Toronto StartUp Solves Real Estate’s Biggest Problem

movesnap png 1

What is MoveSnap?

Every day there’s another app, service, product that’s trying to solve a problem that doesn’t exist but today a man  by the name of Reuven Gorsht walked into the Spring HQ and literally blew me away with his creation. If you’re an adult and you’ve moved you know how much of a pain changing your address and moving your services can be. You always forget one and remember down the road when you’ve missed that credit card payment or didn’t get your drivers license renewal form.

MoveSnap goes a lot further by essentially being your concierge the moment you decide to move. Here’s what their dashboard looks like. You can do EVERYTHING in one place, very quickly.

MoveSnap Dashboard

Move ALL of your utilities, phone, internet, cable: EVERYTHING

MoveSnap Dashboard 1

Just so it’s crystal clear: EVERYTHING in one place.MoveSnap Dashboard 2

Some Background

Co-Founder Reuven Gorsht has spent years working with the World’s largest brands helping them create unforgettable customer experiences which clearly shows in his work with MoveSnap.

When you look at today’s home buyer experience in real estate, home buyers (and sellers) typically experience an emotional rollercoaster through the various phases of searching, comparing, negotiating and closing a deal.   When a deal is done, home buyers (or sellers)  feel great and crack open a bottle of champagne to celebrate.    However, what ensues over the next few weeks, as they prepare to move, is pure stress and anxiety. – Reuven Gorsht / Co-Founder MoveSnap

We’ve been testing their back-end for a few hours now and haven’t found a single flaw. This is quite literally the easiest system we’ve ever seen to help people move. Give it a try and let us know what you think.

You’re welcome :)

 

 

 

 


Bank of Canada Cautiously Optimistic Going Forward

Translation: Cautiously optimistic means: “We’re a little worried…sort of but not really” Clear?

Steady As She Goes

Many reports shot out this morning in advance of the BoC announcement with the expected news that the BoC was going to maintain their 0.5% overnight lending rate. Many local experts were calling for a quarter point decrease to help stimulate a lagging Canadian economy.

Stephen Poloz – Governor of the Bank of Canada says:

“We’re seeing the resource sector shrink as the non-resource sector expands mainly due to the drastic decline in oil prices and significant reduction in exports to the United States”

He further went on to say: “Major structural changes like this can take up to 3 years before we see any real changes in the economy”

Despite the uncertainty in the 2016 Canadian economy (trending after a lagging Q4 2015), Governor Poloz said: “The Global Economy will strengthen due to stimulative policies and reduced energy costs” and therefore determined that the Canadian Economy was resilient enough to absorb these major structural changes and the declining value of the Canadian Dollar. Meaning, a interest rate decrease isn’t necessary.

Even if the overnight lending rate was decreased we don’t believe the big banks would have passed on the savings to us anyway. There are markets in Canada that could use lots of stimulation but Toronto isn’t one of them. A further reduction in rates by the banks would add unnecessary fuel to the fire and negate any measures the Feds took to try and cool our heated real estate market.

What does this mean to you? If you’re not in the market to either buy or sell real estate then it means nothing. If you’re a Buyer on the hunt you already know it’s a tough battle out there with very little inventory for you to choose from and if you’re a Seller you’d better have a really good reason to move because it’s getting quite expensive for you to trade up. We’re seeing a lot of lateral moves and down sizing into apartments by Sellers now as they use this opportunity to release their equity tax free and re-invest in things like retirement and debt payment.

We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below, via our live chat to the bottom left or just contact us to talk.


Frenzy This, Crazy That, Buy Now…yada yada yada!

CALM DOWN!

Looks like the 2016 resolution for lots of Toronto REALTORS® was to start writing more and boy are they having a field day with these mortgage changes that take effect Feb 15th of this year. The only Buyers that are going to be in a “Frenzy” as so many Toronto Agents are claiming are the borderline ones that shouldn’t be buying properties anyway and the misguided ones that think these rule changes are another expense when in reality you’re just forced to have more equity from day 1 and that’s a great thing.

Calm down, everyone!

Here’s what’s going to happen: Just like every year at this time, inventory is very very low but Buyers are still out, money in hand, buying properties. These new mortgage rules aren’t going to change a thing and we’ll experience the same intense winter market we’ve seen for the past decade with no additional insanity some pros would have you believe so sit back relax and buy that property that makes you feel WOW and don’t settle because you feel unnecessary pressure.

Never miss another property for sale again. Click here to sign up for our custom property match system and get notified the moment a home you like hits the market.

 


Feds Just Made It Harder To Buy Homes Over $500K

Feds Want You to Have More Equity On Homes $500K And Up.

Here’s what the Mortgage Rule Changes Look like

As of February 15th 2016 you’ll have to pay a minimum of 10% down on any amount over $500,000. For example you can still get away with 5% down on any amount up to $500K but you’ll be required to pay 10% on the amount over and above up to $1,000,000 then it’s 20% after that. Here’s how that looks.

What does the minimum down payment look like for a $900,000 home in Toronto?

$25,000 on the first $500K so 5%

$40,000 on the remaining $400K so 10%

$65,000 minimum down-payment is the absolute min so the minimum down-payment was raised from 5% to 7.22% on a $900K home.

But that’s not it. You have closing costs on top of that so if you’re not a first time buyer you’ll have to cough up a further $28,200 for Land Transfer Tax and about $1,500 for legal fees so if the very minimum you’ll need for this property is now $94,700 and would have been $74,700 prior to the rule change.

Confused? Hope not but if you are comment below, use our live chat, or contact us to follow up. There were other changes but this is one of the more important ones for first time buyers especially.

Min Down For $500K - $25KMin Down For $600K - $35KMin Down For $700K - $45KMin Down for $800K - $55KMin Down for $900K - $65KMin Down for $999K - $75KMin Down for $1M+ - $200K

 


Huge Win For Condo Owners & Buyers As Bill 106 Passes Third Reading

Bill 106 Protecting Condominium Owners Act

The Provincial Government has finally passed two important pieces of legislation to help protect consumers under Bill 106. The, Protecting Condominium Owners Act, 2015 (PCOA, 2015) and the Condominium Management Services Act, 2015 as part of the PCOA, 2015.  We’ve gone over the 173 page document and consulted some pros so you don’t have to.

What are the major changes?

  • Clearer, more comprehensive rules to prevent owners from being surprised by unexpected costs after purchasing a newly-built condo – We’re really interested to know what/when this is going to happen. Too many unknowns when buying pre-con but the experienced Agents will be able to paint a pretty accurate picture here to minimize surprises .
  • A new Condominium Authority to provide quicker, lower-cost dispute resolution and help prevent common disputes
  • Strong financial management rules for condo corporations to help prevent financial and organizational mismanagement
  • Better governance requirements for condo boards, including training for condo directors
  • Mandatory licensing and education requirements for condominium managers

We contacted a friend of Spring Realty, Steven Christodoulou: President and CEO of ICC Property Management and past president of the Association of Condominium Managers of Ontario to make a few comments.

Here’s what he had to say:

What is the most important change they’ve made?

Bill 106 was a collaborative effort with input from all stakeholders surrounding the condominium industry and condominium living.  It focuses much more on consumer protection with the addition of the Condominium Authority and much more protection for new condominium purchasers.  The Act goes a long way with new developments with a Prescribed Form of Disclosure Statement and Declaration and greater accountability for falsely low 1st year budgets, 1st year reserve fund contributions and budgetary shortfalls in the first year.

What are you most looking forward to about the changes?

Since 2011, both ACMO and CCI have lobbied the Provincial Government for a complete overhaul of the Ontario Condominium Act, 1998, for Licensing of Condominium Managers and for fair taxation for condominium owners.  We’ve succeeded in two of the three asks.  Personally, I am looking forward to the Mandatory Licensing of Condominium Managers in Ontario.  It seems absurd that the Government requires a license to sell one unit, but doesn’t require a license to manage 300.  This will increase the level of service and professionalism in the industry.

Do these changes go far enough?

Bill 106 is definitely as step in the right direction providing much more consumer protection.  We now wait on the regulations which will complete the Act and provide much more detail.

Do you think this will make a difference?

Absolutely.  This will go a long way in starting the relationship between Developer and Unit Owner on the right foot.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Many industry professionals are excited for Bill 106 as it is long overdue.  There has been a huge boom in the condominium market since the last Act was proclaimed into Law in 2001.  New condominium developments are much more complex and we hope that Bill 106 will address the many issues facing condominium management today.

Now if they only added something in there that prevented Sales Reps and Brokers who don’t know the intricacies of pre-construction condos (or just condos in general) from selling them, we’d be in a great spot. One step at a time I guess! Our business at Spring is 50% houses 50% condos and we are cautious buying pre-con as an investment as developers are starting to raise their prices and focus more on the end user so margins are thin to non-existing for flippers but could work for some buy-hold investors. Comment below, use our live chat, or contact us to continue the convo.

 


AirBnB Is Illegal In ALL Toronto Condos

To AirBnB or not to AirBnb, that is the question.

Is Airbnb allowed-

Let me break it to you quick and easy like ripping off a band-aid: If you own a condo in Toronto and you’re using it as an AirBnB or even a short term rental of less than 6 months you’re most likely in violation of your condominium by-laws. To put it simply: You’re not allowed to.

In fact in the decade I’ve been selling real estate I’ve never seen a condo that doesn’t have the following by-law written into the declaration. Although we’ve seen it say six months vs. twelve.

A lease or tenancy of any residential or retail unit shall be for a term of not less than twelve (12) months. No unit shall be occupied under a lease, sub-lease, contract, or license agreement for transient or hotel purposes. No roomers or boarders are permitted. A lease or tenancy of any residential or retail unit shall be for a term of not less than twelve (12) months. No unit shall be occupied under a lease, sub-lease, contract, or license agreement for transient or hotel purposes. No roomers or boarders are permitted.

We know many clients who run successful B & B businesses from their condos and lofts but the moment management gets wind of this activity, they shut you down immediately. What are your options? Well, you have to change the by-laws in the building and in most cases that means getting 80% or more of the unit owners to agree to the change. I don’t know if you’ve served on any condo boards (I’ve served on 5) but it’s virtually impossible to get that many people on the same page.

What’s the solution?

Lawyers and developers should begin to understand that the consumer mindset is changing. People are owning less and sharing more. AirBnB and whatever comes next is here to stay so it’s not the consumer behaviour that needs to change, it’s the way-it-has-always-been-done mentality that does. AirBnB and services alike have so many safeguards in place to help protect the property with up to $5 million in coverage for every host. There’s also a screening process in place to help you choose the right guest.

There needs to be education on both sides. The consumers needs to learn how to select the right guest while lawyers, developers, and the City need to understand the changing consumer landscape and build around that new mindset (expectation).

To learn more about the specific restrictions in your building (or house). Contact us, comment below, or use our live chat function on your screen.

 

 


Do You Have What Buyers Are Searching For?

What are Buyers looking for in Toronto Real Estate?

The Canadian Real Estate Association’s (CREA) most important asset is Canada’s largest Real Estate search portal: Realtor.ca so when they dig into the most common key words people are searching for…we pay attention.

Top 5 Buyer Searches on Realtor.ca

Parking

As house prices approach a million dollars for a fully renovated option in an urban community Buyers are expecting parking and are unwilling to compromise on this specific property feature in our experience parking is king and is no surprise that it’s the number one searched item on Realtor.ca (on our website too).

In-Law Suite & Finished Basement

Items two and three are even less surprising. People are searching for properties that can give them income right away to help with their new mortgage payments. Fact: properties with income potential attract more offers than those without. (hint: buy a property and build in an income suite to massively boost the value of your home…it’s not as expensive as you think).

Lofts

Everyone searching for an apartment starts their search with dreams of Douglas Fir beams, exposed brick walls and maybe even an original freight elevator but these spaces cost an average of $100/f² more than the basic condo apartment so budget usually gets in the way. If you can stretch a little to get your self into that killer loft, you’ll have a much easier time selling down the road.

Bungalow

This has two target Buyers: The Builder and the end user who can’t find an existing property they’re satisfied with and want to build their own. The bungalow has been a hot commodity for a decade now and they’re mostly being sold to builders but there are a few that are selling to older downsizers not wanting to spend their golden years in an apartment but their living space all on one level.

The best way to give Buyers what they want is to know what they’re looking for so if you have an asset with the above you will be getting the highest possible price right now. Contact us, comment below, or use our live chat to dig deeper into this.


What documents are required for a mortgage approval?

What documents are required for a mortgage approval?

We’ve been meaning to put this one out there for ages since we get asked this about a bazillion times per day! We like to send our clients to our one and only money man, Lee Welbanks with Welbanks Financial fully prepared and not waste anyone’s time so when we asked him to prepare this for us he was quick to the draw.

These are the documents required for a mortgage approval:

Salaried Employee?

  • Employment letter (job letter)
  • Pay Stub (maybe get the past couple months worth)

Park Time/Hourly Employee?

  • Employment Letter (if you’re guaranteed a certain number of hours then this letter must include that)
  • 2 Pay Stubs
  • Last two income tax assessments (NoA’s or notice of assessments)

Self Employed?

  • Copy of business registration or articles of incorporation (depending on how your biz is set up)
  • Last two income tax assessments (NoA)
  • Last two years of T1 generals with statement of business income

Retired or Pensioner?

  • Last income tax assessment (assuming it’s not from WW2 era)
  • T4 slips for all pensions received
  • Copy of RRIF statement if RRIF income is included (Registered Retired Income Fund)
  • Pension statement

Bonus, Overtime, or Commission Income (These are required in addition to the above category you fall in)

  • Last two income tax statements
    OR
  • Final pay stub for the year
  • Previous year’s income tax assessment

Other documents may be required if available:

  • Latest mortgage statements
  • Current Lease Agreements
  • Void cheque for future mortgage payments

Refinancing? Here’s what you need for that.

If you’re looking to refinance the home or take some additional equity out of the current home, here are some additional items we will need:

  • Homeowner’s insurance policy
  • Property tax bill
  • Mortgage statement

After all of this don’t forget the basic requirement for government issued ID and the health card isn’t one of them! Only a driver’s license, passport, and citizenship cards are accepted.

We’d love to help you buy your next home so make sure you get all of this in order first. The market is moving way too fast for you to be scrambling around. We will not be taking you out looking until you get these things ready, it’s simply not a good use of anyone’s time until you are fully loaded and ready. Cool?

If you have questions, comments, or concerns about the documents required for a mortgage approval reach out to Lee Welbanks, comment below, or use our live chat at the bottom of your screen. Hope to hear from you!


How’s The Market? October Stats Hot & Fresh

Days on Market Down 12% Prices UP Across the Board

The prominence of bully offers have reduced average days on market by 12% year over year further pushing prices up across the board. Condos are also performing quite well, especially low rise/low density buildings positioned in strong communities like Leslieville, Roncesvalles, and other urban area with heavy density restrictions on development. 2016 is all about the rental property as an investment. Want more? email@springrealty.ca or 416-628-1088 Here’s an info-graphic for you to share. You’re welcome!

October 2015

 


Nobody outsells you, eh?

Do you think this ad is misleading?

Real Estate is a heavily regulated industry with many layers of protection for the consumer. The Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB), The Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO), to The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) exist to protect you, me and everyone in between.

We’re all for pushing limits in all aspects of real estate marketing. We do it regularly and don’t always fall in-line with the rest of the crowd. What we don’t do is mislead or confuse the consumer. Then this ad from the largest real estate brand in the World shows up on Toronto streets.

remax billboard

Nobody outsells a Re/Max agent? Well, I don’t even have enough fingers and toes to count how many Re/Max Sales Reps and Brokers I personally outsell. But what does Agent mean? The public perceives the word Agent as an individual who sells Real Estate but the Real Estate & Business Brokers Act of 2002 defines Agent as the Brokerage. Meaning the entire office. But even if you’re referring to the individual brokerage, there are many brokerages (aka Agents) here in Toronto that outsell independent Re/Max offices. The disclaimer on the ad is so small that it’s impossible to read making this one of the most misleading advertisements we’ve ever seen.

Re/Max likely does sell the most real estate Globally and even Nationally but that is meaningless to you sitting there reading this in your house or condo in some awesome Toronto neighbourhood. In 2015, Real Estate is a hyper local game. The boutique brokerage has just as much reach as the behemoth brand. The playing field is level, folks. Don’t be mislead by big budget ad campaigns in any industry. Start your search locally and go with the Sales Rep or Broker that is all-in, in your community and digitally savvy.

Hire the Human not the Brokerage. What matters is WHO they are, what they STAND for, and HOW they do what they do, not the Brokerage they work for.

Interested to hear your comments. Comment below, contact us, or use our live chat feature.