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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.

  • How to Buy a House For Less

    It’s no surprise to Ontarians that buying a home in Toronto has become nothing short of impossible. With a shortage of affordable houses, even families earning well over $100,000 a year are struggling to find suitable dwellings. Despite this, more and more young families and professionals flock to the city annually, seeking a place to call their own.

    At Spectrum Realty, we partner with professionals who offer decades of experience to our clients. Working in the Toronto housing market for so long, we understand what goes into buying a home in the GTA. Yes, finding affordable lodgings is difficult, but it’s achievable. Here are a few Spectrum Realty tips to help you buy a home for less in the big city.

    Seek a Short Sell House

    When a homeowner is unable to make payments on their property, they may choose to do something called a short sale. This is allowed when lien holders accept less than the remaining debt on the house to sell it quickly. Standard real estate regulations apply to the purchase because the seller still owns it, but the price is much less than it would be if the owner had more time to sell.

    Usually, a bank agrees to a short sale if they’re fearful the property will require foreclosure. To avoid the lengthy foreclosure process, lien holders take less than owed. Because the bank must approve any offer made on the house, offers aren’t accepted as quickly as you might like. However, if you can get in on the ground floor of a short sale, you could save a substantial amount of money, depending on the original price and remaining debt.

    Choose a Foreclosure

    When a borrower is unable to pay back a lender, they lose the asset that was offered as collateral on the loan. In the case of a mortgage, the property is repossessed by the bank or mortgage lender and sold to recover lost funds.

    An excellent benefit to foreclosure is that the home isn’t a work in progress. The low price doesn’t reflect the state of the house, but rather the state of the owners’ finances. Some foreclosures are beautifully maintained and require very little handy work following the sale. When buying a foreclosure home in Toronto, be sure to have an inspection processed before the sale. Most foreclosures are sold “as is” to make back as much money as possible on the sale.

    Invest in a Fixer-Upper

    For buyers skilled in the art of hammer and nails, investing in a fixer-upper is a great way to beat the banks. With the right tools and skill set, you can flip a run-down shack into a family home. When selecting a character home with room to grow, be sure to check the “bones” of the structure before committing. If the foundation of the home is cracked, sinking, or has other problems, it will cost more than it’s worth to fix.

    Updating windows, freshening hardwood floors, and adding a new coat of paint can completely change the look of a run-down house. As a bonus, buying a fixer-upper means that by the time your new home is ready to live in, it will be perfectly suited to your tastes.

    Consider Living on the Edge

    The edge of the city, that is. Living in the heart of Toronto is thrilling but expensive. As you move further away, past the sea of suburbia, you begin to find houses without that overindulgent price tag. Sometimes, a house is on the dividing point of a great area and a not so great area. These houses are perfect because they put you in a decent neighbourhood without the expense of one.

    To find a place you’re happy with, which suits your needs, remember to select based on proximity to work, school, entertainment, and shopping. As long as you’ve got these four requirements checked off your list, you’re sure to find happiness wherever you go, no matter the name of the neighbourhood.

    House Sales with No End in Sight

    From time to time, even the best homes get stuck on the market. Depending on the owners’ lifestyle and finances, these houses could remain for years without a buyer unless the right price is offered. On the other hand, some owners are simply looking for a way out, even if that way is a large decrease in sale price.

    Working with a Realtor, find homes that meet your housing specifications, and that has been on the market for six months or more. Chances are, these owners are getting desperate to sell, especially if they’ve already moved and are left paying two mortgages. By offering even $5 to $10 K less than the asking price, you save yourself money and save them another six months on the market, gathering dust and property taxes.

    Check Social Media Housing Groups

    Social media shopping sites like Facebook Marketplace have really hit the big time these past few years. You can sell anything online, even a house. A great way to find the best prices and even haggle on the high ones is through social media housing groups. Some of these groups are made up of locals interested in the housing market. Often, people post photos and links to new homes for sale, or unique homes for sale.

    Make a post explaining what you want in a house and where your budget rests. You’ll be surprised to see how many people are willing to help you find a winner. These groups are mainly home seekers, although some may be professional Realtors. Be sure to use a Realtor service before buying, even if the online offer sounds reasonable. The internet is an easy place to get fooled, and having a brick and mortar realty group do the due diligence for you, will help ensure a successful sale.

    Contact Spectrum Realty When Buying a Home in Toronto

    If you’re thinking of buying a home in Toronto, and are looking for affordable options, contact Spectrum Realty. With decades of experience serving the Greater Toronto Area, we know the best places to look for singles, families, and professionals. Call us at 1-416-736-6500 or visit us online to learn more about our realty services today!

  • How to Get Your Home Ready for the Winter

    Winter has arrived earlier than expected here in the GTA. It’s more important now than ever to ensure that your home is ready for the frigid temperatures, snow, ice, and anything the season may bring. Just like how we prepare for winter by changing our car tires, bringing out the winter gear from the basement, and lugging out the shovels from the shed, it’s important to devote time to making sure your home is well-equipped for the season. The busy holiday season is approaching, so your home can sometimes get overlooked. Nonetheless, it’s crucial to take some time out of your weekends and plan different ways to protect your home from any potential damages before it’s too late. We know that this can seem overwhelming, so we’ve prepared some tips to help you get started.


    1. Furnace check – There’s nothing worse than dealing with a broken furnace in the middle of January! To avoid this unfortunate mishap, take advantage of the remaining days of fall by doing your maintenance check with a professional. This gives you enough time to deal with any repairs and ensure your furnace is up and running for the coming winter months.
    2. Check for any leaks – Heating bills are higher in the winter time, so keeping the cold out and avoiding any heat loss will help protect you and your wallet. Secure all windows and doors and add the necessary weather stripping needed. Door sweeps, rubber foams, sealing tapes, screen patches and draft sealers are all little details that play a crucial role in keeping your home protected from the weather.
    3. Clean the gutters – This is an annoying task, but we can’t stress enough the importance of keeping your gutters clean before winter. Gutters play an essential role in blocking water from entering your home, so it is critical to ensure that they are free of any junk and debris such as leaves and branches.
    4. Check your roof – Alongside the gutter, it’s also important to take a look at your roof for any shingles that need to be replaced. This step ensures that your roof can endure any damages once the snow and freezing rain pour in. There are numerous benefits to checking your gutters and roof, the first being that it will prevent any possible problems that could arise in the future.


    While there are certain things Mother Nature does that are out of our control, the least we can do is be prepared. These tips will certainly give you peace of mind once those centimetres of snow start piling up.

    At Spectrum Realty we offer exceptional real estate services for your family. Whether you’re looking into buying or selling a house, we’re here to provide you with everything you need. Give us a call at 416-736-6500 and follow us on Instagram @spectrum_realty for all our latest updates.

  • What to Know About Selling Your Home

    Toronto real estate has always been a hot topic of discussion. Finding a home that matches your budget and lives up to your expectations seems to be one of the most challenging things for young people starting their adult lives. However, it appears that it is equally difficult for those who are looking to sell their homes. Whether you’re downsizing or moving somewhere for a change of pace, selling your home can prove to be a difficult task. Spectrum Realty Services has put together some suggestions to make selling your home a little bit easier.

    1. Research the value of your home

    Finding out the approximate value of your home will give you a point of reference through the entire process of putting your house on the market. Knowing this beforehand can be the deciding factor as to whether you want to sell. There are various ways that you can find out how much your house is worth. You can do this using online valuation tools and price index calculators. Evaluating similar properties in your area that have comparable amenities and similar square footage could also give you a good idea of what your home is worth. You can get a comparative market analysis done on your home through an agency. You can also speak to your accountant regarding the sale of your home and any tax issues you should keep in mind.

    2. Hire a professional agent

    Getting a professional agent who genuinely wants to help you achieve your targets for putting your house on the market will make all the difference. In order to ensure that you pick the right agent, you should research and interview multiple realtors to see who can help you the most. Hiring a Realtor® is vital because they are experts in the housing markets and will give you valuable advice to help you get the best deal possible. After you’ve picked a real estate agent, you will sign a listing agreement with the help of your agent.

    Your real estate agent will then help you to list your house on MLS (Multiple Listing Service). This is how you will begin to market your home and will begin to draw the interest of buyers and their agents, and show that your home is on the market. Your real estate agent will also spend time and money marketing your home.

    3. Decide on a price

    After going through the process of evaluating the value of your home and consulting with your real estate agent, your next step should be deciding on a price.

    Before serious offers start coming in, you should decide whether you should take part in a bidding war to assess the area for demand. A bidding war can take place when you list your house for a lower price than market value to spark a lot of interest. This could result in a higher volume of offers than usual.

    4. Stage your home

    Make sure your home is ready to sell by renovating anything that needs fixing or by just doing a deep clean. This will make your home all the more attractive to potential buyers. You can start with a fresh coat of paint, repair anything that needs to be fixed, do a thorough cleaning, and ensure there are no signs of pests. Creating a neutral space where potential buyers can imagine themselves in the home is a vital step. This can be accomplished by removing any clutter or personal things that make it seem like your home; it can also make your house appear more spacious. First impressions are key, and your real estate agent can provide you with ideas on how to get your home ready to put on the market. You can also go the extra mile and get your house staged professionally or hire a photographer to make your listing look even more attractive. This way, more buyers will be enticed to attend your open house. Your real estate agent will help you choose time slots for when the showings will take place so that you know when to be out of the home.

    5. Receive and accept offers

    If you don’t plan on having a bidding war, you can take your time to think through and consider each offer, since you may still receive multiple proposals at a time. Your real estate agent will walk you through the details of each offer to ensure you are satisfied with your result.

    After accepting an offer, you will go through the essential paperwork with your real estate agent before sending it to your mortgage broker and lawyer.

    Finally, you will remove all of your personal belongings and then give your house keys to the new buyer.

    Here at Spectrum Realty Services, we’re committed to giving your family the best possible experience whenever we can. Whether you’re looking for a fun and festive event or searching for the perfect home, our experienced and dedicated team are here to help. For all of your real estate buying or selling needs, don’t hesitate to call us at 416-736-6500 and follow us on Instagram at @spectrum_realty for our latest updates.

  • 8 Events in the GTA for You and Your Family this Fall

    Summer is the time of festivals and events in the GTA, but contrary to popular belief, the celebrations continue on long past the last days of summer. The Greater Toronto Area is lively at all times of year, particularly during fall. With all of these vibrant cultural events happening throughout the city, you’ll never have a dull moment this autumn. To help make your search a little easier, we’ve created a list of some of the festivals and events taking place this season.

    The Toronto Biennial of Art
    When: September 21-December 1, 2019
    Cost: Free
    The Toronto Biennial of Art is a brand new, 72-day long celebration of the visual arts. Every 2 years from now on, the Biennial will transform the city into a 10-week long art show made up of exhibitions, installations, performances, panels and more. The goal is for the Toronto Biennial of Art to reflect the mixing pot that is Toronto through culturally diverse contemporary art displays that take up pressing issues and bridge communities. The cost is free, and events will be taking place in a number of venues around the city. Find the full event schedule at

    When: October 10, 2019-January 1,2020
    Cost: $12
    Most of us are familiar with the inspiring story of Nelson Mandela and the movement that he spearheaded in South Africa. MANDELA is an exhibit, held at the Meridian Arts Centre, that aims to capture the spirit of Nelson Mandela as it follows his story from his time in hiding, into being declared an outlaw. Learn about the ways in which his efforts to bring South Africa out of the shadows after years of injustice and racism changed the course of history, and what it meant to the people of South Africa, Canada, and activists around the world. Visit for event schedules and to purchase tickets.

    Yonge Sheppard Centre Block Party
    When: October 17, 2019
    Cost: Free
    Join RioCan, ET Canada, and Sangita Patel from HGTV Canada’s Home to Win and more at the Yonge Sheppard Centre Block Party! Now that renovations at the Yonge Sheppard Centre are complete, RioCan is hosting #OurBlockParty to celebrate. The event will feature appearances by lifestyle, food and beauty influencers, Canadian restaurateurs and chefs, radio and TV personalities and more. The party will kick off at 5:30pm and will wrap up at 9:00pm. Visit for more information.

    Toronto Vinylfest
    When: October 18-19, 2019
    Cost: Free
    Calling all music lovers! Toronto Vinylfest is an event designed to raise money for Musicounts, a charity aimed at providing instruments to children in need. Vinylfest is a fun event all about vinyl records by day, and live music by night. Held at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Hotel in Etobicoke, advance tickets/reservations are required. Visit for the full schedule and to learn more.

    Kensington Market Taste of the World Food Tour
    When: Every Saturday and Sunday from April 27-December 22, 2019
    Cost: $45 for children, $59 for adults
    Every Saturday and Sunday from April 27 up until December 22, Tasty Tours is hosting the Kensington Market “Taste the World” Food Tour. Kensington Market is a Toronto landmark, known for its multi-cultural variety of cuisine. Enjoy sights and sounds from every corner of the world in this immersive tour, perfect as a birthday present, family trip, or date idea! Visit to buy your tickets in advance. Make sure you arrive hungry.

    The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair
    When: November 1-10, 2019
    Cost: $16 for youth, $27.50 for adults, $20 for seniors, $60 for family pass.
    For 97 years, The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair has brought country charm into the big city with their indoor agricultural and equine event. It is the largest show of its kind in the world, and it includes everything from competitions, to dining and shopping, to kids’ entertainment and more. Hosted at the Enercare Centre at the Canadian National Exhibition Place, The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is a grand, 10-day event. For times, tickets and more information, visit

    Hot Docs Podcast Festival
    When: November 6-11, 2019
    Cost: $24-$31
    Podcasts have become one of the largest and most popular media platforms over the years, and the biggest names in Podcasting are coming to Toronto for the Hot Docs Podcast Festival, this November. For 6 days, the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema will be bursting with live shows and creator forums. Come join the biggest names in the industry. Visit for schedules, performers, tickets and more.

    Cavalcade of Lights
    When: November 24, 2019
    Cost: Free
    The best way to welcome winter and the holiday season is at the Cavalcade of Lights! For 52 years, the live music, skating, circus performers, fireworks, and the first lighting of Toronto’s 60-foot tall Christmas Tree have become a seasonal staple to mark the beginning of the holiday season, and the tradition continues this year! For more information, visit

    Here at Spectrum Realty Services, we’re committed to giving your family the best possible experience whenever we can. Whether it’s helping you find a fun and festive event, or helping you to find the perfect home, our experienced and dedicated team are here to help. For all of your real estate buying or selling needs, don’t hesitate to call us at 416.736.6500 and follow us on Instagram at @spectrum_realty.

  • Should You Go House Hunting in the Winter?

    Generally, houses are offered for rent or sale on the real estate market every day. You can begin house hunting whenever you can afford the rent or market price, and feel the need to move. It is recommended that you start this process at least 4-6 weeks in advance of your intended move-in date.

    Many people believe that the best time to find a new home is in the spring and summer and that you’re not likely to find good housing at other times of the year, but this is not necessarily true. In fact, winter is considered a desirable season to search for a property and get it a fair market price.

    Here are some reasons to start your house search this winter:

    1. Low competition

    Considering that the bulk of home buyers rush to find new homes in spring and summer-just before school starts-you will likely be among a minority of people looking to buy a home in the winter. Families avoid moving in the middle of the school year. So while they’re engaged in sports and holidays, and as people generally begin to become less active as the days get shorter and colder, you have an edge if you go house hunting in the winter.

    This offers several advantages, including having more time to look at each property and negotiate a favourable deal that will give you the most value for money. Moreover, you will have an easier time narrowing down your options and visiting each place individually. There’s also heightened opportunity of getting a suitable property from spring and summer buyers who were not able to close before August as they will likely exit the market until the following year.

    2. Leverage

    Generally, any sellers who put their homes on the market in the winter are generally serious about making the sale, which also makes them more flexible for negotiations with serious buyers. More importantly, if there’s a nice property that you noticed during summer that is still available in the winter, then you have much more leverage to purchase it at a discount. As a rule, the longer a property sits on the market, the more willing the seller usually is to bargain for a sale, which gives you more negotiating power.

    Even if the property has been listed in the winter, you can still get a good and quick sale because the seller is typically motivated to sell. Otherwise, they would have waited until the next spring or summer to put it on the market.

    3. Affordable housing

    Research shows that October is the best month to get a good deal when purchasing a property. According to data obtained by Realtytrac on over 32 million home sales collected over a 15 year period, winter month home buyers tend to pay an average of 2% lower than the estimated market value of the property. This discount remains until February and then drops back down in the spring and summer.

    Conversely, data shows that the worst month to buy a home is in April, as you’re likely to spend an average of 1.2% more than the estimated current market value. So buying your home in the winter gives you the best chance to enjoy discounts on the current market value.

    4. Approaching holidays

    Winter marks the beginning of many holidays where families get to host their relatives for various celebrations, including Christmas. Home sellers will be looking to sell any property and settle down in their new house fast, so they can get things in order before the celebrations begin. This pre-holiday window creates an opportunity to enjoy great deals that you can take advantage of to purchase great property at a discount.

    During these months of lower competition and a much slower pace in the housing market, it will be easier for you to negotiate price, make the right decision on a house you truly love as well as get the best deals on moving services since it’s also their off-season.

    5. Quality time with professionals for first-time homebuyers

    Besides the changing mood as the holidays approach, most professionals you engage with to close a property deal, including a real estate agent, lawyer, and mortgage broker, won't be as busy as during spring and summer, meaning they can give you their undivided attention.

    Winter is an excellent time for first-time property buyers to learn about the industry. You will have more time to sit down with professionals and ask questions about costs, title transfers, due diligence, and anything else you want to learn about without stealing their time from other clients.

    6. Tax benefits

    Buying property towards the end of the financial year can be advantageous for investors looking to benefit from tax deductions in the next financial year. This includes property tax, closing costs, and mortgage interest, all of which can help to offset your taxable earnings.

    7. Home improvement deals

    If you’re looking to get new appliances or upgrade other aspects of your new home as you settle in, purchasing your home in winter is the perfect time to start anew. There are massive shopping discounts during this season, from Black Friday to Christmas and New Year deals that allow you to get furniture, appliances like stoves and refrigerators, and even major home improvement projects like door and window replacements at their cheapest. If your budget allows it, you can purchase your home and renovate it within a couple of months, so you’re fully settled in by the New Year.

    House hunting in the winter can be a very successful endeavour. But you should also be aware of any possible challenges. This could include a low supply of listings, though this makes it easier to narrow down your list of top properties so you can focus on closing the deal. With fewer properties to visit, you also won’t have to worry about the colder weather that makes moving around a hassle, or the light fading, which reduces the number of houses you can see in a day, especially if you need to visit them in the evening after work or one day every week.

    You can take full advantage of the lower competition and slower pace in winter to mull your decision, negotiate for favorable rates, and even get cheaper moving services at their off-peak season.

    For more house-hunting tips, call Spectrum Realty at (416) 736-6500 or contact us here.

  • 11 Hottest Interior Design Trends for Homes in 2020

    Whether you’re moving into a new house or upgrading your space, there’s nothing that says “feel right at home” more than adding a personal flair to the space. While architecture and construction are the bones of the house, it’s the special touch of interior design that gives the space its heart and soul.

    The good news is that the latest interior design trends are here, and they’re sure to grace the halls and bedrooms of the newest homes in the market. Get the keys to your new house and start turning it into a real home, perfect for the hip and trendy city dweller. Start with the top interior design trends sweeping through modern spaces for the modern homeowner:

    All About Colours

    Swap Bold Colours for Gradients

    Bold colours have swept through interior design trends in recent years. However, starting this fall and well into 2020, we’re seeing rich, bold shades swapped and evened out with gradients, creating a more relaxed, but coordinated look as similar shades build up a common palette. We’re not just talking about paint on the walls; gradients can be found everywhere, including furniture pieces, linens, and cute little accents. Not a fan of over the top decor and accents? The cool, calm, and collected vibe that gradients give off creates more than enough visual interest while maintaining a pleasantly minimalist aesthetic.

    Pastel Colours

    The pastel Instagram dream has descended upon interior design. It’s inviting you to brighten up your home by welcoming in light, dream-like shades in lieu of dark, earthy tones of natural wood. Use complementary shades for structures like walls contrasting against furniture and accents. You could create gradients out of staple pastel colour palettes like coral, lavender, and various greens and blues.

    Create Contrasts

    Can’t choose between a single palette or not a fan of the summer vibe of pastel shades? Contrasting colours might just be the look you need! Up-and-coming interior design trends come with a wide colour palette, highlighting rich earthy tones in reimagined shades of sand, wood, various greens, coral, brick, olive, and sky blue. Along with classic shades like white, light ash, and gray--- the best way to go about this is by creating contrast.

    This hot interior design trend invites you to experiment with different shades on the opposite ends of the spectrum. Using this technique, you can create cozy and interesting visuals at home, enveloping each room in a unique character.

    Geometric Accents

    This interior design trend dares you to play with shapes and reimagine the form of essentials. Items such as lamps and mirrors for a literal, but tasteful take on form and function. But don’t limit yourself to accent pieces. Make a statement with geometric furniture like a coffee table or ottoman, to add a quirky, multi-dimensional touch to an otherwise flat space.

    Glimmering Glass

    Glass is one of the most common materials used in interior design, but this 2020, it’s taking on a whole new look. More than its clean but functional aesthetic, the latest design trends are focused on bringing out its mesmerizing glimmer right when the light hits, setting off an entire spectrum radiating throughout the space. Think accents like candle stands and other decorative pieces made out of glass, and spend hours just getting lost in the glimmer.

    Loft Style Spaces

    Loved for the versatility brought on by their open floor concept, the artistic and functional possibilities with loft-style spaces are endless. Gone are the days of traditional room settings and kitchen enclosures—lofts are stylishly versatile. They allow you to maximize control over the look and feel of the space, which you can revamp without a pricey remodel. For loft-style spaces, think metal and wooden elements finished with rich, dark shades for a clean and polished feel.

    Green Living

    Eco-friendly living is making waves in various lifestyle trends this coming year, including starter homes. Going green means a lot more than sorting out household waste and using eco-friendly shopping totes. It entails building your home sustainably with the use of eco-products and decorating with accents made out of recycled materials. Check out interesting new wallpaper options, furniture and other household essentials, all crafted using eco-friendly materials.

    Country Vibe

    Even the busiest city dwellers at heart crave warm and cozy environments like in country homes. This year’s interior design trends invite you to welcome that vibe in the busy metropolis. Come home to a summerhouse-style abode decked in white wooden chairs, metal shelf handles, and plaid tablecloths. This style of interior design will let you take a break from the bustling city scene.

    Ethnic Elements

    Dive into your ancestry and honour some cultural traditions by incorporating ethnic elements and accents into the interior design of your home. Celebrate cultural diversity with various ethnic-inspired decor and unlock endless possibilities. Showcase your roots and envelope your home with unique touches of what makes up who you are.

    Less is More

    Minimalism has been at the core of modern interior design for a number of years now, and even as we enter 2020, this trend shows no sign of slowing down. Now a classic style, minimalism proves that less is more, creating an illusion of a bigger, brighter space simply by being compact and clutter-free.

    High-End Touches on a Budget

    Whether it’s redecorating your home or furnishing a new space, budget often comes to mind. This is not uncommon among new homeowners as you’re already making a major investment into real estate. But that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice adding tasteful, personal touches to stay within your budget.

    Score high-end touches and exquisite interior design trends on a budget by exploring various options for furniture. Start with fan-favourites like IKEA and Structube, and progress to local neighbourhood stores and flea markets. You’ll be surprised by how many trendy pieces you can score to reimagine the space and make it your own.

    Getting the keys to the property is just the first step to becoming a certified homeowner. It’s the personal touches that transform a house into a real home. Cozy up with the latest interior design trends taking over this 2020, and create the right look and feel for your lifestyle.

    If you want to learn more about interior design trends to incorporate into your new home, call Spectrum Realty Services at 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.

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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
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: 12/10/2019 8:20:03 AM