto - How can I replace my old neighbourhood?

 Is your biggest concern transferring your family to Toronto and finding a suitable Toronto neighbourhood for you and your children? Even though it is barely April moving the family to Toronto for the next school year is coming up quickly.

Whether it is an unexpected surprise or the opportunity you have been waiting for, moving to the Toronto Metropolitan area of 5.5 million people stretching over 630 sq kilometers is a very intimidating prospect. Throughout the spring, I will be  writing a series giving a general view of  how Toronto works and giving some practical pointers for newcomers.
See Toronto neighbourhoods

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Top ten Toronto neighbourhoods for runners

Spring is here and the runners are out in Toronto -  The top ten  Toronto neighbourhoods close to large outdoor spaces are:
  • High Park, Ronscevalles
  • Swansea
  • Mt Pleasant East
  • Lawrence Park East side
  • Waterfront (may have to ride the ferry)
  • Leslie/Lawrence Area
  • Humber Bay
  • Beltline central ravines neighbourhoods -West of  Davisville, Sth Rosedale and Moore Park
See Toronto neighbourhoods
See Toronto Running Routes Map

Thursday, 1 March 2012

First time buyer - Will emotions cloud your judgement when buying your first house?

A quick property purchase can have unwanted consequences.

 To help avoid missteps take a look at the following:
  • Look carefully at your own finances and don't underestimate the costs
  • Be pre-approved for a mortgage and shop around.
  • Really think about where you want to live and factor in costs beyond the housing cost e.g schooling, transportation costs, proximity to amenities.
  • Do a home inspection.
  • Contact a real estate salesperson to introduce you to neighbourhoods and housing options.
  • Have a plan before entering into negotiations.
  • Read blogs and web sites about Toronto Real Estate.

Monday, 27 February 2012

First time Buyers in Toronto - Finding your first home - The Search

Finding your first home in Toronto could be as easy as opening your email. On the other hand searching for your first home can be a frustrating and time consuming experience.

Toronto properties for sale are often listed on the Multiple Listing Service Service(MLS) that can be searched by neighbourhood, price, property size and other features. This can be difficult.

The alternative is to ask for a personalized search and receive new listings as they are posted. These pre-selected listings will actually meet your search criteria and require no other effort than opening your email.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

First Time Buyers in Toronto Real Estate - Use your RRSP for First Home Purchase

Help for the first time home buyer in Toronto.

Even if your spouse or common-law partner has owned a property previously, you can still qualify as a first time buyer and for the Government of Canada's first time home buyers' programme (HBP) and use your RRSP for your purchase. Check out the rules .

The amount of money that you can withdraw from a Registered Retirement Saving Plan (RRSP) without a tax penalty has been increased. Now first-time buyers can withdraw $25,000 tax-free from a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) to purchase or build a new home (up from $20,000).