A Condo is a Home too!

Recently I was discussing real estate with a client and trying to determine her goals, requirements, budget for her next purchase. She’s been a condo dweller for a number of years and now with a child and a loving husband they’re considering a house. When speaking to her she kept saying: “I love the condo life but I really prefer a home”. Wait a minute; isn’t a condo a home? Please allow Spring Realty to clear this up for you: There are Condos, Lofts, Townhouses, Detached Houses, Semi-Detached Houses, Row Houses but they all share one thing in common. They’re all HOMES!

Happy Monday! Please remember to join the Spring Realty Insider Club for instant access to new posts and exciting new info as it becomes available. We’re on the verge of launching something pretty cool so you’ll definitely want to keep in touch. Find us on Facebook and Twitter too!

 


Dealing with Tenants when Selling your Rental Property

The bane of most sellers and seller representatives during the sale of a tenanted property is the delicate game of “handling” the tenant. This is usually not an issue when selling a multi-unit complex where the purchaser will likely be another investor/landlord. It is however, a common issue when you have a single tenant situation in a condominium unit, or basement apartment where the potential buyer may want to occupy the entire residence as their home and take vacant possession.

It’s easy to see how this can be a problem. During the showing period we’re asking a tenant to constantly keep the place clean, accommodate viewings at all hours of the day and once sold, they’ll be asked to leave and find another place to live. I don’t know anyone who enjoys moving, and with renting that involves coming up with another first and last month’s rent, credit checks, employment letters, references, and all of the hassles that go along with moving. It’s important to put yourself in the tenant’s shoes and be as sensitive as possible.

During my time as a sales representative and now as a broker I have listed and successfully sold many income properties from a single unit condominium up to a 10 unit residential building. Believe it or not selling the large multi-unit residential building was a breeze compared to selling a single tenanted condominium unit. Here are 5 very important To Do’s to ensure a successful, hassle free sale:

  1. Prepare the tenant well in advance. Do not wait until the agent calls to list the property. Try to give 30 days notice before even listing. Make sure your Realtor meets the tenant well in advance to go over procedures and develop a mutual understanding of expectations. Once sold you’re bound by law to give 60 days notice to vacate. Also very important to note that if notice is given mid month, the 60 day period begins on the 1st day of the upcoming month. (Notice given on the 5th of Feb, 60 days begin March 1).
  2. Once listed, offer a few gift certificates to local restaurants, coffee shops or grocery stores so when they have to leave for showings they can grab a coffee on you, or have a meal etc.
  3. Always, without exception, ensure the person you have hired to sell the property is adhering to the 24hr mandatory written notice rule for any viewing. It shows great respect for the tenant’s time and also allows the tenant to tidy up so your investment shows the best it can. It’s quite helpful to have a predetermined set of hours and days where you can lump the majority of viewings.

  1. It’s easy for your Realtor to leave a key onsite, in a lockbox, to allow agents to show up with their clients, walk through the space and leave. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had angry calls from tenants saying “THEY WORE THEIR SHOES AND THERE ARE SALT STAINS EVERYWHERE!” No matter how many times you instruct buyer representatives and their clients to remove their shoes often they do not follow instructions and completely disrespect the tenant’s space. Same goes for leaving lights on or forgetting to lock the door. This disrespect can impact the selling process greatly. The tenant doesn’t have to confirm any viewing appointments and if you cannot get buyers through the door, you can’t make the sale. Solution – ask your Realtor to be there for each and every viewing. Perhaps a lot to ask, but sometimes a successful sale depends on this mutual respect between all parties involved in the selling process. Spring Realty Realtors do their best to attend buyer visits whenever possible.
  2. When discussing the potential sale of the your property with the Tenant, try and get an understanding of what type of place he/she should like to move in to. Keep your ear to the ground and ask your Realtor to keep an eye out for any available units for rent. Only help if the tenant wants your help, don’t force it. The Tenant will usually appreciate a helping hand through this potentially stressful situation.

 

Following these simple rules will ensure a smooth and successful transaction. I’d love to hear your feedback. Do you have any tenant stories to share? I’d love to hear all about it. Either comment below or contact us to discuss your rental property.


What’s with that development at the SE Corner of Queen and Pape?

Pape & Queen Development Update: August 2013

Finally after years of nothing we heard back in September 2012 that this stalled development had finally been sold to an eager developer (see update below) and at a recent meting with the local councillor I’d like to be the first to break some exciting details about the site. Work is currently underway.

1. 10 residential units for purchase; 600 to 1,100 square feet approx.
2. Up to 1,000 sq. feet commercial at grade.
3. Removing rusts from beams; building has passed all inspections regarding condition of the earlier construction.
4. New scaffolding is on order.
5. Close in complete exterior by Halloween this year.
6. Sale of units by spring 2014.

Once we get more details on pricing you’ll be the first to know.

UPDATE SEPTEMBER 2012: Great news! Rose and Thistle Group, a development firm in Toronto has recently closed on the purchase of this development and will finish the abandoned project by mid 2013. This is exciting news for the Leslieville community and a big win for community activists and local Councillor Paul Fletcher! 

A question that I get asked almost every single day; “What the heck is that weird building on the South East corner of Queen and Pape” It’s a sad tale really. A new developer in over his/her head promising the world and delivering ZILCH. Buyer beware indeed! Here’s a brief history on that site:

Back in 2006 an eager new development company called ‘Total Site Works’  bought the fantastic site and quickly conceptualized the Film Studio Lofts promising purchasers they could ‘Live in the Spotlight’!  Sounds dreamy doesn’t it?  Well with super attractive pricing and a world of promises  buyers quickly bought up each and every unit.

Shortly after pouring the foundation the developer realized that unless you had lined up your construction companies all trades, trucks, nails and hammers were banging away at other sites.  To attract builders it was going to cost more to build the homes than they actually charged purchasers. Yikes!

What happened to all of the purchasers and their deposit money you ask? It’s important to remember that when a development goes belly up your hard earned deposit money doesn’t just disappear. When you purchase in a new development your deposit money (sometimes as much as 20% of the purchase price) is held in trust by the developers’ lawyers. This money is untouched and is always returned in these cases, unfortunately without interest. Worst case is, you may have missed out on other development opportunities while waiting for your money back.

The site lay dormant for a year. The foundation filled up with water and looked abandoned. Every now and then I’d notice a trade hammering away and slowly the building went up, got windows installed and finally started looking like something. Rumor had it that Symmetry Developments was taking over the project but they weren’t able to come to an agreement with Total Site Works and now it looks like slowly but surely the original Developer; Total Site Works is going to complete their original vision.

Here’s a rendering of what Symmetry developments was going to do with the site, wish they had taken over, looks great! Not sure what the finished product will look like now but as soon as an updated rendering becomes available I will update this blog and re post.

Questions?  Comments? Please leave a message below.


USA loses AAA credit rating

Following a week of market losses Standard and Poor’s downgraded the United States credit rating from AAA to AA+ on Friday.  Volatility has been constant since the market fall of 2008 and is certain to continue as the markets officially react to the news.

Investors of all sizes are diversifying their portfolios to include heavy weightings of real estate which have proven to be low volatility.   Real estate is priced based on pure demand and supply pressures.  In Toronto the demand will continue to increase as the population grows.  With limited development of high speed rail corridors to the suburbs there is only so much sprawl that can be supported limiting supply which pushes the price of existing stock higher.

With hardly any new apartments being built small investors are becoming landlords by purchasing one or a few condos and renting them out to pay the mortgage.  With long term investing in mind this type of investment can create excellent cash flow and quickly build equity for investors.  Renters benefit from modern buildings with excellent amenities.

Supply is almost completely static in terms of single family houses in the city.  We’ve recently seen surges in the price of houses in neighbourhoods close to downtown such as the south east end of the city (South Riverdale, Danforth, etc). With interest rates at historical lows homes which may have been previously be considered undesirable have been renovated or are purchased with renovations in mind.

If you’re considering diversifying your investment portfolio to include real estate contact Spring Realty today.