President’s Toronto SUN Column: Finding A Vacation Property Is Easier Than You Think

Author: Toronto Real Estate Admin / Category: Toronto Realtor

TREB President’s Column as it appears every Friday in the Toronto Sun’s Resale Homes and Condos section.

August 16, 2013
In a recent keynote address to Greater Toronto REALTORS®, David Chilton of The Wealthy Barber and Dragons’ Den renown remarked on how experiential activities are more valuable to him than most of his possessions, and his comments led me to reflect on the many benefits of owning a vacation property.

Not only does owning real estate represent a solid long-term investment, in the case of a cottage it also serves as a base from which to build lasting memories of summer fun with family and friends.

Now thanks to the cooperative efforts of REALTORS® throughout Ontario, finding the perfect vacation property is easier than you may think. Ninety-five per cent of REALTORS® throughout the province have access to CONNECT, a system that allows your REALTOR® to search and view the active listings and recent sales history from Multiple Listing Service® Systems throughout Ontario, including popular cottage country destinations like Muskoka, Grey Bruce and Haliburton. A recent advancement even allows listings from all Boards and Associations to be displayed to your REALTOR® on a single map of any given area. To find a property that is best suited to your needs, be sure to work with a REALTOR® who is very familiar with the area you have chosen.

A number of different options for financing a vacation home are available, and one fairly common approach involves making a purchase with extended family. If you plan to pursue this route, it’s important to establish that you have similar goals at the outset, given that a cottage can be perceived as a vacation getaway or as an investment with rental potential.

Be sure to give careful thought to your potential purchase’s future resale value as well. Driving distance and accessibility are two important factors in this regard, as are proximity to a nearby town or marina.  Consider whether there is access to telephone and hydro lines, and if emergency and waste management services are available. Drinking water quality and septic systems are also key considerations. 

Remember as well that you will have to set aside funds for property tax, insurance and utility costs.  Recognizing its added exposure to the elements, having the financial resources to maintain your cottage, from driveway to dock, is also crucial.

Given that cottage property divisions normally aren’t visually apparent, it is important to obtain a copy of the survey to be clear on the boundaries of your land, and as with the purchase of any property type, your REALTOR® can counsel you on permitted zoning uses and potential future development in the area. 

While there are a number of factors to consider, the professional advice of a REALTOR® can make buying a cottage that promises many years of summer fun a seamless process.  

For information on the process of buying or selling a property, plain language explanations of commonly used real estate forms, and details on government programs that may help with the purchase of your vacation home, consult with a Greater Toronto REALTOR® and be sure to visit

Dianne Usher is President of the Toronto Real Estate Board,
a professional association that represents 37,000 REALTORS®
in the Greater Toronto Area.

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Governments of Canada and Ontario Celebrate New Affordable Housing in Keene

Author: Toronto Real Estate Admin / Category: News Bulletin

Canada’s Economic Action Plan

KEENE, ONTARIO, August 13, 2013 — The Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario and the Municipality of Peterborough celebrated the official opening of 19 new affordable rental housing units for low-income seniors at Monaghan Court in Keene today. The project received $2.28 million in funding from the federal and provincial governments. The construction of this project created up to 48 jobs in the Keene area.

Dean Del Mastro, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Member of Parliament for Peterborough, on behalf of the Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State (Social Development); Jeff Leal, Ontario’s Minister of Rural Affairs and Member of Provincial Parliament for Peterborough, on behalf of the Honourable Linda Jeffrey, Ontario’s Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing; Daryl Bennett, Mayor for the City of Peterborough; made the announcement today.

“Our Government is dedicated to helping those in need, which is why we are proud to have invested in this project in Keene. These new 19 units are more than just safe and affordable places to live, they are the key to a better life for the residents that will call them home,” said PS Del Mastro. “We remain focused on four priorities, as outlined by the Prime Minister, that Canadians care most about: their families, the safety of our streets and communities, their pride in being a citizen of this country, and of course, their personal financial security.”

“Ontario communities need a wide range of options to meet the housing needs of all our residents,” said Minister Leal. “Our government’s support for this project has provided safe and affordable housing for seniors and has also created about 48 jobs.”

“This is an excellent project that will increase affordable housing opportunities within the County and help more seniors live independently,” said Mayor Bennett. “We appreciate the support of the provincial and federal governments in supporting these goals.”

Monaghan Court is located at 35 Pinecrest Avenue, in Keene and is owned and operated by Otonabee Municipal Non-Profit Housing Phase II Corporation. The fully accessible, smoke free building has a common kitchen, meeting area, onsite laundry and two fully accessible units with wheel-in showers. Every apartment has a deck or patio, and Energuide appliances. Monaghan Court is close to churches, restaurants, banks, grocer, parks and a medical center.

The $2.28 million funding was provided under Canada’s Economic Action Plan and the Canada-Ontario Affordable Housing Program with an additional $104,000 in municipal financial incentives from the City of Peterborough.

“The Township of Otonabee-South Monaghan is pleased to have been involved with the City of Peterborough through the Affordable Housing Program to assist in offering affordable rental housing in the County,” said Reeve Nelson. “It complements the existing Otonabee Court Social Housing facility, providing an affordable place to live in a rural community.”

The Government of Canada, through CMHC, will invest more than $2 billion in housing this year. Of this amount, $1.7 billion will be spent in support of close to 594,000 households living in existing social housing. In Ontario, this represents an estimated 237,950 households. These investments are improving the quality of life for low-income Canadians and households living in existing social housing, including individuals who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness, seniors, persons with disabilities, recent immigrants and Aboriginal people.

Ontario continues to build new affordable housing and repair existing units for Ontarians with housing needs. Since 2003, Ontario’s funding commitment of nearly $3 billion is the largest affordable housing program in the province’s history. Ontario is supporting the creation of over 17,000 affordable rental housing units; making more than 263,000 repairs and improvements to social and affordable housing units; and providing rental down payment assistance to over 81,000 households in need. The province’s Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy sets a strong foundation for a more efficient, accessible affordable housing system in Ontario.

Affordable housing is a key component of Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy. Consultations on a renewed Poverty Reduction Strategy are taking place this summer across the province and all Ontarians have the opportunity to host gatherings and submit feedback until October 4, 2013. To find out more about affordable housing in Ontario, visit For more information about affordable housing in Peterborough visit

To find out more about how the Government of Canada and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation are working to build stronger homes and communities for all Canadians, call CMHC at 1-800-668-2642.

Media inquiries:

Johanna Quinney
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of State
(Social Development)

Dean D’Souza
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Mike Maka
Office of Minister Jeffrey

Susan Bacque
City of Peterborough
705-742-7777, ext.:1492

For more information visit:

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July 2013 Housing Starts in Toronto

Author: Toronto Real Estate Admin / Category: News Bulletin

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President’s Toronto SUN Column: Simplifying The Homebuying Process

Author: Toronto Real Estate Admin / Category: Toronto Realtor

TREB President’s Column as it appears every Friday in the Toronto Sun’s Resale Homes and Condos section.

August 2, 2013
If you have bought or sold a home in recent years you have probably noticed at least a few of the many technology advancements that have been developed with your needs in mind. You can now view properties on from your mobile phone, advertise your listing on a range of real estate websites from coast to coast, and receive the most up-to-date information on opportunities tailored to your interests from your REALTOR®.

One step in the process that still needs to be undertaken the traditional way however, involves signing the forms required in every real estate transaction.  Current Ontario legislation precludes the use of electronic signatures on agreements that create an interest in land.

Fortunately, Greater Toronto REALTORS® in conjunction with our professional and national associations have been laying the foundation so that homebuyers and sellers in our province may soon enjoy the same convenience as other homebuyers and sellers in Canada.

As a result of tireless lobbying activity, a proposal by the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) to amend the Electronic Commerce Act, 2000 was included in the recent budget. If passed, it will provide electronic agreements of purchase and sale with the same legal protections as other forms of e-commerce. A section of the proposed amendment also gives the government time to talk with various stakeholders, including OREA, about potential measures to provide for the utmost security in your transaction.

Once the ability to use e-signatures in real estate transactions throughout the province becomes a reality, the transition to doing so should be swift thanks to the efforts of the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).  It recently announced that it has finalized agreements with two providers, DocuSign and Authentisign, that will enable you and your REALTOR® to include your signatures on forms that are completed securely online, known as WebForms. 

WebForms, which are editable and always up to date with the most recent changes to real estate documentation, are accessible to your REALTOR® from any Mac, PC, iPad, tablet and smartphone.While Webforms, which are also pre-populated with available REALTOR® and property information, have been in use by REALTORS® for a number of years, the opportunity to include e-signatures on these forms is a very new innovation. 

Although like Ontario, not all jurisdictions throughout Canada permit the use of e-signatures yet, allowing them makes good sense. This technology allows you to easily sign documents anytime, anywhere, without the time-consuming process of printing, faxing, or arranging meetings simply to provide signatures. In a world where efficiency is key to successful outcomes and where we all need to be more conscious of our carbon footprint, I anticipate that e-signatures will be a welcome alternative for Greater Toronto Area homebuyers and sellers.

To learn more about the many ways that working with a REALTOR® can simplify the homebuying and selling process for you, talk to a Greater Toronto REALTOR® and be sure to visit where you will find market updates, plain language explanations of commonly used forms, information on government programs and more.

Dianne Usher is President of the Toronto Real Estate Board,
a professional association that represents 38,000 REALTORS®
in the Greater Toronto Area.

Follow TREB on, and

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