Category Archives: Landlord and Tenant Concerns

7 Reasons Buying Beats Renting

Right now in the Durham Region, home buying is much better than renting. Discover the advantages home buyers have in today’s market that renters are missing out on.

Why Buying a Home Thru The Mash Team is Better than Renting
Conventional wisdom used to state that buying a home is always a great investment.

Now more than ever it has become easier for “First Time Buyers” as Prices Have Dropped since April. There are more homes to choose from and we are not experiencing as many Multiple Offers situations.  We seem to be in a more typical summer balanced market.

The good news is that Year to date stats show that the average selling price is higher today than from  a year ago.

Price Security in Home Buying
Historically, prices tend to rise over time. For example, a loaf of bread, a gallon of milk, and a semester of college tuition cost more today than they did in 1990.

Your mortgage payment, however, is one constant you can rely upon. If you hold a fixed-rate mortgage, your monthly principle and interest (P&I) payment remains the same, regardless of how prices are moving in other industries. (Your property taxes and homeowners insurance may rise.)

Price consistency offers the advantage of planning for the long-term future. As a homeowner, you can anticipate your monthly housing costs for 1, 3, or 5 years.

As a renter, you can’t lock in this type of security. As prices climb, landlords raise the rent to meet the current market.  The allowable rental increase for 2018 is 1.8%.

If you’re renting with a month-to-month lease in Ontario, your landlord can increase your rent with 90 days of written notice. This puts renters in the difficult position of needing to either find the additional funds or scramble to secure new housing with little advance warning.

Investment – Cash-on-Cash Return
As a home buyer, the outlay of a small down payment as low as 5% can give you the opportunity to make out sized gains.

Hypothetically, for example, imagine that you put a 20 percent down payment on a $100,000 house. The price rises 5 percent, to $105,000. You would earn $5,000 on your initial outlay of $20,000 – a return of 25 percent. This is known as cash-on-cash return, and homeownership can make this type of gain accessible to the average person.

Forced Savings
A home can be a type of “forced savings.” Each month, a portion of your mortgage payment is returned to you in the form of equity. The longer you own your home, the more equity you build – both via mortgage payments as well as in potential value increases.

Renters don’t have this luxury. Many of the pro-rental arguments hinge on the assumption that money “saved” (either via lower monthly payments or through alternate uses of the down payment) would be invested in the stock market.

Realistically, though, what’s the likelihood that a renter would invest that money, rather than spend it on a trip to the Bahamas? And if that money were invested, what’s the likelihood that a renter wouldn’t panic during the next crash and sell at the bottom of the market, turning paper losses into actual losses?

A home functions as ‘forced savings,’ helping you build equity. Like a personal trainer, it keeps you accountable.

Flexibility with Home Improvements
As a homeowner, you can have the freedom to upgrade your home to your heart’s content – without carrying risk or ongoing financial commitment.

If you get a bonus at work, you can celebrate by installing hardwood floors or renovating the bathroom. If you suffer a financial setback, you can defer your plans to remodel the kitchen.

Renters don’t hold this flexibility. The only way they can upgrade their living space is by moving, and this entails both hassle and commitment.

Homeowners, by contrast, can upgrade their home piecemeal as they accumulate cash over the years. Home improvements are a one-time expense that doesn’t require continuous commitment.

Pride of Home Ownership
You wouldn’t invest hundreds of hours or dollars cultivating an exquisite garden in a rental property. You wouldn’t paint, hang wallpaper or replace the light fixtures on a rental property.

As a homeowner, you can take pride in personalizing and perfecting your home. The space can truly morph into a reflection of you, in a way that a rental property never could.

Neighborhood Connection
As a homeowner, you’re more likely to become involved in your local community. There’s a stronger chance that you’ll join the neighborhood association if one was available, organize potlucks or block parties with your neighbors, coach a local sports league or volunteer at the local school.

While it’s possible that you’ll get involved with the community as a renter, you’ll also likely feel an emotional barrier that stems from knowing you might move in a year or two. Committing to an area for the long-term can inspire you to invest more time and energy into improving the neighborhood and connecting with the surrounding community.

For more information on how to buy a home, call us. We are here to help.  Real Estate is still a good investment.


House of 2’s

242 Malaga St. Oshawa

Looking for a Investment Property? This is the house of 2’s. Two Incomes & Two Living Areas and 2 laundry Areas. Invest in this Custom Built 2 Family Home. Home is fully registered with the City of Oshawa.

The Main floor is currently rented at $1250 plus utilities.It features 3 Bedrooms, Large Windows, Open Concept Living Areas, Separate Dining Room, Large Bathroom with Sit Down shower and Oak Cabinets in the Kitchen.

The Tenant in the Lower Unit pays $750 plus utilities. This Unit is 1 Bedroom. It features above Grade windows, its own Separate Entrance and potential for 2 more Bedrooms.

Lots of Parking available (aprox 6 cars) and a detached Garage.

For More information Please Give us a Call 905-430-6655.


Fixing up your Rental Property?

All of those investors who have purchased properties know that they will have to fix things up from time to time. But how do you prioritize which projects will give you the biggest bang for your buck?

I came across this interesting article by Jens Schoell and – while I certainly don’t agree with everything he suggests – there are some ideas to consider when scoping out your investment property projects.
Rehab Projects to Consider for Your Rental Property

If you own rental properties, then you know how important it is to earn as much revenue from them as possible. There are a few ways to do this. You could buy more properties, or somehow find ways to put more people in the same space, but one of the best ways to increase income from investment rental properties is to make improvements to the space that make them more attractive. Of course, they can’t be overly expensive or it will take too long for you to earn your money back, but a wise renovation will greatly increase your rental income for the long run. Here are a few rehab projects that make homes more attractive, without breaking the bank.



If you currently have tenants, they won’t appreciate it if you leave a bunch of new furniture in their space, but if you’re searching for renters, offering to include furniture in the deal can greatly improve the potential renter’s impression of the place. You don’t have to get fancy furniture, by any means, but it is important to find furnishings that are comfortable and reasonably attractive.


Paint job

The walls are one of the most visible parts of a property. Consider repainting the inside walls if it has been a while and the paint is starting to peel. It’s also a good idea if the current colors are dark or dull, because that gives the place a tired, sad look, or if they are a wild or inappropriate color, such as pink or bright green. Painting, especially if it’s the right color, can make the place feel more alive, and will definitely attract new renters, and you can also offer to repaint for current renters if you’d like.


New appliances

Appliances will certainly cost you more than new paint, but it will be very much appreciated by renters, whether they are new or current. Because appliances such as the dishwasher, laundry machines, and even stove and oven are such a big part of our lives, they affect us more than we realize. If the stove is rusty, or the dishwasher is stained, or the washing machine only works half of the time, it makes us feel dirty, or like our life is a mess. People don’t want to feel this way, and a rental that instead makes people feel like everything is just going right is sure to bring in more money.


Solar panels

Don’t tell your renters, but this one is really more for you than for them. By harnessing the sun’s energy instead of using the power out of the lines, you’ll save a considerable amount of money every year. Every situation is different, so do the math for yourself, but many solar panels pay for themselves in less than two years, and the technology is improving rapidly. Once you’ve had the panels installed and have started benefiting from the savings, you can also tell your renters that the property that they live in is environmentally friendly. Although it may not bring the masses rushing for your door, it’s sure to at least turn a couple of heads, and just might end up being the thing that seals the deal.


New light fixtures

Light fixtures tend to get especially dirty due to dust and bugs, so clean them often if you can, if not, replace them when necessary. This will keep your property well-lit and clean feeling, which will make your current and potential renters feeling happy.

Looking for more ideas for rehab projects that will make your rental property more attractive? Contact us at Center Street Lending, We’ve been doing this for a while and just might have the perfect answer for you.

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How Many Boxes Will I Need When I Move?

Calculating how many boxes you need in advance saves you time and money.

Movers hired? Check. Moving day scheduled? Check. Packed? Um… If your answer to this question is no, it’s probably because you’re overwhelmed by looking around at all the stuff in your home. One of the most common moving questions is: “How many boxes will I need?” Once you know the answer, it helps “move” along the packing process.

So, how do you know how many boxes to buy? We have created a handy graph to give you an estimate of how many boxes you’ll need based on the size of your home:

Moving Boxes Calculation

Calculating how many boxes you need in advance, saves you time and money; avoid running out multiple times to get more boxes or spending money on boxes you don’t need. General Rule of Thumb: The longer you have lived in your home, the more stuff you will have accumulated. You know if you’re a pack rat, now’s the time to own it. If you have lived in your home for more than 5 years or are just NOT a less-is-more type of a person, buy the higher number of boxes for your move. Also, check with your moving company to see if they buy back unused boxes or will give you a discount on used boxes. Some moving companies will do both! Check with the movers first, and then stock up!

Having the right packing supplies and techniques will assist you in getting your treasures all in one piece to your new home. For more packing and moving box & supplies tips (including how to pack videos) visit: Happy Packing!

Your Home’s October Honey-Do List

Get your home ready for the spookiest month of the year with this list of to do’s.

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It’s official. Summer is over, the kids are back to school and the leaves are beginning to change. October is upon us–the month of crisp fall weather, spooky traditions, and cozy moments at home. Here is what you need to know to get your home ready for the pookiest month of the year.

1. Don’t Fall Behind on Your Garden – Just because the summer months are over, it doesn’t mean that you have liberty to neglect your yard. Spruce up your garden by planting chrysanthemums which bring an added pop of color to the fall landscape. Add a few dried corn stalks to a lamp post or mailbox for natural decor. As for those potted plants that have been living outdoors all summer, start transitioning them indoors now with these 4 easy steps.

2. Reorganize the Garage/Attic – It’s time to tuck the beach toys behind the rakes and shovels. Bring the Halloween decorations down from the attic and stock up on on-sale gardening products for next spring. As always with any reorganization project, be sure to evaluate how much use particular items got this summer. If necessary, donate unused or unwanted items and trash broken tools and supplies.

3. Collect Your Costumes – Decide on a costume early, before the stores are picked over and supplies are low. Try on all the moving pieces to make sure everything fits and make plans for cooler weather, if necessary.

4. Spooktacular Halloween Decor – Halloween is all about making your home spooktacular. That said, it can be easy to do a little too much. Not to worry, we’ve got the guide to decorating for Halloween without going overboard. If you’re looking for even more decor ideas, try the Coldwell Banker Holiday Home Decor Ideas pinterest board.

5. Touch Down! – That’s right. We’re telling you to watch football. But, before you wave the white flag and surrender to your Barcalounger in front of the flat screen all day Sunday, read our Father’s Guide to Fantasy Football Enjoyment in a Crowded House.

6. Champion your Meal Calendar – Now that school is in full swing, your family calendar is crowded with soccer games, Halloween parades and piano recitals. Getting everyone to the dinner table at the same time is an epic challenge. Make dinner prep easier by mapping out your meal plan a week in advance. If you know football practice may run late on Monday, make extra portions on Sunday night for easy heat & eat the next day. Hey, there’s even an app for that!

7. Get your Fireplace Ready – This is the time for cozy nights at home by the fire. Make sure your fireplace is ready for those cooler nights by following these 3 steps.

8. Get Cozy! – Switch out your lighter bedding for wamer, cozier linens. Swap your light down blanket for a heavier duvet, add a faux fur throw blanket at the base of the bed and use linens made of cozier material like flannel or wool. Looking for inspiration for a cozy fall bedroom? Try our Beautiful Bedrooms pinterest board.

9. Weather Proof your Home – Before the colder months set in, check weather stripping on windows and doors. Also be sure to caulk cracks and gaps in siding. For those in coastal areas, be sure that your home is ready for Hurricane Season by following this guide for Hurricane preparedness.


What is real estate fraud?

Fraud: how it can affect you

Fraud can affect any type of property, whether real estate, house_thumbmonetary investments or items you buy like paintings. There are several types of real estate fraud: 

  • Stealing title: when the crook changes the ownership or title of your property into his/her name. The crook may intend to sell the property or mortgage it behind your back. In either case, the criminal is fraudulently impersonating you and/or forging your signature.
  • Obtaining an illegal mortgage: when the criminal leaves title or ownership in your name, but puts a mortgage on it illegally. Once again, you (and the lender under the mortgage) are the victim of an impersonator and/or forger.
  • Value fraud: where you are tricked into believing the property is worth considerably more than it is. Remember that there is nothing necessarily illegal in Canada about buying low and selling high, unless it involves fraudulent concealment or intentional misrepresentation (such as giving you a forged appraisal or fraudulent “comparables”.)

Why is real estate fraud happening?

Real estate fraud is a continent-wide, if not global, phenomenon. So, there is nothing unique about Canada that is making our properties vulnerable to it.

It is likely related to the upsurge in identity theft, which is reported regularly in the media. As population centres have grown in North America and people have become more mobile, those involved in the real estate industry (such as sales agents, mortgage brokers, lenders and lawyers) are less likely to know all of their clients on a long-term basis. When towns were small and everyone knew each other, it was pretty difficult to impersonate a local landowner to steal title!

These developments are compounded by the rise of the Internet, which makes obtaining a mortgage loan, for example, more convenient while (to some extent) de-personalizing the process.

For More information on how does Title PLUS insurance help and what else can I do to protect yourself, Click Here:  Title Plus Insurance


Saving strategies to pay off your mortgage

Many financial planners will agree that one of the best financial strategies available to homeowners is to pay off your mortgage as quickly as possible and eliminate years of paying unnecessary interest. Here are a few strategies to help you cut years off your mortgage:

  • Shop around – When your mortgage comes up for renewal, you aren’t limited to using the same lender. Take a look at what other financial institutions or mortgage brokers have to offer. We can put you in touch with a choice of lenders and help you evaluate the various options available to you.
  • Consider all your options – When evaluating mortgages, remember there are other factors that can have an impact on cost in addition to the interest rate. The opportunity to make supplementary payments against the principal has significant value. Penalties for early termination can also have an impact on how quickly you can retire your mortgage debt.
  • Make payments as frequently as possible – Most lenders will allow you to change the frequency of your payments during the term of an existing mortgage. Speak to your lender and choose the most frequent schedule of payments available to you. Choosing weekly payments versus monthly can literally save you thousands of dollars and help you pay off your mortgage years earlier.
  • Generate additional income from your property – Renting out a portion of your property to earn income is a time-honoured practice that still holds true today. Sacrificing some living space in the early years of your mortgage can ‘jump start’ your payment schedule. Lump sum payments applied directly to your principal early in your mortgage term will have make a major impact on paying off your home quickly and achieving financial independence. This can easily be done in the Durham Region as long as you meet the Regions guidelines.


What every landlord should know

In these days of low interest, some Canadians are dissatisfied with the returns offered by many investment vehicles and are turning to real estate. Investing in real estate for use as an income property potentially offers the dual advantage of both appreciating in value, while you rent it out at a profit. If you’re considering this option, here are a few tips you should keep in mind:

• Know your rights – and your tenant’s rights too: Before you decide to rent out your property, you should have a clear understanding of the rights and obligations this will entail. Your real estate lawyer will be a good source of this information and there are many helpful websites that spell out the requirements under the Landlord and Tenant Act and other legislation. Be sure that you research both roles of the rental relationship. You’ll need to know not only what your rights are as a landlord, but also what tenant’s rights you’ll be expected to honour.

• Target your advertising: If you’re looking for a certain type of tenant, you can ‘weed out’ undesirable applicants simply by targeting your advertising. For example, if you’re looking for a student, a professional woman or a senior, target publications or bulletin board locations that will be seen by only these groups.

• Screen your applicants: It’s amazing how many people would never let a stranger drive their car, yet they’ll turn over the keys to a house that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars just because the prospective tenant presents themselves well and has the rent cheque ready. There are many different tenant screening services available online. Simply run a search for “tenant check” or “tenant screening”, plus your province name and your search engine will offer you several to choose from.

• Ask for a security deposit: Some landlords make the mistake of simply asking for first and last month’s rent, thinking that will cover any problems when a tenant leaves. Ask for an additional amount – perhaps two to four weeks rent, depending on the condition of your property – to cover any repair or replacement costs that may be required after a tenant moves.
If you follow these guidelines, you can avoid many unforeseen problems down the road. 

Buy or Rent – What’s right for you?

A key reason many people choose to rent instead of buying their own home is their reluctance to sign their name to a long-term mortgage agreement. But when you come right down to it, very few of us can expect to go through life without paying the cost of a place of residence in one form or another. As a renter, you’ve probably already made a commitment to a fixed schedule of payments for housing – but instead of a mortgage, it’s a lease or rental agreement. In reality, rather than being a negative, one of the major advantages of a mortgage agreement is that payments can be locked in for an extended period—which can work in your favour. Since no one can guarantee what your rental payments may be three or even five years down the road, your mortgage agreement can actually protect you from the unexpected increases you may experience when you rent.

pdu8ckjklu4k_Nelson_Coldwell__0396-webStill, some people are intimidated by the large amount of debt that is represented by a mortgage agreement. Yet if you added up all the rental payments you could expect to pay over a space of many years, you may find that going the mortgage route is actually the more affordable of the two options. And at the end of the process, renters are left with nothing to show but a pile of receipts. With today’s low mortgage rates and some creative financing, the cost of buying a home may be lower than you think. Your Coldwell Banker real estate professional can show you how owning your own home may be more affordable than you ever imagined.

While making mortgage payments may actually be more affordable than paying rent, let’s not lose sight of the biggest financial benefit of all. The simple fact is, when you rent, you’re building someone else’s ownership equity in the property where you live. On the other hand, when you buy a home, you’re making an investment in your future, while a portion of your mortgage payment builds personal equity for you. If you decide to sell sometime in the future, that equity is something you’ll take with you as you make your next move.

Lastly, let’s not forget the creative freedom and pride of ownership that comes with owning your own property. When you buy, you decide about the home improvements and decor changes you want to make. You decide colour schemes and where to hang that favourite picture. And you’ll also earn the added equity that any such improvements may add to your home. Spending money to improve a rental property just puts value in someone else’s pocket.

If you’re tired of paying off someone else’s mortgage for them, then why not call me, your Coldwell Banker real estate professional for a no obligation consultation to help you find out how to make your dream of home ownership a reality.