Randy Miller

Broker Of Record

Urban Avenue Realty Ltd., Brokerage

Whitby & Brooklin Real Estate

Office 905-430-1800

Direct 905-430-9444

Email: randy@randymiller.ca


Toronto Condos

The stock market can be an indicator of many things, but can it tell us something about condo sales? Researcher Shaun Hildebrand thinks it might, according to an article in The Globe and Mail.

Hildebrand is a senior vice-president at Urbanation Inc., which studies the Toronto’s condo market, and he has found a loose correlation between stock market values and condo sales in Toronto. And he points out that the correlation has grown stronger in recent years.

“While new condo sales have followed the general path of many economic variables over the past 10 years with various degrees of correlation, their fairly close relationship to the stock market is worth paying at least some attention to,” he writes in a soon-to-be-published note, which also calls for more research on the topic.

The correlation between condo sales and the broad stock market (the S&P/TSX Composite index) is higher than for instance the correlation between condo sales and real estate investment trust indices, he says.

“Over the past five years in particular, new condo sales have shown a strengthening, albeit still moderate, correlation to stock market values with a one quarter lag,” writes Mr. Hildebrand who is a former senior market analyst at Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. “While this may seem counterintuitive as condo investing is often thought of as a substitute for financial investments, it can suggest that condo buyers use financial gains to invest in condos, or buy units because they feel wealthier thanks to their rising financial portfolio. The same relationship occurs on the downside, where buyers feel more cautious as financial values slide.”

Condo sales vs the S&P/TSX

Read the full article by clicking on the link below:

Source: The Globe and Mail, What the TSX could tell us about Toronto condo sales  by Tara Perkins

For more insight into the housing market within Durham Region, the Whitby real estate market, or the Brooklin real estate market, contact me. If you are an existing homeowner and are thinking about a, move, I can tell you what your house or condo is worth in today’s marketplace.


Randy Miller


Re/Max Rouge River Realty Ltd., Brokerage

905-668-1800 or 905-427-1400

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Surprise! No insurance!


There is a lot of confusion out there by buyers and real estate salespeople as to what insurance is required when buying a condominium. The mistake is that some condo buyers think that the household insurance is somehow covered by their common expense payment each month. In most cases, it isn't and the buyer will still have to pay for part of the damages, even if they have done nothing wrong.


Condominium buildings do have an insurance policy that insures the building and the units but it does not cover everything and there are deductibles involved. It will not cover should damage occur, whether by a leaking pipe, fire or smoke damage. A building insurance policy typically will cover common areas, such as the structure, lobby and elevators, but does not cover an owner’s personal belongings. Nor does it cover any improvements that you have made to your unit or if you damage someone else’s unit or property or someone gets hurt while visiting your unit. As a result, most condominium buyers purchase a policy that provides coverage for their contents, any upgrades that they do to their unit and liability insurance to protect them if someone gets hurt visiting their unit.


Upgrades can include hardwood floor, ceramic tiles, carpets, cabinetry, appliances, counters and perhaps a sound system that you installed in your unit. The good news is that you can buy insurance to protect yourself from this type of liability.


Unit owners are generally responsible for any repairs and maintenance for anything in the unit itself. For this reason, it is generally advisable to have a condominium inspected by a home inspector to look at the plumbing, HVAC or other systems that may be the unit owner’s responsibility to maintain and repair, should a breakdown occur.


If you are buying a townhouse, then generally you will be more responsible for anything that occurs inside your home, so ensure that it is properly inspected before you buy and that you have your own sufficient insurance coverage over items that may not be covered by your condominium policy, such as flooding or sewage backup.

When you are buying a condominium, speak to the management company before and if necessary, the insurance company that insures the building, to make sure you understand what is covered and what isn’t.


In every condominium status certificate, there is a summary given of the insurance policy for the building, including any deductibles. One way to protect yourself is to send this certificate to your own insurance company and tell them that you wish to buy extra coverage for the deductibles noted on the policy. A good idea would be to use the same insurance company that your building is using for your own insurance package. This company likely understands the deductibles better than anyone and will make sure that your package covers any gap that may exist in the building insurance policy.


If you are buying a condominium as an investment, you still need to make sure that you have this type of insurance protection. Most tenants purchase insurance for their belongings and to cover liability. If you want the tenant to also pay for insurance for the deductibles, you need to say so in your lease agreement and make sure that the tenant provides proof that they have obtained all required insurance coverage before you give them the keys to the unit.

When you understand the insurance you need before you move into a condominium unit, you will be prepared should anything occur later.


By purchasing the right kind and amount of insurance before you move into your condo, you will avoid unwanted surprises or assessments if something happens later. If you need any help or have any questions concerning buying a condo, don't hesitate to contact me. 



Source: thestar.com, Why condo owners need household insurance by Mark Weisleder


Randy Miller


Re/Max Rouge River Realty Ltd., Brokerage

905-668-1800 or 905-427-1400

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House for rent

As a growing segment of the Canadian population watch house prices rise consistently and view the stock market as being far more risky because of movements up and down, owning a rental property seems far more appealing. Some people set out to become a landlord and purchase an investment property, while others choose to retain and rent out their existing home.


With a plan in place and the help of professionals,  becoming a landlord can be a wise investment. For many, having a few rental properties is a good substitute for pension or savings toward retirement.


Thousands of Canadians rely on residential income properties, whether close to home or abroad, to help them feather their financial nests.


Done right, investors stand to reap big rewards over the long haul, industry experts say. But property investment can also come at a heavy price to those who aren’t prepared to learn the market and do the less-than glamorous work of a landlord.


If talk about housing bubbles gives you ulcers, or you aren’t willing to answer the phone at 2 a.m. when the tenants call to tell you the pipes have burst, then investing in real estate might not be right for you.


“It’s like any business that you want to enter. It’s all about time, money and expertise. If you don’t have the time, you at least have to have the expertise and you have to have the money to make it fly,” says Phil McDowell, a mortgage broker in Calgary.


For those who are considering investing in a rental property, there are a few basic rules to keep in mind in order to mitigate the risk of the deal turning sour, says Melanie Reuter, director of research for the Canadian branch of the Real Estate Investment Network (REIN), an investor advisory organization based in British Columbia. The key is to look for a community or region that shows clear signs of growth and economic sustainability.  GTA rental vacancy rates are low, as  steady influx of residents moves to Toronto. Here in Durham Region, vacancy rates are about 2.3 per cent.


Ms. Reuter says it is equally important for investors to have a clear idea of the true monthly costs, including mortgage, interest and property tax, as well as potential extras, such as repairs, on-going maintenance costs, condo fees, property management fees, etc. She recommends those considering property investment should also set aside an emergency fund to cover repairs and maintenance, or unexpected vacancies.


Many investors choose to save money by doing the management work themselves, but that comes with its own costs. Landlords should expect to put effort into finding good tenants, avoiding bad ones and fielding the overnight phone calls when something goes wrong.


“We’ve all heard stories of someone who had the tenant from hell,” says Jason Abbott, a financial planner and president of Wealthdesigns.ca Inc. in Toronto. A real-estate investment fund may be a better option for someone who wants to be involved in real estate without having to manage a property or assume all of the risk, Mr. Abbott says. The one downside is that it can be a lot harder than more traditional funds to access your money should you need it.  “Mr. Britton recommends his clients treat property investment as they would any business. That includes hiring a tax professional to help them report an income property, including expenses, revenues and asset appreciation. Not reporting an income property can land an investor in hot water with Canada Revenue Agency.


“If you choose not to report, you are taking the chance you won’t be found out. If you are, it is not going to be pretty,” Mr. Britton says.


Mortgage rules require investors to have a minimum down payment of 20 per cent and to have proof through tax returns of the their income and assets. In most cases, it is important to have secure employment to prove you can cover a portion of the mortgage at any time. “You should be able to demonstrate that you’ve got a reserve fund available to you should you have a major repair or if the tenant skips,” Mr. McDowell says.  Homeowners who are interested in an income-generating property, but don’t have 20 per cent to put down, may want to consider a basement or suite within their own home, he adds. A primary residence with a rental suite requires a 5-per-cent down payment.


A growing number of my clients are purchasing investment properties to secure their future. Purchasing an investment property is a business decision and not a rash or emotional purchase. I can help you avoid the pitfalls and mistakes when buying an investment property here in Whitby, Brooklin, Oshawa, Courtice or Bowmanville. The expansion of Highway 407 is madding Durham Region more accessible and it is boosting house prices and rental rates. The refurbishment of Darlington will create a demand for rentals, creating opportunity for investors. If you are ready to buy an investment property and become a successful investor, contact me for  a consultation.


Randy Miller


Re/Max Rouge River Realty Ltd., Brokerage

905-668-1800 or 905-427-1400


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