Britishguyhomes, Kingston Ontario Real Estate, Information and Topics

Created By Ken Calcutt, AKA "The British Guy"

Friday, July 11, 2014

Do’s and Don’ts for Moving into a Rental

The following is a guest post from marketing specialist 

David Shapiro

Do’s and Don’ts for Moving into a Rental

It’s no secret that moving to a new home can be a challenge. There’s so much to consider – from finding the right place to packing, hiring a moving company, and so much more. Even though many might think renting is “easier” than buying, it comes with its own special considerations. Here is a list of a few do’s and don’ts when looking for and moving into a rental – whether it be an apartment, condo, or house.

·         DO check whether pets are allowed before signing a lease. A lot of places charge a pet security deposit and an extra monthly fee, so be aware of those things beforehand. After all, pets are family and you have to take them with you!

·         DO ask for a walk-through inspection before you move in. This is your opportunity to note any damage you see so you can’t be blamed and charged for it upon leaving.

·         DO check your credit before beginning to look for rental properties. This way you know how good you’ll appear on paper – and be able to sort out any wrong information before potential landlords see it.

·         DO drive by the property and check the safety ratings of the area with local police before making an appointment to view.

·         DON’T paint or wallpaper unless you’re willing – and able – to put things back the way you found them. Otherwise, be prepared to forfeit your security deposit. Anytime you want to make improvements or changes to the property, get written permission from the landlord ahead of time.

·         DON’T sign a lease for longer than you know you’ll be in town. Of course, things can always happen – you could unexpectedly get a job out of state, for example – so be aware of what the landlord’s lease-breaking policies are, just in case. There’s often a fee for breaking your lease early. Some landlords will allow you to sublet your property, and some won’t. Find out ahead of time so you aren’t surprised.

·         DON’T rent an apartment or house online unless you use extreme caution. Even then, it’s risky. There are a lot of scammers out there looking to take advantage of those who want a great price, so be sure any rental agreements you sign are legitimate.


David Shapiro is a marketing specialist for moving companies such as Allied Van Lines. He enjoys traveling, hiking, and playing baseball.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

No Mortgage Rate Change

Coutesy off Canada Realty News 

As expected, the Bank of Canada announced yesterday that it is not changing the benchmark rate. The announcement noted that with “inflation expected to be well below target for some time, the downside risks to inflation remain important.”
This is great news if you’ve got a variable-rate mortgage; the prime rate stays at 3% and it’s unlikely we’ll see any increases in the near future.
The next rate-setting day is April 16. Eight times a year, the Bank of Canada sets the rate that governs each lender’s prime rate. Variable-rate mortgages and lines of credit move in conjunction with the prime lending rate. Fixed rates on the other hand are based on the bond market.
Statistics wise, the Canadian real estate resale market remains stable in February.
Ontario - Resale market remains stable in February

Toronto, March 5, 2014 -- Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) President Dianne Usher announced that February 2014 home sales reported by Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® were up by 2.1% compared to the same period last year. Total February sales amounted to 5,731 compared to 5,613 last year.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

How to Make Money Investing in Real Estate
Small PicGiven the volatilities and uncertainties of the equities market, many Canadians wonder if they can fit real estate into their overall strategy.
Many financial advertisers recommend having a portion of your portfolio in housing as hard assets. A good piece of real estate is like a blue chip stock. It won’t make you rich overnight, but it will perform well in the long run.
Experts say the secret to successful real estate investing in Canada is research. Get good advice and look for clues in sources such as the new Canadian census data. The pay-off is two-fold: ongoing cash flow and capital appreciation.
Here are a few tips you need to consider when searching for investment property in Canada.
1. Don’t be tempted to over stretch yourself, financially speaking. Think carefully about whether any potential perceived benefits from investing in property in general outweigh the risks associated with buying an expensive, slow to liquidate investment asset. And only if you are sure they do should you begin to research the Canadian property market for a profitable entry point.
2. Determine whether you are looking to work your investment quickly and turn it into a capital gain by buying low and selling high or whether you’re interested in realizing a regular income from the rental of a property for the long term. Your investment approach should guide your buying decisions. Simply identify what you really want from the property. Do you want to make a quick $30,000 in a very short period of time or would you be happy with earning $800 to $1,000 a month for the rest of your life?
3. Determine a geographic location to invest in Canadian property based on what you want to buy. Use a nationally-based Realtor in Canada with experience in your specific area. Ignore national statistics, and focus on the numbers and trends that directly affect your market. Check if population growth, average income and job creation are faster than the provincial average. Never base your long term investment decisions on something as risky as the fact that a town is currently popular because a new company has recently opened there or a significant change has come about to positively affect the economy of the location.
4. Is the area's affordability index in the hot zone? You don't want the property to be too expensive or too cheap because if it is too cheap, renters will become buyers and if it is too expensive, the property values may stall.
5. Is the location forward looking? Is it up and coming or is it dying? Is money being invested into things such as transport links, communication, and general infrastructure or is the population dwindling? Look carefully at the location and see if you think it has long term and sustainable appeal.
6. Make the trip. Travel across Canada is easy. It is a good idea to look at what you are buying.
7. Obtain professional advice both at home and in Canada. Engage the services of a tax lawyer on both sides of the border as well as an accountant. For instance, as a non-resident you must pay tax on rental income and pay tax when the property is sold.
8. Start small. For a first-time investor, try a townhouse. These are not only affordable, but there's always a good supply and demand for them and they can give you an affordable income. This holds true in bigger cities such as Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and Calgary, where immigrant populations are high. Remember, new immigrants prefer to rent for their first few years in the country and they tend to choose locations close to transportation systems, malls and grocery stores.
9. Finally, ensure you investigate specific real estate property rules in the individual Canadian province where you invest. Rules are different from province to province in the areas of land registry, taxes, reporting and other important areas.
If you use a common sense approach to researching your real estate investment options in Canada, you will be far more successful in your hunt for a profitable investment property. Don't forget to research, research, and research to let the money flow in. Good luck!

Courtesy of

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Canuck snowbirds may still win longer U.S. stays

Canuck snowbirds may still win longer U.S. stays

Written by  Vernon Clement Jones

“Will the snowbird visa come around? I think so," Roy Berg, director for U.S. tax law at Moodys Gartner, told the Globe and Mail this week. "Why? Because they keep proposing it.
“It will be resurrected next year just like it was last year."
The latest incarnation was a bi-partisan effort to change the VISIT-USA Act by providing renewable three-year visas to foreign nationals investing $500,000 or more in residential real estate. But it ultimately failed to make it through Congress last year.
It would have allowed eligible Canadian Snowbirds to extend their annual migration south to 240 days  from the current 183 days.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

What You Should Know About The Cap Rate

Property Metrics



The capitalization rate is a fundamental concept in the commercial real estate industry. Yet, it is often misunderstood and sometimes incorrectly used. This post will take a deep dive into the concept of the cap rate, and also clear up some common misconceptions.
Cap Rate Definition

What is a cap rate? The capitalization rate, often just called the cap rate, is the ratio of Net Operating Income (NOI) to property asset value. So, for example, if a property was listed for $1,000,000 and generated an NOI of $100,000, then the cap rate would be $100,000/$1,000,000, or 10%.

Cap Rate Example

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

MUST LEARN lesson in Life Skills.

5 Minute Management Course

Lesson 1:

A man is getting into the shower just as his wife is finishing up her shower, when the doorbell rings.
The wife quickly wraps herself in a towel and runs downstairs.
When she opens the door, there stands Bob, the next-door neighbor.
Before she says a word, Bob says, 'I'll give you $800 to drop that towel.'
After thinking for a moment, the woman drops her towel and stands naked in front of Bob, after a few seconds, Bob hands her $800 and leaves.

The woman wraps back up in the towel and goes back upstairs.
When she gets to the bathroom, her husband asks, 'Who was that?'
'It was Bob the next door neighbour,' she replies.
'Great,' the husband says, 'did he say anything about the $800 he owes me?'

Moral of the story:

If you share critical information pertaining to credit and risk with your shareholders in time, you may be in a position to prevent avoidable exposure.

Lesson 2:

A priest offered a Nun a lift.

She got in and crossed her legs, forcing her gown to reveal a leg.

The priest nearly had an accident.

After controlling the car, he stealthily slid his hand up her leg.

The nun said, 'Father, remember Psalm 129?'

The priest removed his hand But, changing gears, he let his hand slide up her leg again.

The nun once again said, 'Father, remember Psalm 129?'

The priest apologized 'Sorry sister but the flesh is weak.'

Arriving at the convent, the nun sighed heavily
and went on her way.

On his arrival at the church, the priest rushed to look up Psalm 129. It said, 'Go forth and seek, further up, you will find glory.'

Moral of the story:

If you are not well informed in your job, you might miss a great opportunity.

Lesson 3:

A sales rep, an administration clerk, and the manager are walking to lunch when they find an antique oil lamp.

They rub it and a Genie comes out.

The Genie says, 'I'll give each of you just one wish.'

'Me first! Me first!' says the admin clerk. 'I want to be in the Bahamas , driving a speedboat, without a care in the world.'

Puff! She's gone.

'Me next! Me next!' says the sales rep. 'I want to be in Hawaii , relaxing on the beach with my personal masseuse, an endless supply of Pina Coladas and the love of my life.'

Puff! He's gone.

'OK, you're up,' the Genie says to the manager.

The manager says, 'I want those two back in the office after


Moral of the story:

Always let your boss have the first say.

Lesson 4

An eagle was sitting on a tree resting, doing nothing.

A small rabbit saw the eagle and asked him, 'Can I also sit like you and do nothing?'

The eagle answered: 'Sure, why not.'

So, the rabbit sat on the ground below the eagle and rested. All of a sudden, a fox appeared, jumped on the rabbit and ate it.

Moral of the story:

To be sitting and doing nothing, you must be sitting very, very high up.

Lesson 5

A turkey was chatting with a bull.

'I would love to be able to get to the top of that tree' sighed the turkey, 'but I haven't got the energy.'

'Well, why don't you nibble on some of my droppings?' replied the bull. They're packed with nutrients.'

The turkey pecked at a lump of dung, and found it actually gave him enough strength to reach the lowest branch of the tree.

The next day, after eating some more dung, he reached the second branch.

Finally after a fourth night, the turkey was proudly perched at the top of the tree.

He was promptly spotted by a farmer, who shot him out of the tree..

Moral of the story:

Bull Shit might get you to the top, but it won't keep you there..

Lesson 6

A little bird was flying south for the winter. It was so cold the bird froze and fell to the ground into a large field.

While he was lying there, a cow came by and dropped some dung on him.

As the frozen bird lay there in the pile of cow dung, he began to realize how warm he was.

The dung was actually thawing him out!

He lay there all warm and happy, and soon began to sing for joy.

A passing cat heard the bird singing and came to investigate.

Following the sound, the cat discovered the bird under the pile of cow dung, and promptly dug him out and ate him.

Morals of the story:

(1) Not everyone who shits on you is your enemy.

(2) Not everyone who gets you out of shit is your friend.

(3) And when you're in deep shit, it's best to keep your mouth shut!