WHY CHOOSE ETOBICOKE?

Etobicoke, particularly the south part, has been overlooked by many home buyers as early on as the 1960s with the suburbanization of areas like Mississuaga and into Oakville.  The lure of large, brand new homes coupled with cheap gasoline prices caused a rush to move further out of the city.  Etobicoke just couldn’t compete with its post war bungalows, old factories, aging schools and retail plazas.  Fast forward to today and you’ll see a rethinking of the way home buyers are viewing Etobicoke especially parts of southern Etobicoke which have many features that home buyers are looking for.

 

Rising gasoline prices have certainly had an impact, as has commuting times, on the attractiveness of south Etobicoke homes and particularly the up and coming neighbourhoods of Mimico, New Toronto, Long Branch and Alderwood.  While the commute time between downtown Toronto and Mississauga or even Oakville can be a mere 30 minutes during non-peak traffic times, travel during rush hour is entirely different matter and can be as much as an hour and a half or more.  Factor in inclement weather or a traffic accident and it can be significantly longer.  Especially in an age when people are valuing their time more than ever before, alternatives that permit them to spend less time commuting and more time with family and friends is becoming increasingly appealing and home buyers are willing to pay for it.

 

Areas that were formerly bypassed just a few years ago are now buzzing with activity and new construction.  These areas are also getting attention from home buyers who are value driven, or who are looking for lower price points and a different lifestyle than the busy and congested downtown Toronto.

 

So where are some of the areas in transition?  One of the largest transformations in south Etobicoke, or all of Etobicoke for that matter, is the new condo developments along the waterfront on Lake Shore Boulevard and Park Lawn.  They replace what used to be the motel strip along Lakeshore Boulevard – a seedy and derelict area that was largely boarded up until the new waterfront condominium developments started taking place.

 

The Mimico waterfront node is also attractive because of its older detached houses which are situated on large lots and are ideal for renovating or building new – both options offering a high potential with ample willing buyers.  In fact, MacLeans Magazine has been giving Mimico top marks as a great up and coming neighbourhood to watch and in their top 10 list for a few years now.

 

A little less known and still in the making is other transition areas to the west.  Communities like New Toronto, Longbranch and Alderwood offer similar benefits of being a short commute to downtown Toronto by car or GO Transit, yet because they haven’t been fully discovered still offer great value and opportunities for renovators and builders.

MORTGAGE CALCULATOR

SCHOOL FINDER

What Etobicoke neighbourhoods have the best schools? This is a question I hear all the time as a Realtor. For parents with young children relocating to a new city, investigating the educational options is often a top priority. Fortunately, with many elementary schools options, Etobicoke has plenty to choose from.

 

A popular method many parents rely on to evaluate an area’s schools is the Fraser Institute Report Card. The FI Report Card offers a detailed breakdown of each school’s academic performance based on the Education Quality and Accountability Office (or EQAO) test results at the Grade 3 and Grade 6 levels. Students’ performance and attitudes are measured in reading, writing and mathematics and the results are posted in a separate report on the EQAO website for each school. These tests show the overall trend over the last five years, and test results are updated annually.

 

Visit the Ontario Ministry of Education website to find schools in your desired area area and the Fraser Institute website to find school rankings.

RELOCATION - HOME FINDING

Arriving in Toronto as a result of a job transfer can be a daunting experience especially if relocating from a smaller city than Toronto with a population of nearly 6 million people.  Apart from the new job responsibilities, there is the task of familiarizing oneself with the new environment, finding a doctor, dentist and schools for the kids, and of course, new accommodations.  Some that arrive seek rental accommodation at first as a means of quickly settling in while they then take their time to educate themselves on the various areas of the city where they might like to own.  Others meanwhile make a dedicated visit well in advance with the purpose of identifying the right home to buy and have any renovations/improvements completed by the time the make the final move to Toronto. Either way, our goal is to ensure the Buyer is confident in their eventual home buying decision.

 

So how do we accomplish this?  Here is an overview of the process you can expect when working with us:

 

  1. We recognize that a job transfer brings about a number of major changes and decisions that spouses must make together, particularly in purchasing a home.  We provide a unique set of tools for both spouses to complete in order to help you in making those decisions:
    1. A questionnaire that helps to reveal and clarify the attributes of the neighbourhood they want to live in and that reflects their lifestyle as well as both spouses’ ideal “must haves” and “like to haves” in the home’s features.
    2. A Kolbe™ assessment which identifies each spouse’s instinctive approach to decision making and taking action, which helps you understand both your similar and different approaches to taking action.
  2.  At the earliest possible opportunity when the Buyer is in Toronto, we conduct a customized tour of Toronto highlighting the various neighbourhoods that meet the Buyer’s lifestyle and selecting the two best suited ones;
  3. We select homes that fit the Buyer’s parameters for these two neighbourhoods and view them in advance of the Buyer so that the final list is highly refined and time is not wasted looking at properties that clearly don’t have key desired features and elements.  We view as many homes as necessary until such time that at least two have been identified by the Buyer as acceptable to them.  The reason is that should the negotiations with the first not be successful, we quickly have a back up which minimizes lost time. The other benefit is that knowing we have a back up property takes some of the pressure off the Buyer when negotiating so that they don’t feel they have to compromise;
  4. We prepare and administer all paperwork including the Offer;
  5. We negotiate the home purchase price and conditions and represent the Buyer’s best interests;
  6. We make recommendations on related service providers instrumental to the transaction such as real estate lawyers, home inspectors and key trades for example.

 

Following this proven process allows for the most efficient use of the Buyer’s time while helping to organize the Buyer’s thoughts and minimize their stress.

RELOCATION - HOME SELLING

Relocating to a new city whether for a job transfer or life change reasons often means a prolonged absence, and sometimes a permanent one.  Amidst all the preparations comes the question of what to do with the home you own in Toronto.  Essentially there are two choices: sell it or rent it.  Let’s explore the pros and cons of each.

 

Option 1

You can sell it.  But is your home in selling condition?  Do you have the time and resources to make it so?  What if it’s November or December?  Do you want to bring the property on the market at the slowest time of the year?  Other concerns are what if the relocation is not a success and you want to keep your options open of being able to return to your home?  What if you do sell your home.  With the escalating prices of the market, will you be able to buy back into the Toronto housing market at a later date?

 

Option 2

You can rent it.  Will you find the right tenant in time before you leave?  What about dealing with any tenant issues or a vacancy from a distance?  And then there is maintenance issues whether they be routine or middle of the night emergency calls. How will you respond to them?

 

As a realtor, I can assist with Option 1 which is to help with the marketing and sale of your home with the goal of getting top dollar and in the shortest period of time so that it frees up your money and time for you to get on with what you need to do.

 

As a real estate investor, I can assist with Option 2 which is to help with the rental and property management of your home while you are away.

 

Owning several residential properties including a mix of townhouses, bungalow and several small apartment buildings with a total of approximately two dozen tenants has given me first hand experience understanding the critical nature of screening and selecting the right tenant, maintaining proper landlord-tenant relations and communication, nipping maintenance issues in the bud, and timely reporting.  In fact, we have successfully acted as property manager for other clients who have opted to hold onto their real estate rather than sell and we can deliver the same satisfactory results to you including such as:

 

  • Preparing your home to market it in best possible light to potential tenants and achieve highest possible rent and best suitable tenant in shortest possible time;
  • Creating ads that work and generate the most tenant interest and request for viewings;
  • Performing credit checks and screening tenants;
  • Providing all forms, notices and the lease and documenting all paperwork;
  • Source of proven related service providers (plumbers, painters, handyman, etc);
  • Depositing rent cheques and issuing late notices if rent not paid on time; and
  • Monthly reporting and updating

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT

Job relocations or assignments are often temporary and the transferee expects to return to their home whether it is after 6 months or 6 years.  The question inevitably rises as to whether to sell the home or rent it out in the meantime.  In some cases, the transferee may even own other property such as a cottage or small residential investment property that would otherwise have been managed by the transferee and the transferee’s absence poses a problem.

 

One solution is to sell everything, but that may not be viable especially if the job assignment is a temporary one.  Even it the relocation is for a few years, the costs associated with selling and then buying property back again can potentially offset any financial benefits from the relocation to begin with.  And then there is the legitimate concern, especially in a city as Toronto with rising prices, if the transferee sells now, will they ever be able to buy back in?

 

The practical and logical solution is to have the home and any other property professionally managed while the transferee is away.

 

Apart from being a real estate broker, I am also a real estate investor and personally own a mix of residential properties ranging from bungalows, townhouses to tri- and four-plexes.  This gives me a first hand account of the challenges and critical points in managing these properties such as:

 

  • Maintenance - from routine upkeep to emergency calls;
  • Tenants - liaising with tenant in transferee’s absence, handling any vacancies (showing the property to prospective tenants, handling applications, screening and performing credit checks, signing of lease);
  • Rents – depositing monthly rentals into transferee’s bank account and issuing immediate late notices if rent not paid on time;
  • Utilities - paying utilities, realty taxes, insurance and any other bills;
  • I provide the transferee a single source of contact for the care and continued ownership and seemless operation of their home and vacation/investment property while they are away.  In addition, they receive a monthly update usually by the 7th of every month of any and all significant activities pertaining to their property. Even through the transferee may be thousands of kilometers away, they will feel confident and secure that someone is actively looking after not just their real estate, but what will be their home again when they eventually return.

 

The services provided can be tailored according to the transferee’s specific requirements.  Call me to arrange a visit of your property and detailed discussion of services and fees.

JOB SEARCH - KOLBE

Relocating to a new city can be an exciting journey, but while the transferee knows exactly the job awaiting him or her, the trailing spouse often has a harder time finding employment comparable to the position they left behind.  This represents an excellent opportunity for the trailing spouse to review and re-examine their career path and ensure that they target their own  job search to a role or new career that is most aligned with their strengths.  Having an unbiased career assessment of their strengths and potential ideal career matches can go a long way to help the trailing spouse adjust to the move more quickly and find their own “place” in their new environment.  A great assessment tool to facilitate this is the KOLBE™ System.

 

The KOLBE™ System is a psychometric profile tool that measures how people instinctively take action. Unlike cognitive abilities or values/preferences/interest, which change over time, instincts do not change, so the results of the Kolbe profile continue to be valid over time, regardless of how many times, or at what stage in life the profile is taken.  The validity and reliability of the tool is grounded in scientific research, including a recent brainwave study conducted by neurologists at Arizona State University.

 

Kolbe is highly predictable in helping anyone who may be in career transition or seeking a new job and may need support in getting clear about their strengths and best opportunities for a successful next step. Using the Kolbe© Career MO+ can show someone how to leverage their instinctive talents to find the best way to approach their job and career, and to determine what type of career is most aligned with their instinctive strengths. It will also help an individual:

 

  • Write stronger resumes and cover letters
  • Accentuate strengths in job interviews
  • Minimize the stress of working “against the grain”
  • Build on natural talents to advance their career
  • The central premise of the Career MO+ is simple: people will excel and enjoy the greatest fulfillment in a job that lets them tackle challenges in a way that works for them. Sadly, many people find themselves stuck in jobs or careers for which they may be well qualified, but which stifle their unique methods of creative problem solving.

 

The Career MO+ also shows how well an individual’s instinctive strengths align with over 100 different job categories.

 

If you are interested in completing a Kolbe Career MO+, please contact Catherine Meyer at 416-466-8900 or at info@catalystls.com.

CONTACT INFO

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions you may have. I will respond to your question at the first opportunity I have and appreciate the time you have taken to reach out.

Address

Phone

RE/MAX Professionals Inc.

1 East Mall Crescent, Toronto, ON

M9B 6G8

Office: 416.252.8880

Cell: 416.568.5821

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© 2016 Edward Frezza, Broker for RE/MAX Professionals Inc.