Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Part 1: You and Your Toronto Real Estate

Can you tell me what is a building permit, and when do I need to be given a building permit?

The City of Toronto may need to give you formal authorization, a building permit, before you can make a start work on your house, which includes construction, demolition, additions or renovations. There are quite a few rules that your plans must comply too, they also include the Ontario Building Code and local Zoning By-laws. There are quite a few instances when you will need one, here are some of them: Assemble a new building or put on an extension, make structural alterations, some reno's, demolish or remove all or a portion of a building, change a building's use, install, change, or remove partitions and load bearing walls, make new openings for, or change the size of, doors and windows, construct a garage, balcony or deck, excavate a basement or construct a foundation, install or alter heating, plumbing or air-conditioning systems, install or reconstruct chimneys or fireplaces or wood burning stoves, create a new basement entrance or second suite the list goes on.

Why is my insurance firm asking so many questions about the property I bought, can my realtor tell me why they want to know?

When you buy a house, your insurance company will need to know things such as how big an area your building takes up, any updates to the systems in your house such as roofing, the material used to build the home, plus many other things. The best people to answer these questions are the people selling the property, we can contact their listing agent on your behalf if you would like us to. Exact records are not always available but an insurance business will sometimes accept the approximate price and date these changes occurred.
When looking at purchasing a property, which is the better investment, a house or a condominium?
We specialize on Toronto houses for sale but I can tell you that this all depends on your personal situation, how you visualize the future and what you are expecting out of the opportunity. For example, a house might provide the opportunity to live in while renting out, while a well-located condo pays for itself (given average Toronto rental prices) while appreciating more slowly. We will analyze your own unique situation to help you decide!

Why do prices for the same sort of unit alter so much in the same block?

By installing an upgraded kitchen or bathroom, wanting a parking space, how the condo is finished all add to and are reflected in the price. Also, the higher the floor in the building, the larger the price (ie penthouse suites can sell for a lot more than ground floor suites). Finally, remember that list price - asking price - is not always the same as what the apartments will actually sell for!
picture by Alexkess