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March 2018 Archives

Real estate bidding wars - 6 tips to sidestep them

When the market is hot, homes are scarce and hungry buyers abound. Getting caught up in a spiral of competing offers quickly becomes a stress-filled, high-stakes game, leaving bidders exhausted, hopeless or saddled with a bloated mortgage. What's a buyer to do? Our post this week looks at a few tips that may help pre-empt a bidding frenzy and strike a reasonable deal quicker.

New Ontario business law bans door-to-door sales of some products

Lawmakers often pass legislation to protect consumers, though sometimes the laws they pass can be controversial to business interests. In Ontario, a new business law prevents door-to-door sales of items, including furnaces, air conditioners, air purifiers, water heaters, water filters and duct cleaning. The government says the legislation is in response to approximately 4,000 complaints from consumers across the province about deceptive door-to-door sales practices related to these products.Lawmakers say that seniors and new Canadians are particularly vulnerable to door-to-door scams. Ontario lawmakers say they may adjust the legislation to include other products in the future should complaints emerge. The maximum fine for individuals breaking the new business law is $50,000, while corporations may face fines up to $250,000.

Residential real estate bids winning over commercial in Toronto

The availability of land and construction costs can be a challenge for developers in Ontario, especially in high-density cities. In Toronto, recent reporting suggests that condominium builders may have an advantage compared to other types of developers. According to real estate consulting group Altus Group Ltd, those building residential units have an advantage because of how much people will pay for space. Residential buyers in Toronto were reportedly willing to pay $800 per square foot at the end of 2017. This is a significant increase from the average of $600 per square foot a year prior. Condo units can be sold for more based on these figures, increasing their return on investment for developers and allowing the developers to bid more for their projects.

Plans in the works for valuable real estate at LeBreton Flats

In Ottawa, discussions over the fate of LeBreton Flats have been a much-discussed news issue. The valuable real estate plot in the core of the Ontario city has long been considered as a potential home for a hockey arena. A former mayor of Ottawa has said that he believes the arena will be built, but that residents may remain skeptical until they actually see the project start and finish.Part of the skepticism of Ottawa, Ontario residents with regard to the arena at LeBreton Flats is how long the issue has been discussed. Three decades ago, the mayor tried to work out an agreement over the real estate with the National Capital Commission, but nothing came to fruition. RendezVous LeBreton Group, which is backed by the Ottawa Senators, has now reached an agreement in principle with the NCC to turn the 21-hectare property into a residential, commercial and entertainment hub.

Rental real estate owners struggle with marijuana legislation

While most legal activities are allowed within private homes, some landlords take issue with certain activities within their buildings. The upcoming marijuana legalization has become a topic among Ontario owners of rental real estate. Some landlords would like the right to change tenants' leases to ban the drug from their properties as soon as it is legalized. However, marijuana users argue that this would infringe on their rights and limit their ability to find housing.The question that has arisen in this case is whether these restrictions are legal under rental real estate legislation in Ontario, or if they infringe upon the rights of tenants. It is within a landlord's right to restrict smoking of tobacco or any other substance in a unit. However, it is not legal to change a lease unilaterally before it ends.

Real estate listings and sales down in January 2018

The Canadian real estate market often fluctuates, and the first part of 2018 is no exception. In January, Canadian home sales fell by 14.5 per cent compared to the month prior. The decrease in real estate transactions is led by a slow down of 26.6 percent in Toronto, Ontario according to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).Despite a slow down of sales throughout the country, the average home price in Canada continues to see a steady year over year increase. Prices rose 2.3 per cent compared to the year prior. However, Toronto saw the opposite take place with a year over year decrease of 4.1 per cent. Still, the average house price in Toronto is $736,783, significantly higher than the national average of $481,000.

Ask questions and understand franchise law before buying

The decision to purchase a business is a complicated one. Ontario business people who are considering buying an existing franchise should be aware of franchise law before making this decision. They should also ask four key questions before deciding whether the sale is right for them.The first question which should be asked is about the seller. What is his or her motivation in selling the franchise? In many cases, part or all of the reasons someone is choosing to sell is that the franchise is not profitable. The second question the franchise buyer should ask, which is a follow up to the first, is whether the business is successful. Unsuccessful businesses can be great investments for those who are able to turn them around, but potential buyers should carefully consider whether the reasons for unprofitably can be rectified.

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