Jordan Epstein Toronto Real Estate

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Real Estate Investing

  • Plan for the costs of home buying

    There’s a lot to consider when buying a home aside from finding the right property to suit your needs and lifestyle.  As your Coldwell Banker® real estate professional will tell you, home buying requires a plan, and that includes sound financial planning.  After all, home buying doesn’t just involve the immediate expenses incurred with your real estate transaction.  It also requires long-term changes to monthly spending that should also be planned for before you buy.

    Some of the immediate costs that you can expect during the home buying process are appraisal, home insurance, legal fees and disbursements, utility hookups, and home inspections. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) offers an on-line Consumer Guide and Workbook on their website at site (www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca) that includes an excellent list of other expenses to be considered when calculating your home buying costs.  Of course, you may not know what amounts to use when estimating these expenses.  That’s where your Coldwell Banker real estate professional comes in.  With their wealth of experience, they can help you come up with realistic price ranges to work with so you’ll know what to expect before you make an offer to purchase.  

    Monthly expenses will also change with new or increased spending on utilities, home repair and maintenance, lawn and garden care, appliances, homeowner's insurance, tools and decorating. All will have to be included in your new spending plan.  Not sure what to allow for such costs?  Again, here’s where your Coldwell Banker professional can help you estimate the costs of such expenses, sometimes obtaining historical information from the current homeowner.

    When you do your planning in advance, you take a lot of the guesswork out of the home buying process.  And that will not only ease your stress level, it will also improve your chances of a successful outcome.  It’s just one more way that, with a little help from your Coldwell Banker representative, you’re another step closer to making today’s dream of home ownership into tomorrow’s reality. 

    For more information please feel free to contact me anytime via email at jepstein@terrequity.com or by contating me using the contact information on my website www.epsteinrealestate.com

     

  • Aging ‘boomers’ are shifting their priorities

    Recently, the Canadian government conducted a national census and the results are interesting to say the least.  Here’s a sampling of the findings:

    • There are now a record 4.3 million seniors in Canada
    • 1 out of every 7 Canadians is now over 65
    • Retirement-minded Canadians aged 55 to 64 are the fastest-growing demographic, accounting for 3.7 million people - a 28% rise from just five years ago.
    • Canada’s median age -- the point where half the country’s population is younger and half is older -- soared to an all-time high of 39.5, just a few months shy of 40 years old.

     

    Combine our increased life expectancy with a declining birth rate and the trend to a rapidly-aging population looks set to continue into the future.  As our population
    becomes increasingly older, their lifestyle needs will change, and we can expect that this will have a dramatic effort on the real estate markets in the future.  Here are some of the housing types and amenities that will appeal to this growing demographic group:

    • Low maintenance, urban dwellings such as condo apartments and freehold townhouses
    • Bungalows and properties with few interior or exterior stairs
    • Multi-family dwellings, with in-law apartments or ‘granny flats’
    • Easy access to hospital and medical facilities
    • Access to reliable and frequent public transportation routes
    • Luxurious features and labour-saving devices that are easily affordable to these affluent consumers; they may want to down-size, but up-grade.

     

    If you’re looking to buy a home or upgrade your existing property, it pays to keep an eye on the future and consider where tomorrow’s customers may be coming from.  Want help in deciding what home improvements will give you the most bang for your buck, now and in the future?  Why not contact your local Coldwell Banker® real estate professional?  You’ll be glad you called me first. http://www.epsteinrealestate.com

  • What's your investment risk tolerance?

    In recent times, we've seen the stock market rise and fall, soar and crash, with investors holding on white-knuckled as the roller-coaster ride continues. Some people enjoy the exhilaration of what is often an unpredictable investment approach. But for many of us, the stress and unease that accompanies investing in a volatile and relatively short-term arena like the stock market, is unwanted and unwelcome. Most of us think of it as a necessary evil. But is it really?

    By examining your goals, options and strategies, you may find that your situation is more suited to investing in real estate. Consider the following:

    • Real estate is generally considered a very sound long-term investment. Do you have a need for a short-term return, or can you afford to let your money work for you for an extended period? If you have time, then investing in real estate could be the right choice for you.
    • As a long-term investment, real estate has traditionally performed well in times of political uncertainty and economic downturn. Can stocks, commodities or equities make that claim?
    • Since real estate is a long-term investment, it generally does not require the close daily – or even several times a day – monitoring that's typical of many more volatile investments. Do you have the time available to monitor your investment this frequently?
    • Real estate has the ability to deliver you a return on your investment in several different ways, including renting the home out as an income property, renting a portion of it to help offset mortgage payments, upgrading it to ‘flip' it for a good return or holding it to wait for property values to appreciate.
    • Investing in real estate provides you with a tangible asset that you and your family can potentially enjoy for years to come.

    Want more help in determining whether investing in real estate is the right answer for you? Then contact me at http://www.epsteinrealestate.com. I will be happy to sit down with you to help you explore all your options. Then, it's your move!

  • The vacation that pays you!

    When most of us do our household budgeting, we often set aside what may be a considerable amount of funds for the family vacation. But did you ever stop to think that there might be a better way to plan for quality family time without laying out a lot of cash that you'll never see again? Why not put the money you'd spend on airfares, hotels and rental cars into building equity instead?

    If you put your vacation budget towards buying a vacation property, you'd not only be building an asset for the future, you could also be creating many more opportunities for the family to spend quality time together. Why spend a big part of your vacation standing in lineups at the airport? With increasingly long delays due to heightened security measures, it's easy to waste almost an entire day traveling – both coming and going. If you bought a vacation property within a few hours of home, you could be gaining the better part of two more days to enjoy yourself. More importantly, with your own vacation home, your family could enjoy your property several times a year, including weekends, while you build an asset that you can enjoy for many years to come.

    As well, vacation properties have the potential to generate income if you devote part of the year to renting the property out. And if you plan it right, the vacation home of today could ultimately become your retirement residence in the future. The potential is as unlimited as the types of available vacation residences.

    If this prospect sounds appealing, you should be talking to a Coldwell Banker® real estate professional. Even if your dream property is hundreds of miles away, your local Coldwell Banker sales professional can help you right here and now. In addition to having access to insider information about hundreds of properties, both nearby or far away, your local Coldwell Banker professional can counsel you about creative financing solutions and much more. Let us help you do the groundwork right here at home, and before you know it you could be spending your next vacation in your own property. And that just might be the first vacation that actually pays you!

    In addition, if you have any general questions about buying or selling real estate in Ontario, please contact me at http://www.epsteinrealestate.com as I'm more than willing to help.

  • First time buyers to be a greater force in 2007 market

    Home buying intentions surveyed in 10 major markets by CMHC

    The real estate market just keeps charging on, breaking records month after month in urban centers all across Canada. With more and more homes changing hands with each successive month, it raises the question of where do all these homebuyers come from? This year, one of the answers appears to be that there will be more first-time buyers entering the housing market for the very first time. At least, that's one of the findings of a recent and very comprehensive CHMC survey on the home buying intentions of urban Canadians.

    Approximately 1.5 million households in 10 major Canadian centres were surveyed in the Renovation and Home Purchase Survey recently released by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). On the home purchasing front, eight per cent of households across the 10 major centres surveyed intend to purchase a home in 2007 that will be used as a primary residence. About half of the households that stated they intend to purchase a home in 2007 are first-time buyers, compared to only 40 per cent in 2006. That represents a jump of close to 10 per cent in just the space of one year, and could potentially represent a significant impact on an already active market. The majority of first-time buyers are between the ages of 25 and 34, with a household income between $80,000 to about $100,000. That income level, combined with today's very attractive mortgage rates, puts the dream of home ownership well within reach of this buyer group.

    Not surprisingly, home buying intentions are strongest in the booming economy of Western Canada. Calgary led the way, as 14 per cent of households reported that they are considering buying a home this year. Purchase intentions are also strong in Edmonton where 11 per cent of households plan to buy. The share is lowest in Montréal and Québec (6 per cent).

    If you'd like to know more about market conditions, home prices and the availability of buyers in your own community please contact me at http://www.epsteinrealestate.com
  • Student Residences that pay you!

    Fall will soon be here and for many young people it’s time to leave home and head out for college.  If you’re a parent of a college student, it can also mean that it’s time to start pulling out your cheque book to pay for a student residence.  But did it ever occur to you that there’s a way to provide great housing for your child and actually make money, rather than just incurring another cost?

    Real estate has traditionally been one of the strongest, most stable investments available to Canadians. You’re already committed to paying first and last months rent and a security deposit upfront, followed by monthly fees for your child’s student accommodation.  Why not consider adding some additional funds and making an investment in an income property instead?  You could rent out a few of the rooms to other students and actually end up in a positive cash flow situation.  Chances are your son or daughter already knows some other young people who will be going to the same college who would appreciate the privacy and independence that comes with renting a room in a residential home.

    Many students complain about the noise and distraction of student residences on campus.  Living with just a few other like-minded people can be a tremendous benefit while your child is dealing with the sometimes stressful environment of post secondary education.  It’s also a great exercise in learning to manage the realities of life they can expect when they head out into the working world.

    Of course, if you have more than one child who will be attending the same school over the space of the next few years, your cash benefits will be doubled.  Plus, your kids have the pleasure of staying close to their siblings.  And while you’re putting your children’s residence costs to work purchasing the property, and collecting rents from other students to help you pay for it, you could also be earning even more equity as your property increases in value over time.  

    If you’re thinking of buying a property to rent out during the school year, http://www.epsteinrealestate.com can provide a wealth of information to help you get started and to find the property that’s right for your situation.  Aside from being an affordable but well-maintained property that’s close to campus, there are many other things to consider, such as access to transportation, security and neighborhood compatibility.  Of course, potential resale value will be a very important consideration when buying a property for use as a student residence.  In most cases, you will probably want to sell the property after your child (or children) finish their education at that location and move on.  That means you’ll ideally be looking for a positive return on your investment in three to five years.   Please contact me at http://www.epsteinrealestate.com  to help you make an informed choice.

  • Recipe for Successful Reno Projects

    Spring is the time of year when most homeowners, who have been kicking around the idea of renovation, drive ahead with determination. Perhaps you are trying to freshen up a place you bought in winter or are trying to prepare your house for a sale this summer. But before you charge ahead, I thought you might like to know My Recipe for a Successful Reno .

    My successful renovation recipe includes the careful blending of 10 critical ingredients that I picked up from an article by Erin Zagar at www.eRenovate.com . The site is packed with helpful renovation resources and completely free, so I included a few links you might find valuable. I was told that they are launching a new web site next week and will be giving away Cruises for 2 plus a $75,000 Dream Kitchen, visit www.eRenovate.com next week to enter!

     Ingredients for My Recipe for a Successful Reno…1 Part Funding:  It's best to have a firm idea as to what you can afford. That doesn't necessarily mean what the bank will give you or what savings you have. It is more about what you are comfortable spending and ultimately what you can afford to pay monthly after everything is said and done.

    1 part Assessment: Take time to look at the home, understand what works, what doesn't work, what will need repairing to protect your equity and above all understand the limitations of what you can and cannot do to the house.

    1 part Focus : What do you really NEED! Stuff that appears regularly in magazines is wonderful; define if it will add value to your home or your family life.

    2 parts Qualified Advisors : First you need a designer [Find Interior Design Inspiration ], someone preferably who has focused their practice in renovation and residential design. Other specialists in the Design realm include Interior Decorators and Engineers, these individuals may have experience in renovation design however make sure they are qualified to design the look you are after and that they hold credentials for obtaining permits.

    The next professional you will need on your team is a Renovation Contractor. The first word being key, as you want to make sure your contractor is properly licensed and has experience in renovation since the work and skill necessary to do a good job is very different from other construction work.

    1 part Permits: No matter what anyone says, permits are necessary. As you are aware there are many television shows that demonstrate work completed by unskilled or unqualified builders or do-it-yourselfers [View CBC Marketplace video, “ How not to Get Nailed ”]. If you try to side step the legal process you could be in a mess one way or another without a permit.

    Last but not least… 4 parts Patience: and a lot of it!

    First don't rush into anything… take the time to learn, research and ensure what you are moving forward fits your focus and funding criteria.

    Second…. Take lots of care with researching where and to whom you spend your money on. Check references, follow up with past clients, see the materials, workmanship and finished products in their operational and finished form.

    Third, expect the unexpected. Professionals will try to predict what might be found but they will also be able to address any situation that comes up if it meets your goals and budget.

    Finally, the time it takes for permit, construction and completion is the time it takes. Relax, enjoy the process and find creative ways to minimize the stress and distract your family while waiting for your project to materialize. It will be worth it!

    Take the time to appreciate and complete each part before blending into the mixing bowl. Stir gently and bake for approximately 2-6 months while preparing your project drawings. Serve with good design and a few special upgrades and you will enjoy your Reno project for many years to come. Right-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet.
    www.eRenovate.com
    helps homeowners prevent renovation headaches by providing completely free articles for inspiration, renovation experts for advice and Verified by eRenovate™ contractors-screened to protect homeowners.

    For more information please contact me via http://www.epsteinrealestate.com

     

  • The high cost of waiting

    House prices have been increasing steadily for some years now and there's no end in sight. In fact, the Canadian Real Estate Association recently predicted that the national average home price will increase from $276,974 in 2006 to $310,400 by 2008. If your goal is to buy a home that's around that average price, it's probably not in your best interest to wait before entering the market.

    Think about it. You'd have to save an additional $33,426 in two years just to stay even with where you are right now! On the other hand, if you managed to get into the market and buy that same home today, then two years from now that potential gain of $33,426 in equity could be going into your pocket. If you add the increase in home prices, plus the equity you could lose, it all adds up to a very high cost for waiting... there's a potential difference of almost $67,000, depending on whether or not you act now.

    So, if you've been thinking of putting off entering the housing market until prices level off or you're in a better position to buy, you'd better think twice! Of course, this is just one example, based on the national average. Home values can vary dramatically from market to market and even between neighbourhoods. If you'd like to know more about local property values and how much you could earn by acting now versus later, I hope you'll give me a call. There's absolutely no obligation to you. I'm happy to talk real estate anytime, so I hope you'll call soon.

    Http://www.epsteinrealestate.com

  • REALTORS® propose changes to capital gains tax

    Canada’s housing market has always been a major indicator of the overall health and productivity of our economy.  Now, organized real estate is taking a stand that could ultimately give a boost to the national economy while it benefits small investors who own secondary homes as investment properties.  The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is calling on the federal government to make changes to the Capital Gains Tax that would provide several economic benefits, including a boost in Canada’s productivity, expansion of rental housing, and encouragement of urban regeneration.  CREA is one of Canada’s largest single-industry trade associations representing more than 88,000 REALTOR® members across Canada, including your local Coldwell Banker real estate professional. 

     

    As of March 16, 2007, CREA has met with MPs and other government officials to outline its tax proposal.  Under the proposal, secondary homeowners would be allowed to defer capital gains tax when an investment property is sold and the proceeds of the sale are invested in another investment property within one year.

     

    CREA’s proposal seeks to remedy the current situation, where small investors are holding onto their investment properties because of the tax consequences associated with selling and reinvesting.  This practice of holding off on selling is “unduly influencing typical market activity,” says CREA.   Members of CREA’s Canadian Commercial Council believe a tax deferral would trigger economic activity, since small investors typically undertake renovations and make related purchases when they reinvest.  In many Canadian communities, small investors are at the heart of community development and redevelopment initiatives.

     

    If you’d like to know more about buying a secondary property for investment purposes or selling your existing investment property, then just call me at   416 495 2208 or check my website for more contaact information.

    www.epsteinrealestate.com

  • Power of sale

    As a homebuyer in today's marketplace, understanding the meaning and implications of a Power of Sale are absolutely essential. A Power of Sale listing occurs when the previous owner defaults on their mortgage, and literally walks away from their home and their financial obligation. The mortgage lender usually a bank or financial institution then holds the Power of Sale. Their goal is to recover the money still outstanding on their original mortgage loan. In times gone by, when home prices were on the rise, buying a home through a Power of Sale could often be a bargain. Since the lending institution's primary goal was to recover only the money owing, without having to carry the home's expenses for a prolonged period, these properties would frequently be sold below market value.
    However, in today's market, the term Power of Sale is no longer synonomous with "bargain". In fact, the situation today can vary according to markets, or neighbourhoods, or even house to house. In cases where home prices have dropped significantly from the original purchase price, some owners have chosen to walk away from their oversized mortgage balances. These mortgage balances are sometimes well beyond the current market value of the home. Also, if the previous owner was in dire straits financially, there is a very good chance that the property has not been well maintained. That can add up to significant after-sale expenses. If you have an opportunity to buy through a Power of Sale, talk to someone with your best interests at heart. Your real estate salesperson is a valuable source of information on current area market value trends. A Power of Sale may still be the right choice for you. Just make sure that you listen to the advice of your real estate expert before making your offer.

    For more information please contact me via my website at www.epsteinrealestate.com

  • Buying an Investment Property

    In today's times of low interest rates, buying real estate is becoming a very appealing option as an investment strategy. If it's done right, investing in real estate can benefit you financially in a number of ways…the property's value can appreciate over your initial purchase price, the property can generate a positive income stream in excess of your expenses, and your equity can increase as today's affordable payments are applied against your mortgage loan.

    There are two primary strategies you can employ when considering an investment property. You can choose to live in a part of the property yourself, while renting out another flat or apartment in the same building. Another option would be to buy a separate unit, based solely on its investment potential. This can be a very worthwhile venture, but it has tax implications. In Canada, only the profit made buying or selling your principal residence is non-taxable. Secondary properties are normally subject to tax for any gain in price, although expenses to get the house ready for sale are often deductible. Whether it's your principal residence or not, rental income less some operating expenses is normally taxable. The first step in your planning should be to thoroughly investigate and understand the income and taxation implications of each strategy.

    Once you've decided your strategy, it's time to start planning on the return you want on your investment. Your Coldwell Banker real estate professional can help you "crunch the numbers" by advising you how much you can afford to pay, offering mortgage financing options, counseling you on what range of payments the rental market will bear, estimating operating expenses, and much more.

    Once you know what you can afford, it's time to start looking. You've heard the old saying that the three most important things when buying a home are: location, location, location…and this is even truer when choosing an investment property. Not only are you looking for a home that will appreciate in value, you also want a home that will be appealing to renters for an extended period of time. That means you want a location that's handy to public transit routes, and is easily accessible to major amenities. Your Coldwell Banker real estate professional can help you identify neighbourhoods with good investment property potential.

    Make sure that your real estate professional clearly understands your intention to rent out a portion of the home. Many homes for sale will advertise that they have an in-law apartment, or granny flat. This usually means that the space functions as a separate unit, but the property is not zoned to use it as a legal income apartment. You can rely on your Coldwell Banker real estate professional to advise you on zoning, and safety requirements before you make that offer.

    For more information please feel free to contact me anytime via email at jepstein@terrequity.com or by contating me using the contact information on my website www.epsteinrealestate.com