How I Would Buy a House (or Condo)

Let’s pretend I’m you. Or you’re me. It doesn’t really matter. And let’s pretend you want to buy a house in central Toronto. Even with all the knowledge and experience I’ve accumulated during my 25 years in the business, buying a house won’t be a slam dunk. No question about it, buying a house in […]

Explaining the Inexplicable in Real Estate

We’ve already established that the world of real estate is weird (see Weird Real Estate Stories if you don’t believe me). It’s also unpredictable as you’ll remember from It’s Not Over Til It’s Over and some of the things that happen are downright Unbelievable But True. But apart from the things that are weird, unpredictable […]

Making Sense of the Market

We had just finished representing our respective buyer clients in a multiple offer situation which resulted in the sellers receiving a jaw dropping, unjustifiably high price when my Realtor friend asked me “What is happening in this market, Michael?” I’m not sure she expected an answer because I don’t think anyone really knows what’s happening, […]

Buyers’ Revolt

“It sucks to be a buyer in central Toronto these days.” While this isn’t the most elegant language, I don’t think I could’ve put it better myself. It’s too early to start throwing around words like revolution, proletariat and manifesto, but the time for those words might not be too far off. Buying a home […]

Are You Overpaying?

I sit and I watch and I listen to them debate. And I wonder to myself “Can one of these guys really be President?” And then I catch myself and remember “There are as many points of view as there are people because everyone’s different. And just because someone thinks a certain way today doesn’t […]

Selling Off Market

Before we get started, there’s something I have to confess.  I enjoy a nice piece of pie. Quite a lot. Mostly fruit pies – apple’s my favorite – but I won’t turn down a piece of lemon meringue or pumpkin pie. And every once in a while I eat a piece of humble pie. I […]

Letter to Sellers

“Dear Mr. and Mrs. Smith, My name is Jim Johnson and I’m a sales representative with ABC Realty Ltd., Brokerage. I may have clients who are interested in buying your home and are willing to pay top dollar for it. If you’re considering selling, please contact me so we can discuss this in confidence.” Letters […]

Market Power

Everybody knows the market determines price. It’s a simple matter of supply and demand. This in itself makes the market seem all-powerful because price drives everything. But what if I suggested the market can also determine which types of homes are sold, which types of homes are built, how homes are renovated and more? Here’s […]

So You Want to Renovate?

In Where’s the Value? we looked at whether you’re better off buying an older home to renovate in central Toronto or buying a home that’s already been renovated. We also looked at whether there’s money to be made doing quick reno-flips in central Toronto. Most people looking to buy a home in central Toronto these […]

Where’s the Value?

We just finished talking about the huge role land value plays in determining overall value in central Toronto and about whether a townhouse will be as good an investment in the long run as a similarly priced detached or semi-detached home. (See What’s Value? if you’d like to refresh your memory) Today we’re going to […]

What’s Value?

“Under all is the land.” That’s the first thing I remember reading when I took the real estate licensing courses way back when. I also remember thinking to myself “Why’s that so important? Sounds like it could be a quote from the bible or some other historical text. I can’t imagine it having too much […]

Real Estate Fun

Have you seen Everest? The movie not the mountain. I knew what to expect because I had read the book Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer which recounted the same story, but the movie was still very much worth seeing.  A couple days after seeing the movie I vaguely remembered Krakauer mentioning the name of […]