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Yearning for serene lakeside views in the heart of a vibrant metropolis?

Toronto offers the best of both worlds! With stunning lakeside properties like this, you can live the perfect urban lakeside lifestyle.

Quick Fact: The proximity of Toronto's waterfront to the downtown core significantly impacts property values. Lakefront properties tend to be highly sought-after and represent a valuable investment opportunity in the city's real estate market.

Let's connect, I'd love to Make A Difference For You in your real estate journey.


5 Crucial Mistakes to Avoid After Applying for a Mortgage

Congratulations! You've taken the first step towards homeownership by applying for a mortgage. However, the journey doesn't end there. After submitting your mortgage application, it's essential to tread cautiously and avoid certain financial moves that could jeopardize your chances of securing the loan and your dream home. In this blog post, we'll delve into five key things to avoid after applying for a mortgage.

1. Making Large Purchases:

While it might be tempting to splurge on new furniture or appliances for your soon-to-be home, hold off on making significant purchases using credit. Large credit card transactions or new loans can negatively impact your debt-to-income ratio, which is a critical factor lenders consider during the mortgage approval process.

2. Co-signing Other Loans:

Being a co-signer on someone else's loan means taking on responsibility for their debt. Doing so increases your overall debt burden and can raise concerns for lenders, potentially affecting your mortgage application's outcome.

3. Applying for New Credit:

Each time you apply for a new line of credit (credit card, auto loan, etc.), a hard inquiry is made on your credit report. Multiple hard inquiries within a short period can lower your credit score, signaling to lenders that you might be a risky borrower.

4. Changing Bank Accounts:

Lenders like to see stability and consistency in your financial behavior. Frequent changes in bank accounts or financial institutions may raise red flags and cause delays in the mortgage approval process.

5. Creating Unstable Credit:

Late payments or defaulting on existing credit obligations can severely damage your credit score, making it harder to secure a mortgage. It's crucial to maintain a strong credit history during this time to reassure lenders of your creditworthiness.

Securing a mortgage is an exciting milestone, but it's vital to exercise caution with your financial decisions afterward. By avoiding these five common mistakes, you'll increase your chances of obtaining a favorable mortgage offer and realize your dream of homeownership.

Connect with me if you have further questions or if you need a referral to an amazing mortgage broker. I’d love to Make A Difference For You!


Dreaming of soaring high above the bustling city?

The Toronto real estate market offers stunning high-rise condos with breathtaking cityscapes like this!

Quick Fact: Toronto's real estate market is known for its robust demand, with an average of over 100,000 residential transactions per year, making it a dynamic and exciting market for buyers and sellers alike.

Let's turn your dreams into reality together. Connect with me, I'd love to Make A Difference For You in your real estate journey.


Four Things to Consider When Viewing Houses Online

As technology evolves and improves over time, online home listings get more sophisticated. With features such as 3D home tours now available, it is now possible to view a home and go through the entire home purchase online. While many online listings are packed full of great photos and lots of information, going through the home buying process virtually and being unable to view a property in person may leave some things overlooked, as they are not as obvious through a screen. Here are four things to take into consideration when viewing a house virtually.

3D & Virtual Tours

If doing a physical walk-through of a property isn’t an option, 3D and 360 tours can be a great alternative to give you a feeling of what it would be like to walk through a home. Many realtors now offer 3D tours or virtual walk-throughs for their listings, so now is a great time to take advantage of those! 3D tours are great for allowing you to view a property from the comfort of your own home, while also giving you the freedom to virtually navigate your way through the property. This will give you a chance to get a feel for the floorplan and layout of a home without having to actually set foot on the property. With the current situation, many realtors are also offering virtual video walk-throughs of their properties that are currently on the market. Many realtors have asked the seller to film a walk-through of their home that they are then able to share with prospective buyers. Utilizing these virtual tours are a great way to get a feel for the property you are looking at and can be useful for helping potential buyers narrow down the different properties they may be interested in.

Analyze the Photos

Many realtors work with professional real estate photographers to take photos of their listings. This is a great asset to potential buyers as the photographers know the best ways to show off the different rooms in a home. Make sure you take a look at all of the photos and spend some time noting where windows are and what rooms look like they will get the best natural light. Another good thing to consider when looking through the photos is how your own furniture will look in the space. If the photos of the home are furniture free, allow yourself to mentally place furniture where you think it may look best. If the property is staged, take into consideration where different furniture pieces are placed and how you could change the furniture layout to work for you and your style.

Take Note of Potential Fixes/Renos

While buying a new construction or newly renovated home is great, some people look for fixer upper’s that they can make their own. If you’re looking at a property online that may not be quite your style or that needs some upgrades, take note of those. See what elements of the home work for you and which areas you would consider renovating or giving some TLC in the future. Remember that your realtor is going to be the expert, so don’t be afraid to give your realtor a call to chat about a listing you are interested in and get their thoughts. And remember, paint colour is an easy, relatively inexpensive change that make a huge different in a home!

Consider the Outdoor Space One thing that many people forget to take into consideration when viewing a home online is the outdoor space. Whether this be a small balcony or a large backyard, outdoor space is definitely something to try to get a feel for when viewing a home virtually. Take account of what furniture you may need to fit into the space or invest in, what sort of maintenance will be involved in the upkeep of the outdoor space. Many realtors ask their sellers to try to have two photos of the exterior of the home, one from the summer and one from the winter. This allows potential buyers to get a feel for what the exterior of the home will look like in every season.



The Perks of Owning a Home

Embracing the Perks of Homeownership: Building Equity, Investing, Personalizing, and Finding a Sense of Belonging

Owning a home is not just about having a roof over your head—it comes with a myriad of perks that make it a truly rewarding experience. From building equity and investing in your future to personalizing your living space and finding a deep sense of belonging, homeownership offers a host of advantages that go beyond the financial aspects. In this blog post, we'll delve into these perks and share quick facts to highlight the joys of owning a home.

Building equity is one of the significant perks of homeownership is building equity. Here are some quick facts to consider:

  • Equity accumulation: With each mortgage payment, a portion goes towards paying down the principal balance, gradually increasing your equity in the property.
  • Appreciation: Over time, your home's value has the potential to appreciate, further contributing to your equity. Real estate has historically shown a tendency to appreciate in the long run.

Investing in your future and owning a home is a valuable long-term investment. Explore these quick facts:

  • Forced savings: Your mortgage payments serve as a form of forced savings, allowing you to build wealth over time.
  • Potential for return: As your property's value increases, you have the potential to gain a significant return on investment if you decide to sell in the future.
  • Home as a legacy: Owning a home can provide a sense of security and an opportunity to create a lasting legacy for future generations.

Personalizing Your Space:
Unlike renting, homeownership allows you to personalize and customize your living space. Consider the following quick facts:

  • Creative expression: You have the freedom to decorate, renovate, and make changes according to your personal taste and style preferences.
  • Creating a sanctuary: Transform your home into a reflection of your personality and create a space that brings you comfort, joy, and a true sense of belonging.

Finding a Sense of Belonging:
Owning a home often fosters a deep sense of belonging and community. Reflect on these quick facts:

  • Stability and roots: Settling into a home provides a sense of stability and roots, allowing you to become an integral part of a neighborhood and build relationships with neighbors.
  • Community engagement: Homeownership often encourages engagement in community activities, local events, and initiatives, fostering a sense of belonging and connection.
  • Creating memories: Owning a home provides a backdrop for creating cherished memories with loved ones, making it a place of nostalgia and belonging.

Owning a home comes with a multitude of perks that extend beyond the financial benefits. From building equity and investing in your future to personalizing your space and finding a deep sense of belonging, homeownership offers a sense of pride and fulfillment. Embrace these quick facts and relish the joys of homeownership as you create a space that is truly your own and build a foundation for a bright future.


How To Know What Home Is Right For You

Finding the right home is important because it provides comfort and security, is a significant financial investment, can enhance your quality of life, allows for personal expression, and contributes to long-term happiness.

Here are a few reasons why finding the right home is important:

Comfort and security:
A home that fits your lifestyle and meets your needs can provide a sense of comfort and security. It's important to find a home that feels like a safe haven, a place where you can relax and recharge after a long day.

Financial investment: Buying a home is often the biggest financial investment people make in their lifetime. Finding the right home can ensure that you are making a wise investment that will appreciate over time and provide you with long-term financial stability.

Quality of life: Your home is where you will spend a significant amount of time, and it can have a direct impact on your quality of life. Finding a home in a location that meets your needs, such as proximity to work, schools, or recreational activities, can greatly enhance your daily life.

Personal expression: Your home is also an expression of your personality and style. Finding the right home allows you to create a space that reflects your unique taste and provides a sense of ownership and pride.

Long-term happiness: Ultimately, finding the right home is important because it can contribute to long-term happiness. A home that meets your needs, provides comfort and security, and reflects your personal style can create a sense of satisfaction and contentment that lasts for years to come.


3 Selling Strategies for Move-Up Buyers

According to a RE/MAX Canada survey of Canadians, 16% said they want to enter the housing market or sell in order to “move up.” The high cost of real estate has made entering the market a challenge for many first-time homebuyers, but thanks to well-timed purchases and considerable equity gains, move-up buyers are in a great position right now, making shopping for a “forever home” feel like less of a stretch.

When you bought your first place, chances are you were young, strapped for cash, and prepared (or at the very least, warned) to make some concessions. “You can’t have it all,” they said. “So where will you take the hit – price, location, home style?” Move-up buyers, on the other hand, typically has some savings and equity to work with, making their next move less of a compromise and more of a thoughtful selection.

But move-up buyers face their own set of challenges that call for a carefully considered strategy. Here are three options for the smart move-up buyer with a plan!

1. Sell First, Buy Later

This strategy is ideal for the move-up buyer who doesn’t want to get stuck paying two mortgages simultaneously. Selling the existing home eliminates the risk of having to carry two mortgages if you don’t sell your existing home in time. It also reduces the chances of having to reduce your asking price if the sale isn’t happening quite quickly enough for your liking. This is a good option for move-up buyers who are banking on the proceeds of their sale to fund their new (and likely more expensive) property. By selling first, you’ll know exactly how much money you have to purchase your next home.

2. Buy First, Then Sell

If homes in your area of choice are selling faster than the “For Sale” signs can hit the front lawn, also known as a seller’s market, the “buy first” strategy might be the way to go. By buying your new home before selling your old one, you won’t feel rushed into settling for a sub-par property or having to seek alternative temporary accommodations while you shop the market. This move-up buyer still lives in their existing home, allowing them the flexibility to shop around and continue looking until they find that perfect place, without any added inconvenience or pressure. This move-up buyer typically requires a bridge mortgage.

3. Time and Align Your Purchase and Sale

When all is said and done, this move-up approach is the most ideal, but getting there is another story. Aligning your purchase and sale closing dates can be tricky. Remember that there are three dancers in this tango – you, the person you’re buying from, and the person you’re selling to. You’ll also have to move out and move in on the same day. In this scenario, time is your best friend and flexibility your savior.

This means you’ve planned ahead – you’ve researched neighborhoods, gotten pre-approved for a mortgage, and you’ve started the organizing and de-cluttering process well in advance.

Your move-up strategy will depend on a number of factors, such as your financial situation, current housing market conditions, and your personal comfort level. Plan ahead and get the right advice to ensure a smooth transaction at both sides of the offer table. Reach out with your questions, it would be a privilege to Make A Difference For You and I love to help!

Sam Chaim⁠ - Your Point Man in Real Estate
Making A Difference For You
Re/Max Realtron⁠

Watch Video
Source: 3 Selling Strategies for Move-Up Buyers | Re/Max


How to Renovate Your House on a Budget

Sitting down and planning a home renovation can quickly become overwhelming when costs start adding up. Even with a budget, you’ll likely find yourself going over which is why it’s crucial to add in that 10-20% contingency fund. It’s totally possible to renovate affordably if you invest a bit of time and effort. Here’s how to renovate your home on a budget without sacrificing quality.

Increase Efficiency, Not Size

Storage can be a problem and needing to renovate to gain more can be costly. Recognizing and equipping the room for maximum utility will save you from having to remove walls entirely. If it’s vital to enlarge the size of the room, inquire if it’s at all possible to remove a wall instead of creating an addition. This helps will that brand-new feeling and improves flow without costing a ton. Be sure to check if the wall you want to remove is wall-bearing (if so, it will be more difficult to move and will cost you).

Refinish Instead of Replace

As a homeowner, it’s easy to get caught up on the cosmetics and when something looks worn down and old, instinct is to rip it down and start over. There is, however, ways to refresh a space without completely redoing it. A fresh coat of paint goes a long way; you can add an accent wall with a splash of a fun colour or keep things neutral throughout with lively décor.

Kitchen backsplashes have become increasingly easier for homeowners to install themselves which would help revamp the space. A runner down the hallway or on stairs can hide large marks and give new life to high-traffic areas. Fresh caulking around a tub can go a long way in making your bathroom look new and old furniture can be spruced up by refinishing the wood or reupholstering the material. The possibilities truly are endless.

Reuse and Recycle

What you’re tired of in one space might refresh another. Kitchen cabinets can be used in a basement kitchenette or in the garage and knobs and light switches are easily interchangeable. Simple rearranging can completely change the look and feel of a room without costing a dime.

If you are willing to put in a little time, to reap big savings, search online or thrift stores for items at a fraction the price.

Are there disadvantages of recycling? Several contractors will not work with salvaged items, or homeowner-supplied items in general, because they don’t want to assume the liability if something goes wrong. However, if you are doing most or all of the work yourself, you can find plenty of materials simply by looking around a little bit

DIY When Possible

It’s always worth doing at least some of the work yourself. There are plenty of jobs that can be done, such as demolition, painting, sanding, or insulating to save yourself some money.

But before you begin, make sure you have a plan. If you are not specific about what you want both with yourself and any contractors, you will end up costing yourself more money by potentially performing renovations that you don’t end up loving.

Reach out with any questions anytime! It would be a privilege to serve as your Realtor.

To A Good Life!⁠ ⁠

Sam Chaim⁠ - Your Point Man in Real Estate⁠
Making A Difference For You⁠
Re/Max Realtron⁠
(416) 543-7252⁠⁠

Watch Video
Source: How to Renovate Your House on a Budget | Re/Max | February 17th, 2023


Before heading into the long weekend...

I want to say a massive THANK YOU to the most incredible clients in Thornhill & Toronto!

The year has had a good start and as we approach the Spring market, I can feel it getting busier. You deserve the best experience and being prepared prior to listing will help keep you ahead of the curve when the Spring market arrives.

What’s in it for you?

  • A Fun Client-First Experience
  • Quality Advice
  • Home Staging w/ Erin Lazer (
  • Professional Photography & Videography
  • Refined Listing & Marketing Strategy
  • Systems to keep you updated & in charge

When you’re ready, call/text (416) 543-7252, send me a DM, or email I love to help!

Happy Family Day and as always....To A Good Life!


Buying a Historic Home: What You Should Know

For homeowners, a historic home is a unique opportunity to live in a local piece of history. They do, however, have issues that newly constructed homes do not have. Committing to a historic home is a big decision and you should be informed of the care that will be required.

What is a Historic Home?

They’re 50+-year-old residential buildings with some sort of heritage value and include private homes, commercial buildings that consist of residential units, landmarks, and entire districts or neighborhoods depending on criteria. The criteria is at least 50 years old (with some exceptions) and meet 1 of 4 criteria:

- It is connected to significant historical events.
- It is connected to the lives of one or more significant individuals.
- It is considered an embodiment of a particular master or historic style.
- It has provided or is likely to provide important historical information.

Historic buildings can be found everywhere and some neighborhoods are even designated as historic areas. They can be a competitive market so as a homebuyer you’ll want your finances in order prior to house hunting.

Benefits of Owning a Historic Home

  1. You’ll be the owner of a piece of history and for some homebuyers, it’s an emotional investment.

  2. Passion for history, architecture, and one-of-a-kind features is appealing to some.

  3. You’ll be a part of a community committed to preservation. Buying a home in a historic area means joining a community of homeowners aiming to preserve the character and history of the district, even with costs and certain limited property rights.

  4. Financial assistance is available for renovations. There are programs available to help fund them

  5. Look into a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC), purchase plus renovations mortgage, a second mortgage, or refinancing your mortgage.

Things to Consider Before You Buy

  1. Get ready for hard work! The older the home, the more often than not means it was built before modern construction techniques. Lots of love, care, and regular maintenance will be necessary.

  2. Get ready to pay more! Historic districts have higher price tags and even higher prices when modern amenities like central air conditioning have been added; even at a good price, you’ll likely invest in upgrades and renovations and materials will be more expensive.

  3. Restrictions on Renovations. Historic homes have their own real estate laws and regulations designed to preserve local history, such as not changing the interior layout, preserving outdoor spaces, and only using certain materials on the house’s exterior. With the stipulations, you may find it more difficult to do maintenance and renovations.

  4. You Can’t Modernize Everything. Historic homes have lasted through numerous decades and owners, there will often be a clash of décor elements inside the house. Preservation laws that impact interior and exterior elements often don’t apply to décor.

Historic homes are not for everyone but bring a ton of satisfaction if you’re up for a challenge! An experienced, reliable home inspector with experience working with historical homes goes a long way and will be able to detect signs that you and I might miss.

Reach out anytime with questions or for a referral! It would be a privilege to serve as your Realtor.

To A Good Life!⁠ ⁠

Sam Chaim⁠ - Your Point Man in Real Estate⁠
Making A Difference For You⁠
Re/Max Realtron⁠
(416) 543-7252⁠⁠

Watch Video
Source: Buying a Historic Home: What You Should Know | Re/Max | January 10th, 2023

What Is A Balanced Market?

In recent years, home sellers have had the advantage but since the market conditions are expected to shift, questions may be arising about what a balanced market is. During the peak of the pandemic, cities across Canada experienced extremely high home prices, from single-family residential properties in highly populated areas to townhomes in rural communities.

Homebuyers had to overcome bidding wars which resulted in some buyers ditching best practices, including home inspections. The market swiftly changed to a seller’s market due to unprecedentedly low mortgage rates. The Bank of Canada (BoC) continues to raise interest rates and the housing market in Canada is moving towards a balanced market. So, what does this mean?

To A Good Life!⁠ ⁠

Sam Chaim⁠ - Your Point Man in Real Estate⁠
Making A Difference For You⁠
Re/Max Realtron⁠
(416) 543-7252⁠⁠

Watch Video
Source: What Is A Balanced Market? | Re/Max | January 14th, 2023


2022 Federal Budget Excerpts for Buyers & Homeowners

Great news is that there were no big surprises that will immediately impact our real estate markets in the April 7th budget. For now, let’s focus on Budget announcements that could touch us as Buyers, Sellers or Homeowners. There are some specific initiatives put forward that will help more Buyers get into the market which in turn will sustain future market resiliency for Sellers.

While the 2022 Federal Budget must still receive Parliamentary approval, here are key proposals within the Budget that touch on our housing markets:

1. Introduction of a Tax-Free First Home Savings Account (FHSA) - Designed to help First Time Home Buyers, Taxpayer Account Holders will be able to contribute up to $8,000 per year towards the purchase of a first home. An FHSA combines the features of both an RRSP and a TFSA.

• Like a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), contributions will be eligible for an income tax deduction and the money will grow tax free inside the account.

• Up to $40,000 can be contributed, and then be withdrawn to purchase a first home, without tax consequences.

Details are sure to be released soon as the FHSA plan is expected to launch in 2023.

As a thought – Wouldn't it be wonderful if the FHSA and RRSP Home Buyers' Plan (HBP) could be combined into a super-sized down payment for a First Time Home Buyer purchase? But it's likely not possible. So, it seems to be a future choice of the HBP or the FHSA. Advantage going to the FHSA, because repayment is not required, as would otherwise be if using the HBP.

2. Doubling of the First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit. This income tax credit applies to a qualifying “first home” purchased during the tax year. The updated credit increases from $5,000 to $10,000, which will put $1,500 back into a Buyer’s pocket. This increase is set to be available for the 2022 tax year.

3. Doubling the Home Accessibility Tax Credit. Individuals can receive 15% in tax relief on up to $20,000 in eligible renovations (up from $10,000) for a tax deduction of up to $3,000. Generally, eligible expenses are for updates that assist seniors, or those entitled to the Disability Tax Credit, to make their homes more accessible.

4. Introduction of a Multi-generational Home Renovation Tax Credit to help families create a multi-generational home. Starting in 2023, this refundable credit would allow families to claim 15% of up to $50,000, to a maximum of $7,500 for eligible renovation and construction costs incurred to construct a secondary suite.

5. Extension of the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive, which allows eligible first-time home buyers to lower their borrowing costs by sharing the cost of buying a home with the government. This Plan has been extended to March 31, 2025.

6. Support of Rent-to-Own Projects to help make it easier for renters to get on the path of home ownership while renting.

7. Modification of the Principal Residence Exemption (PRE) – New tax rules for “property flipping” aimed at individuals who sell their principal residence within 12 months of purchase. According to the budget, the measure would apply to residential properties sold on or after January 1, 2023.

Two things that were surprisingly left out of this budget were the rumoured reintroduction of 30-year amortization for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)-insured mortgages for first-time home buyers. And the reduction of the mortgage insurance fees charged by CMHC. However, if home prices and/or interest rates continue on the upward trajectory, these programs could easily be re-visited.

Questions? Want to know more about market activity in your  neighbourhood? I always invite your calls.

To A Good Life!

Sam Chaim - Your Point Man in Real Estate
Making A Difference For You!
Re/Max Realtron⁠

*Federal Budget information as above outlined is pending parliamentary approval. Details gathered at the time of release are presented for information only and may be altered or adjusted by the time the Budget is approved & then implemented.


The Canadian Government’s Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP)
The Canadian government’s Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP) lets you borrow money from your RRSP if:
1. you're a first-time homebuyer; or
2. you’ve lived separately and apart from your spouse or common-law partner for at least 90 days and started living separately and apart anytime in the preceding 4 years as a result of a relationship breakdown (conditions apply).
If you’re looking to buy, build or maintain your primary residence, you can use this money for your down payment, closing costs, or both.
You can withdraw up to $35,000 from your RRSP per calendar year. Spouses or partners may also each withdraw up to $35,000 per calendar year — $70,000 in total. The borrowed funds must be in your RRSP for at least 90 days before taken out. Withdraw the money no later than 30 days after the closing date.
You can borrow money from your RRSP tax-free if you pay it back to your RRSP starting no later than the second year after the withdrawal date. Pay back the full amount within 15 years, through regular payments. Every year, the government sends you a statement summarizing what you repaid and what's outstanding.
Want to discuss how this impacts your home buying decision? Contact me with your questions and to find the answers your looking for.

To A Good Life!

Sam Chaim⁠ - Your Point Man in Real Estate
Making A Difference For You!
Re/Max Realtron⁠