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Annual inflation rate accelerates to 2.2%

Canada’s Inflation Rate Higher than Expected

A recent iPOLITICS article reports the annual inflation rate accelerated to 2.2%, which is above the Bank of Canada’s expected target. Stephen Poloz, the Bank of Canada’s governor, stated that despite the three interest rate hikes since last summer he maintained the current rate as the Bank watches the current trade related uncertainties out of the USA.

Read the full article by Andy Blattchford published on Mar 23, 2018

In other news…

Real estate sales are cratering around the GTA. And perhaps all of Ontario.

The tide seems to be turning in the GTA from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market. Some real estate brokers have reported that houses are staying on the market longer. Stubborn sellers, holding out for higher prices, are starting to realize they better take what they can get now rather than less later.

After years of rising prices and a several months of total insanity across Ontario, the housing market seems to be stabilizing. In January 2018 home sales in Canada dropped rapidly by 14.5% compared to the previous month. This was the biggest single-month decline in almost a decade. The drop was mainly caused by actions in the GTA where home sales fell off 26.6%. This drop has been similarly reflected in other communities across Ontario.

Will this downward turn in prices continue into a long term slump or rebound? The experts have their opinions one way or the other. But the fact is prices today are lower and may present a buying opportunity for home buyers that just was not available a few months back.

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If your washing machine is giving off a musty smell, it’s time for a wash!

Washing the washing machine may seem strange but over time, soap scum and bacteria build up in front loading washing machines which creates a musty smell.

Start by cleaning the rubber door gasket with white vinegar and water.  Next, mix ¼ cup of baking soda with ¼ cup of water and add it to the detergent compartment, then pour 2 cups of vinegar in the drum and run an empty load at the hottest setting.

Clean your washing machine every month to keep it in tip top shape.  If you leave the door open between loads, promptly remove laundry as soon as the load has finished and don’t use too much detergent, you’ll help keep your washing machine fresh and clean.

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Smart home technology is continuing to grow at a rapid rate!

Smart home technology has gone from basic security to smart windows that open and close based on the weather and indoor air temperature.  Here’s a look at a few smart home innovations that will revolutionize our lives:

  1. Connectivity is King – The connected home is a huge theme this year that features connected appliances, smoke alarms, lightbulbs and doorbells.
  2. Talk to Me – There’s a huge focus on voice activated products around the home including voice controlled garbage cans, air purifiers and fridges.
  3. Home Help – Robots are being used to offer companionship for seniors and there’s also an innovative, lifesaving cane that sends out an alert in the event of an emergency.
  4. Laundry Lackey – Washing machines that can do multiple loads at once will save us valuable time and there’s even a machine in the works that will fold the laundry!
  5. Breathe Easy – Sensors can monitor your indoor air for Co2, VOCs, allergens and humidity levels and they’ll also be able to expel bad air and introduce clean air to your home.
  6. Robot Cleaners – With intelligent visual navigation, app control and powerful suction that cleans in corners, you’ll never need to push a vacuum again!

Smart home technology is always improving and it’s a major selling point because the higher your home’s IQ, the higher the resale value will be!  Who knows what the future will bring but one thing’s for sure; smart home technology can provide you and your family convenience and peace of mind.

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Consider the pros and cons carefully before purchasing a condo.

Condos appeal to everyone from young urbanites who want to be in the heart of the action to seniors who just want to relax and enjoy their golden years playing tennis and relaxing by the pool.

Families are also starting to gravitate towards condos as they’re an affordable way to escape the suburbs and move to a vibrant downtown atmosphere where various amenities are only steps away.

Aside from being affordable, condos are low maintenance as you don’t have to spend your weekends cutting the grass and cleaning the gutters.  They also offer enhanced security features which are perfect for those who like to travel.

Convenience, however, comes at a price in the form of condo fees which can be costly depending on the amenities offered by the complex.  That said, condos are often very affordable compared to single family homes, especially for those who are downsizing.

When you buy a condo, you don’t own the land beneath you but instead share a common interest with others in the complex.  This means you’ll be subject to rules and regulations that can dictate anything from the type of planters you’re allowed to display to the kinds of blinds you can hang.

Joint ownership also means you’ll be in close contact with your fellow condo owners.  Some people love the sense of community offered by condos but for those who value their privacy, it can be a difficult adjustment.  Pets are another key consideration as Fido may not be welcome in some buildings.

If your real estate vision includes extensive renovations, condo living may not be for you as your options could be limited.  If however, you’d rather spend your time chilling by the pool instead of painting shutters, the low maintenance factor may be just what you’re after.  It’s really a choice of freedom vs. freedom.

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The Lowdown on Radon Gas


Do you know if you and your family are protected against radon?

Radon is an invisible radioactive gas that occurs naturally in the environment from the breakdown of uranium in soil and rocks.

It doesn’t present a concern outdoors but when radon becomes trapped inside a house, it can be very harmful to your health as it increases the risk of lung cancer.

Radon can seep into your home through gaps in floors, walls and foundations.  The only way to know if you have high radon levels is to purchase an inexpensive testing kit or to install a radon detector.

Radon concentrations vary from home to home so don’t take any chances — protect your family by testing your home for radon today.

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Mortgage Rules Change

OSFI extends ‘stress test’ to all new mortgages
  • The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) released revised “B-20” guidelines for residential mortgage underwriting at federally regulated financial institutions. As was widely expected, the updated ‘stress test’  will be applied to all new mortgages beginning on January 1, 2018. Currently, the test applies only to mortgages requiring insurance (i.e. those with low down payments) and those whose term is less than five years.
  • This change requires that borrowers qualify for mortgages at the greater of the Bank of Canada’s five-year benchmark rate or the contracted rate plus 200 basis points. For reference, as of this morning, the Bank of Canada posted rate was 4.89%. It should be noted that OSFI will not apply the more stringent requirements in the case of mortgage renewal.
  • While the extension of qualification guidelines will likely draw the most attention, OSFI introduced two other changes:
    • Loan-to-value limits must be established and lenders will be required to ensure that they “are reflective of risk and are updated as housing markets and the economic environment evolve”
    • Lending arrangements designed to get around loan-to-value limits are restricted with the updated guideline explicitly forbidding ‘co-lending’ or ‘bundling’ arrangements.
Key Implications
  • As expected, OSFI has expanded the scope of the ‘stress test’ to include anyone taking out a mortgage at a federally regulated institution regardless of the term and whether they are insured. Perhaps underscoring the logic behind the change, OSFI bank data for August of this year showed insured mortgages (which were already subject to the stress test) were down 4.5% year-on-year, while uninsured mortgage credit grew 17.3%. While this is partly related to the rising prices of Canadian real estate, with more and more of it priced above the insurance caps, it also likely reflects the skew stemming from the past stress test requirements. As such, today’s change, alongside the explicit guidance around co-lending arrangements, will together help address the shift as far as those borrowing from federally regulated institutions.  
  • As discussed in our regional housing outlook, broadening the stress test will likely further slow housing activity, depressing demand by 5% to 10% once implemented, with some pull-forward of activity likely to take place ahead of the January 1st implementation date. Price growth will also be impacted, with these changes expected to exert a drag of between 2% and 4% over 2018. On balance, these changes should help enhance the resilience of the Canadian banking system in a rising interest rate environment.
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Keep Emotion in Check in Real Estate Transactions

Never wear your emotions on your sleeve during the real estate ride.

Selling your home is a huge financial transaction that can trigger a roller coaster of emotions.  When you’re being tossed around at every turn, you need to hang on and stay on track.

Although you’ll likely have a strong connection to your home, try not to get offended if a potential buyer wants to rip up your kitchen or paint over the wood trim.

Also, never take comments personally.  It’s natural for people to complain when they’re interested in something so while criticisms may seem negative, they’re actually a sign that the buyer’s interested in your home.

If you receive a “low ball” offer, remember that it’s often just a starting point but be aware of tactics such as “low balling” where an attractive price is initially offered only to be adjusted at a later point on the basis that circumstances have changed.  Recognizing these strategies will help you keep a balanced perspective.

If you’re able to generate multiple offers, make sure you consider more than just the price.  There’s nothing worse than accepting a conditional offer just because it’s over the asking price only to have it fall apart a month later when you could have accepted a firm cash offer that was almost as good.

It’s completely natural for both buyers and sellers to experience a wide range of intense emotions as they navigate through the complex real estate process.  However, if you hop on the real estate roller coaster with a competent agent by your side, you’ll not only enjoy the ride but you’ll look forward to doing it again!

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Steps In Buying A New Home


It is important to know what you can afford. Get pre-approved with a financial institution prior to beginning your search. Shop around to get the best rate and terms to suit you. It will make your offer stronger if you don’t require a condition for financing.In addition to the pre-approval, we will review

In addition to the pre-approval, we will review together with my section on Residential Resale Cost/ and procedures, so you can budget for the other closing costs involved.

Defining your needs 

If you are purchasing with someone else, sit down and discuss what is important to each of you and discuss which things are imperative, and where you will make compromises.

Picking a Neighbourhood 

Be open to alternatives we might suggest. There may be areas or pockets that you haven’t thought about. Or know about, that would meet your criteria.

Also consider different types of homes in your price range, at the beginning of your search. Know your options.

Choose an Agent & Agency Relationship 

Hopefully, at this point, you have chosen to work with us, or are if we have just met, you will see the information we have provided that we have the knowledge and expertise you are looking for.

After reviewing and discussing Agency and home it affects you, a decision will have to be made as to whether you choose to be a customer or a client in the buying process. More information is available from us on this topic.

Viewing & Choosing 

You will be notified by phone or e-mail attachments of all new properties that may meet your requirements as soon as they are processed. This is usually well in advance of the home is listed on a public site.

We will then make arrangements to view those you are interested in.

After viewing enough homes to feel comfortable with your decision, make the choice. It is difficult to find the absolute perfect home.

Decide on the one that meets most of your requirements and where you are prepared to make compromises or changes.

Preparing the Offer 

We will then prepare the offer, present it, and negotiate it on your behalf.

After Acceptance 

We will follow up after acceptance to satisfy any conditions, forward documentation to your lawyer and follow up with the process to closing.

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What’s next? From Offer Acceptance to Closing Day

The time between acceptance of your offer and the closing date is sometimes a confusing time period. This article will remove some of the mystery. Hopefully, any questions you might have, have been anticipated; however if there is anything that hasn’t been covered, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time.

We will be in touch at regular intervals until closing date ( and after) to ensure that everything is proceeding in order.

The Agreement of Purchase & Sale

The Agreement of Purchase and Sale, (and any amendments or waivers) will be sent to your Lawyer or Paralegal as discussed.

The Deposit

The Deposit will be placed in an Interest Bearing Account until closing and credited against the purchase price on the Statement of Adjustments. If there was a clause that the interest on the deposit cheque is to be paid to the purchaser, then this cheque will be mailed after closing.

Title Search & Requisition Date

If there are no conditions in the Agreement, your lawyer will open a file and begin the procedure to ensure that you will have good title to the property. If there are conditions the process will be delayed until the conditions have been waived.

This procedure may include other things, but here are the basics:

  • The Title Search
  • Obtaining a Tax certificate (showing current realty tax information)
  • Assurances from Municipal and Utility Departments that there are no liens or issues affecting the property (i.e. work orders or outstanding payments etc.)
  • A search to ascertain if there are any judgments outstanding against the current owners and if there is a mortgage on your purchase, they will also search regarding your name(s).

All of the searches will be conducted prior to the Requisition Date noted in your Agreement. If there are any questionable issues, they will be addressed in the form of a “Requisition Letter” to the Vendor’s Lawyer; to be satisfied prior to closing. Your lawyer will address any of those concerns (if any) around that time.

Survey And/Or Title Insurance 

If an existing survey for the property is not available (or does not show the current location of the fences, buildings, and structures), the mortgagee will require either a new survey or title insurance.

Title insurance is less expensive and acceptable for the mortgagee, in most situations (insuring the property against possible encroachments etc. that an up to date survey might reveal). First Canadian Title Company is one of such companies offering this survey, but your lawyer may recommend others.

If you choose to have a new survey prepared, we can provide you with a few names of those we have used in the past, or your lawyer may have someone they prefer. We would be happy to assist you in making any arrangements.


Your lawyer will in all probability also represent your financial institution with respect to your first mortgage. In that regard, they will send any documentation directly to your lawyer, and make the funds available for the closing date. If you have a closing date that extends beyond your rate commitment watch the rates and get in touch if you see rates increasing. (Get your commitment extended.)

Executing Documents & Balance of Down Payment

During the week prior to closing your lawyer will request an appointment for you to execute closing documents, (i.e. mortgage documentation, land transfer tax affidavit etc.) and review the Statement of Adjustments. You will also be required to bring a certified cheque at that time for the balance of your down payment and legal fees. This appointment usually occurs the day prior to closing.

Closing Date

On the closing date, your lawyer will exchange documentation and balance of closing funds with the vendor’s lawyer’s firm and complete the transaction.


Your lawyer may have many transactions closing on your closing date, and it is often difficult to close early in the day. If you are selling as well, then that transaction has to close first in order to have the money to close your purchase. You are not legally entitled to possession of the keys and your new home until the closing has occurred. Keys will be given to your lawyer on closing.

Keep this in mind when making your moving arrangements. You don’t want to pay for a moving van all day if the closing doesn’t occur until later in the day.

Access Visits Prior to Closing

Visits prior to closing will be arranged through Lakeview Realty Inc. (with the listing agent and the vendor.) If you require any assistance with respect to contractors etc., We have names that we could recommend.

Please visit our Concierge section for more details. We would be happy to help.

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 Planning Your Move

An organized approach and checklist can make “The Moving Process” a lot easier!


Book the movers. It’s a good idea to obtain estimates from several different companies. (Note: There are different rates for different times of the month). You can choose to have the movers pack everything, some of your more precious or breakable items, or pack everything yourself.

If packing yourself, make arrangements for special boxes on moving day for mirrors/pictures etc. and make special arrangements for moving your pets and perishables, such as food and plants.

Ask the movers if they provide or sell boxes. Some of them will give you used boxes to start the process. If none are provided, there are stores that cater to moving. Check the yellow pages or speak to us. We can point you in the right direction. It is a good idea to devise a colour code system with stickers for boxes going to different rooms on moving day.

Be aware that you do not own the new home, (and are not entitled to possession) until after the transaction closes. If you are closing and moving on the same day, you may not have possession until later in the afternoon.

If you rent your present home:

Give the necessary written notice to your landlord, and make arrangements of any monies you may have on deposit.

If you own your present home:

Call the gas and electric companies and let them know you are moving. Arrange to have the meters read on the appropriate date.

If your water heater is rented, arrange for the transfer of the rental agreement to the new owners.

Instruct your heating oil supplier to fill the tank on the appropriate date. You will be credited with the cost at closing. If the new owners are converting to gas, make special arrangements with them.

Advise the telephone and cable companies of your move and have them discontinue their services on the appropriate date.

Advise all of your present service companies of your new address and closing date, so final billings may be directed to you.

At your new home:

Make arrangements with the gas and electric utilities, telephone, cable and other services to be connected or begin on the day of closing.


Obtain “Change of Address cards” from the post office and send out well in advance.

Have the post office forward your mail to your new address.

Inform gardening, dry-cleaning, newspapers, magazines, diaper and other home services of your new address.

Obtain a letter of introduction from your current bank to help establish new accounts. Transfer trust or bank accounts and securities.

Inform all creditors (Visa, Master Card etc.) of your new address and the date it becomes effective. (Don’t forget pre-authorized payments)

Cancel or transfer social, athletic, civic, religious or business affiliations and memberships.

Arrange for the transfer of medical and dental prescriptions and optical records.

Consider having a “Garage Sale” to dispose of unwanted clothes and furnishings.

Change your address on your driver’s licenses, effective the date of your move.

Collect all items out of cleaning and storage.

Safely dispose of all flammable liquids, as it is illegal for movers to carry them.

Arrange with your lawyer for access and keys on the closing date.

Leave a note in the house with your address for the new owners or occupants in the event that someone wasn’t notified.

Take advantage of the Lakeview Realty Inc. “Concierge Service” to make your move an effortless one and to help you on your way!