Monday, July 26, 2010

Home Alone? Not anymore!

Home alone – not anymore. Your adult child is back. Is It Time To Downsize?

Call ‘em Boomerang Kids or KIPPERS (Kids In Parents’ Pockets Eroding Retirement Savings) – but by any name, the number of adult children living with their parents is on the rise. And for Boomers, that can be a double whammy because many are being sandwiched between caring for their adult children and for their aging parents.

A recent survey of Boomers revealed that four-in-ten who care for both children and parents say they have been forced to reduce the amount they’re investing for retirement, one-quarter say they have adopted a less comfortable lifestyle, and one-quarter expressed concern that this financial assistance will jeopardize their retirement security.

There’s no doubt that having adult children at home creates financial challenges by increasing the cost of living, creating a drag on savings, and even causing a loss of freedom. Here are some practical ideas about how to reduce stress, hard feelings and avoid potential financial disaster:

Pay to stay: Treat your child as an adult and try to replicate ‘real world’ conditions by having them contribute to household expenses, chores, and even pay rent. If they aren’t employed, encourage them to actively seek work.

Invest in a secure future: As an alternative to paying rent, insist that your adult child establishes an investment plan to help pay a future down payment on their own home.

Tax relief: If your stay-at-home adult kid is also a student and has no tax to pay, you can relieve some of the pinch on your finances by taking advantage of unused federal tuition and education credits (combined). Up to $750 can be transferred from the student to a parent. (Provincial tax credits may also be available.)

Define ‘rent’: Is your child paying you fair market value rent or just enough to cover their share of home upkeep and the cost of groceries? If it’s the latter, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) says you don’t need to report that income on your tax return but you cannot deduct expenses. If you attempt to claim a rental loss, the CRA will put you to the test of proving the rental rate is at fair market value, and there is a reasonable expectation of profit.

With children taking longer to become self-sufficient and aging parents expected to live longer, Boomers could be in for a rough ride. The first step is talk openly with your children about money and responsibility. And a good second step is to discuss your situation with your professional advisor to make sure your financial plans stay on track.

Compliments of:
Betty Bartusevicius, Sales Representative  ASA
RE/MAX Realty Specialists Inc., Brokerage
905 828 3434
Fine Homes In 905
416 427 1875

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Mortgage Rates Update

By now we have all heard that the Bank of Canada has raised the interest rate another quarter point. It was in the paper early this morning. The prediction is that it will go up some more by the end of the year.

As I have been telling my buyers, this is an opportune time to purchase a home and still get a great interest rate. Do this before rates go up some more. There are plenty of homes on the market so there is choice. With many enjoying the holiday season and all the activities that come with the summer, it may be a good time to sit down and chat with me about a home purchase, or even the sale of your existing property.

The following article was provided to me by Kristian Harris of Monster Mortgage, an independent Mortgage Broker.

"The Bank of Canada Tuesday raised its benchmark lending rate for the second consecutive month while cutting its forecast for economic growth over the next two years because austerity measures in Europe and economic fits and starts in the United States will make for a slower global recovery and a “more gradual” Canadian rebound.

In the statement on its decision to lift the overnight rate by one-quarter of a percentage point to a still low 0.75 per cent, Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney and his rate-setting panel reiterated that future moves will largely depend on developments around the world and, in turn, how they may impact Canada’s export-heavy economy.

Canada’s economy will grow at a 3.5 per cent annualized pace this year instead of the 3.7 per cent rate that policy makers projected in April, and 2.9 per cent next year instead of 3.1 per cent, the central bank said. The following year, however, the domestic economy will grow at a 2.2 per cent pace instead of the 1.9 per cent predicted in April.

A flurry of belt-tightening measures in Europe have lowered the risk of an ``adverse outcome’’ to the continent’s debt crisis and raised prospects for ``sustainable long term growth,’’ but will slow the worldwide turnaround, the central bank said. Also, in the United States, Canada’s main export market, the bank said private demand is ``picking up but remains uneven.’’

The revisions -- which will be explained more in a new forecast that the central bank will release on Thursday -- are due to ``a slightly weaker profile’’ for global growth but also to ``more modest consumption’’ domestically as the housing market cools, government stimulus spending runs out and business investment remains tepid, the bank said.

``Given the considerable uncertainty surrounding the outlook, any further reduction of monetary stimulus would have to be weighed carefully against domestic and global economic developments,’’ the central bank said, using identical language from its statement on June 1, when it became the first in the Group of Seven to raise borrowing costs since the recession.

Investment by Canadian companies ``appears to be held back by global uncertainties’’ and hasn’t bounced back from a sharp drop during the recession even as many firms are hiring, the central bank said. Without being more specific, policy makers said that over their projection period they anticipate business investment and net exports will make a ``relatively larger’’ contribution to economic growth -- a hint that the domestic consumption that powered Canada’s economy out of the recession can’t be relied on as much to fuel the recovery going forward.

Inflation will stay near the central bank’s 2-per-cent target throughout the projection period, policy makers said, but the economy won’t return to full capacity until the end of 2011, or six months later than they had forecast in April."

Thank you, Kristian, for your insight and for the speed at which you provided this to me.

If you have any questions regarding your finances, contact Kristian. For all your Real Estate needs, call me, Betty, directly at 416 427 1875. Let me help you get into a new home or sell your existing house.

Betty Bartusevicius, Sales Representative
RE/MAX Realty Specialists Inc., Brokerage
905 828 3434
Fine Homes In 905
416 427 1875

Providing you with honesty and integrity, qualities you deserve from your Realtor.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Mississauga Homes For Sale, Lorne Park

Double-digit gains characterize average price appreciation in most Toronto neighbourhoods in 2010, says RE/MAX
Mississauga, ON (July 14, 2010) - Toronto's

I have been trying to tell my buyers that Lorne Park is the place to live. I chatted with an new owner about his new life in Lorne Park. he said that for few years now his children had been enrolled in a private school. Now that he lives in Lorne Park, he has taken his kids out of private school and has enrolled them in the Lorne Park School District. He is so happy with the education and sports that are offered in these schools, and he is extremely happy with the teachers. "Well worth the move" were his words.

Here is a report that was provided to us thanks to Michael Polzler:

Mississauga, ON (July 14, 2010) - Toronto's housing market roared back to life in the first half of 2010, with single-detached homes and condominium apartments and townhouses posting unprecedented double-digit gains in average price in most districts, according to a report released today by RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada. This is in stark contrast to the July 2009 RE/MAX report that found that values in approximately 80 per cent of neighbourhoods surveyed in Toronto had depreciated over the same period in 2008.

RE/MAX examined 63 Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) districts in the single-detached category between January and June of 2010 and found that 85.7 per cent experienced double-digit gains. Mississauga's Lorne Park (W13) led in terms of percentage increase in average price with a 30.2 per cent upswing in the first six months of the year, bringing year-to-date values in the area to $880,373 (vs. $676289 in 2009 and $830,041 in 2008). Markham (N01) ranked second with a 27.7 per cent jump to $779,168 (vs. $610,322 in 2009 and $683,050 in 2008) while Armour Heights, Bathurst Manor (C06) came in a close third at 27.5 per cent (rising to $732,535 from $574,599 in 2009 and $589,808 one year earlier). Mississauga's Creditview, Erindale area (W16) secured fourth spot with an average price of $561,973-up 26.5 per cent over 2009's $444,221 and 2008's $476,877. Rounding out the top five was York Mills, Hogg's Hollow, Bridle Path (C12) with a 26.2 per cent increase over last year and an average price of $1,868,591 (vs. $1,480,296 in 2009 and $1,580,851 in 2008).

"While first-time buyers dominated housing markets during the first half of 2009, move-up buyers ruled during January to June of 2010," says Michael Polzler, Executive Vice President, RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada. "Rising interest rates and the introduction of the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) in the province helped drive activity, with more than 50,000 sales reported year-to-date-a figure on par with record 2007 levels."

Now that the summer market has arrived, the rising interest rates have been dealt with, HST is here and complaining about it doesn't help, and summer holiday season has kind of taken it's toll on the market. I am finding that homes are not coming on the market as was previously expected. I'm still hoping for more. It is still a relatively stable market.
For more information, give me a call directly at 416 427 1875. Visit my web site and find information that should be useful to you as either a buyer or a seller.

Can I help? Call me. No pressure tactics. Your decision is the decision that I will respect.

Betty Bartusevicius, Sales Representative
Re/Max Realty Specialists Inc., Brokerage
905 828 3434
416 427 1875

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Moving Made Simple

This is the time of year when movers are extremely busy as we begin our moves into our new homes. It is a popular time of year to move because we want to be settled in before a school season starts, we want to still be able to meet our new neighbours because this is the time of year that we spend as much time outside as we can... there are other reasons and each person has his/her reason.

Choose Your Move:

- do-it-yourself
- full service
- use a pod for storage or moving

The first two actually are self-explanatory. The pod is relatively new. A large container is dropped on your driveway and you pack it. Once you're ready, the mover will load it onto a truck and drop it off at your new destination and you unload. Some movers will also store this pod in a dry and safe place until you take possession of your new home.

Hire A Quality Mover:

If you are hiring movers, get at least 3 quotes and do your homework. Seek recommendations (don't forget your Facebook circle). Investigate the company at

It may be worth to spend a little more for a qualified mover. What you should look for in a mover is a personal visit to your home and provide you with a written estimate.


Taking less stuff is cheaper and less hassle. Keep a room (or garage) to sort your belongings into piles of throw out/recycle/donate. Have a garage sale (this may provide you with a little bit of money for pizza on the day of the move) This is a perfect time to declutter and get rid of belongings that have been boxed in the basement that you have forgotten that you have.

Be Flexible:

Moving rates depend on when you move. The busiest time for movers, and thus the most expensive, is sumemr weekends near the 15th and 30th of the month.

Save On Boxes:

Buying new boxes from the mover could be costly. The less expensive way is to find someone who has just moved. Consider pricing them at a do-it-yourself moving store such as U-Haul. Talk to your realtor. He/she may know someone who has just moved.

Save On Packing Material:

If you're packing your belongings yourself, fill suitcases, laundry baskets and plastic containers with ungreakable items. Use linens to wrap fragile belongings.

Insure It:

Check your homeowner's insurance policy to determine whether it provides coverage for your belongings while in transit. If not, you may want more than the basic free valuation coverage a full-service mover provides. You'll want full replacement-value insurance. BUT, you may not want to purchase that from your moving company. Moving insurance MAY be cheaper from a third party, but be aware that you probably cannot get insurance on boxes that you pack yourself.

Be Prepared:

Plot out where furniture and boxes will go before moving day arrives. The less time movers spend rearranging, the less expensive it will be. Label your boxes so you know into which room the box will be placed.

With the above suggestions, I hope that this might be helpful in making your move a little less stressful. The few suggestions may also have you a little more prepared. Moving is always stressful, be it moving a family or just yourself.

Betty Bartusevicius, Sales Representative

RE/MAX Realty Specialists Inc., Brokerage

905 828 3434

Fine Homes in 905

416 427 1875

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Market Watch for June 2010

Happy July to all.

As we are all 'melting' from this short heat-wave that we are experiencing, we get bombarded with sad real estate market news. While you are reading about the sky falling in, once again, and the prices of homes dropping, once again, I hope you are enjoying the sunshine with a cool drink. We all know that by the lake provides the best and least expensive relief from the heat with the cool breezes that come from the water. Take a walk in a park. Set yourself under a tree and just smile as you read the gloomy news.

Those that are in "the know", seem to forget that this year our interest rates went up a little bit, HST has confused many as to who's going to pay the tax on what, and we are now in a summer market. The last couple of weeks I have been competing with FIFA, heat, G20, Parades, and summer heat as I hosted open houses. Were they slow? Yes, but I did have visitors. Are there buyers out looking for a new home? Yes. Are there sellers still thinking that the market is the same as it was 3 years ago? Yes, and it is taking longer to sell a home these days.

It is still extremely important for you to list your property realistically if you want to sell it in a decent amount of time. You must get an agent that can market your property and bring the most eyes to it and to showcase it, not just on MLS.

Here is the latest Market Watch for you to read over. As I predicted, it is now, yet again, a buyers market and a little more balanced market. If you would like to discuss your
specific neighbourhood, call me directly at 416 427 1875.

I don't go away for the summer. I do like to get out with my better half to play a round of golf. Would you like to join me? Again, give me a call and let's talk. Take a look at my web site: to read some of the new articles that I have posted. If you're on FaceBook or if you Twitter, find me and let's become friends.

Now, go out and enjoy the day. If you're going on a holiday, have some fun. Relax. This is summer. Listen to some songs that will make you smile.

As always, I look forward to your questions and to meeting up with you. Your opinions are of great importance to me. I like to keep the lines of communication open to all. If you see my signs for an open house, come on in and say hello.

Betty Bartusevicius, Sales Representative
RE/MAX Realty Specialists Inc., Brokerage
905 828 3434
416 427 1875

PSST: If you know of family, friends or colleagues that need my assistance, feel free to pass along my contact information. I am never too busy for your referrals.

not intended to solicit buyers or sellers under written contract with another Realtor or Brokerage

Monday, July 5, 2010

Declutter and Disconnect Emotionally

Selling your home can be difficult emotionally. It is difficult to part with your property when you read all the bad news about home ownership. There are a few ways to ease the stress and make the process of selling your home a little more acceptible.

First of all, take all emotions out of the process. Difficult to do. That is why you hire a professional realtor to do this for you. If you cannot disconnect, problems will arise. First of all, if you feel that your home is worth more than it truly is (and all of us know our house is worth more), you and your realtor will have many 'discussions' as to what your 'house' is worth. The seller will also become a little more sensitive to the criticism of their property.

Secondly, make the house anonymous. In other words, remove all personal effects. We want buyers to come in and see themselves living in this home. We want buyers to look at the home not at the pictures, etc.m,of the families that live there.

When you declutter, don't just dump them in a closet or a box in the attic or basement. The garage is a good place, but make sure you can see that a car, or two, can get in without much trouble. Rent a storage space. Rent the "PODS" that are available now. Take your stuff to a family member's house if possible. This last place is the least expensive.

Now, when the offer comes in, consider it. Don't get insulted. It's always a starting point. In this market, it is difficult to judge what to offer. Sometimes homes are listed well above "Market Value" of the home, so start somewhere. This is where it is very important to be disconnected emotionally.

Let your realtor do his/her job. We can advise you where to proceed. In today's economic times, consider all offers. If both sides are at a stand-still, and both have yielded as much as possible, then maybe this deal was not meant to be. It might be the time to sleep on it and continue with the next one that comes in.