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Real Estate Services & Brokerage

Choosing Spectrum Realty

If you are looking into buying or selling real estate, in Toronto or the GTA, Spectrum Realty offers exceptional comprehensive real estate services. Our team focuses on meeting every need our clients have; our job is to make sure our clients get what they want out of their home buying or selling experience. We are proud to offer home buyers and sellers service in all of Toronto and the GTA including Vaughan, Maple, Brampton, Mississauga, Caledon, and Oakville.

Spectrum Realty provides comprehensive real estate services in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). We are a boutique real estate service that has sold hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of real estate since our inception in 1992. We are one of the largest movers of residential properties in the area.

Navigating Toronto real estate listings, both commercial and residential, can be tricky. Spectrum Realty prides itself on taking a cutting-edge approach to customer service and technology. We are here to serve you as you search for your new home in the Greater Toronto Area. You will find complete listings for area homes that include photos, map, home features such as living style, and exterior type along with listing and room stats.

Our real estate listings are clear and easy to navigate. You can view a real estate listing and immediately have vital information at your fingertips regarding a property. Knowing you can search for the perfect home while getting as much information as possible is something on which we pride ourselves.

With a market in constant fluctuation, the search for real estate properties can be intimidating. At Spectrum Realty, our team of qualified agents will sort through the noise of Toronto and the GTA listings to find you the best possible options.

Here To Serve You

At Spectrum Realty, we will sit down with you and explain step-by-step the process of either buying or selling real estate. Buying or selling a home is not always an easy process, our team is here to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible. We are here to listen to your needs, assess the best real estate listings for you and provide exceptional service.

Our goal is to revolutionize your real estate service experience, from buying to selling. We strive to exceed our clients’ expectations and provide the highest level of service through every step of the sale. From guiding you through a successful open house or walking step-by-step with you through the complexities of land transfer tax, we are here to serve your real estate needs.

Make An Appointment

Our office is in Vaughan/Woodbridge however; we serve all of the GTA including Simcoe and Muskoka. We want to sit down with you and help you purchase the home or property of your dreams.

Search our comprehensive real estate listings where you will find photos and extensive information for each property listed.

To schedule an appointment with us to view your dream home call 416-736-6500 or contact us here.

 
  • The New First-time Home Buyer Incentive – What it is and what it means for you

    At the beginning of September 2019, the Government of Canada introduced the First-time Home Buyer Incentive (FTHBI). The new program is designed to make buying a home more achievable for young people and first-time home buyers by reducing monthly mortgage payments without increasing their down payment. Applications are officially being accepted as of September 2, 2019. Jean-Yves Duclos – Minister of Families and Social Development who also oversees the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation – stated last week that the program is working to empower the middle class. We will break down the FTHBI to help you get a better understanding of all of the moving parts in this valuable program.

    What is the FTHBI?

    The First-time Home Buyer Incentive is considered a Shared Equity Mortgage, (SEM) which means that the Canadian Government will have a shared interest in the borrower's property value. An interest-free loan given by the Canadian Government will act as the incentive, and the program will run through Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation (CMHC), Genworth and Canada Guaranty – the default insurers. For qualified borrowers, the government will absorb 5% of mortgage payments on resale properties and up to 10% on new construction homes.

    The loan will have to paid back when you sell your home or after 25 years. Because the government will have shared equity in your home, the amount that gets paid back will fluctuate along with the value of your home, decreasing and increasing as your home goes through gains and losses. Repayment amount will be based on fair market value to be determined at the time of repayment, and the loan will have no monthly payment or interest.

    Who qualifies for the FTHBI?

    There are a number of criteria for the First-time Home Buyer Incentive, 1. The first requirement is that at least one of the borrowers must be a first-time home buyer. A first-time buyer is considered to be someone who has not owned a house in the last four years – with some exceptions being made for those in a "breakdown of marriage or common-law partnership." 2. The borrower must be a Canadian Citizen, Permanent Resident or Non-Permanent Resident who is legally authorized to work in Canada, and the property being purchased must be located in Canada and owner-occupied. 3. The borrower's annual qualifying household income cannot exceed $120,000. 4. Only high-ratio mortgages (greater than 80% loan-to-value) are eligible and borrowers must contribute the minimum required down payment from traditional sources, which is currently set at 5%.

    There is a self-assessment tool available on the FTHBI website which allows users to determine their eligibility for the program.

    How to apply

    If you’re looking to apply, you can speak with your mortgage broker or visit the FTHBI website. Here, you can find all of the details on the programs as well as the application process. Applicants must provide a signed original or signed copy of the 'FTHBI Program Attestation, Consent and Privacy Notice' at the time of application, a form which can be found on the FTHBI website, along with the signed privacy agreement and credit application. Only applications submitted after September 2, 2019 will be accepted, however the closing date must be on or after November 1, 2019 for applications to be considered.

    The First-time Home Buyer Incentive is a great tool that will allow young people and first-time home buyers to have an even playing field when trying to purchase their first home. For all of your home buying and selling needs, or if you have any questions about the FTHBI, please don’t hesitate to call us here at Spectrum Realty Services. Our knowledgeable, qualified and helpful team are happy to assist you and answer any questions you may have about finding your dream home. Call us at 416-736-6500.

  • 7 Popular Residential Architectural Styles and How to Identify Them

    When buying a new home these days, it’s important to understand the style of design that went into the plan. Many features are borrowed from architectural styles of the past and integrated into present architectural designs. Home styles in North America have changed and shifted dramatically over the course of the past century. The popularity of certain styles reigned supreme in certain parts of Canada and the United States, while not so much in other locations. With so many different building styles, it can be hard to understand and keep track of which characteristics belong to which style. We have compiled a list of some of the most common and recognizable residential architectural styles in North America to lay down a foundation for understanding.

    Queen Anne Victorian Style

    Queen Anne Victorian Style

    Victorian style architecture is one of the styles most commonly found in Toronto’s older neighbourhoods. Popularized in the late 1800s into the early 1900s, Queen Anne style Victorian homes are one of the easiest styles to recognize. They are often ornate and decorative, with steep gabled roofs, patterned shingles, decorative wooden brackets, clapboard siding, and ornamental woodwork. The houses themselves are often tall and narrow, with wrap around porches, balconies, towers and elaborate exterior decoration. It is also common for Queen Anne style homes to have multiple paint colours, as many as eight, on one home. This characteristic has earned the style the nickname “the painted lady”.

    Photo Credit – James C. Massey and Shirley Maxwell

     

    Colonial Style

    Colonial Style

    Colonial style homes were very popular in the late 1800s, and are still one of the most popular residential architectural styles in the United States. They are generally characterized by their rectangular shape, high-pitched roof and narrow clapboard siding. Most Colonial style homes are two storeys, sometimes three, with the bedrooms being on the second or third storey. They tend to have a centered front door under a decorative crown, supported by columns or pillars, with double-hung windows in a symmetrical pattern on either side of the door.

    Photo Credit – Werner Straube

     

    Cape Cod Style

    Cape Cod Style

    Cape Cod was one of the first residential architectural styles built in North America, and went through a revival period in the 1930s. They are often one and a half storeys, with a square or rectangular base and dormers on the upper half storey. They have steeply pitched roofs with side gables and a chimney on one end. Traditionally they have clapboard siding or wood singles, but more modern elevations will often be primarily brick, stone or stucco. Similarly to Colonial style homes, most Cape Cod style homes have a centered front door, symmetrical double hung windows and a centre hall floor plan.

    Photo Credit – Hadar Guibara

     

    Tudor Style

    Tudor Style

    If you imagine the picturesque fairy tale homes from your favourite storybooks, you are most likely thinking of Tudor style homes. Tudor homes were popular in North America in the 20s and 30s, and then regained popularity in the 70s and 80s. Their characteristics include steeply pitched roofs with wide gables and large chimneys, a combination of brick and stucco on the exterior, and stone trim and door surrounds. In many cases, they often have tall, narrow, casement windows with multiple panes.

    Photo Credit – Hadar Guibara

     

     

    Contemporary Style

    Contemporary Style

    Contemporary style homes are still commonly built today. The style became popular in the 1950s, and homes are often designed to incorporate the natural landscape that surrounds the building. Most homes of this style sport siding made of natural materials like wood, stone or a mixture of multiple materials, and are often oddly or irregularly shaped. It is common for homes of this style to have cathedral ceilings, exposed beams and large tall glass paned windows to allow for lots of natural light. In many cases, the materials used are eco-friendly and modeled into bold, geometric shapes.

    Photo Credit – Online_Yes

     

    Ranch and Cottage Style

    Ranch and Cottage Style

    Ranch and cottage style homes are not the same, but tend to share many common characteristics. Both styles tend to be small, single storey and have siding made of stone, brick, stucco, or clapboard. One of the main differences is that cottage style homes tend to have tall peaked roofs while ranch style homes generally have low pitched roofs, and cottage style homes are often more ornamentally decorated. Both styles tend to be more informal styles, and are best described as charming.

    Photo Credit – Hadar Guibara

     

    It suffices to say that many of today’s new homes can incorporate features of styles from above. You may see wooden decorative accents on roofs that were of Victorian origins or you may see columns and centered doors from other time periods. Today, instead of ranch we have bungalows as another example of how architectural styles make their way into present day.

    When you get comfortable with the common characteristics belonging to the varying residential architectural styles, you will be able to easily differentiate between each and every one. If you still have questions concerning which house style is best suited to your tastes, the knowledgeable and helpful team at Spectrum Realty is here to help. Don’t hesitate to call our office at 416.736.6500 for all your home buying and selling needs.

  • 7 Things Home Sellers Should Never Reveal

    Selling a home is a process that can sometimes take months. Many home sellers get impatient when their property does not sell as soon as it is listed on the market. Out of desperation to close the deal, home owners may end up revealing several facts that they should never disclose to anyone other than their realtor. If you are looking to sell your home, keep reading to avoid falling into the trap that many before you have fallen into.

    1. The duration the house has been on the market

      Revealing how long your house has been on the market has never been a good idea. If it has been on the market for too long, potential buyers might think you are desperate and offer a lower price. In other cases, buyers might also think that the house has a problem and that is why the house hasn’t sold yet.

    2. The reason for selling

      Perhaps you are moving for personal reasons, you should never reveal those reasons to the buyer. This could potentially work against you and get the buyers to change their mind about putting in an offer.

    3. You’re set on a fixed amount and won’t accept anything less

      The buyer might take this as a sign of inflexibility and shy away from giving you their offer. In the end, this could push away potential buyers that really love the home.

    4. Things that you never got to fix or renovate

      It might be tempting to mention things you always wanted to do with your house. Whether it is knocking down a wall or just fixing some loose screws on the cabinets, do not mention it. This alerts the buyer of other costs that they might incur after purchasing the home.

    5. Amount of money spent renovating the house

      Even though you love the new house renovations you made since moving in, do not mention how much it cost to the buyers. It might seem like you are justifying the price you have set and could inhibit the buyers from providing their personal opinion on the house.

    6. You did the renovations by yourself

      It is normal to make renovations in your own house in an effort to improve it. However, if you did the renovations yourself, do not tell the buyers. Especially if you are not a certified contractor. They might think that the renovations were substandard because they were not done by a professional and use this as leverage for submitting a low offer.

    7. Your house is the best on the street

      It is normal for you, as the homeowner, to feel that you have the best house on the block but you do not have to tell all your buyers that. Allow for buyers to make their own opinions and visualize any changes they may want to make in the future.

    Deceiving the buyer is not the goal, but there is such a thing as saying too much when selling a house. If you want to sell your house fast, keep quiet and let the house do the talking.

    To learn more, call Spectrum Realty today at 416-736-6500 or contact us here.

  • How Real Estate Can Help Your Retirement

    Planning for retirement is a daunting task, which only gets more complicated as you get older and closer to retirement age. Depending on the state of the economy and your financial situation, betting on your financial security 20 or 30 years into the future can also pose a number of risks.

    However, much of this risk is mitigated if you are a homeowner or you are close to paying off your mortgage and owning your home. The equity you earn throughout years of making mortgage payments can be invaluable when it comes time to retire. For many people, the idea of retirement raises difficult questions: When can I afford to retire? Will I have to downsize? How can I guarantee financial security without compromising my children’s inheritance?

    Fortunately, for those who own their home — or those who have paid off most of their mortgage — there is a world of possibility for you to plan your retirement with confidence. In fact, you can even leverage your home equity to retire in comfort with the financial security you need to ensure you are happy and content through the next chapter of your life.

    What is real estate retirement?

    Real estate retirement is a term that refers to those who are able to retire and live off the earnings from their real estate investments or home equity. In this way, with a few lifestyle changes, you can effectively retire and continue to live in your own home, or you can downsize and opt for a residence that is more affordable and manageable. Here is a breakdown of how to leverage your home equity to maximize your financial security through retirement:

    1. Tap the equity in your home

    If your mortgage is paid off or almost paid off, you have a great deal of equity tied to your home. In this case, you could tap into this equity by selling your home and downsizing to a more affordable residence. You can pocket the difference in price and use that money to fund your retirement, all without a mortgage payment, assuming you buy the new house outright. You can also use this profit to pay down other debts, giving you the financial freedom to enjoy your retirement all while paying little more than your monthly living expenses.

    For homeowners who own large homes and properties — houses that are too big to maintain through retirement and that you do not want to pass down to your children as an inheritance — tapping the equity in your home and downsizing may offer the most financial freedom for your retirement years.

    2. REITs

    Real estate investment trusts (REITs) are securities that trade on the stock exchange. These trusts can include both residential and commercial properties, as well as mortgage-backed securities. These securities are quite similar to mutual funds, except they focus on property ownership instead of stocks and bonds.

    If you have some money that you’re looking to invest for your retirement, REITs often pay off significant returns for their shareholders. This can be in the form of monthly dividends, and the high-yield returns make it an attractive investment for those looking to diversify their portfolio. These properties make money through monthly rent or sale, and that money is passed back to shareholders.

    As a shareholder, you are invested in a portfolio of properties rather than just one property, which is what happens when you buy an individual house or property. Essentially, instead of tying all of your dollars to one property and hoping for a profit, you can mitigate your risk by owning a piece of a wide range of properties.

    3. Direct ownership

    Although REITs do have their advantages for those looking to mitigate the risk of their investments, direct ownership can produce much higher profits when operated properly. Instead of investing in a portfolio of properties, you can buy one property and use it as an income source.

    For example, if you buy a three-storey townhouse, you can rent out the extra space as multiple apartments and collect monthly income from the tenants. If they pay on time, stick around for their entire lease, and do not damage the property, the returns can be quite lucrative.

    This kind of investment is often referred to as “putting all of your eggs in one basket.” If a tenant causes damage to the home or the property or if they skip out on their rent, you are responsible for absorbing that loss. With responsible tenants, this can be a worthwhile investment that completely funds your retirement. However, there is more risk to this form of investment, so it is up to you to identify your financial goals and your optimal level of risk compared to the expected return.

    4. Leverage equity for real estate investments

    If you are comfortable with taking on more financial risk, you could even leverage the equity in your home or business to make more real estate investments. As you likely own most of your home, you can refinance it. This allows you to take the equity you’ve built up in your home and get a second mortgage — often at a reasonable interest rate — allowing you to purchase another property with your equity. This property can be rented out, allowing you to pay your new mortgage payment and live off the profit.

    For those who prefer to be hands-off and who can afford to hire additional help, bringing in a property manager can take the burden away from you. Assuming you have responsible tenants and a good property manager, the returns can be quite lucrative.

    To learn more about using real estate to fund your retirement, call Spectrum Realty at 416-736-6500 or visit our website here.

  • Decor Tips to Transform Your Balcony

    Décor Tips to Transform Your Balcony

    Small spaces offer big opportunities to get creative with décor. When you welcome the challenge, transforming a small space like a balcony can be a fun and fulfilling project. Balconies should never be overlooked. They are a private and convenient outdoor space with the potential to be developed from a simple patio into an everyday escape. We’ve created a list of some of the best ways to optimize your balcony space so that you can enjoy every endless summer moment.


    Have Fun with Lighting

    Lighting is the best way to control the atmosphere in any space. With so many options for lighting a space, you’re guaranteed to find something functional and beautiful that fits seamlessly into the décor style you’re going for. String lights and battery operated candles work as great mood lighting, are inexpensive and will make it so that you can enjoy your balcony at night as much as you do during the day. Another way to add some flair to the space is by using a decorative pendant light. Choose something that ties in the rest of the space either through texture, colour, material or shape.


    Let the Green Grow

    Plants are a great way to liven up any space, especially a balcony. It is a well-known fact that nature has a positive impact on the human condition. By growing a balcony garden, you can turn your balcony into an outdoor oasis that has the ability to improve your mood and lessen stress. Opt for plants and flowers that thrive in the amount of natural light you get depending on where your balcony is situated. Hang them from railings, put them in decorative pots, or get creative by making a vertical garden along your wall using flowers like roses, geraniums and petunias or vegetables like tomatoes, string beans or peppers. If you have a real green thumb, consider planting a potted herb garden and enjoy fresh herbs like dill, cilantro, mint and ginger with every meal. Plants are also a great way to create the illusion that your balcony is an extension of your living room. Place some potted plants just inside the doors and let them appear to be flowing right out of the room and into your new garden.


    Space-Optimization Hacks

    There are hundreds of creative ways to optimize the space in any room. For the most part, all of those hacks can be applied to balconies as well and still work just as effectively. Dual purpose furniture will reduce clutter from multiple pieces, hideaway furniture clears up floor space, and furniture that sits low to the ground will help to create the illusion of a high ceiling. Another small-space hack is adding mirrors. Mirrors help give the illusion of depth and reflect light into darker parts of a space, which both help make it so that the room– or balcony– appears larger.


    Make it Comfy

    Anywhere where you plan on spending an extended period of time has to be comfortable. Find chairs, couches, benches or even hammocks that make your balcony somewhere you want to go to unwind and relax. When choosing what to put out there, always keep comfort in mind. Pillows, blankets and outdoor rugs in your favourite textures and colours will transform your balcony into something you’re proud of.


    Every condo balcony has the potential to be incredible once you add your own flair and personality to it. By taking these tips, making them your own and applying them to the space, you’re guaranteed to create an outdoor space that you love.

  • Buying Your Dream Home

    Whether you fantasize about living in an urban loft or a raised bungalow in the suburbs, for many Canadians, one of life’s biggest goals is purchasing a “dream home.” Most of us hope to find a home that feels as though it was built just for us. 

    When looking for your dream home, the goal will be to find something you’ll enjoy long-term. That’s why you’ll be on the lookout for features you and your family will be happy with for the foreseeable future. So how will you know you’ve found the perfect place? Read our list of factors to consider when searching for your dream home. 

    1. Neighbourhood and surrounding areas

    It’s important to remember your home is part of a larger community. Even though you may be in love with the marble floors and huge walk-in closets, your property will not exist in a bubble. That’s why it’s important to find a home in a neighbourhood that suits your needs. 

    If you’re raising children, for example, you’ll want to live in a safe area with lots of kid-friendly amenities. Does the neighbourhood have good schools, nice parks, and a community centre nearby? Or maybe you’re a young professional without a car. This means you’ll likely want to be within walking distance to coffee shops, restaurants, and the subway line. 

    Spend some time in various neighbourhoods getting to know the area. Shop at the local stores, eat at the popular restaurants, and take a walk in the nearby park. Once you’ve narrowed down your options, tell your real estate agent. He or she can then help you find your dream home within that specific community.  

    2. Features you’ve always dreamed of

    Buying your dream home is different from purchasing any regular home. In the past, you may have wanted a specific number of bedrooms and a location within walking distance to work. A dream home, however, is more so about fulfilling your wishes than it is about meeting everyday needs.

    Don’t be shy to come up with a wish list, no matter how frivolous your dreams may seem. And remember, everyone’s wish list will be different. Some may dream of waking up each morning to the sound of waves lapping on the shore, while others may fantasize about sneaking away to their wine cellar each evening. 

    Ask each family member to come up with their own wishlist, so you can all compare notes. Then, rank each item by importance. You may not find a property with all of these features, but it will certainly help you focus on homes that appeal to everyone. 

    3. A layout you like

    3,000 square feet may feel different from one home to another. This is where a good floor plan makes all the difference. Depending on your preferences, you’ll want to find a layout that gives you ample space in the areas most important to you. For example, you may want more square footage dedicated to the bedrooms, even if that means the living areas and kitchen are a bit smaller.

    Finding your dream home is all about finding a layout you love. Imagine how you’d like to use the space as you explore each property. If you’d like to host more gatherings, consider an open-concept layout. Or, if your family tends to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, look for a kitchen that includes a dining area plus breakfast bar. 

    4. Find a real estate agent you trust

    Finding your dream home will only be a successful endeavour if you’ve found the right agent. By working with a trusted real estate professional, you’ll gain access to unique listings that fit your search criteria. Not only can a reputable agent introduce you to your potential dream home, but he or she can also put you in touch with trusted financial professionals. Choosing the right property is just the first step. Rely on your agent to help you put together an attractive offer and even help you get a pre-approved loan. 

    Spectrum Realty offers a team of real estate professionals who can simplify the home-buying process. Whether you’re searching for a trendy condo in Toronto’s downtown core or a secluded paradise in the Scarborough Bluffs, rely on Spectrum Realty to help you locate the perfect property in the GTA’s exciting real estate market.

    For more information on finding your dream home, call Spectrum Realty at 416-736-6500 or contact us here

     

  • Create Your Perfect Outdoor Living Space

    As the weather gets warmer, it’s time to shift our focus from our indoor living spaces to our outdoor living spaces. Decorating outside presents a whole new set of challenges, as well as an array of new opportunities. An outdoor living area means that you can take your décor style in a whole new direction to give the outside of your home new character. Whether your home is new and needs some personal flair, or is well loved and needs some fresh curb appeal, these styles are fun and easy to execute.

     

    California Boho

    Wicker, concrete, and lots of greenery will help you achieve this Cali-inspired bohemian look and feel. Don’t shy away from mixing textures and patterns, and definitely don’t shy away from fringe. Make use of warm, bold colours and vintage finds. Rather than heading straight to your nearest home décor store, check out your local thrift stores to see if you can find any pre-loved items that will help bring some personality to your space.

    Photography via addisonswonderland.com

     

    Rustic Country

    Worn and wood are the two words that should act as your foundation for putting together a rustic country theme. A wooden table with bench seating and pillows for cushions will not only be functional, but is a great way to introduce some texture to the space. Focus on quirky, homey accent decorations and simple floral touches. Think farmhouse chic.

    Photography via Blesserhouse.com

     

    Marrakech Courtyard

    Achieve this summery look by introducing terracotta potted plants, bold geometric patterns, brightly coloured textiles and layers of rugs. Incorporate low-rise seating, plenty of jewel tones, and a mixture of textures wherever you can to tie the space together, and consider a serving tray atop a fabric ottoman (that can be covered to protect it from the elements) in place of a coffee table or patio table to really drive the theme home.

    Photography via Desiretoinspire.net

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Sundrenched Santorini

    There’s two things you have to keep in mind when you’re going for a Santorini inspired outdoor space: white and blue. The goal is to create a space that is light, open, and airy – This should be carried over when choosing furniture and pillows (you’ll need lots of pillows). Try to make use of draping fabrics and soft linens that can capture the summer breeze and aim to stick to mostly stone colours with the exceptions of blues and greens.

    Photography via Gaelle le boulicaut via domino

     

    How Can Spectrum Realty Help?

    When it comes to real estate services in the GTA, Spectrum Realty leads the pack. Our team can help you find the property that fits all of your needs and hits all of the current trends. If you’re looking to sell, we can help guide you towards the best choices for marketing your property effectively. Regardless of your situation, a well thought-out outdoor living space can make a huge difference, and Spectrum Realty is here to help. For more information on buying or selling real estate, call Spectrum Realty at 416-736-6500 or contact us here.

  • Tips and Techniques for Profitable Real Estate in Toronto

    Getting into real estate can be an exciting endeavour. If done correctly, it’s a chance to reap some significant financial rewards, especially in Toronto’s booming housing market. From finding the right property to working with a knowledgeable agent, there are many factors to consider. If you’re interested in exploring real estate investment opportunities, here are some tips and techniques to help set you up for success. 

    1. Choose your location wisely

    Whether you’re looking to flip a home or purchase an income-producing property, one thing’s for sure: choosing the right location is key. In the GTA, some neighbourhoods are more lucrative for real estate investments than others. Consider locations with a growing job market, as these areas tend to attract more people. 

    Although there’s nothing wrong with renting out your home in a Newmarket subdivision, this type of endeavour will do much better in an area with a large rent/own ratio. Subdivisions and family-oriented neighbourhoods tend to attract owners as opposed to renters. Therefore, pick communities that are close to office buildings and post-secondary institutions. For example, properties in the Annex can be very profitable investments because of their close proximity to the University of Toronto. Similarly, condos just off Bay Street can be rented out fairly easily to working professionals because they’re so close to the financial district. 

    It’s true that real estate in busy, thriving communities will be much more expensive than homes in the suburbs. But if you can get your finances in order, the upfront investment will be well worth it in the long run. 

    2. Investigate average rent prices

    If you plan on renting out the property, the incoming rent will become your staple. Before committing to a purchase, find out what the average rental rates are for that area. Only proceed further if you can get that amount or more. A good real estate agent can help you obtain some accurate figures by investigating nearby rentals. 

    At the very least, you’ll want this monthly income to cover your mortgage payment, property taxes, and miscellaneous expenses like home insurance. And think about whether the tenant will be paying for utilities separately, or if you’ll lump these costs into their monthly rent. 

    3. Ensure the property’s layout is in line with your goals

    It’s better to find a property that suits your needs, rather than try to reconfigure it. Simple cosmetic renovations are already very costly. So imagine the amount of money you’d have to spend to tear down walls and create a whole new layout, not to mention all the bureaucracy you’d have to navigate to get municipal construction permits. 

    If you’re looking for a duplex, find a duplex. Don’t try to convert a single-family home into a multi-unit residence just because you like the neighbourhood and asking price. Make sure the real estate you’re buying is as close of a match to your needs as possible. Otherwise, you’ll be spending a lot of your time and money trying to turn a property into something it’s not. 

    4. Understand the amount of work involved

    With traditional stock investments, all you have to do is tell your broker to buy or sell. Real estate investments, however, typically involve much more work on a day-to-day basis. Unless you’re okay handing over some of your profits to a property management firm, being a landlord is like having a second job. 

    You’ll have to be on-call 24/7 to deal with tenant issues, which can include broken appliances, leaky roofs, and noise complaints, to name a few. You’ll also have to ensure your tenants pay their rent on time and hunt them down if their cheque bounces or their payments are late. Additionally, there’s all the work involved when a tenant moves out, like finding a new one and ensuring the apartment is ready for occupancy. Owning an income property is much harder than just watching the cheques roll in each month. 

    5. Work with a reputable real estate agent

    Unless you’re Warren Buffett, you may not want to go about a real estate investment alone. Rely on the expertise of a reputable agent to help you navigate Toronto’s housing market. Not only can this knowledgeable professional introduce you to some great sales listings, but he or she can also be helpful in the following ways: 

    • Offer insight on the GTA’s most lucrative neighbourhoods for profitable real estate.
    • Get you a pre-approved loan by putting you in touch with a network of trusted financial professionals, including mortgage brokers.
    • Take care of the paperwork involved in putting together an offer.
    • Fight for you in a bidding war, so you can get the property you want at a fair price.

    Spectrum Realty offers a team of real estate professionals you can trust. Whether you’re looking for an income property or a primary home, rely on our team to help you find success in Toronto’s lucrative housing market. 

    For more information on real estate investments, call Spectrum Realty at 416-736-6500 or contact us here

  • Can Solar Panel Installation Increase Your Home’s Value?

    Solar panels for residential homes is a relatively new concept that’s quickly gaining in popularity. Not only are they good for the environment, but solar panels can also increase your home’s overall value. According to Bluewater Energy, these innovative contraptions can increase a property’s value by as much as $6,000 for every 1 kW installed.

    Although the upfront costs of installation may seem high, it’s easy to see why many Canadian homeowners still believe this is a good investment. If you’re considering solar panels for your residential property, read our comprehensive guide on what this process entails.

    What are solar panels?

    To discover how solar panels can benefit your property, it’s important to understand how they work. Simply put, solar panels are devices that convert light into electricity. Usually, the most powerful form of light available is the sun.

    A solar panel is essentially a collection of solar cells. When lots of solar cells are spread out over a large area (like a panel), they can work together to provide energy. Thus, the more light that hits a cell, the more electricity it produces. That’s why solar panels are always aimed directly at the sun.

    Also known as PV panels, solar panels are helpful in many ways. They can:

    • Provide electricity to off-grid sites like cabins and remote workstations.

    • Generate power to run telecommunications equipment.

    • Produce electricity for municipal power grids through a government-run feed-in tariff program.

    How can solar panels benefit homeowners?

    In Ontario, many solar panel owners are part of the microFIT program. Part of the province’s Green Energy Act, the program is aimed at homeowners and small businesses. It provides financial incentives for individuals to invest in renewable energy production.

    Participants sign a contract with the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO). This contract guarantees that the IESO will buy all the electricity your solar panels produce, for 20 years, at a fixed price. The rate is paid per kilowatt hour and is reviewed every two years. As a participating homeowner, you’ll receive a cheque in the mail each month. In Toronto, this cheque is issued by Toronto Hydro.

    The microFIT program provides one of the highest incentives for renewable energy production in the world. That’s why this feed-in tariff program has sparked such huge interest among Ontario homeowners, making solar panels a worthwhile consideration.

    What does installation entail?

    Solar panels are typically installed on the roof, so they can attract the most sunlight. Installation does not happen overnight. There’s a process that must play out before your panels can produce renewable energy.

    1. Engineering visit: After signing your solar panel contract, an engineer will come by to ensure your home is a good property for installation. This engineer will most likely work for the installer. During this visit, he or she will evaluate the condition of your roof, and check if your electrical panel needs an upgrade.

    2. Permits and documents: The next step is to ensure all paperwork is in good order. Luckily, a lot of this is dealt with by your solar panel installer. One of the things you’ll be applying for is your provincial solar program, run by a government regulator. The time frame for this step is mainly dependent on how quickly your installer can get the documentation together.

    3. Choosing your solar panels: Once your paperwork is complete, the next step is to choose your solar panels and inverters. Your installer will likely recommend a particular brand, based on your home’s configuration. To ensure you’ve chosen the best equipment, research the top-rated solar panels on the market.

    4. Installation: This is an exciting day. The installation team will arrive at your home to put the solar panels in place. They’ll begin by preparing your roof and making sure all your shingles and tiles are attached properly. Then they’ll put in all the wiring to connect your solar system to your electrical panel.

    5. “Flipping the switch”: This final step involves connecting your solar panels to your municipality’s electrical grid. In Ontario, a representative from the IESO will visit to inspect your system and give approval. As long as there are no issues, your solar panels will go live as soon as you get the go-ahead.

    How can Spectrum Realty help?

    Spectrum Realty is a leading provider of real estate services in the GTA. If you’re considering solar panels for your next home, our team can help you find a property that’s optimally configured for renewable energy production. There are many factors to consider when purchasing a home. Spectrum Realty can help you assess all angles to make sure you’re making the best investment possible.

    Conversely, if you’re trying to sell a home that already has solar panels, our team can help market your property effectively. Given Toronto’s status as an environmentally-conscious city, many homebuyers are looking for homes that generate renewable energy. And because microFIT contracts are transferable to the new homeowner, we can market your solar panels as an excellent source of additional income.

    For more information on buying or selling real estate, call Spectrum Realty at 416-736-6500 or contact us here.

  • Spectrum Realty’s Ultimate Mother’s Day Gift Guide

    Growing up, mom wore many different hats. From taxi driver to doctor and personal chef to party planner, surely we all have endless stories about times our moms went above and beyond for us. Some of our fondest memories may be in your childhood home as she brought the family together and cooked your favourite meal or when she took the time to beautifully decorate each room. This Mother’s Day is your chance to go above and beyond for mom, although we’re sure that she’ll love anything you get her, put a little extra effort into buying a gift that she will definitely use and love.

    Keep reading to check out some of our favourite gifts for mom.

    Chapters is more than just a book store; it has a huge selection of cool items to choose from. Take a look at some of our favourites from Chapters. https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/

    • My New Roots Cook Book
    • S’well water bottle
    • Herbs of Italy Indoor Garden
    • FitBit
    • FujiFilm Instax camera
    • Auria Diffuser
    • Love and Lore Kimono
    • White Jade Facial Roller

     

    Pottery Barn is known for its elegant and trendy décor items. For the mom who’s got a knack for interior design, we’ve listed a few fabulous items from this super chic store. http://www.potterybarn.ca/

    • Cozy PomPom Throw
    • Malika Persian-Style Rug
    • Elise Picture Frame
    • Casey Mini Table Lamp
    • Mercer Bathtub Caddy
    • Erica Medallion Pillow Cover

     

    Sephora- a makeup lover’s heaven! Here, you’ll definitely find some great gifts for the mom who loves to get dolled up. Below are some of their products we know she’ll enjoy. https://www.sephora.com/ca/en/

    • Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Ferulic + Retinol Anti-Aging Moisturizer
    • Ren Clean Skincare Clarimatte Invisible Pores Detox Mask
    • BareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream
    • Buxom Lash Volumizing Mascara
    • Peter Thomas Roth Mask Frenzy Kit
    • Versace Bright Crystal Perfume

     

    Michael Hill has the ideal selection of unique jewellery pieces that mom will cherish for years to come. We’ve listed some of their most beautiful pieces! https://www.michaelhill.ca/

    • Key Pendant with Cubic Zirconia
    • Double Heart Bracelet
    • Teardrop Thread Earrings
    • Ladies Mesh Bracelet Watch
    • Ring with Created Opal

     

    Now that you’ve read our master gift guide, you’ll have everything you need to make this Mother’s Day the best one yet! The last gift suggestion we have is for mothers who are in the market for a new home. Spectrum Realty Services is ready to assist you with all your buying and selling needs, providing you with a stress-free experience, which is perhaps the best gift of all! Visit our website for more information.

    https://www.spectrumrealtyservices.com/

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About Us


At Spectrum Realty, our philosophy has long been to provide the most comprehensive and expansive range of realty services in the G.T.A. Because of our commitment to service, we’ve sold hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of real estate since our inception in 1992, becoming one of the largest movers of residential properties.

Our comprehensive approach to satisfying client needs has positioned us as the team poised to tackle any and all challenges we may face. We are happy to sit down with every client and explain exactly what is happening at each step. Every member of our experienced team believes that ensuring the satisfaction of the client is the most important part of our jobs. Spectrum's team approach and exceptional service are revolutionizing real estate, and changing our landscape one dream at a time.

If you are thinking of BUYING or SELLING a home, contact us today and experience real estate in a NEW LIGHT!

Spectrum Realty Services Inc., Brokerage

8400 Jane Street Unit 9, Vaughan, Ontario L4K4L8
Email: reception@spectrumrealtyservices.com
Office: 416-736-6500
Fax: 416-736-9766

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The information provided herein must only be used by consumers that have a bona fide interest in the purchase, sale or lease of real estate and may not be used for any commercial purpose or any other purpose.

Information is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by TREB.

Toronto Real Estate Board - IDX Last Updated: 9/21/2019 8:33:30 AM