Real Estate Trends: Technology and Advertising

If you are doing business since the 1980s or were born before that time, perhaps, you know the importance of newspaper advertising during that time. Most marketers are using that medium to spread their message. Highly paid advertising gurus and marketing managers are working their relationships with newspaper and magazine editors so they could have good placements in the publications. So, what was the intent? That is to reach as many consumers or possible clients as possible in any marketing tactic – primarily for conventional products.

Real estate trends, however, continue to change. If before, real estate professionals are marketing using television and radio advertising, more mediums have come up as years passed by. Even if television, newspaper, magazine and radio advertising are effective, they can be so costly. They cast broad net and conventionally appealed to certain market sectors.

Real estate drew upon the efficiency of color photos in newspaper ads to attract wary consumers. Purchasers would walk down the streets staring in windows or look at signboards and then call some real estate agents to speak about a property. It was tedious work. With the introduction of newest and improved technology, current real estate trends are all about providing purchasers the ease of accessing information.

In the world of new real estate marketing, purchasers are educated about the use of mobile connectivity, 3G telecommunications, Internet presence, satellites, microchips and electronic media. According to some surveys focused on real estate trends, around 78 percent of purchasers in the United States are using the World Wide Web for information in their purchasing process. Based on my experience, I would suggest that this is a conservative number.

With the Internet, buyers can look for different real estate properties or any property for sale in any location. Buyers can easily search for properties based on the number of bedrooms they want. If you are looking for real estate information, you can now easily obtain what you need by simply exploring the Web. You can even see nearby shopping centers, sports fields, schools and even the area demographics.

Current real estate trends prove that purchasers have evolved that these days, it is the immunity where an office of an agent is the first call port for a home purchaser. The Internet has given real estate marketers easy ways to promote their business without actually investing much on advertising. Since most people are using the Internet, most in the real estate sector are also taking advantage of it. The key there is they have to be where people are. Their goal is to reach people to increase sales.

Some people are telling themselves why they would go to a real estate company or agent when they can get information online? Current real estate trends are all about the use of modern technology to reach potential clients and to find the right property without actually having to go out. Latest trends in the real estate sector are all about looking and browsing different ads on flat screen monitors and no longer on classified ads or listed properties. Some are even streaming the Internet! With videos that you can easily access on the Web, it could not be so difficult for you to browse and find your dream home.

The Ontario Home Ownership Savings Program

There are some government programs in place such as the Ontario Home Ownership Savings Program (OHOSP). If you or your spouse have never owned a home, before this Government of Ontario program will help you save for your first home, whether it is new or resale, provided the price does not exceed $ 200,000. This is achieved by receiving a tax credit of up to $500 annually, depending on your income and the amount that you invest into the OHOSP. Each individual can invest as much as they want into the plan however you will only receive a tax credit on up to $2,000 annually, of $4,000 per couple into the plan. For further information, see your local bank for a brochure.

Typically, this program is only open to Ontario residents, that are over 18 years of age, and are earning less than $40,000 per year, or if you and your spouse have a combined income of less than $80,000 per year. You must have a social insurance number and you or your spouse have ever owned an eligible home anywhere, whether it was occupied or not and neither of you have previously help an OHOSP.

You can be considered a spouse is you have been living in a common-law relationship for at least the past 12 months, or you are living together and are the parents of the same child. If you or your spouse have previously owned a home, you can not participate in this program.

The plan must be closed and the funds used to purchase a home by the end of the seventh year, otherwise you will have to repay your OHOSP tax credit with interest. You must contribute by December 31 of the current year in order to receive the tax credit in the year of contribution. If you close your plan without purchasing a home, you are not eligible for an OHOSP tax credit for that year. You will receive 75% of the funds in your plan from your financial institution. The balance of 25% is forward to the Ministry of Finance for a tax recovery credit. Any balance owing (with interest) will be returned to you.

Eligible homes include detached or semi-detached homes, townhouses, mobile homes with permanent foundations, condominiums, shares in co-operative housing units or duplex, or triplex.

The Land Transfer Tax refund was originally a part of the plan but it has been discontinued, however if your plan was opened prior to January 1, 1994 you may still be entitled to this refund.

Anti Money Laundering Act

The Anti Money Laundering Act has gone through extensive changes since it was established. Nowadays, the law has taken into account recent technological advancements, allowing it to become stricter and more thorough in dealing with the phenomena. Currently, the Anti Money Laundering Act covers two aspects – prevention and punishment for wrongdoers. Prior to discussing that however, it is important to first find out exactly what money laundering means.

Money Laundering

Most people define money laundering as the passage of cash from one hand to another. However, this isn’t the case at all. Laundering money refers to a financial transaction that is deliberately kept secret. For example, if Person A receives money coming from Business X but made it look like it came from Business Y, then this is defined as money laundering. There are currently numerous techniques being used by individuals – mostly criminals – to disguise the transfer of funds.

Anti Money Laundering Act – Prevention

The prevention of money laundering focuses mainly on different financial institutions such as banks and lenders. The first step towards this goal was the enforcement of the BSA or Bank Security Act wherein any transactions exceeding $10,000 would be noted down through the Currency Transaction Report.

The BSA requires that banks be extra careful with their clients. This is why there is such an extensive process to opening up a bank account. The law requires that the bank – and other financial institutions – would verify the identity of their account holder as well as have an inkling of where the money is coming from. Extra diligence is often put on accounts owned by politicians or those that are stamped private.

This is because private accounts typically have higher risks of being used for money laundering. What’s great here is that banks across countries coordinate with each other to make sure that funds aren’t being laundered offshore. This makes it even harder for individuals to hide their transactions from the authorities.
A Suspicious Activity Report is often filed should there be a cause for action. Typically though, software is used to go through thousands of transactions and should there be a cause for alert, a manual assessment follows.

Anti Money Laundering Act – Punishment

There is no cash threshold if a person is caught laundering. It doesn’t matter if the cost is $1,000 or $10,000, as long as the individual was found secretly transferring funds from one source to another. Of course, the level of punishment varies depending on the situation. Large amounts or those dealing with country funds may warrant not only fines but also imprisonment.

However, smaller amounts would mean paying off penalties levied by the court. Note that the Anti Money Laundering Act has been amended to include not just businesses but practically any person intentionally hiding the transfer of funds.

History has been full of notable cases involving money laundering, the most recent involving the Bank of New York. The total amount was believed to be around $7 billion coming from the Russian capital flight.

Some Insights into the Top 10 Reasons for Divorce

No doubt about it, a good marriage can have an uplifting effect on both partners. Love is certainly the key ingredient for true happiness to flourish. The glow exhibited by newlyweds cannot be bought in a bottle. The bride is cheerful, happy and full of expectations, while the groom smiles easily convinced it is the right choice. I have been to many weddings and I always do wish the couples the best of luck considering the top 10 reasons for divorce in America today.

The top reasons people fall in love can usually be traced to the reasons they divorce. Nowadays, people expect love from a well crafted profile online in one of the many dating sites. The bar scene is even more atrocious as alcohol numbs the senses and creates temporary pheromones that would eventually wear off. I have heard all the divorce stories and the simply growing apart syndrome. I would also take a closer look at the incompatibility communication issues and I dear to say that in most cases, the growing apart was apparent before the lavish ceremony.

From my experience, some of the reasons people divorce are usually masked in rage, jealousy, sexual incompetence, childhood upbringing symptoms and sometimes financial problems. Couples are like politicians, they avoid telling each other the real truth by sugar coating the major disagreements until they become unsolvable, leading to the increase in divorce statistics in America. Let us look at some of the top 10 reasons for Divorce in America today:

Causes of Divorce: Couples Communication

Communication is a two way street and the lack of it in a marriage can be the foundation for breakup. Couples sometimes forget to be clear in what they want or expect from their partner. Simply assuming your wife or husband would know what you mean, is just not good enough anymore.

It is alarming when i hear the personal relationship details people discuss with friends or co-workers on the train, bus, restaurants etc. We all have an enate desire to feel good by framing the issues in a way more favorable to us. Remember communication problems in a marriage can only be resolved by active listening and looking at issues from both sides of the coin. Lack of proper communication in any relationship will lead to our next reasons for Divorce issue.

Causes of Divorce: Infidelity

After communication breakdown, infidelity is usually the next phase in a relationship in a downward spiral. Unfortunately, people have a need to be listened to and agreed with. The guy would break the vow of marriage when he meets another that would just accept him as he his and provide good sexual release.

A woman on the other hand, would first fool around emotionally before the actual physical act. Cheating in a marriage is more widespread in this age of instant gratification and damn the consequences generation. Infidelity will eventually lead to marriage dissolution because once you break the bond of marriage, it is hard to pretend it never happened.

Causes of Divorce: Substance Abuse

Substance abuse including alcohol abuse is one of the main reasons marriages fall apart. When one or both partners are hooked on drugs, the substance becomes the glue holding the marriage together. I have seen marriages fall apart when one partner decides to quit getting high. Once you taken away the glue, you’ll find that the marriage was built on false hope and divorce usually comes afterwards.

Causes of Divorce: Physical Abuse

Why would anyone stand for physical abuse in a marriage? Just check your local police precinct and the domestic abuse complaints numbers would shock you. I do believe physical abuse is passed on down from parents and once it starts, it never ends until the marriage union is dissolved freeing the offending partner to go searching for new victims.

Causes of Divorce: Financial problems

Yes, money makes all marriages possible. It buys comfort and peace of mind and without enough money some couples would just breakup. Why do you think more divorces are filled during economic meltdowns like we’ve been experiencing in the last few years. It is sad to say, but people do marry for the money and once it is gone the marriage falls apart under other false pretences.

Causes of Divorce: Household Tasks

This is a major issue in some marriages. I believe people stick to tradition when it comes to household chores. Mommy did all the chores; expect the son to look for same responsibility in a wife. Daddy was always helping mommy cook and clean; expect the daughter to look for same help in a husband. Couples usually leave this issue alone until after marriage and by then it might be too late as they’re both entrenched in parental upbringing positions.

Causes of Divorce: Having or Rearing Children

Failing to agree upfront about having kids, can lead to major arguments and sometimes the reason used for divorce. I have seen some couples say let nature take it’s course and then later realize the other partner is adamant about having or not wanting children. Best to iron this thorny issue out before the big wedding or your marriage might not last.

Causes of Divorce: Nosey Parents or in-Laws

Some parents or in-laws sometimes over step what should otherwise be clear boundaries. I have seen couples fight over this issue. The concern of parents or in-laws is understandable, but rules should be created on how to deal with the prying ones. Know your partners parents and see if you both would need some arrangement as to what their involvement in both your marriage should be.

Causes of Divorce: Sexual Incompatibility

This is a real problem in most failing marriages. One partner likes exploring new sexual positions, while the other prefer the stationary bike tried and true position. Unless both partners are looking to explore sexually, the union might be doomed from the beginning.

Causes of Divorce: Religious Beliefs

Do not discount the power of the adage; like attracts like, when it comes to religious issues. If you strongly believe in God and you marry someone with an extensional view, the problems would soon become very apparent in your relationship. I knew this couple that lived close by to me and the wife decided out of the blue, to join the Wicca church. The husband was devastated and I watched as the marriage dissolved into constant squabbles and eventually the main reason for the breakup.


I am sure some of you would know other reasons and please do put them down in the comments section. I just wanted to point out crucial points to all those in love and seeking marriage. Assume your partner would not change as you make your decision to hitch your wagon to theirs. Look closely at his or her parents and assume that would be your life in a few years.

I looked at ten divorced couples and some important facts cannot be ignored as the ten divorced couples all came from divorced homes. Marriage is a wonderful and most beautiful thing, if you can find a true partner that completes you. But do not ignore the top 10 reasons for Divorce before you finally say I DO!

50 Wellesley Residence

Plaza would like to introduce a new development that will be located at Yonge and Wellesley. Quandrangle Architects a popular design firm with a deep and successful profile will be designing the 50 Wellesley Residence. 50 Wellesley Residence will house just over 300 unites and the building will be 28 storeys with a starting price of $279,900 to just over the $500,000 mark for the larger suites.  The expected move in date will mid 2016. Please visit to register with the in house VIP Agent and receive potential savings with pre-construction pricing.  Which will be available for a limited time only

Nestled in a up and coming community 50 Wellesly Residence will be an investors dream, walking distance to Queen’s Park in the summer will be a huge benefit.  Being in such prime location you will almost have everything at your doorstep, just minutes away from the TTC and a huge selection of restaurants, bars, and a hip nightlife.

50 Wellesley Residence Project Summary

Development Title: 50 Wellesley Residence
Main Developer: Plaza
Building Designation: Condo/Residence
Ownership: Condominium/Residence
Location: 50 Wellesley St E
City Location: Toronto
Province: Ontario
Postal Code: M4Y 1H1
Construction Phase: Preconstruction/Registering
Number of unites: 223 units
Storeys 27 storeys
Architect Firm: Quadrangle Architects Ltd.

Some of the initial renderings of 50 Wellesley Residence

50 Wellesley Residence register now at

50 Wellesley Residence register now at


Commercial Real Estate Business Loans: What You Should Know

Commercial real estate business loans usually refer to loans that are issued by banks for the purpose of real estate development and running enterprises. Business loan assistance is much needed by many business owners in order to run their enterprises smoothly.

Such help is available on all kinds of commercial properties including office buildings, apartment and motels, shopping centers, health care facilities, automobile dealerships, owner occupied buildings and manufacturing facilities to name a few.

You can also use a commercial real estate business loan to refinance your existing debt. There are two primary types of loans and these include long term and short term loans. Long term loans are usually used to address larger amounts and usually last for the entire life of the real estate property. Short term loans are often comprised of bridge loans that can be used to keep a business running until a longer term loans is accessible. Commercial real estate loans are crucial for the expansion and growth of companies.

Generally, business loans can be availed in many ways. You can go to a bank, financial institution, the government, credit union and even on the Internet for your loan assistance needs. All you have to do is to carefully research on where you will have good chance of getting your business loan assistance approved fast and easily.

Gather all necessary documents (i.e. business tax claims and financial sheets). What you will be required to submit will depend on the company or financial institution that will be providing your business loan.

Commercial real estate business loan assistance is always available and all that you can do as an owner or investor is to choose right where you will apply for the loan and how you will use the money to make your commercial real estate business grow.

The Cumberland Condo

The Cumberland Condo is now registering for sale at Yorkville Plaza

The Cumberland Condo being developed by Camrost- Felcorp and is now in the pre-construction phase. Cumberland Condo will be located 21 Avenue Road in the upscale community of Yorkville, Toronto. If you are interested in purchasing a unit please visit and have a VIP Agent assist you right away.

The Cumberland Condo will feature 32 storeys, with 511 total condo units for sale, ranging from comfortable one bedroom suites to spacious two bedrooms plus den penthouses.  Units will start at the $350’s for the one bedroom units.  The units will be selling extremely fast due to the high demand of condo’s in the most prestigious area in Toronto.

Camrost Felcorp’s will be converting the old Four Seasons Hotel building into a new and exciting condo in Yorkville dubbed The Cumberland. The Cumberland will have an excellent array of amenities: party room lounge with audio/video equipment, twenty four hour concierge, fitness facilities on the third floor, management office, formal dining room/boardroom with bar and kitchenette, and on-site superintendent’s suite.

With a prime location The Cumberland Condo will be located in the center of Yorkville, you will have access to the finest dining, shopping, entertainment and culture.

The Cumberland Condo Project Summary

Development Name: The Cumberland Condo at Yorkville Plaza
Developer Name(S): Camrost- Felcorp
Type of Project: High Rise Condo
Location: 21 Avenue Road, Toronto, Ontario
Number of Storeys: 32
Number of Suites : 511
Starting Price: From $350’s
Completion Date : Fall 2014

Here are a couple of renderings for The Cumber Condo

The Cumberland Condo

The Cumberland Condo

The Entrance to the lobby

 Please Visit for more information

Please Visit for more information


The HUD-1 Settlement Statement

The “HUD” in the HUD-1 Settlement statement stands for the Housing and Urban Development 1 Settlement statement. It is the physical representation of the government of the United States that is responsible for laws that relate to owning properties such as real estate as well as developing such areas.

The HUD-1 is a form utilized by the government of the United States of America. This form is used for the purpose of itemizing the particulars of numerous items and services together with the appropriate fees that relates to transactions between a third party client and a lender or broker. These are usually called for in instances where in a loan is being applied for or when refinancing for real estate is being done.

As the name implies, it is a settlement or closing statement that provides the summation of all items and services that have been rendered relating to the funds that have been lent or used.

Basically, the third party client (owner) has the right to see the itemization printed on the HUD-1 Settlement statement even on the first day of the agreed settlement. The contents of the form are accomplished by a duly noted settlement agent or officer who will also conduct the actual settlement. The document prepared by the settlement officer must include a comprehensive breakdown of all expenses relating to the real estate or property of interest. This is done in order that all parties may be able to see the transactions relating to the property.

Last 2010, the original HUD-1 Settlement statement was revised in order to include the good faith estimate. The latter is a document that contains an estimation of the actual fees that the third party would agree to pay for during the repayment of the loan provided by the lender or broker. Note that the good faith estimate is provided by the lender upon the application of the loan and the amount stated within the document cannot be altered, and that the actual final cost should not differ by more than 10%.

The reason for the inclusion of the good faith estimate within the HUD-1 Settlement statement is so that the third party client may be able to compare the two documents. In such cases where in there may be variations within the expenses within the HUD form, the client can ask their respective lender or broker regarding the discrepancies and make appropriate corrections or adjustments.

Another related term is the RESPA that stands for Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. This particular by-law represents a set of rules that relate to home ownership transactions that help to enforce the payment of charges and fees incurred by a third party.

Stated within the RESPA, the HUD form must be, at all times, used by lenders and brokers when providing loans to third party clients when relating to acquisition of real estate that include loans and refinancing. This particular document should also be provided to the client at least one day before the settlement date.

What You Should Know About Loan Origination Fee

If you are wondering what a loan origination fee is all about, read further as I will be discussing things that you need to know about it. Lenders usually charge loan origination fees to cover administrative costs when processing a loan. It is no different with what is called a loan fee, service fee or even an administrative fee.

Extra points could be charged as fees for other causes like documentation fees, closing fees, etc. Although these are sometimes considered by many as “points,” where every point is a percentage of the amount of loan, loan origination fees are not discount points since they not particularly lower the rate of interest. Generally, a loan origination fee is put on to each borrower regardless of the rate of interest. On the other hand, discount points are a discretionary charge, which borrowers can choose to pay if they wish a lower rate of interest.

Mortgage brokers and lenders often base loan fees on tangible costs as well as on what the market has to bear. In several cases, mortgage brokers must set fees to compensate the actual cost as well as expenditures incurred in the loan origination. If not, these mortgage brokers can be fined or penalized for up-charging borrowers. For some loan types, a loan origination fee can not be higher than a point. For a conventional loan, a loan origination fee is a little different but usually in range of one to four points.

Another thing that most lenders are considering when deterring point number charged on a particular loan is the loan sale on secondary markets. Since most lenders are trying to make conforming loans, which can be sold later on, they also take into account that once a loan is sold, it should be sold at a concession to recompense the secondary market purchaser for the time money value. Lenders will try to make up at least some of the loss by charging points to the borrower. A loan origination fee may be waived in a competitive environment though.

A buy down can make it easy for borrowers to qualify for loans when discount points are paid off to pay down the rate of interest. Buyers or sellers, which can sometimes be developers or builders, can pay a buy down. Normally, a purchaser would pay the buy down by raising the down payment. There are two benefits that can be seen in a buy down plan and these are: (1) the purchaser’s monthly payment is lesser than normal; (2) the purchaser may be evaluated by the lender for loan eligibility according to the reduced payment following the buy down

Since purchasers do not often have extra funds up front, it is an option to finance points. Take note, however, that it at times does not seem sensible for a purchaser to finance the points for buy down purpose since that will defeat the intention of obtaining lower payments.

You have to be aware that even with lower rate of interest from the buy down, such payment will increase due to the increased money value financed. If you are a borrower, you should discuss all options available with a professional financial advisor and a licensed mortgage broker before you decide to pay points on certain loan transaction.

The Three C’s To Selling Your Home

First, in order to have buyers perceive your home as having “curb appeal”, you need to look at your property objectively and creatively (as a buyer would) before you begin this project. Your ultimate goal is to improve the appearance and appeal of your property, have those buyers saying “WOW”

Walk to the front of your house with a pen and paper, position yourself where buyers would first see your home. Ask yourself, what looks good? What looks bad? Make sure your checklist includes the following: Yard-Debris, Litter, Hoses, Garbage cans, Fences tidy. Lawn-Mow, rake, edge, weed & feed. Planting area- Mulch, Water, Weed/Trim, Flowers/Pots. Trees/Shrubs- Prune, Water. Entry Area/Walks- Unclutter, Sweep/Wash, Touch-up paint, Lights work, Doorbell works. Driveway- Clear of excess vehicles/objects, Room to park, Gravel/Concrete, fill holes, Garage doors, tidy appearance. After you’ve made this checklist, go down and mark the items that need attention. Beside each item write down words that indicate what you might do to make this area more appealing. Use this checklist as an organizational tool and a way to check your progress.

Remember, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a nice yard! A yard that is neat, cheery and well-maintained is something that will appeal to a buyer. And believe me, buyers will notice! Also, the strategic use of color (small annual plantings, hanging baskets, etc) and form (careful pruning, accent items like decorative borders, trellises and shutters, etc.) can transform even a modest yard into a substantial asset.

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