By: Ross McLean, Broker | Lucy McLean, Sales Representative | Peter Steele, Broker

Legislation Proposed In Ontario To Regulate Home Inspectors

Legislation Proposed In Ontario To Regulate Home Inspectors

The Putting Consumers First Act, a private members bill, was introduced recently in Ontario. The purpose of the bill is to regulate home inspectors, among other things. The bill intends to create an authoritative body for the industry that would license home inspectors as well as deal with complaints and enforcement. Currently, home inspectors are not regulated in Ontario.   In addition to regulating home inspectors, the bill intends to ban more aggressive or misleading door-to-door sales like those for air conditioners or hot water heaters.   Contractors between consumers and contractors for things like home renovations would also be granted a 10-day period in which the consumers ...Read More

By: Ross McLean, Broker | Lucy McLean, Sales Representative | Peter Steele, Broker

Buying Your First Country Home Or Cottage? Don’t End Up Surprised

Buying Your First Country Home Or Cottage? Don’t End Up Surprised

November is Financial Literacy Month, and coincidentally one of the biggest financial decisions and investments that most people will ever make is the purchase of a home. Being well-prepared for this investment and learning as much as you can beforehand will help you better understand the process, and even help you figure out what questions you should ask your real estate agent.   Read!   Make sure of everything by reading everything, such as the Agreement of Purchase and sale. This document includes important information like the closing date and clauses such as whether the sale is contingent on a successful home inspection. As mentioned, your real estate agent will be available t...Read More

By: Ross McLean, Broker | Lucy McLean, Sales Representative | Peter Steele, Broker

First Time Home Buyer? Expect A Higher Land Transfer Tax Rebate

First Time Home Buyer? Expect A Higher Land Transfer Tax Rebate

The Government of Ontario says that as of January 2017, first-time homebuyers can expect to receive a rebate of $4,000 from the Land Transfer Tax, up from the current $2,000.   The first $368,000 of a home’s purchase price is exempt from the tax.   Tim Hudak, the CEO Designate of the Ontario Real Estate Association, said that, “Home ownership changes you for the better. It builds strong communities and stable neighbourhoods. A tax break for first-time buyers will give a lot of young families the leg up they need to get into homeownership. Premier Wynne and Minister Sousa deserve credit for taking positive steps to address affordability. It’s encouraging news for t...Read More

By: Ross McLean, Broker | Lucy McLean, Sales Representative | Peter Steele, Broker

Before You Decorate Your Home For Sale During The Holidays

Before You Decorate Your Home For Sale During The Holidays

Lots of people love to go all out during the Halloween season, from decorations to candy and other spooky traditions. And, there’s certainly nothing wrong with that. But the requirements are a bit different when you’re selling your home in the fall, or at least around Halloween.   Decorating your home – should you?   If you absolutely must decorate your home for Halloween while it’s on the market, avoid going for scary (think gravestones, ghosts and skeletons). Instead, stick with decorating for the fall season itself with more tasteful pumpkins or corn stalks, as long as they look tidy.   Other decorations, like tasteful fall wreaths on the front door,...Read More

By: Ross McLean, Broker | Lucy McLean, Sales Representative | Peter Steele, Broker

How To Make Sure You Have The Best Lawn By The Spring

How To Make Sure You Have The Best Lawn By The Spring

It may seem counterintuitive but right now – fall – is the ideal time to perform some annual maintenance on your lawn to ensure it has the best chance for success come spring. By putting in the effort now, you will be rewarded with the healthiest, lushest and best-looking lawn later, which is especially helpful if you plan on selling your country home or cottage early next year.   Just follow these tips and you’ll be well on your way:  Don't stop mowing your lawn. Mowing your lawn is essential in the fall because you can use the shortest setting to ensure the grass blades are small enough to allow the sun to reach the most important parts of the lawn - the c...Read More

By: Ross McLean, Broker | Lucy McLean, Sales Representative | Peter Steele, Broker

Four-Season Cottages Becoming More Popular In Ontario

Four-Season Cottages Becoming More Popular In Ontario

A winterized cottage is one that is accessible and can be used any time of the year, even in the winter. This can be a huge selling point for cottages, and according to the Ontario Real Estate Association, the desire for a year-round cottage is only growing.   According to new research released by the Ontario Real Estate Association, 67% of real estate agents in Ontario say that buyers are “more likely” to be looking to buy cottages during the fall, while 80% of real estate agents say the trend of buying cottages that can be used all-year-round is increasing.   Ray Ferris, the president of the Ontario Real Estate Association, said that, “If you live in Ontario, no...Read More

By: Ross McLean, Broker | Lucy McLean, Sales Representative | Peter Steele, Broker

CREA Updates Housing Forecast

CREA Updates Housing Forecast

While the rest of the country’s housing activity fell in line with expectations during the second quarter of 2016, Ontario and British Columbia have remained stellar exceptions according to the Canadian Real Estate Association.   The Canadian Real Estate Association recently updated its housing forecast for Ontario and the rest of Canada for the remainder of 2016, taking into account the new foreign buyer tax on home purchases in Vancouver and the expectation of Ontario heating up as a result.   “Year-over-year price gains have continued to mount in Ontario and British Columbia. While having accelerated in the former, price growth showed tentative signs of moderating in...Read More

By: Ross McLean, Broker | Lucy McLean, Sales Representative | Peter Steele, Broker

When Is The Best Time To Buy A Home?

When Is The Best Time To Buy A Home?

Everyone has their own opinion when asked what the best time to buy a home is. Maybe it depends on local market fluctuations, their own personal experiences, the times of year when the market is known to be the busiest (spring!) or really, maybe their answer is “any time”. But did you know there’s a time of year that is consistently the best time to buy, when buyers are faced with less competition and might even be lucky enough to get a better price than they would otherwise?   It’s Christmas.   Why is Christmas the best time to buy a home? The answer is pretty much for the same reasons that at first thought, Christmas seems like the worst time for buying a ...Read More

By: Ross McLean, Broker | Lucy McLean, Sales Representative | Peter Steele, Broker

Becoming A Country Home Or Cottage Landlord

Becoming A Country Home Or Cottage Landlord

Many people choose to rent out their home or cottage, or a part of it, to tenants. This is often a worthwhile endeavor for homeowners because it allows them to generate extra income or pay off their mortgages.  But one of the more difficult parts of doing this in Ontario is that the provincial landlord tenant laws are favourable to the tenants, and much less so the landlords.   Currently one of the biggest problems is that after about two months of non-payment of rent, landlords might file to evict the tenant, but the process of eventually getting to a hearing and then appeals can take several more months, leaving the landlord owed thousands of dollars in rent payments that can be ...Read More

By: Ross McLean, Broker | Lucy McLean, Sales Representative | Peter Steele, Broker

Winterizing Your Cottage

Winterizing Your Cottage

Not everyone wants to think about the impending winter during the late summer. But for cottage owners, ensuring you’re fully prepared with a winterized cottage will ensure that you can worry less now while you’re enjoying your cottage in the summer months. More importantly, a winterized cottage is useable year-round and is more ideal than a summer-only cottage, whether you want to spend more time there with your family or rent it out to generate extra income.   Not every cottage can be winterized, but here are several things to be aware of if you’d like to consider updating your cottage for winter-use: Insulation Your insulation may need to be upgraded and you may ne...Read More