The following articles were first published in the Moneyville which is powered by Toronto Star and are reprinted here with their full permission.
Will Greater Toronto real estate surf along, or sink, in 2011?
December 23, 2010
Here are five reasons to be optimistic about Greater Toronto real estate in 2011.
When a real estate deal really becomes binding
December 17, 2010
Virtually every real estate deal is signed by the buyer and the seller “under seal.” But what does it mean?
Our housing market to side step U.S. style bubble
December 15, 2010
Amid new warnings that Canadians are borrowing too much, many wonder about the health of our housing market. Don’t worry, says our real estate columnist.
Why home foreclosures are often unfair
December 10, 2010
How you can be harmed if the bank sells your home through power-of-sale — and how the process could be made fairer.
Why a buyer's real estate agent matters even more
December 3, 2010
Ottawa has forced more competition in the real estate industry which means a bigger role for the agent acting for the buyer.
What to do when 14 students move in next door?
November 26, 2010
Local governments struggle to balance the rights of students and locals on the issue of student housing in residential neighbourhoods.
How first time home buyers can get it right
November 19, 2010
First time home buyers often buy with their heart and not with their head. Here are some helpful negotiating tips.
How to win in a cooling real estate market
November 17, 2010
What house-buyers and sellers need to do as Greater Toronto’s real-estate market cools.
How home buyers can prepare for closing day
November 12, 2010
When you buy a house, closing day represents a new beginning. It can also be extremely stressful. Here are 10 hints to help you cope.
Selling a home on your own: 5 things to consider
November 5, 2010
The deal between the Competition Bureau and Canada's realtors gives home sellers more options. But seller beware.
7 things to know about buying a resale condo
November 5, 2010
A condominium is like a small town. That’s why it pays to keeping a handful of things to keep in mind when it comes to finding the right unit for you.
Who gets the deposit when house deals collapse?
October 29, 2010
Some readers wonder what happens to the deposit put up by the buyer when a house deal doesn’t close.
How a basement apartment helps pay the bills
October 28, 2010
There are plenty of things to keep in mind if you plan to turn a basement into a basement apartment.
What happens when a house deal doesn't close?
October 22, 2010
When a real estate deal doesn’t close it can set off a horrible chain reaction that leaves everyone stranded.
10 ways to avoid buying the wrong house
October 13, 2010
The most common mistake home buyers make is that they buy with their heart instead of their head.
Home inspection conditions must be carefully understood
October 7, 2010
Most resale home deals are conditional on the buyer being satisfied with the results of a home inspection report.
Religious marriage does not include property rights
October 2, 2010
A recent case has confirmed that two people who choose to marry in a religious ceremony in Ontario will acquire no property rights should they later separate.
Consider small claims court for real estate disputes
September 24, 2010
I am often asked what buyers can do when they find unwelcome surprises after closing that were not disclosed by the seller.
How to protect yourself when buying a home from a bank
September 17, 2010
Not being able to make your mortgage payments on time can have devastating results on a family.
Be proactive if your mortgage goes into default
September 10, 2010
When a mortgage goes into default in Canada, the most likely remedy that the lender will pursue is power of sale.
A couple of lessons on mortgage default
September 3, 2010
If the current buyers’ market continues, we will start to see some sellers under pressure to maintain their existing mortgage payments.
What happens when a home is damaged just before closing?
August 27, 2010
There is typically a two month period between the time that a buyer signs a contract with a seller to buy their home and the actual date of closing.
Promises matter in real estate deals
August 19, 2010
Buyers and sellers need to understand their legal rights and obligations when making or asking for promises in a real estate contract.
Homebuyers shouldn’t expect hot deals as housing market cools: experts
August 15, 2010
But experts say buyers shouldn’t expect to see a retreat from record-high home prices when July housing data is released Monday.
Limitations Act creates deadlines for law suits
August 13, 2010
I have received several emails from readers regarding how long someone has to bring a lawsuit once a claim has been discovered on their property.
Know the exclusion clauses in your insurance policy
August 8, 2010
There are many terms and conditions that are included with any insurance policy, which could result in no coverage.
Think before you sue, it could get complicated
July 30, 2010
I am often asked whether a buyer could sue the seller, the real estate salesperson or their own lawyer for not properly protecting them.
Competition Bureau, MLS hearing benefits everyone
July 23, 2010
A hearing has now been scheduled to commence next April to decide the issues between the Competition Bureau and the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) regarding the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Seven weeks have been set aside to...
Signing real estate deals requires careful attention
July 16, 2010
Buyers and sellers must be aware of many technical issues and requirements when signing real estate agreements.
How to protect against caveat emptor
July 9, 2010
What happens if a seller deliberately covers up damages to the floor by strategically placing rugs when a buyer conducts a home inspection?
Balanced market favours buyers
July 2, 2010
Buyers can now conduct the proper research necessary before making what may be the largest investment decision of their lives.
Do your research before renting out your space
June 25, 2010
It is very important to conduct the proper research in advance before renting any space to a residential tenant.
Negotiating agreements takes nerves of steel
June 18, 2010
Real estate agreements typically start with an offer being made by an interested buyer and then accepted by a seller.
Check that your title is absolute when buying property
June 4, 2010
If you own land in Ontario, more than 97 per cent of the land is now registered in the Land Titles System.
Making changes on your property is not easy
May 28, 2010
Before making changes to backyard, homeowners need to understand local zoning bylaws.
Condominium property managers – the unsung heroes
May 20, 2010
When researching condominium buildings, buyers should always ask whether the building is professionally managed and conduct research on the property manager.
Novel marketing approach not without risks
May 13, 2010
Home sellers in The Beach used a novel approach to selling their home to avoid multiple offers.
Competition Bureau misguided about MLS
April 23, 2010
Buying a home is a lot different than buying an airline ticket.
Criminal checks on potential directors a good idea
April 16, 2010
Since writing about condominium boards and privacy law and real estate, I have received some interesting questions from readers. They are as follows:
How private is your home's selling price?
April 2, 2010
What did they get for the house? At dinner parties, people always seem interested in what homes are selling for in your area.
Marriage and property rights can pose knotty problems
March 19, 2010
Most real estate sales in Canada deal with family homes. Yet it is interesting how misunderstood buyers and sellers are regarding what their rights are when buying or selling a family home.
Changing your mind can be costly
March 12, 2010
Real estate home or condominium agreements may be the largest contractual obligation that a buyer and seller may ever sign. It is a serious obligation and both buyers and sellers must understand the consequences of changing their minds once the contract has been signed and accepted.
Condo boards need more regulation
March 5, 2010
I have received a growing number of complaints since writing about how condominium boards operate.
Buyers should carefully research condo 'community'
February 26, 2010
Writing about the importance of the status certificate in every purchase of resale condominiums spurrred countless emails from industry experts, including condominium board directors, property management companies and service providers to the industry.
Is 'positive energy' a requisite for homebuyers?
February 19, 2010
Energy efficiency. Green energy. R-2000 and LEED homes. These are just some of the phrases used to describe the advantages of homes or condominiums that are environmentally friendly. How about "positive energy?"
Review your status certificate when purchasing resale unit
February 12, 2010
Once a buyer finds a condominium resale unit that satisfies his or her needs, there are many "hidden" questions about the building that need to be answered.
Important little details should be in agreements
February 5, 2010
One of the side issues in the recent bidding wars in cities across Canada is that buyers and sellers are not taking the necessary time to review and understand what is included in the fine print of most real estate agreements.
How to avoid `easy money' sales pitch
January 15, 2010
Since warning consumers about the dangers of no money down real estate seminars, I have received more emails than from any other article that I have written. The overwhelming majority are from readers who have been victimized by these schemes in the past.
Handing over the keys should be last resort
January 8, 2010
We have heard countless situations in the United States where homeowners are walking up to their bankers and just handing over their keys. I have been asked many times why this does not happen in Canada.
Beware 'free' real estate seminars
January 1, 2010
How many times have you seen late-night infomercials or advertisements inviting you to a seminar on how you can become a millionaire by buying real estate with no money down, even if you have a poor credit history? As with most get-rich-quick schemes, there is an old saying, "If it seems too good to be...