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Frank Leo Weighs In On Toronto’s Real Estate Market [June 2020]

With recent events putting stress on the economy world-wide, Frank Leo weighs in on what Frank Leo & Associates have been seeing in the Toronto real estate market.

In this short video, Frank covers how the market has been performing over the last month and provides some concise advise about buying & selling real estate in Toronto during such seemingly uncertain times.

Do you have real estate questions of your own?

Team Leo is here to help! You can reach us by phone directly at (416)917-5466 or through our website’s contact page.

When you work with us, you get decades of experience on your side and a team of real estate professionals working for you.

Toronto neighbourhood profile Parkdale

Parkdale Toronto Neighbourhood Profile From Frank Leo & Associates: Compiled From Years of Experience Buying & Selling Real Estate in Toronto & The GTA

Toronto’s vibrant Parkdale neighbourhood is packed with different cultures, highly-walkable streets, and a range of Victorian and Georgian Revival homes. It exemplifies the Canadian experience with a modern population living among heritage buildings, all served by chic local shops, restaurants, boutiques, and art spaces.

Explore one of Toronto’s oldest neighbourhoods with our neighbourhood guide, covering the area’s history, current culture, and what it’s like to live, work and play in this part of our fair city. 

Have real estate questions about Parkdale? If you’re thinking of buying or selling property in the area, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team for guidance, advice, or top representation. 

The History of Toronto’s Parkdale Neighbourhood

While the Village of Parkdale was officially founded in 1879 the area was already settled much earlier. As with many of Toronto neighbourhoods, the land that makes up Parkdale began as private property owned by an individual, in this case Sir James Brock. 

In 1812 Brock received 240 acres of land which stretched from Queen St. to Jameson at the west and Dufferin to the east, all as part of his salary for service as private secretary to the lieutenant governor. 

Although Brock himself moved away to Kingston shortly after receiving the land and not making any improvements, it was sold promptly after his death in 1830 and subdivided. Much of that land would become collectively known as Parkdale, but for decades the separate parcels were privately owned or treated as small villages – as in the case of Brockton Village, today’s modern day neighbourhood by the same name. 

By the late 19th century, both the Parkdale Railway station and the Grand Trunk Railway Stations were open and providing multiple points of entry along the east-west axis. Along with this boom in accessibility a corresponding boom in population would come soon after that. 

Although the village had to fight to be recognized as such with only 783 residents, it wouldn’t be long before Village council passed a bylaw to be Annexed by the City of Toronto which was already taking up all the land around it. The village was facing opposition from other municipal bodies which disagreed with its status as an independent entity within the ever-widening boundaries of Toronto. 

In March 1889, Parkdale Village was officially Annexed by the City of Toronto and dubbed “St. Alban’s Ward.” When the name “Parkdale” returned to local railway signage following reorganization of the the different lines and systems, so too returned the long forgotten name which we use to this day. 

Today’s Parkdale 

Butting up against the city’s downtown core, Parkdale is predominantly residential. More specifically, it’s filled with single-family and semi-detached homes, although it’s cut through by several main thoroughfares which include shops, restaurants, and other businesses.

It’s far enough away from the downtown core to not be dominated by towering condo towers yet close enough to have the always-active vibrance only a mega-city like Toronto can offer. 

If you happen down one of the residential streets you’ll notice that the homes are of an older variety, some dating as far back as the 19th century. Since the neighbourhood was an upper-scale suburb at the turn of the 1800’s, many of the homes were quite upscale and had to be converted into multi-use residences in order to accommodate the growing population of the city.

Equally old are some of the trees which line the streets and give them shade along with a sense of domesticity and small-town comfort. Look out for Georgian Revival and Victorian architecture, sometimes even with original gas lights. 

Given the high demand for housing in Parkdale, many of the homes are multi-unit properties to meet the demand. That makes for a larger population of renters compared with the rest of the city. A few swatches of the city have even been repurposed for high rise apartment buildings.

Thinking of moving to Parkdale? Get in touch with one of our team members to plan the sale or purchase of any property in Toronto and take advantage of decades of local real estate expertise.

Parks & Green space in Parkdale

For a neighbourhood with the word “Park” in its title, one would think green space were plentiful. That does not happen to be the case. Parkdale has less parkland per resident than other neighbourhoods. 

Due to the early settlement of this section of Toronto and the type of residents, city planners were more concerned with getting enough homes in the area and not so much with providing adequate green space. After all, many of the owners of the local mansions had country houses or easy access to the countryside.

To address this lack of parks in a time when apartment buildings were being added to the neighbourhood, the city built several parkettes since the 1960s. 

The neighbourhood does technically include the stretch of waterfront between Roncesvalles and Dufferin Streets, though access requires pedestrians to cross the Gardiner Expressway by 1 of 2 pedestrian paths. 

Regardless, it’s a convenient way to access the Martin Goodman trail and connect with other parts of the lakeshore. 

Commerce In Parkdale

Parkdale’s primary commercial space is Toronto’s famous Queen St. West, a primary thoroughfare which has been used for commerce and transportation since Toronto’s early days. Whereas this stretch of Queen was once a place where household wares were sold it’s now mostly serving the local community with bars, restaurants, local shops, and living up to the street’s bohemian reputation with art galleries and atelier spaces. 

Few large businesses function in the area. That’s partly because of the residential nature of the community and partly because larger commercial development is prevented by the heritage status of many buildings. 

Parkdale By The Numbers

Unsurprisingly for a downtown Toronto neighbourhood, Parkdale is mixed in terms of both ethnicity and income. However, regardless of people’s backgrounds, most residents are renters and that proportion continues to grow. 

Despite its diversity, Parkdale does have a disproportionate number of Torontonians falling in the lower-income bracket. Part of the reason for Parkdale’s low income status can be attributed to the abundance of rental properties in such a good location. Those factors can make it a great prospect for immigrant families, many of whom call the area home.

The bohemian vibe of Queen St. W. also draws many artists and creative types who enrich the neighbourhood in different ways. Some of those ways can be seen in the street art murals which adorn the various walls and buildings in the area. 

Transportation in Parkdale

Owing to its centralized Toronto location, Parkdale is exceptionally accessible. Much of the convenience of getting around is provided by the main Queen St. W. thoroughfare and the 501 streetcar route that follows it.

Local access to amenities is tremendous thanks to the highly-walkable side-streets and wide sidewalks. It’s an area designed to be enjoyed on foot, whether that means getting groceries, enjoying a coffee, or making one’s way to work. With a walk score of 82, it ranks among the most walkable neighbourhoods in the city. 

It’s not quite as bikeable, largely because of the heavy pedestrian traffic and the lack of bike lanes due to the streetcar route. Nonetheless, visitors will see local residents cycling as part of some of the more alternative lifestyles enjoyed by Parkdale’s residents. 

The neighbourhood is surrounded by heavier transportation infrastructure such as the Gardiner Expressway to the south and train tracks which border Parkdale in the north east.  

Regardless, it’s relatively convenient to access this transit corridor by car as long as you don’t mind waiting in a spot of traffic. 

Real Estate In Parkdale

Much of Parkdale’s real estate is commercial or mixed-use residential, although there’s no doubt there are some darling single-family homes available to the keen house hunter seeking to call the neighbourhood home. 

Because fully-detached homes are harder to come by in the area, they do sell at the higher range of the Toronto home-price spectrum. Parkdale’s proximity to downtown Toronto also contributes to this high price point. 

Owing to the zoning regulations high-rise condominium developments haven’t entered the area, leaving prospective property buyers with fewer ownership options. Fortunately, these regulations allow the neighbourhood to keep it’s village vibe and relatively low population density

More About Parkdale

Thinking of buying or selling property in Parkdale?


Take advantage of our custom property search to find exactly the type of properties you’re looking for in Parkdale.

You can also browse and filter all the different types of properties available in the parkdale using the communities section of our website.

As always, if you have any questions or you’re seeking guidance about the real estate decisions in your future you can reach one of our team members. We’d be happy to help you make the next move when it comes to buying or selling property in Toronto & The GTA.  

Toronto nieghbourhood profile danforth village

Danforth Village Toronto Neighbourhood Profile From Frank Leo & Associates

Welcome To Danforth East, East York’s Village in a City

East Danforth, also known as Danforth Village or “The Danny”, is a burgeoning neighbourhood in the east end of Toronto. While the abundance of open green spaces is a refreshing recreational reprieve for its residents, the rustic retro brick buildings from the Massey Estate and casual functional architecture from the interwar period is of heritage value. 

The area, extending from the eastern boundary of Greektown by Greenwood Avenue to the periphery of Scarborough at Victoria Park Avenue, was once part of the municipal township of York County before being annexed and then amalgamated into what is presently known as the City of Toronto. 

Strategic public investments in infrastructure like transit, housing and community services have led to Danforth Village’s urban renewal. Transitioned from its agro-industrial origins and suburban reputation, the area is now a multicultural patchwork with its own identity and charm. Danforth Village has a wealth of quaint single-family homes both detached and semis, in addition to its newly developed condos and apartments that border the quiet tree-lined streets all just steps away from incredible dining, shopping and leisure experiences. 

Golf at Dentonia Park Golf Course with your neighbours or appreciate fresh produce and artisan goods while strolling through the lively farmers’ market in East Lynn Park alongside your family. Hike and cycle through the network of trails at Taylor Creek Park or enjoy the charming boutiques and socialize at the bustling outdoor cafes along the vibrant pedestrian path of the commercial street. This welcoming neighbourhood is ideal for families and young professionals interested in integrating big city living with small town appeal.

Are you considering selling or buying property in East Danforth? Follow HERE to get in touch.

History of Danforth Village

From Coleman’s Corners to Little York, a look into the east end of the Danforth’s history provides a chronology of development and boom that has led from its era as an electric village to that of a friendly cultural mosaic of commercial and retail spaces. In the 1870s, the intersection of Danforth and Dawes was referred to as Coleman’s Corners when Charles Coleman, a hotel owner in the area, was first appointed to Postmaster and responsible for the receiving, sorting and sending of mail in the village. The Grand Trunk Railway was constructed in the mid-19th century, along with the establishment of a train station in East Toronto. 

In fact, some of the original rail lines from this time are currently used by the GO Transit and VIA Rail Networks. The area was renamed “Little York”, of which you can still find traces. From the bay and gable Victorian houses of the Massey Goulding farm residences and the Gothic Revival architecture of the Charles Taylor Estate, to the modest brick homes for railways workers on Coleman Ave and the steam powered grist mill of Gooderham & Worts. 

The former remote area of Danforth East soon became industrialized along the east bank of the Don Valley. While its rich clay deposits were exploited for brick-making, its unserviced land was settled by a thriving population of newly arrived immigrants who continue to put down roots here to this day. 

Named after Asa Danforth, an American contractor, Danforth Village soon flourished after major transportation improvements were made. The completion of the Prince Edward Viaduct in 1918, the streetcar line along Broadview Ave from Queen St East to the corner of Danforth Ave and the opening of the Bloor – Danforth subway in 1966 connected the populous metropolitan (city) to the extended “streetcar suburbs” (village). 

As a result, Danforth East is now home to Italian, Greek, Irish, Moroccan, Chinese, Afghani, Caribbean, Pakistani and Ethiopian cultures. This new microeconomy provides ample authentic retail, restaurant, and cafe options along the main Danforth thoroughfare, while also attracting pedestrian traffic and encouraging active engagement in the now vibrantly diverse community where residents can live, work and play. 

Thinking of buying property in Danforth’s East End? Get help finding the perfect property from Frank Leo & Associates, a team with decades of experience in Toronto’s real estate industry. You can also browse current Danforth real estate listings.

Landmarks & Notable Features

Taylor-Massey Creek Park

Named after two prominent Toronto families, the Taylors of the Don Valley Brick Works and the Masseys of the Canadian farm equipment manufacturing company, Massey-Ferguson, the creek provides sizable open green space in the form of paved and dirt recreational trails for City of Toronto residents. 

Children’s Peace Theatre

Children’s Peace Theatre is located in the Goulding Estate, a heritage property on Dawes Road that was once the primary residence of Canada’s first major industrialist. It operates year-round to provide collaborative and artistic programs and projects to children and youth of all ages in an effort to raise awareness about peace methods. 

The house, which was once located on the family’s 240 acres of farmland, is architecturally significant as it was designed by the notable Canadian architect Ferdinand Marani. The mansion is often referred to as the Garden of Eden because of “British-born, Toronto-made” Eden Smith’s influence on the cottage-like style. 

Dentonia Park

A large park packed with fields for soccer, baseball, and even cricket as well as a clubhouse and walking trails, Dentonia Park is situated on what was once farmer’s fields. These days it serves as a place to experience the outdoors for the area’s residents and will be recognized by many as the location where the Bloor-Danforth Subway line descends underground after Victoria Park Station. 

Things To Do In Danforth East

Enjoy Nature at Taylor Creek

Flowing through Scarborough and East York before entering the Don River, the creek offers a well maintained respite from the hustle and bustle of city living. The cascading river, assorted tall trees and savage wildlife emanates an enchanting feel of serenity. Regardless of the season, this accessible network of trails is a great place for residents passionate about the outdoors. Here you can walk with your family and/or pets, train for endurance sports like running, biking or cross country skiing, host a private and/or community barbecue and sit on one of the many benches to bask in the surrounding natural beauty of Danforth Village’s hidden oasis. 

Go Green with East Lynn Park’s Farmers Market 

Danforth East residents can take pleasure in the fresh selection of local produce and artisanal goods, as well as family-friendly entertainment every Thursday from 3 to 7pm at East Lynn Park, located on Danforth Avenue at Woodbine Avenue. The Danforth East Community Association (DECA) continues to offer opportunities for neighbours and local families to congregate with monthly festivals and children’s events like their strawberry social, movie nights, arts fair, corn broil, pumpkin parade and fall harvest festival. 

Hit A Few Balls At Dentonia Park Golf Course

A hidden gem in the heart of the city and conveniently located at Victoria Park and Danforth Avenue, just steps away from the subway station, this well kept short-game circuit offers an 18 hole irons-only par three golf course on part of the original Massey Farm lands that is perfect for beginner and pro alike. 

Danforth Avenue

From the nostalgic smells of warm bread baking to the aromas and spices of the myriad ethnic shops which line the street, Danforth Village residents can enjoy the specialty food stores as well as “ma and pa” businesses on the neighbourhood’s main street. Although it’s no Greektown or Queen St. W., there’s a certain no-frills appeal to a commercial part of the city without the fuss. 

Real Estate In Danforth Village

Since Danforth Village began as a farming community with large swaths of land with a relatively low population density it should come as no surprise that today’s Danforth Village residents continue to enjoy a fair amount of breathing room. 

Real estate in the East-end Danforth neighbourhood may not be luxurious, but there’s a range of property types to serve everyone from young families and couples to single real estate investors looking to get a leg up in the real estate market. 

Fully-detached homes abound, many with generously sized lots. Even more prevalent are semi-detached homes connected to rear laneways for garage and parking access. Finally, the large apartment complexes around primary intersections like Main St. & Danforth Ave. make the area an attractive place to settle for immigrants of all kinds. 

With terrific connection to the rest of the city via the Bloor-Danforth Subway line and the 512 Streetcar route leaving Main St. station, it’s no surprise that the area is quickly gaining popularity for prospective home buyers. 

Working With Frank Leo & Associates

Thinking of buying or selling property in Danforth Village? Work with Frank Leo & Associates to get the city’s top real estate team on your side. You can get started by contacting us with questions or claiming your free, no-obligation home evaluation

As always, we’re available for any questions you may have so don’t hesitate to reach out through or website or via social media

An image of roncesvalles ave in Toronto overlaid with the Text "Toronto Neighbourhood Profile: Roncesvalles"

Roncesvalles Toronto Neighbourhood Profile From Frank Leo & Associates

Click on one of the headings in the table of contents to jump directly to that section. 

Introduction

History of Roncesvalles

Landmarks & Notable Features

Things To Do In Roncesvalles

Public Transportation

Meet The Neighbours

Local Culture

Real Estate In Roncesvalles

Geography

Residential Amenities

Employment

Walkability

Greenspace

Dog Parks

Welcome To Roncesvalles

Known locally as “Roncy” or “Roncesvalles Village,” this predominantly residential area in the city’s west side has a firm spot among Toronto’s most well-known neighbourhoods. Taking its name from the long commercial thoroughfare which runs north-south through its centre, Roncesvalles is conveniently located, filled with residential amenities, and has plenty of local history. 

It has a reputation for being the centre of the Polish community in Toronto, and although prominent Polish businesses and other institutions can still be found in Roncesvalles the community is not as densely Polish as it once was. However, you can still experience the Polish heritage while the Roncesvalles Village Business Improvement Area hold their International Polish Festival.

In this neighbourhood guide on Roncesvalles we’ll start with the history of the neighbourhood and how it came to be what it is today then move onto what life is like for its residents. 

Have questions about Roncesvalles?  Considering buying or selling property in the area? Reach out to one of our team members with any questions or get a FREE home evaluation to see what you could expect to get for your property. 

History of Roncesvalles

Before Roncesvalles was settled, Toronto’s boundary was Dufferin St.. Although the Dufferin region was sparsely populated, a small village had sprang up along Dundas towards Ossington. Since Dundas St. was the first major highway going west from Toronto, it served as a natural location for settlement.  

This village gradually amalgamated with 2 settlements further west in the modern day High Park / Roncesvalles area which started as farm lots given to prominent Toronto families – The Ridout family and John George Howard, the 1st professional architect in Toronto. Since the men worked in the city, much of their land remained unfarmed, resulting in the intact natural beauty seen in High Park today. 

The area was originally called Howard Park after the architect who owned it. Although his name is gone from the map his legacy lives on in Colborne Lodge, the cottage he built in 1837, which remains in High Park as a historical museum to this day. 

A memory of indigenous presence exists in Roncesvalles in the form of Indian Rd., a street which is named after a trail running through the region that was thought to have been an ancient Mississauga Indian path leading north from Lake Ontario. 

By 1850, much of the land North of Queen St. was acquired by Colonel Walter O’Hara, a former British soldier who immigrated to Canada. It was also O’Hara who gave the neighbourhood and many of its streets their names. 

The name Roncesvalles itself comes from the Roncesvalles Gorge in Northern Spain where O’Hara had been wounded and captured by the French. Toronto was already taking on a multinational identity with a Spanish name given by an Irishman courtesy of the French. 

Although the neighbourhood’s name may be Spanish, the street names are far from it. O’Hara hailed from Ireland and bestowed the names of his Irish family members to the city’s growing number of streets. Among them you’ll find O’Hara, Constance, Sorauren, Marion, and Fermanaugh, the Northern-Irish province the O’Hara clan comes from. 

Present day Roncesvalles is really a product of the street-car which came to the neighbourhood in the early 1900’s. With viable public transport, the area quickly became a recognized family neighbourhood. Nearby industry provided employment for the mostly British immigrants, and community life was largely built around the landmark St.Vincent de Paul Roman Catholic Church. 

It wasn’t until the end of the Second World War that Roncesvalles would get the Eastern European charm and character for which it known. An influx of immigrants, mostly Polish, settled and built their own church St. Casimir’s after a Polish patriot and early settler of Toronto who was instrumental in building Toronto’s road and railway infrastructure. 

Landmarks & Notable Features

Roncesvalles Ave. 

The major North-South promenade and commercial hub of the neighbourhood, which shares its name, Roncesvalles Ave. is an iconic fixture of Toronto’s West End. On weekends this street is filled with pedestrians strolling and enjoying the area with a vibe not unlike what you would find in The Beaches or Queen St. West. Further north near Bloor St. is the street’s commercial centre while the southern part of Roncesvalles Ave. is predominantly residential, giving it a more balanced feeling than some of the city’s other pedestrian thoroughfares.  

St. Casimir’s Polish Church

Following the influx of new Polish families settling in west Toronto following WWII, the local Polish community immediately identified the need for a place of worship in Roncesvalles. By 1948, the land for St. Casimir’s was purchased and not long after that the church was ready. It takes its name from Casimir Gzowski, a Polish-Canadian patriot, and continues to serve Toronto’s Polish community. 

Revue Cinema 

The Revue Cinema is Toronto’s oldest operational cinema. Built over a century ago during the theatre building boom, it ran for years as a regular cinema before serving as a repertory cinema from the 80’s onwards. Due to the rise of personal media players, the owners could no longer sustain the business and it closed in 2006. Fortunately, two community members bought this piece of Toronto’s heritage and endowed it to the Revue Film Society who run it as a non-profit. Although Toronto has plenty to offer residents with both TIFF and Hot Docs, no self-respecting Toronto film buff should miss this true piece of cinema history in our city. 

High Park

The “Central Park of the North” serves residents from all over the city, especially in the summer months or during the annual blossom bloom which brings droves of Instagram users hungry for that perfect shot. It’s a perfect place for practically any outdoor activity, from taking a break from the sights of the city to playing sports or even catching Shakespeare in the Park. There’s really too much going on in High Park to list, especially since it’s not technically even in Roncesvalles!

St. Joseph’s Health Centre

An iconic building on the waterfront, St. Joseph’s is a large Catholic Teaching hospital which marks the beginning of both Queen St. going east and Roncesvalles going north. The story of how the hospital came to be is an interesting one, with the land first being used as the Sacred Heart Orphanage which opted to convert part of it’s space to a hospital in order to stop the city from expropriating its land for use as a high school. The city still got its high school further north by Bloor St., but now residents also have access to a full-service hospital.  

St. Vincent de Paul Roman Catholic Church

Although it is also a Roman Catholic Church, St. Vincent de Paul predates St. Casimir’s Church yet has a remarkably similar story. Following the 1st large wave of non-British immigration to Toronto in the early 20th Century, there were enough Catholics in the city to warrant a parish in the western part of the city. With a more imposing facade than its Polish “child parish” St. Vincent de Paul is one of the preeminent landmarks along Roncesvalles Ave. as well as one of the most recognizable historical buildings in the area. 

High Park Branch of the Toronto Public Library 

As one of Toronto’s Carnegie Libraries, the High Park Branch of The Toronto Public Library features an architectural style which will be familiar to many Torontonians. In service for over 100 years, the library has been remodelled and expanded to better serve the needs of Toronto’s growing population. Today it not only serves as a local landmark and piece of Toronto’s heritage but offers community programs, a large library catalogue, and the city’s largest public collection of Polish-language library books.  

Pope John Paul II Statue

Universally revered and practically venerated in the Polish community, Pope John Paul II has a unique place in the hearts and minds of Polish-Canadians. To commemorate the Pope’s 1st visit to Canada in 1984, the statue was erected by the Polish community in front of what is now the Polish Credit Union. 

Roncesvalles Carhouse

The oldest of the TTC’s active carhouses, the Roncesvalles TTC Maintenance Facility services the city’s busy streetcars on numerous routes. It’s fitting that the carhouse is located at the nexus of some of the city’s busiest routes – the 501 Queen St. and 504 King St. routes. The facility’s history is long and intricate, but it started its service life as a Toronto Railway Company service centre before being taken over by the then-new TTC in 1921. 

Jami Mosque Toronto

In a neighbourhood seemingly dominated by Roman Catholic heritage and culture, there’s still plenty of room for a Mosque. Jami Mosque’s status as the oldest Canadian Islamic Centre in the city has earned it the title, “mother of all the mosques in Toronto.” Curiously, the building began as a Presbyterian Church before it was purchased in 1969 by a small and predominantly Balkan muslim community to be converted into a mosque. 

Things to Do in Roncesvalles

Take A Stroll Down Roncesvalles

There’s always something happening on Roncesvalles Ave. Its reputation as a pedestrian thoroughfare brings people from all over the city to peruse the local fare. Watch the street life from a patio, try one of the authentic local restaurants, or just grab a coffee on your way to the park or beach. 

Go Visit High Park

There’s something happening and something to do at High Park year round. It truly has the diversity of activities befitting a world-class city like Toronto. Picnicking, birding, biking, playing sports, visiting the zoo – there’s really too much to list. You can visit the High Park website for  more details of what to do, but one activity that definitely stands out is the annual Sakura Bloom which brings droves of amateur photographers, Instagrammers, and nature enthusiasts to overrun the park. If you’re going to go, be prepared for the crowds. 

Hit The Beach!

It may not hold a candle to Woodbine Beach in the city’s east end but for a major metropolitan area, Sunnyside Beach is a terrific place to go out and enjoy the outdoors. Located at the foot of Roncesvalles Ave. you’ll find a stretch of sandy beach as well as parkland spanning several kilometers. There’s plenty to do other than merely enjoy the outdoors, too. With an outdoor pool, tennis club, paddleboard rental, and more, there’s no shortage of excitement by the water. 

Check Out Sorauren Avenue Park + Gallery 345

Sorauren Park may be modest in comparison to High Park’s rolling expanse, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in local charm and culture. It’s much more of a local spot and it’s great for a light stroll or a more active outing. There are public tennis courts, a soccer pitch, and a baseball diamond if more organized sports are your thing, but you can also see if anything is on at the adjacent Gallery 345, a local arts gallery and culture venue that usually has a static exhibition in addition to performances and events. 

Check Out Colborne Lodge

If history is your thing, John Howard’s former cottage-turned-museum is for you. After the architect’s death in 1890, the became property of the city which eventually turned it into a museum. There is a small entry fee, but for a few dollars you can explore the world of 19th century technology, innovation, urban planning, science, and design right where it all took place. 

Visit The Farmers Market

These days no residential neighbourhood seems complete without a farmers market. Luckily for Roncesvalles residents, Sorauren Farmers Market happens weekly at Sorauren Park – year round! Thanks to City of Toronto facilities, the market can run throughout the year, giving you a great excuse to get out of the house and access to over 20 great local vendors offering everything from fruit & veg to honey and even perogies. 

Catch a Movie At Revue Cinema 

Revue Cinema on Roncesvalles recaptures a time before movies theatres were corporate and only played new releases. This independent, non-profit movie house offers enough movies, talks, and special screenings to make a movie buff forget about TIFF. While it may be a great place to watch a classic film on the big screen, the Revue Cinema also offers access to a community of film lovers that’s getting increasingly hard to find offline these days. 

Annual Polish Festival 

Live music, dancing, entertainment, beer gardens, exhibitors, and of course, Perogies. What more could you ask for on a summer’s day in Roncesvalles? Find it all and more at Roncesvalles Annual Polish Festival. For a full weekend the avenue is closed to traffic and taken over by a street festival with something for everyone, whether that’s arts, culture, history, or food! Although it only happens once a year, you won’t want to miss this west-end festival if you love urban life. 

Public Transportation

While it may have been on the edge of Toronto just 100 years ago, now Roncesvalles is practically downtown and with such close proximity comes tremendous accessibility. Practically all urban transportation options are available to you in Roncesvalles: the highway, busses, streetcars, the subway, and even commuter trains. 

TTC Routes in Roncesvalles

No matter where you’re heading in the Greater Toronto Area, there’s probably a convenient way to get there from Roncesvalles. 

Keele and Dundas West Subway stations at the top of Roncesvalles make any destination along the Bloor-Danforth line just a short train ride away, not to mention granting access to the north-south Yonge-University Line just a few stops east. 

In terms of streetcars, 5 separate routes criss-cross Roncesvalles. To go east you can take 505 along Dundas, 506 along College, or the 501 & 504 along Queen & King, respectively. One of the more popular routes is the 504 King St. route which starts up at Dundas West station and runs down along Roncesvalles Ave. before cutting downtown. Since High Park poses a big obstacle for streetcar tracks going west, the only route in that direction is the 501 Queen Car which takes passengers all the way to Mississauga along the Lakeshore. 

Because of the extensive streetcar service in the neighbourhood, Roncesvalles has fewer bus routes than other parts of Toronto. The primary bus is Route 80 along Parkside Dr. which runs north-south along the eastern border of High Park. 

For a complete list of TTC options, consult the TTC Trip Planner.

Bloor GO Station

Servicing the Kitchener Line, Bloor GO Station is a nice addition to the available transit options for travellers leaving Toronto. With so many other options available, the GO Train isn’t too convenient for travelling within the city or even accessing other GO Trains. However, Torontonians travelling to Brampton, Guelph, Kitchener, or anywhere in between could certainly find value in Bloor GO Station.

Visit the GO Transit Website for details about schedules and route options.

Union-Pearson Express

The Bloor GO Station also grants commuters access to the Union-Pearson Express, direct-service train between Toronto Pearson International Airport and Union Station. Drastically reducing the transit time from the city’s downtown to the airport, the UP Express is an amenity most neighbourhoods don’t offer. Trains typically run every 30 minutes, but you can find full itinerary details on the UP Express website.

Meet The Neighbours

Roncesvalles may be known as a historically Polish neighbourhood, but these days the area is far more diverse when it comes to culture and demographics. 

Demographics

Historically a neighbourhood for working-class families, Roncesvalles remains a predominantly residential neighbourhood largely populated by families and young professionals. 

The latest census data lists a population of just under 15,000 with about 10,000 people per square mile, giving the area a medium density for Toronto standards. This medium density is due in large part to the amount of single family homes and low-rise buildings in the neighbourhood.

Remarkably, the population decreased during the last census period by half a percent. That seems unthinkable considering the city’s population has been steadily increasing and was most recently assessed at 2.5%, but it seems that at least for the time being Roncesvalles is keeping its character.

In terms of resident age Roncesvalles sticks to the city’s trend pretty closely other than a considerably higher number of working aged people, though that’s likely due to the neighbourhood’s location and proximity to employment of all kinds. 

The families that call Roncesvalles home are predominantly middle class with a recorded median income of about $100,000. Out of these families only 30% are immigrants, considerably less than the city average of 50%. 

A majority of residents have completed higher education and the number of people without income or unemployed is decidedly lower than than in the rest of Toronto. 

As might be expected for a neighbourhood that’s so well connected by public transportation almost half of residents use TTC to commute to work, and fortunately for them only about 1/10th of commuters spend more than 1 hour getting there.  

Local Culture

Think of Roncesvalles as the popular residential area without the fuss. Compared with other well-known spots like The Beaches, Roncesvalles has a much tamer character. Sure, it can get busy, but there’s a lived-in quality to the area that makes being there feel more personal than you might amid the towering condos of Yonge St. 

Another key factor in creating this more laid-back vibe is the extraordinary walk-ability. People can and do get by quite comfortably without cars or even public transportation. Getting between the main commercial strip, home, and local parks is not only possible but enjoyable when done by foot, creating a welcome change from the status quo of urban life. 

Real Estate In Roncesvalles

Real Estate in Roncesvalles is predominantly ground-based property like townhomes, semi-, and fully-detached homes. The condo boom that’s taking over other parts of the city hasn’t made its mark, partly because of the many historic structures in the area. 

Along Bloor St., Roncesvalles Ave., and Dundas Ave. you’ll find high-density housing and mixed use buildings, but the majority of Roncesvalles Village is covered in low-density housing. 

The types of homes you’ll find here will be familiar to anyone who has visited an older neighbourhood in Ontario. Between Parkside and Roncesvalles is packed with historic homes, old-growth trees, and plenty of local character. This section of the neighbourhood has the most high-end real estate due to its proximity to the park, seclusion from the hustle and bustle of the city, and gorgeous selection of detached properties. 

East of Roncesvalles contains a nice residential pocket as well, although property values tend to be slightly lower. As one of Toronto’s older neighbourhoods, Roncesvalles isn’t home to many post-war type homes. Most of the recent development is along the main thoroughfares where commercial real estate was needed. 

Thinking of buying or selling in Roncesvalles? Whether you’re curious about getting into the Toronto Real Estate market or have questions which require qualified advice, Team Leo can help you get started on your real estate journey. Get in touch with one of our agents or claim a FREE home evaluation to get started. 

Geography

There’s no stand out geographic feature which defines Roncesvalles aside from the avenue which gives the neighbourhood it’s name. 

Western Roncesvalles Village slopes gently towards the water, especially along Parkside Dr., but the eastern half is more level. The neighbourhood’s eastern border is defined by train tracks which separate it from Little Portugal while High Park meets it on the west.  

With the Lakeshore within walking distance of almost any point in the area, Roncesvalles may not be a lakefront neighbourhood but getting down to the water is convenient. 

Residential Amenities

Parkdale Community Recreation Centre (Local Community Centre)

Although designated under a different name, Parkdale community centre falls within Roncesvalles’ boundaries and provides residents with the full suite of recreational facilities one can expect from a public rec centre. 

That includes an indoor pool, 2 gymnasiums, and several multipurpose rooms. On top of that, the facility runs both registered and drop-in programs for kids and adults who want to take part in sport, arts, or camps. 

High Park Club 

Curling facilities can be hard to come by in the big city, but if it’s your sport you can do it at the High Park Club. This historic building has been serving the community for over 100 years and offers some of the best ice in the city. There are also grass tennis courts available during the warmer seasons. 

Sorauren Farmers Market

Farm-fresh food and goods are brought right into the heart of Roncesvalles each week of the year at the Sorauren Farmers Market. The organization also puts together events, workshops, live music, and more. Find a full list of vendors and updates on the Sorauren Farmers Market website.

Park Place LINC Centre

Adult learning can be a worthwhile experience at any stage of life. The LINC Centre offers courses for language learners who are new to Ontario. Run by the Toronto Catholic District Schoolboard,the LINC Centre offers programs for all skill levels and all you need to get started is to take a language assessment test. 

Libraries

Toronto Public Library High Park Branch is another of Toronto’s Carnegie Libraries, and as such is nearly identical to the Wychwood and Beaches libraries. Opened in 1916, the library is listed on Toronto’s Register of Historic Properties but continues to serve the public thanks to a renovation in the late 1970’s. 

Today, you can find a respectable catalogue on site as well as regular programs for adults and children. Given Roncesvalles’ nature as a family neighbourhood, much of the regular programming at the library is for young children and parents, though programs for seniors are also offered. 

Additional library resources include a large Polish Language collection to serve the historically polish neighbourhood as well as meeting rooms available for public booking

Schools & Education

As a well-established family neighbourhood, Roncesvalles unsurprisingly has numerous public and private schools as well as supplementary educational resources and preschools. 

Elementary Schools

Garden Avenue Junior Public School, 225 Garden Ave., (416) 393-9165

Mary, Mother of God School, 1515 Queen St W., (416) 531-7897

Howard Junior Public School, 30 Marmaduke St., (416) 393-9255

Westminster Classic Christian Academy, 9 Hewitt Ave., (416) 466-8819

Fern Avenue Junior & Senior Public School, 128 Fern Ave., (416) 393-9130

Catholic Schools

St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School, 116 Fermanagh Ave., (416) 393-5227

Bishop Marrocco/Thomas Merton Catholic Secondary School, 1515 Bloor St W, Toronto, (416) 393-5545

Secondary Schools

West Park Secondary School, 1515 Bloor St W., (416) 393-0320

Adult Schools

Park Place LINC Centre, 2299 Dundas St W. Theatre, (416) 397-6593

Childcare & Private Schools

The Artful Child, 214 Wright Ave., (416) 970-9004 

High Park Gardens Montessori School, 35 High Park Gardens, (416) 763-6097

Odyssey Montessori School, 136 Sorauren Ave, (416) 535-9402

Employment

Similar to most residential neighbourhoods that are peripheral to the downtown core, most employment opportunities in the area result from the businesses which serve residents and visitors. 

As a largely pedestrian-oriented location most of the businesses in the area offer service jobs, although there are some small businesses offering professional services around Bloor St. or Queen St. 

Many of the residents seeking gainful employment turn to commuting either to the downtown or to other parts of the city. 

Walkability

Roncesvalles is remarkably walkable. With a walkability score of 91 there’s really no definite need to own a car if you live here. If you do need transportation, the local transit is exceptional even for Toronto’s standards. 

Perhaps the neighbourhood’s only accessibility shortcoming is it’s bikeability, which only comes in at 64. The streetcar tracks on Roncesvalles make bike lanes impractical going to show that you can’t have it all, unfortunately. 

Green Space

Green space may not be abundant in Roncesvalles itself, but just at the neighbourhood’s borders you’ll find numerous places to enjoy the outdoors. We’ll cover the local greenspace first, then fill you in on parks in the immediate vicinity.

Sorauren Ave. Park

The largest park in Roncesvalles Village, Sorauren has sports facilities, a farmers market, and is the site of a soon-to-be-completed community centre. Good for a stroll or some good old-fashioned relaxation, Sorauren Park serves the eastern have of the neighbourhood who have to far to go to High Park. 

Charles G. Williams Park

Just south of Sorauren, this park is made up mostly of playground space for kids along with a winding path south that can extend your walk around Sorauren park by a few meters. 

West Lodge Park

Located just east of Sorauren Park, the defining characteristic of this greenspace is the skatepark which dominates most of its surface area. 

Albert Crosland Park

A small L-shaped park just north of Queen St., Albert Crosland may not have much to offer in terms of space but it does offer a break from the city next to one of Toronto’s busiest streets. It even has a wading pool for families with young children to enjoy.

High Park 

While it’s not strictly within the neighbourhood, High Park might as well be for how close it is. Bordering the western side of Roncesvalles, High Park requires no introduction to any Torontonian. It’s a great place to go year round for recreation of all kinds. 

Parkettes in Roncesvalles

Scattered throughout the area you’ll find several parkettes that serve just fine as a place to stretch the legs or walk the dog but just don’t have the space to offer proper park-like amenities. However, with High Park so close by it’s hard to complain. 

Dog Parks

Sorauren Dog Park is about the only off-leash dog park in Roncesvalles proper. Fortunately the dog park is well appointed with a ground surface designed for canines and plenty of space to play. 

For Dog owners seeking more greenspace for their canine companions, High Park is just west of the neighbourhood and has an off-leash park of its own. 

Featured Image Courtesy of Municipal Affairs & Housing : Flikr

Toronto_city_hall_with_Text_overlayed_which_reads_Finding_The_Best_Real_Estate_Agent_in_Toronto

Finding The Best Real Estate Agent in Toronto & the GTA to Buy or Sell Property

There’s no shortage of “the best Toronto & GTA realtors to sell or buy.” At least that’s what they’d have you believe. Although there are plenty of realtors in Toronto & The GTA contending to be the best for buying or selling a home in Toronto & GTA, there can only be one, well, #1. 

There’s no doubt that there are some great realtors out there, but the title of the best realtor in Toronto & the GTA can only go to the real estate agent with not only the numbers but the experience to back up the claim. 

Frank Leo has been serving the Toronto & GTA real estate market for 3 decades, helping 1000’s of home buyers and sellers make their real estate dreams come true to achieve the title of #1 Individual RE/MAX Agent in the World. Frank Leo has also led his team to achieve the rank of #1 RE/MAX Team in Canada. 

So what sets Frank Leo apart from the rest of the “best” realtors out there? It comes down to his specialized approach to buying and selling Toronto & GTA real estate in everything from client service to knowledge of the market. 

The Best Realtor in Toronto & The GTA Knows The Toronto & GTA Real Estate Market

The best client service & sales techniques won’t do a client much good without the knowledge experience, marketing and right strategy. Understanding the ins and outs of the market is indispensable when it comes to becoming the best Toronto & GTA realtor. 

Frank’s intimate understanding of the Toronto & GTA real estate market coupled with his knowledge of economics has enabled him to create a unique all encompassing marketing system the provides his clients with proven results. 

Frank Leo has always had an ambitious personality and knew he would devote himself totally to his business pursuits, but it wasn’t until Frank attended university that he settled on real estate as the industry into which he would sink all of his efforts. 

After majoring in economics in university, he devoted his time entirely to understanding the intricacies of Toronto real estate. Frank endeavored to learn as much as possible about the industry and spent endless hours attending seminars, courses, and personal research. 

Standing Out In The Toronto & GTA Real Estate Market

If Frank learned one thing during his studies, it was that doing the same thing as others were doing won’t make you the best. He needed to do it better. 

Frank did so by designing and implementing a Guaranteed Home Selling System. His marketing system not only creates unparalleled exposure for clients properties but marketing which attracts qualified buyers. Instead of using traditional ineffective marketing techniques, Frank sells without using outdated and intrusive open houses and gives his clients a competitive edge. 

Taking Time To Be The Best

A winning selling system doesn’t happen overnight. It takes an incredible amount of time, energy and money to get right. For Frank that meant a great financial investment as well as years of time to refine and implement it. 

Since he started working in the real estate market during the recession of 1990, Frank has been refining the process and strategy which has made him the #1 realtor in Toronto & the GTA by units of listings sold. It the system has its roots in a time when the market reached its worst performance since the great depression which started in October 1929. Working in such a hard time for real estate require both perseverance and the right strategy. It served as a personal challenge and the proving ground for Frank’s home selling system. 

Becoming The Best Toronto & GTA Realtor To Buy Or Sell

It was during this challenging episode of his real estate career during which Frank Leo earned the nickname which has stuck with him until today – “The Lion.” His tenacity and persistence in the quest to create a superior marketing system which provides clients with an edge were drawing attention in the industry and among clients. 

Frank took notice of the nickname and took advantage of it as a marketing technique by incorporating it into the marketing for his real estate business. In the same way that Frank created a unique, personalized strategy for reaching the #1 spot as a RE/MAX agent, Frank individualizes his approach to selling. 

Each individual client which Frank Leo & Associates work with get an individualized strategy and plan because each buyer and seller are different. Not every house will appeal to every buyer, so the marketing system Frank Leo & Associates use targets qualified buyers who are likely to be interested in a specific house. The team starts with a free comprehensive home evaluation  and develops a plan and strategy from that to proceed to advertise and promote the property based on its specific and unique features. This attention to detail is what is needed to get your property to sell for top dollar. 

If you are in the market for the best Toronto & GTA real estate agent to buy or sell remember you can contact Frank Leo & Associates at any time. Our Toronto & GTA real estate team has helped 1,000’s of Toronto & GTA home buyers and sellers achieve their real estate dreams. 

The Best Real Estate Agent Can Lead The Best Team

Becoming the #1 Individual RE/MAX real estate agent in the world is certainly an achievement, but there is only so much one person can accomplish for themselves and for clients. That’s why Frank set his sights on building the best real estate team in Toronto & The GTA early on. By sharing his proprietary marketing system and market insights with the top real estate talent, Frank Leo & Associates could help even more people in the Toronto & GTA region find the best solution to their real estate needs. 

With this objective in mind, Frank joined RE/MAX West Realty Inc. in 1993 and started putting his team together. The team had humble beginnings with just a professional assistant, administrative manager, and a marketing coordinator to optimize operations and ensure there were no shortcomings when it came to client services. 

By 1995, Frank had his team in place and swept the RE/MAX West Awards. That year Frank Leo took the #1 Spot Among all RE/MAX West offices. Throughout the years Frank Leo & Associates have been recognized as among the best in the business through countless awards and distinctions including the Circle of Legends and the highly prestigious Luminary of Distinction Award. Even earning him the title of not only the #1 realtor in Toronto & The GTA to buy and sell but the #1 Individual RE/MAX Agent in all of the world.

What really matters are the results for the clients. Frank’s philosophy is to treat everyone’s home as their castle and to put yourself in their shoes to do what is best for the client. This way the client will benefit from all that learned and developed over 30 years. A strong commitment and dedication to his clients make Frank Leo & Associates deliver great service and the best results possible.

Going The Extra Mile

Most people looking for the best Toronto real estate agent for them are looking for someone committed and capable with a proven track record – regardless of whether they are buying or selling. 

The truth is that there are plenty of competent real estate agents out there who know their market. Unfortunately for the average person who doesn’t know that the average realtor only sold only 1.5 homes in 2018 it is can be a difficult process to find the best Toronto real estate agent to help them. It’s simple if you are not selling many properties you won’t have the funds to extensively market the property to get the best results for the clients. It is not that the realtor is a bad person but if they are not earning enough to feed their family how can they realistically do what is needed to do the marketing that is truly needed to get the best results? Marketing takes the knowledge and experience to create a proper strategy but most importantly money and a  large investment at that to do what is needed in this big city. Many agents have no choice but to focus on trying to pay their bills and simply can’t make the required investment. 

For example, many agents advertise the open house as a marketing tactic which will attract buyers and help sell the home for a good price. What they don’t tell the seller is that the open house has essentially zero cost and really benefits the real estate agent more than the seller because they are able to potentially meet new clients. Since the open house is reaching people in the neighbourhood and people that just happen to pass by. Of course we all know that buyers can be  local (from all over Toronto & the GTA) ,national and even international. Is it not important to reach these potential buyers? If you do not reach all the potential buyers for your property are you going to get the highest and best price?

In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors, it’s rare that a buyer bought a house  they found out about it from a lawn sign or open house that they would not have otherwise made an appointment to see anyway. In reality, you can get top dollar for your home without an ineffective open house if you have an agent that has a proven marketing system. Most agents hold open houses to appease the sellers and with the hopes of picking up a buyer lead. 

Innovative Marketing Does More For The Client

Like other traditional real estate marketing, open houses have been done for so long that agents can just say that they are “tried and true” methods. What sets the best Toronto realtor aside is not hanging on to old, outdated marketing tactics that do not work in 2018 to get a home sold. 

Instead, innovative realtors like Frank Leo & Associates take advantage of the traditional advertising methods plus the latest technology and social media to reach qualified buyers who are more interested in your home & if they are the right (best) buyer are likely to buy for the highest price. In fact, Frank’s proprietary approach to selling leverages the power of a multi-million dollar marketing operation which runs 24/7 to get sellers’ home sold for top dollars and faster.

This willingness to invest the extra time and spend the incredible amount of marketing dollars to get the best results posssible for his clients is what makes an agent the best Toronto & GTA real estate agent for buying & selling homes. 

The Right Support Makes All The Difference

A real estate agent needs more than just determination, skills, & experience to make a difference for his or her clients. All the dedication in the world won’t go far without the right support team. Although it requires a financial investment, the best Toronto & GTA real estate agent will have a support team to handle all the essential aspects of the business more efficiently and to provide the highest level of service. 

Clients of Frank Leo & Associates get the world class service which Frank Leo & Associates offers because of the excellent support staff on the team. Our agents can get results because the amazing support staff will handle the day-to-day operations and this  allow our agents to concentrate on delivering top results. 

The Best Toronto & GTA Realtor Never Stops Working Hard To For The Clients

For Frank Leo & Associates, it is never good enough because the world is constantly changing and we must always be improving to provide the best possible real estate service to our clients.. 

Regardless of how high quality the service which makes Frank Leo the #1 Toronto & GTA Realtor for selling is, there is always room for improvement. No matter how many sales, awards, or satisfied clients Frank gets he won’t stop improving. That perseverance and thirst for improvement are what really makes someone the best Toronto & GTA realtor for buying and selling. 

Each new client is another opportunity to demonstrate how much we care. Whether it’s investing in more marketing, technology, hiring more talented professionals, or learning about the Toronto & GTA real estate market, the hand-picked real estate team is constantly working to stay ahead of the curve for the client’s benefit. 

You Don’t Have To Be A Big Shot To Work With The Best Toronto & GTA Realtor 

Frank Leo & Associates are proud to serve all of their clients in the Toronto & GTA community  – from first-time homebuyers looking find a new first home, for a growing family or for the seasoned investor. At Frank Leo & Associates we firmly believe that top quality real estate services should be available to everyone. 

We carry our commitment through by offering a free home evaluation  and our total service guarantee in writing. You can get a free home evaluation from the #1 Individual RE/MAX Agent in the World, right now for free.

You can also reach out to contact us at any time with your real estate questions. Of course, you can also access any of our resources to aid you in your real estate endeavours at your convenience:

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Home Seller’s Checklist: What You Should Take Care of Before Selling Your Home in Toronto or The GTA

Selling your home in Toronto or The GTA requires planning, organization, and more work than many people realize. This home seller’s checklist will help you keep track of all the tasks that need to be done when selling your home in Toronto or The GTA.

To deal with the workload and ensure everything runs smoothly for the buyer, seller, and any intermediaries, many people chose to hire a real estate professional – but whether you are working with a real estate agent or not, our home seller’s checklist will help you get acquainted with what needs to be done.

If you’re selling with an agent, it still helps to know what needs to be done and when. Although a good real estate agent has processes in place and covers all of the necessary tasks for you, being aware of what’s going on can only help.

This checklist will help you maximize your chances of getting the best value when selling your home. Understanding the checklist will allow you to help your real estate agent highlight your home’s strengths on the market.

Your knowledge of the house combined with your agent’s understanding of real estate markets, preparing  your home for sale, and marketing is a combination for success.

Home Seller’s Checklist Categories

We break our checklist down into several sections. Segmenting everything helps keep your process organized, although there may be some overlap between the sections.

The primary categories on this list are:

  • Documents
  • Before Listing
  • Home Improvements
  • After Listing
  • Depersonalizing
  • Outside Your Home
  • Your Home’s Interior
  • Air Quality/Pets
  • Special Considerations

You may already have a firm handle on many of the sections on this list. If so, you can still skip through the different sections to find the information you haven’t considered or haven’t done yet.

At the very least you’ll have double checked all of the consideration you should take into account when selling your home in Toronto or The GTA.

Home Seller’s Checklist Tasks – Keeping Track of Documents Before You Sell Your Home in Toronto

Selling a home takes paperwork. Having these documents identified and organized, whether that’s in hard copy or digital form, will get you through the home selling process much faster.

Keep a list detailing each document and its status. Since some of these documents might be with your attorney or real estate agent for security, it can be helpful to make notes about where each document is kept. In the event you can’t locate a document this list will be indispensable.

For hard copies, create folders and label them accordingly. Keep them in a secure place. Below you’ll find the main real estate documents you’ll need to sell a house:

◽ Do you have your home’s original sales contract complete with the purchase price?

◽ The deed to your home

◽ Any home surveys you’ve had done (professional inspection reports)

◽ Your professional home appraisal (when you bought the house and the current home evaluation)

◽ Receipts from your property tax

◽ Completed renovation contracts or documentation of home improvements

◽ Warranties (only if they are transferable)

◽ Insurance records

◽ Any warranty information or manuals relating to appliances which are part of the sale

Documents You’ll Need After You Sign A Listing Agreement When Selling Your House

Once you’ve got the documentation regarding the home sale in place and you have found an agent, together you’ll need to assemble various documents for different points in the home selling process. They will include:

◽ The agreement with your real estate agent and a collection of your written communications

◽ A list of all the professional service providers you deal with during the course of your home sale. These include contractors, movers, plumbers, etc.

◽ Any documents your lawyer will need

◽ Documents for your tax accountant

Before you List Your Home For Sale in Toronto or The GTA

Getting all the facts recorded and organized before listing your home for sale is crucial to a smooth home sale. It’s best to have all information before you get into listing or negotiation. If there are problems the must be addressed, you can deal with them before they are a disruption.

Your real estate agent will be in a better position to negotiate in possession of all the facts. In order to make an accurate home evaluation and have a solid foundation for the asking price.

Major repairs should all be completed before putting it on the market. Being proactive also sends a good message to buyers and agents and makes it easier to work with them.

If you want a recommendation for a home inspector, your real estate agent is the best place to start. Here are some of the points to consider before you list your house for sale in Toronto or The GTA.

◽ When was your house built?

◽ Is your home’s electrical wiring in good order? (e.g. lights don’t flicker, breakers and fuses don’t blow)

◽ What type of wiring do you have? (e.g. aluminum or knob and tube)

◽ Is there a fusebox/electrical panel?

◽ Is the plumbing in good order?

◽ When was the furnace last replaced/installed?

◽ Are the furnace filters often replaced?

◽ Is the home equipped with a water softener?

◽ Is the roof well maintained?

◽ Are the windows energy-efficient and well maintained?

◽ Are there any defects in the foundation?

◽ Are there water problems of any sort (including mold and/or mildew)?

Consider General Updates & Repairs Before Selling Your Home in Toronto or The GTA

There’s always room for improvement. Your home inspection and realtor may give you an idea of where it’s a good idea to invest resources when it comes to home updates or repairs.

Remember that while repairs are typically important to do to maximize your chance of getting top dollar for your home, not all updates will provide an equal return on investment. Upgrades don’t have to be major overhauls, and a little update can go a long way.

Work with your real estate agent to prioritize what needs to be done within your budget in order to improve your home. From the buyer’s perspective, the less work they have to put in after they buy a home the better. Make sure your home is in turn-key condition and move-in ready and you’ll be more likely to find a buyer.

◽ Here are some points to consider regarding home upgrades and repairs:

◽ Have you established a timeline?

◽ Do you have a budget set aside for essential repairs and potential upgrades?

◽ Are there any updates or repairs you have been putting off? It may be sensible to take care of these first.

◽ Are there any essential repairs?

◽ Are the windows and doors in good condition?

◽ Are permanent light fixtures in showing condition?

◽ Do your doors and trim appear new?

◽ Are there any holes or cracks in the walls?

Catch our article about cost-effect energy saving updates that you can expect a return on when selling your home in Toronto or The GTA.

Once You’ve Listed Your Home, Get Organized Before You Or Your Agent Stage Your Home For Sale

After you’ve found the best real estate agent for you, had your home inspected, and completed the first part of the checklist, it’s time to move on to getting your home’s interior organized.

Preparing a home to sale is likely to increase the odds it will sell in a good timeframe for a great value that you will be happy with.

Here’s what you should think about when you and your agent are preparing to stage the home:

◽ Is there clutter in any part of your home?

◽ Does the house look immaculate and clean all throughout?

◽ Are personal items and things you don’t need when selling your home away in storage or at your new residence?

◽ Have you stored non-essential items off the premises or in a discreet place?

◽ How does the garage and/or other storage areas look?

◽ Is the basement tidy (if it is used for storage)?

Removing Personal Items Before Selling Your Home

An essential part of home staging is making potential buyers who visit the property feel like they are in their future home, not someone else’s. Although we don’t believe in intrusive open houses at Frank Leo & Associates, when we bring qualified leads to a property we stage it beforehand so they can project their future lives into the space.

◽ Personal items like pictures, unique furniture, and other items can interfere with buyer experience and even cost a home sale.

◽ Here are the points you should consider when depersonalizing the property:

◽ Don’t keep any personal photographs on walls, mantles, etc.

◽ Pack away all books, music, or magazines which don’t appeal to a mainstream audience

◽ Keep memorabilia out of sight

◽ Any children’s items (toys, books, etc) should be neatly organized or stored away

◽ Any potentially offensive items should be removed from the residence

For more tips and insights about staging your home for sale in Toronto & The GTA you can refer to our Home Staging Guide. Frank Leo & Associates have gleaned these insights over 3 decades selling billions of dollars worth of real estate for 1,000’s of satisfied customers in Toronto & The GTA using our Guaranteed Home Selling System.

Curb Appeal When Selling Your Property

The first impression your home makes – whether through Toronto & GTA MLS Listings or in person – is often hard to overcome if it’s not positive.

Although the front yard and face of the home are important, make sure you don’t discount the sides of the home as well as the backyard. These are not to be overlooked, since many people will form an impression of how well the home is maintained based on its exterior.

The exterior is your opportunity to get potential buyers excited about viewing your home. It also gives your real estate agent and photographer ample material to work with for the promotional photography.

Here are the main points regarding your home’s exterior you should think about before selling:

◽ Does the exterior need any major repairs?

◽ Does the exterior need any minor repairs?

◽ Are there any festive or seasonal lights or decorations which need to be taken down?

◽ Are the front, side, and back yards neat and tidy?

◽ If it’s winter, are walkways and paths free of snow and ice?

◽ Have you made a list of everything that needs to be addressed in order of priority?

Maximizing the Appeal of Your Home’s Interior Before Selling

So far we’ve covered depersonalizing your home’s interior spaces and thought about curb appeal, but now you need to make sure every room and element of your house is arrange in a way that maximize appeal to interested buyers.

From flooring, to paint, to the way each room is arranged, each element of your home will be under scrutiny. Here are the things to consider before your agent shows the property to potential buyers. We’ll break them down into individual sections relating to the major parts of your home to evaluate.

Preparing Your Home’s Main Rooms for The Sale

Nobody’s home will be perfect, but there are many things you can do to keep buyers interested when they’re touring your property. The general idea is to show buyer’s what they are looking for, not what they will have to do in order to make the property suitable for themselves.

The small details can often make a big difference, and together they could be more significant than one single but more glaring issue. It’s easier for a buyer to see one thing they want to change and think it will be easy to take care of than for them to be overwhelmed by countless small details they’ll have to alter after the sale.

The longer the potential buyer’s to-do list of things the want to change, the further down the list of homes they’re considering buying your home will sink. Home buyers are happiest with turn-key, move-in ready homes.

Here’s what you should consider to give your prospective home buyers a home they can move right into and feel at home:

The Foyer

◽ Does the home’s entryway feel inviting?

◽ Is the entry spacious and well organized?

◽ Does it reflect the character and appeal of the home?

◽ How does the rest of the home look from the perspective of the entryway?

◽ Are personal items such as shoes, coats, etc. packed away?

Kitchen

◽ Does the kitchen look appealing when you walk in?

◽ Are there too many appliances/accessories like blenders, microwaves, or other gadgets?

◽ Has clutter been removed from the countertops/island?

◽ Are all of the surfaces sparkling?

◽ Is the fridge spotless (exterior and interior)

◽ Is the stove clean (exterior and interior)

◽ Do the appliances match and create a sense of consistency?

◽ Are the cupboards functional and looking tidy?

◽ Is there anything that could use some updating?

◽ Are the floors well-maintained?

◽ Are the sinks sparkling?

Living Room

◽ Is the living area inviting and comfortable in appearance?

◽ Is the furniture arranged nicely and in good repair?

◽ Has any excess furniture been removed and stored away?

◽ Is the room’s decor neutral?

◽ Are pet and children’s toys put away?

◽ Are entertainment consoles and wires all arranged neatly?

◽ Is the room open and full of natural light?

◽ Is the shelving clean and well-ordered?

◽ Are window coverings open to let in sunlight?

◽ If you have a fireplace, is it arranged neatly and cleaned?

◽ Has everything been thoroughly vacuumed and dusted?

Dining Room

◽ Is it clear the space is meant for dining?

◽ Is the centrepiece furniture elegant and matching the rooms decor?

◽ Are all of the components of furniture arranged properly?

◽ Is an upgrade or repair in order?

Master Bedroom

◽ Does the master bedroom evoke a sense of relaxation and comfort?

◽ Is the colour palette consistent and neutral?

◽ Are the pieces of furniture arrange well?

◽ Is there anything that could use an update?

Basement

◽ Does the basement have a specific purpose or use other than storage?

◽ Is that evident when you enter the space?

◽ If the basement is finished does it have the appropriate furniture for its purpose?

Bathrooms / Powder Rooms

◽ Are all surfaces clean?

◽ Is the counter neat and free of clutter and personal items?

◽ Are faucets clean and working properly?

◽ Have all tub and shower surfaces been cleaned?

◽ Are the towels fresh and neatly arranged?

◽ Are any storage areas clean?

Evaluate Your Home’s Paint Before You Sell

The paint on the walls of your home takes up a great surface area and can have a big impact on buyers. Painting a room is a big enough job on its own, so painting a whole tasks is a mammoth undertaking in the minds of potential buyers.

If buyers don’t like it for whatever reason it alone can cause them to form a negative association and pass on buying your property. Fresh, neutral-toned paint is the best way to go. It allows buyers to easily project their vision of how it will look as their space and it’s easy to paint over.

With a neutral palette your buyers will be able to comfortably live in the house before deciding if they want to redo the paint jobs.

◽ Have you recently painted the house?

◽ Is the paint chipping, discoloured, or otherwise in decay?

◽ Do the walls have loud colours which need to be painted to more neutral tones?

◽ Although the walls have neutral colours do they need a fresh coat?

◽ Do the rooms have a consistent colour scheme throughout? (e.g. cool or warm)

◽ Are any of the walls covered in wallpaper? If so it should be removed and replaced with a neutral paint colour.

◽ Do any finishes (e.g. doors, trim, wainscotting) need a new coat of paint or new colour?

◽ Do any of the ceilings need fresh paint?

◽ Are any of the surfaces covered in dirt or fingerprints?

◽ Any residue from tape, thumb tacks, or nails?

Check Your Home’s Flooring

A home’s floors can be a good indicator of how well the previous owners have maintained the property. Scuffed, poorly kept floors can give buyer’s the impression that other parts of the house aren’t in great condition either.

Having nice flooring all throughout is a good indicator that a home is move-in ready. With that in mind, here are the key points you should knock of your to-do list when it comes to your home’s flooring.

◽ Does your home have carpeting? If so, what condition is it in?

◽ What colour is the carpeting in your home?

◽ What is the carpet’s style (e.g. cut pile berber)?

◽ Do any of the rooms that don’t have carpeting need it?

◽ Which carpets need to be replaced – All rooms of just a few? (if only a few rooms need new carpeting make sure you chose something that works with the rest of the carpets)

◽ Does any of the carpeting have hardwood underneath?

◽ Is there vinyl flooring?

◽ Does any vinyl flooring need to be replaced?

◽ Do you have hardwood floors?

◽ Do the hardwood floors need to be refinished?

◽ Any places with excessive wear or water damage?

◽ Are all area rugs strain free?

Furniture & Other Accoutrements

Removing too much furniture makes a house feel empty and not livable while leaving too much or not arranging it properly create clutter. The happy medium is having the right number and type of furniture in each room arranged in such a way that brings out the rooms strengths and favourable qualities.

Keep in mind that the furniture should be arranged with the showing in mind. Arrange things according to the flow of how buyers will move through the house, not necessarily what is most comfortable or convenient for residents.

◽ Don’t forget to light everything properly to place emphasis on each room’s most attractive features.

◽ Here’s what you should consider what arranging and placing furniture in the house your selling:

◽ How much furniture does each room have in it?

◽ What is the placement of each piece of furniture in the respective room?

◽ Is your furniture in good, showing condition?

◽ Do you think you need to replace or rent furniture to replace furniture with wear and tear?

◽ Is there enough light in each room and are the bulbs appropriate wattage?

◽ Are all of the bulbs working properly?

◽ Do all switches work correctly?

Doors, Windows, & Finishes

Elements like windows, doors, and finishes are elements of your home which can serve as accents that really accentuate a room’s charm. If they’re in disrepair or mismatched, they can unfortunately have the opposite effect.

Here’s what to consider when evaluating whether any of your home’s finishes need a once-over or replacement:

◽ Do any doors have chipping paint or need new paint or replacing?

◽ Do all the doors open and close smoothly?

◽ Are the handles and locks moving smoothly?

◽ Do any of the doors creak?

◽ Do any frames or doors have smudges?

◽ Do any screens have holes?

◽ Are all of the windows clean and streak free?

◽ Is there any damage to any of the windows?

◽ Are all of the window latches and other hardware working?

◽ Are all of the seals in place?

◽ Are the curtains, drapes, and/or blinds all clean and elegant?

◽ Do any of the homes finishes (e.g. wainscoting, crown moulding) need attention?

Air Cleanliness & Pets

Your home’s air quality can have a big impact on your home sale. Even with new HVAC your home could have an atmosphere which is normal to you but not what most buyers are used to. It’s particularly common for properties which are home to pets to have this problem.

It is important to ensure your home has a neutral atmosphere to maximize its appeal to buyers. Odours can get trapped in carpets and furniture, mean it might be necessary to rent or buy new furniture or do some minor renovations.

◽ Is your homes HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, & Cooling) running smoothly?

◽ Have you inspected your smoke & carbon monoxide detectors and confirmed they are in good working order?

◽ Are there any lingering smells or odours permeating your home that you could eliminate?

◽ Do you often cook with strong seasoning or foods with strong odours?

◽ If you have pets around keep them somewhere else while showing the house. If not try to keep them and their items out of sight during showings.

◽ Remove signs of your pet including food, toys, accessories, etc.

If You’re Selling Your Home During The Holidays

Although you shouldn’t let the sale of your home stand in the way of holiday celebrations you should celebrate in a manner which won’t adversely affect your chances of attracting buyers.

For example holiday decorations and religious items should be stored away immediately following your celebration and not kept out in the open. Although some home sellers think adding a festive touch makes a home more inviting, it’s best to leave these items out of site at all times.


◽ Here’s what you should consider regarding holidays, celebrations, and your home sale:

◽ Are you selling your home around the holidays?

◽ Is it a festive time of year/ are there holidays taking place?

◽ Do you have decorations hanging around/inside your home? If so take them down for showings/photography.

◽ Keep the decor only for the celebration and remove everything after your festivities are done

Keeping Track Of Everything When Selling Your Home in Toronto & The GTA

There you have it – the checklist for selling your home in Toronto or The GTA. The list may seem daunting, but keep your list current by checking items off the list and you’ll get peace of mind that your sales process will run smoother.

Thinking of selling your home in Toronto or The GTA?

Consider working with Frank Leo & Associates. Led by the #1 Individual RE/MAX Agent in the World, our Team has helped 1,000’s of Torontonians get top dollar value for their homes over 30 years. We’ve sold billions of dollars worth of real estate and are proud to serve the region.

You can get started with us by getting a FREE, no-obligation home evaluation in Toronto or contacting us with any Toronto real estate questions.

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How Do You Sell A Home in Toronto or The GTA For Top Dollar Without Intrusive Open Houses? Learn How From Frank Leo, The #1 RE/MAX Agent in The World*

Entertaining guests is one thing, but for most people the only strangers they want in their homes are plus ones at a party. So why is it taken for granted that you need an open house to sell your home in Toronto & The GTA? Many people go as far as having multiple open houses hoping to find the right buyer.

Over his career Frank Leo has taken the “hope-ing” out of the home selling process in Toronto. In fact, he’s taken the open house out of selling homes. Why?

It’s because open houses don’t necessarily sell houses in Toronto, The GTA, or anywhere.  In fact, they attract unqualified buyers.

Most agents and sellers hold open houses because it’s easy and convenient. It’s also in their personal interest to hold open houses, but we’ll get into that later. 

First we’ll run you through why open houses are ineffective and how you don’t need to have open houses to sell your property in Toronto for top dollar.

Do Open Houses Actually Sell Houses?

Let’s look at the numbers.

Most home seller’s guides recommend holding open houses. With 517,018 houses sold in Canada in 2017, that’s a lot of open houses. That statistic would suggest that open houses play a big role in selling houses.

However, it may come as a surprise that hardly any buyers learn about the home they eventually buy from an open house.

Considering that an open houses is a standard marketing tactic that is practically assumed in most real estate offerings, it’s remarkably ineffective.

Open houses – along with other traditional marketing tactics – are simply outdated. During a time where they were at the forefront of real estate marketing they were surely more effective. However, times have changed.

With the advent of the internet and other communication tools available to real estate agents open houses are falling by the wayside. Knocking on doors, cold calling, sending out flyer and open houses are no longer the norm.

That’s right. Open houses are going the way of travelling salesman and cold callers. It’s all because the consumers have moved on. People are more responsive to different forms of communication.


Because consumers do things differently now these methods don’t reach many people & even less buyers. What’s more, the people they do reach don’t respond to them.

In short, open houses are not a good way to allocate resources when marketing your home for sale.

Is An Open House Still A Good Idea In Your Case?

In some cases, an open house can still be effective. If the property is available to show the property by appointment anytime then it is effectively an open house 24hrs a day.

If you find yourself wondering whether it’s still a good idea to run an open house, as yourself if it’s really worth the trouble.

Selling your home in Toronto & The GTA is an involved process. If you have a great real estate agent he or she will handle nearly everything, but that still leaves you with a number of new issues:

  • You have to make time, probably on the weekend, to invite who knows how many strangers into your home
  • Buyers have to take time out of their busy lives to find out whether it will be a good fit
  • The stress of a public showing of your private space
  • An added time frame during which you’ll have to prepare your home for the open house
  • The security issue of not knowing who is coming to see your home.

What You Should Do To Sell Your Home in Toronto Instead Of An Open House

There are plenty of impactful marketing tactics that will help sell your home fast for top dollar.

Over the course of a 30 year career selling billions of dollar worth of homes in Toronto & The GTA, Frank Leo has used his innovative real estate tactics to help thousands of Torontonians get the best value for their homes.

As the #1 Individual RE/MAX Agent in the World Frank Leo didn’t get where he is by accident. Frank Leo doesn’t do open houses because he cares about his clients and getting them the best deal on their home sale. That’s why he doesn’t do open houses

You see, an open house often ends up benefiting the realtor more than the home seller.

Why Realtors Really Hold Open Houses

First and foremost it costs almost just some time. When realtors hold open houses, their chances of attracting and closing a new prospective buyer are very low. After all, buying a house is a big investment, one which the vast majority of people won’t make on a whim.

Although he may not have a high chance of selling your property, a real estate agent is likely to meet a number people interested in buying a property. He can then show those buyers other properties similar to yours and find the right one for them. Of course, this comes with a commission for him, but nothing for you.  Basically using our property as bait to attract buyers.

When you look at it this way, most people don’t want their home used as a sales parlour for other people’s real estate deals.

Frank Leo & Associates Don’t Hold Open Houses

It’s a matter of principle. Frank Leo & Associates always put their clients’ needs first.

Instead of using ineffective open houses, we allocate the time and resources we have available to the most effective techniques for marketing each client’s individual property. We know that by reaching millions of potential buyers weekly, that translates into greater opportunities to sell your property for the more.

The methods Frank Leo his team have developed have innovated the real estate industry and Toronto & beyond. That’s why Frank Leo is an award winning realtor in Toronto & The GTA, recognized as #1 in the World.

Our multi-million dollar marketing system works 24/7 all year round to find qualified buyers for our clients’ homes. Using both inbound and outbound methods we find buyers before we show them houses in person.

We understand that a property won’t sell unless buyers learn that it’s for sale. Our 360 degree marketing system uses many methods to attract buyers from every walk of life. We drive buyers to the internet using TV, Radio, Billboards, Social Media, Mass Campaigns, Targeted Campaigns, Newspapers and Magazines to drive traffic and attention to our properties. Since 51% of home buyers find their home through the internet, we understand how important it can be in our arsenal of tactics for finding the perfect buyer for each home we sell in Toronto & the GTA.

An Effective Real-Estate Website

Our website provides buyers with not only in-depth information about homes and photos which showcase each property, but includes statistical information which can help buyers find the right homes for them.

It gives them a more convenient experience because they see homes they are interested in.

We use social media and other digital marketing tools to target precisely the type of buyer which would be interested in a particular home. It’s really a win – win.

Buyer’s seeking a home have an easier time finding the right house when they are thinking of buying a home in Toronto & The GTA. Sellers can reach highly-qualified buyers and increase their chances of getting great value on their home sales.

If you’d like to learn more about working with Frank Leo & Associates or you’re thinking of selling, we’re always here to talk with you. Don’t hesitate to contact us.

Marketing That’s Guaranteed to Sell Better Than An Open House

At Frank Leo & Associates we offer our clients what we call a Guaranteed Home-Selling System.

Our system is better than traditional marketing like open houses. We even guarantee to sell your home for a price and at a time frame you agree on because we are so confident in the success of our system.

Selling Homes in Toronto & The GTA & Reaching More Buyers

Open houses only appeal to the small geographic area around them. As a marketing tactic, they won’t reach the buyer’s who live out of the immediate area and is also time restrictive to buyers so they may not be able to attend.

Mass marketing is able to reach more home buyers searching home listings in Toronto & The GTA all around the world. Regardless where the buyer is, they can learn about your home and whether it’s right for them.

“Online” Open Houses in Toronto & The GTA

A well-made, marketed, promoted, known, and high-traffic website is far more effective at attracting interest than an open house. As mentioned, users can browse Toronto MLS listings at their convenience.

With professional photography of a well prepared and presented home, an online presence for a Toronto home will  give users a more accurate idea of whether they are interested in a home over seeing a directional sign for an open house.

Realistically, very few home buyer hear about an open house. Only a limited amount of people from the neighbourhood and random people driving by. People not necessarily buyers.

When a home buyer views a house online they get far more. They can learn about the intricate details of the house like what kind of finishes it has, when it was built, how many square feet they can expect, and what kind of upgrades it features, & more.

Buyer’s can use real estate resources like these to make an informed choice about expressing interest in a house instead of a general interest. That way, when your realtor will bring you pre-qualified parties and don’t waste anyone’s time.

How To Sell A House Without an Open House

As you can see many realtors still use open houses in Toronto & the GTA as a marketing tool. Not because they are effective but because open houses do not cost money to hold, only some time.

Selling without open houses takes resources. You (or your realtor) will need to spend marketing and advertising dollars to reach as large an audience as possible. This will greatly increase the likelihood of finding the ideal and or best buyers for your property in order to get you the highest price possible. Unfortunately advertising is expensive but how expensive will it be for you if you don’t reach the ideal buyer for your home and sell it for less that you could have?  Don’t take chances with your largest investment!

This is just a short summary of all the work that a real estate agent puts in to sell your home.

people_shaking_hands_over_a_real_estate_deal_avoiding_real_estate_deal_breakers

Thinking of Selling Your Home in Toronto or The GTA? Avoid These 4 Major Deal Breakers For Home Buyers and Maximize Your Chance of Getting Top Dollar Value for Your Property

Everyone has their personal preferences when it comes to how their homes look and feel. That’s part of what makes a house feel like home. 

Despite these preferences being very personal and subjective there are common deal breakers that are likely to turn most people away even if the house is a good fit for them.

On this list we’ll cover deal-breakers that can keep a home on the market that aren’t aesthetic issues like wall colour or furniture design.

For tips on preparing your home for sale in Toronto or The GTA read our article about staging your home for sale in Toronto or The GTA. You’ll find the top tips which Frank Leo & Associates have collected over 3 decades serving the Toronto & GTA real estate market and selling billions of dollars worth of homes.

1. The Location Of The Property When You’re Selling Your Home In Toronto or The GTA

The saying goes that in the restaurant business the three most important features are location, location, location. Although people put a lot more thought into picking a house and consider many other factors, location does have a big importance for some people thinking of buying a home in Toronto or The GTA.

People are generally adverse to homes built in precarious places like flood zones, on hillsides where the foundation could shift, or around other hazards. Fortunately for people selling their homes in Toronto & The GTA, the region is reasonably safe when it comes to climate risks.

Other geographic factors people consider when buying a home is what kind of neighbourhood the house is situated in – it could be a quiet residential area or a more vibrant part of town. A great real estate agent will understand not only the city’s real estate market but the specific market conditions in the neighbourhood.

They’ll be able to leverage this information and help point out the positive aspects of a home’s location – if it’s in a neighbourhood where property values are steadily increasing, for example.

2.  Maintenance Issues With The Home You’re Selling

Essential components (roof, foundation, etc.) Buyers see these issues as big, expensive problems and want to pass the cost on to the seller. Here are the most common parts of a house which are in disrepair.

Roof

A roof in disrepair can turn off buyers before they even enter the property. Since parts of the roof may be visible from the street it’s especially important to address any roofing issues before listing your home for sale. 

Cracked, missing, or damaged shingles or tiles are sure signs that the roof needs work. If your roof does need work, even just a small section, it’s worth doing because otherwise the buyers could walk out on the deal or request a price reduction of thousands of dollars.

Foundation

If your gutters aren’t overflowing and are working properly they keep water from getting to the foundation and potentially causing damage. A cracked or otherwise damaged foundation requires attention and won’t make a good impression on potential buyers.

Mould

In addition to being unsightly, mould can pose health issues if left untreated. Potential buyers could also form the impression that if there’s mold, there are other serious problems. Any signs of mould can sink the sale.

During your home inspection your professional inspector will notify you in the unlikely event there are traces of mould of which you were not aware. Fortunately in most mild cases removing the mold does not necessarily require the help of a professional.

Bad Plumbing

Poorly done or old plumbing can indicate mould, flood, and other plumbing issues. Although the potential buyers won’t be tearing up walls to inspect plumbing all external plumbing must be functional. That includes fixing leaky taps, making sure drains drain properly, and the toilet functions.

3. Climate Problems In The Property For Sale

If you’re living in the home you’re selling it could be tricky to determine whether atmospheric factors could turn off potential buyers. Since you spend a lot of time in the home something that’s totally normal for you could be perceived differently by others. Although these issues are often a matter of preference, there are also some environmental issues that would certainly need to be addressed if you want to get top dollar value for your home.

Air Quality

Old or dysfunctional HVAC (Heating Ventilation and Cooling) can create stale air. Some buyers may take that as an indication that the home’s heating and cooling systems are not in good working order, and that’s a definite red flag for most buyers.

Odours

Pets, cooking with pungent spices, or smoking indoors can all cause lingering odours that turn off buyers. There are measures you can take if you do notice the property you are selling has an odour. Replacing fabrics like carpeting and furniture and getting rid of any pet-related items can help alleviate lingering smells. It’s best to keep pets out of the home while it is being shown as well.

High levels of Radon

Test your home’s Radon levels. Many Canadian homes have relatively high levels which can pose a health risk. Luckily,  lowering levels is not prohibitively expensive.

If you have professionals come to measure or reduce radon levels make sure to keep all the paperwork to show potential buyers if asked. 

4. If The Home For Sale Has A Bad History

A History of Problems With Maintenance

When home’s have experience problems like flooding or a leaky roof it can give buyers the impression they’ll facing problems like that themselves.

Oil Tank Buried in The Backyard

Some older homes have oil tanks buried beneath the rear yard. If left alone they can become a liability, and a costly one at that. When they rust, they leak, and if they leak that’s where the problems begin.

If you have an oil tank consider having it inspected and/or removed. Be sure to keep your proof of having work done.

Thinking Of Selling Your Home In Toronto & Need Help Finding Out Home Much Your Home Is Worth?

Knowing your home’s value can be tricky given the changing markets, your home’s condition, and numerous other conditions.

Take advantage of Frank Leo & Associates FREE, no-obligation home evaluation and find out what you can expect to earn from your home sale today.

Remember you can also contact us at any time with your Toronto & GTA real estate related questions.

Image of a bag of money being exchanged for a house to illustrated buying a house as a millennial.

Advice For Millennials Thinking of Buying a House In Toronto Or The GTA From Frank Leo, The #1 Individual RE/MAX Agent in the World

With almost 65% of millennials saving money with the intent of buying a house in Toronto or elsewhere, we want to provide first-time homebuyers with the best possible advice and insights when it comes to what could be the largest financial decision of a lifetime.

Taking the right approach when investing in Toronto real estate can make a tremendous difference in your adult life. This goes for buying as an investment or as a primary residence. A small mistake could mean the difference between a benchmark investment and an issue plaguing your finances for years to come.

Remember that Frank Leo & Associates, the #1 RE/MAX Team in Canada** led by the #1 Individual RE/MAX Agent in the World* are here to answer you Toronto real estate questions at any time. If you have any questions about home ownership that are outside the scope of this article, don’t hesitate to reach out and contact us.

Benefits of Being a Millennial Owning a House in Toronto

If you’re considering buying a home in Toronto & the GTA, you’re no doubt aware of some of the many benefits it can provide. You can use it to generate income, use home equity as collateral, or sell at a profit.

For some people, the feeling of not paying rent anymore justifies the commitment of paying for a house.

However, before you make that commitment, which is significant, you should be aware of everything that comes with it. Going into a big decision like buying a house blind is a sure way to make life difficult for yourself.

Understand What Buying a House in Toronto & The GTA Involves

Owning a house is a big responsibility, both financially and in terms of your day-to-day life.

In maintaining a house and the grounds takes a lot of work. It can be a bit of an adjustment for the uninitiated.

It could also limit your mobility when it comes to travel. If you plan on going away for a longer period of time the house will need maintenance.

In terms of finances, buying a house with a mortgage makes it a big financial responsibility. Missing mortgage payments, or in the worst case defaulting on your mortgage can leave you bankrupt and throw your financial future into turmoil.

For that reason taking out a mortgage is not a decision to be taken lightly or without completely thinking through your plans.

Some of the questions you should ask yourself when thinking of buying a home in Toronto or The GTA include:

–  Are you able to afford owning a home in Toronto & the GTA?

–  Can you continue to make mortgage payments even after a change in income?

–  Do you have the financial means to put in a good enough down payment to support the rest of the costs needed to be payed?

–   Is your current debt a heavy burden?

–   Would it benefit you to wait for more favourable market conditions or until you have more savings?

–   Have you considered ALL of the costs associated with buying a house?

–   What kind of a mortgage should you take out?

If you’re seeking advice on buying your first house in Toronto & the GTA, Frank Leo & Associates would be more than happy to provide expert guidance. FOLLOW HERE TO CONTACT US or Call (416)917-5466.

Financing Your First House in Toronto & The GTA If You’re a Millennial

Many millennials think of the Toronto & GTA Real Estate market and wonder if they’ll ever be able to afford a house. Although Toronto & the GTA house prices go up and down, the market is seen as inaccessible to young people in much of millennial culture.

An image showing personal finance calculations for someone thinking of buying a house in Toronto

In reality, many millennials could afford buying a house with a mortgage while taking advantage of some of the financial incentives the Government has instituted to help first time home-owners.

For example, the First-Time Home Buyer’s Credit (FTHBC) introduced by Revenue Canada in 2009 is a terrific place to start when it comes to easing the financial stress of buying a house in Toronto. If you’re a first-time homebuyer thinking of buying a house in Toronto check if you meet the requirements and whether the house qualifies for the credit.

The 15% income tax credit and other credits you may be eligible could mean the difference between affording the home and saving for a few more years.

Is It The Right Time To Buy A House in Toronto & the GTA?

Timing can play a big role when it comes to buying a house in Toronto. Determining when is the right time is a personal financial decision based on:

  • The conditions of the Toronto & GTA Real estate market. Houses could be exceptionally expensive or more affordable
  • Mortgage rates. Depending on the state of the mortgage industry, interest rates on the money you’re borrowing to buy a house could be relatively high or low
  • Your financial situation. Is it a good idea to buy now or save for a bit longer?
  • The Right House. Have you the perfect home for you?

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to answering these questions. It comes down to your current situation, your financial plans, and what your plans are for the future. When it comes to financial planning you can seek out the help of a professional, but in regard to any of your Toronto real estate questions you can count on Frank Leo & Associates.

Our award-winning real estate service has helped 1,000’s or people find their dream homes in Toronto & The GTA over three decades. Reach out to us to learn more about how we can help make your real estate dreams a reality.

Making Your Down Payment When Buying A House in Toronto & The GTA As A Millennial

In addition to other home-ownership costs, mortgage insurance is another expense you will have to pay on a monthly basis if you don’t own 20% equity. In practical terms, that means anyone buying a house who makes less than the traditional 20% down payment will have to buy this insurance.

Mortgage insurance protects the lender from losses if you are suddenly unable to make mortgage payments.

Making a larger down payment also means you start out with a higher share of equity in the property. Having more equity gives you more financial options in the future.

Remember the Stress Test

In order to be approved for a mortgage in Canada you need to undergo a financial stress test. As of October 17, 2016, this stress test is mandatory for all insured mortgages in Canada, even if you make a 20% down payment.

Historically this test only applied to people making a downpayment of less than 20%. These new rules were put in place to ensure that you can afford to keep making payments even if mortgage rates were to increase.

Image of a calliper measuring to determine if someone has enough cash when buying a home

In addition to qualifying for the rate provided by your lender, the stress test requires that you qualify for the Bank of Canada’s five-year fixed mortgage rate. The BOC’s rate acts as a sort of benchmark that gives an indication of your financial status to help prevent people from defaulting on their mortgages.  

This mandatory measure includes a requirement that as a home buyer you are not spending more than 39% of your income on home costs. Those costs include taxes, mortgage payments, utilities, etc.

Finally, your TDS (Total Debt Service) ratio cannot be over 44% and needs to include all other debt payments.

All of these conditions might seem like obstacles for millennials thinking of buying houses in Toronto. However, they’re there to prevent Canadians from falling into dire financial circumstances if their mortgage rates were to increase, unexpectedly.

Be aware of how your financial standing stacks up to the stress test requirements. Check where you stand before getting too invested in buying a house.

Get Informed About Toronto & The GTA Real Estate

Buying a home requires research, knowledge and an understanding of the home-buying process. Having insight and experience on your side is even better. Unfortunately it’s not as simple as just looking through Toronto & GTA real estate listings and picking a house.

Over 3 decades we’ve been helping people in Toronto & The GTA navigate the real estate market and we’ve developed an expert understanding of it.

That’s what makes us the #1 RE/MAX Team in Canada.* If you’d like the #1 Team on your side when navigating the home-buying process, we’re here for you.

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* Dollar Volume in 2017

** Dollar Volume  January – May 2018

The Skyline of Toronto & GTA Real Estate highlighting how it's a good place to invest

Toronto & GTA Real Estate: A Strong Place to Invest When It Comes to Real Estate Investment in Canada

The Toronto & GTA Real Estate market just saw a major jump. The Toronto real estate statistics released by the Canadian Real Estate Board for this summer show a major upswing when it comes to housing sales. The increase is drawing even more attention to one of Canada’s top cities for Real Estate investment. In fact, Toronto has earned the title of making Canada’s biggest gain in home sales this year.

If you have any questions about the statistics presented in this article or about Toronto & GTA real estate in general, look no further than Frank Leo & Associates headed by the #1 Individual RE/MAX Agent in the World* for the answers. Contact us to have your questions addressed.

Toronto & GTA Real Estate Statistics 2018: Toronto Homes Sold

Toronto has seen an increase in homes sold this summer compared with the same time last year.

By the numbers, that means a 2.4% increase compared with last year’s numbers for June 2017. In Total, we’ve seen 8,082 homes sold through the Toronto Real Estate Board’s Toronto MLS Listing System, as reported by Greater Toronto Realtors® in June 2018. Between May and June of 2018, the sales are up 17.6% on a monthly basis.

Average Price of Toronto Homes Sold

In terms of average selling price, it’s edged up by 2% on a year-by-year basis. By June 2018, the average price of a home sold in Toronto reached $807,871. Between May 2018 and June 2018, the average home price jumped up by 3%, a considerable change for the market (after preliminary seasonal adjustment).

On a year-over-year basis the MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) went down 4.8%. However, it stayed more or less the same in terms of month-over-month change. Changes to the amount of different types of properties which were sold between June 2017 and June 2018 is one of the reasons that can account for the differences in the average price and the MLS® Home Price Index (HPI), year-over-year. In June 2018 low-rise homes accounted for a larger share of home sales, for example.

Buying A Home In Toronto Becoming More Attractive

Jason Mercer, The Toronto Real Estate Board’s Director of Market Analysis and Service Channels, expects to see, “improvements in sales over the next year.” In the same statement he has indicated that it is likely that the number of new listings posted each month will also stay more or less consistent.

What does that mean for the market?

It could mean that the competition between buyers which is characteristic for the Toronto & the GTA real estate market could actually increase. The cumulative effect of that competition is likely to drive Toronto Real Estate Prices up even higher.

Accounting For Toronto’s Real Estate Market Boom

Although these changes are largely positive for homeowners seeking to sell property in Toronto & the GTA, these changes to the Toronto Real Estate market can be accounted for by recent policy changes over the past year which have affected home buyers. These include adjustments to the Fair Housing Plan, the now-mandatory stress test, and higher costs of borrowing.

Garry Bhaura, President of the Toronto Real Estate Board, suggests that these conditions are starting to move more real estate buyers back into the Toronto real estate market.

Your Toronto & GTA Real Estate Questions, Answered

Still have questions about the Toronto & GTA Real Estate Market?

Whether you’re thinking of buying or selling a house in Toronto & The GTA, you can count on Frank Leo & The #1 RE/MAX Team in Canada** for expert advice. Frank Leo & Associates have been helping buy and sell houses in Toronto & The GTA for three decades.

We’re here to answer all of your questions and meet all of your real estate needs, so get in touch.

* Dollar Volume 2017

** For Dollar Volume January – May 2018

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