Remodeling Your Home in London To Stay or Sell?

Are you planning to make major home improvements to your home in London Ontario?.  Are you worried about getting your  investment back when you decide to sell?  How do you  know if you are spending wisely?

updating your home in London Ontario?

 When remodeling, you must weigh the cost of the remodel versus the value of the finished product.  When I say “value,” I am not only talking about resale value, but I am talking about the value of the remodel to you personally.  Some important questions to ask are how long you will be staying in your home and what benefits will the remodeling project bring to your daily life.

Regarding resale value, your remodeling project needs to be assessed based on your neighborhood.  The best home improvements are cosmetic improvements.  Minor updates to the kitchen and bathrooms, or a new roof are always valuable.  Aesthetic additions such as new carpeting or paint are another type of remodeling project that returns almost 100 percent of their cost to the value of your home.

For larger projects, the average return within one year after the remodel varies.  Major kitchen remodeling gives an average return of 71 percent, a family room addition at 77 percent, a master suite averages 83 percent, and window replacement 68 percent.  As you can see from these examples, your remodeling project will always add some degree of value to your home.

When remodeling, it is important to remember that you will be selling your home someday and you need to make wise remodeling decisions.  You may want to weigh the up-front cost of the project versus the usefulness to you and added value to your home.

If you are thinking of selling or buying a home in London Ontario soon, and require the in’s and out’s of a renovation and the best return,  call a REALTOR® who can give you the right information based on facts, not opinions.

Real Estate Investing London Ontario

Real Estate Investing London Ontario

When investing in income properties in London Ontario, do you look at cash flow only or do you look at just the purchase price or take both into consideration?

A foolish question?

I work with a lot of investors and it amazes me that when taking cash flow into consideration, their numbers and mine do not match! A positive cash flow is extremely important but based on what?

Really think about that, some only take their mortgage payments, the property tax and then arbitrary numbers for vacancies, repairs, maintenance etc. What about the number that your tenants are paying down on your principle every month? Should that be taken into consideration, even though it is not ‘cash’

What about the price of the property? Over 15-20 years, is $10,000 or $50,000 really matter? Some say yes, some say no , so let me ask you a question: Pick a property that sold 20 years ago, add up the income and the value of the property today, did it really matter what you paid for it?

Contrarian thinking or not? Two of the richest men in the world do not think so, Warren Buffet being one and the other, Ray Kroc.

I know what you are thinking, I am not going to overpay. I don’t blame you, only this week I showed 13 income properties and I felt that 11 of them were priced 10-15% too high! Is the seller greedy, unrealistic or a numbers person?

Time will tell but for long term investors, time is on your side, not the seller. Wealthy real estate owners never sell, they are in for the long run and though boring, quite simple!

Is Selling Your House in London Ontario Taxable?

  Real estate sales – are they taxable?  What about my principal residence?

The gain on the sale of real estate is a capital gain unless the property has been purchased with the intent of reselling at a profit, or developed and sold as a business endeavor.  If it is considered a business transaction, the entire profit or loss on the sale is taxable or deductible.

If the transaction is a capital gain (principal residence, summer cottage, second home, rental home, etc.), only 50% of the gain is taxable.

If the property is the taxpayer’s principal residence, this may eliminate all or part of the capital gain.  This exemption is claimed by including form T2091(IND) with the tax return for the year the property is sold.  CRA’s policy is that the form need not be filed unless there is a taxable gain after deducting the principal residence exemption, or a capital gains election was filed in respect of the property in the taxpayer’s income tax return for 1994.

However, if there is any question as to whether the principal residence exemption applies in whole or in part, it would be wise to file the form anyway because failure to file the form could result in a disallowed principal residence exemption.

There aren’t any set rules about how often a person can buy or build a house, move into and reside in it, then sell it, without the transactions being considered business transactions.  Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) would look at the frequency and the intent (i.e., whether the houses were being purchased or built with the goal of reselling and making a profit, or because the person wanted a new house to live in).

  They might even look at a single event of purchasing or building and reselling a house and decide that it was a business transaction, even if the house has been used as a principal residence.  Check out the current version of S1-F3-C2, re profits on the sale of real estate, especially the first few paragraphs.

If land is purchased without a housing unit on it, that property cannot be considered the principal residence until the year that a house is built and you move into it.

CRA usually considers that if there is more than 1/2 hectare (1.25 acres) of property, only 1/2 hectare of the land can be considered part of the principal residence, and there would be a capital gain on the excess when the property is sold, even if the rest is the principal residence.  However, they also consider whether the property is subdividable.  Thus, if the property is 2 hectares, and is not subdividable, they may consider the whole amount of the land to be part of the principal residence.

Tax tip:  Before making any real estate investments, downsizing or selling your real estate in London Ontario, make sure you know the tax consequences. Ask a professional.

One Floor Condos in London Ontario

One floor condo townhomes London Ontario or sometimes referred as  townhouses in London are in demand and as with any city, there are areas that are highly sought after and perhaps a few you may want to be a little careful before purchasing!

have questions condos in London Ontario

not sure what to do when buying a condo in London Ontario


If you are unsure if  condo living is for you or would like to receive what we call ” a condo market education” where , in a short time period, you can be well versed on price, quality and neighbourhoods in London !

Finding the right condo, and making a prudent financial investment is much more involved than just “buying right.”

If you’re like most people, the decision to buy a condo in London Ontario involves a number of stresses and strains.  For about 90% of buyers, it’s the single largest financial transaction of their lives.

Not being thorough in any part of the buying process may cost you thousands.

If you are in the market for a highrise condo in London Ontario, here are 13 buildings that you may want to consider, from $100,000 to $490,500!

I hope this brief blog will help you better understand what is out there for condos in London Ontario!

Real Estate in London Ontario, Stress and Being Canadian

I, like most, am inundated daily with news paper headlines, TV evening news and morning radio news about the economy, health care costs, the tragedy of the day and on and on.

ducks in a row

Canadians have their ducks in a row

As Canadians, are we listening or are we putting our heads in the sand?

The reason I ask is that in a recent poll, here is what we are thinking ( or what the pollsters want us to think what we we are thinking):

Attention all news reporters: the sun is still going to come up tomorrow!

  • 78% of Canadians expect family incomes to either increase or stay the same during the next year.
  • 44% of Canadians think this is the best time to buy real estate in London Ontario. (I, of course, being a Realtor, agree. Some of the lowest interest rates ever and a steady  market in London, Ontario).
  • In the United States for example, the economy has caused Americans to experience 66% stress, ( Trump & Clinton, no wonder),  Canadians only 35%.
  • 57% of Americans have anxiety with Canadian anxiety being 30%
  • 46% of Americans are losing sleep over the economy and Canadians only 40%
  • 32% of our neighbours to the south have suffered depression while 15% of Canadians experience depression.
  • 33% of the world cut their spending on mobile phones, in Canada only 22%.
  • 10% of Canadians reduced their internet spending
  • 17% cut spending on digital, satellite or cable TV.

So, in summary, do we Canadians not pay attention, are we stubborn, do we wear rose coloured glasses or are we just simply optimists who go on with our daily lives, doing the best we can and having confidence that the future can only get better?

Enjoy your day and if you can, help some one else enjoy theirs too!

Selling a Condo in London Ontario? Do Not Allow This

I should caution you before you read anymore that the comments I am going to make are out of frustration and exasperation and are no means to imply that ALL real estate people who list condos in London Ontario are as inept as some of these were.

frustrated realto rin London

Being frustrated as a Realtor in London Ontario

My client’s were interested in downsizing from their 2 storey home in London and were interested in seeing 2 bedroom condo apartments in London Ontario  in this particular building all within $25,000 of each other in price. From $349,900 to $375,000.

We chose a Thursday for the viewings and so on Tuesday morning I proceeded to make arrangements for showings. Because we were interested in only this building, there were 6 listed for sale.

One agent replied within an hour that the time scheduled would be fine, another two replied the next morning and one in the afternoon that it was ok to show the units. As I had not heard from the other two, I called their offices and used our appointment scheduler called Touchbase. One called back right away and said she was sorry, she forgot to confirm.

The other agent I never ever did hear from, even after 3 attempts and I see, 2 weeks later, that this condo is still listed for sale.

The evening before the scheduled showings, I did some homework. I pulled up everything that was sold in the building over the last 2 years, called a past client (who had purchased from me years ago) in the building and enquired about how happy she was, any complaints, how was the property manager, how solid the condo corporation was and other pertinent questions that would enable me to inform my clients on the condo culture of this building.

I pulled up the current taxes from the city for the units and only 1 out of 6 were accurate as per what was shown on the listing data form! I don’t mean by a few dollars, in one case $1732.00 difference!

The condo fees shown for all 6 units had a difference of $131.16! How can that be? Subsequently checking on things and talking to the Property Manager, the difference in fees were about $7.00 per floor! Only one condo unit had the accurate current condo fee.

Fair is fair, I thought, mistakes happen and I will be putting in clauses if my client does decide to put an offer in to verify all condo fees, taxes and any other discrepancies.

On the day of the showings, I meet my clients in the lobby where lock boxes are that hold the keys for entrance to the building and individual units. My day is not starting out well, there are 9 lock boxes and only one is identified with the unit number! Opening up a few, there were some keys tagged with the unit # but some weren’t! My male client thought this was funny or was laughing at me because I only have 4 pockets on my pants and could only keep track of 4; he had 4 pockets as well so he helped!

A couple of the units we saw were as per the listing data, appliances, room sizes and amenities, one unit was a disgrace, one unit the occupant would not let us in (nobody told me you were coming, she said) and 2 units were out to lunch in price.

So now we get back down to the lobby, play Russian roulette with the keys and lockboxes and say to my clients “ Well, what do you think?” with a straight face, I might add.

Other than the usual comments like poor layout, overpriced compared to others, condition of the units, my clients just kept shaking their heads and asking themselves is this what they want to do?

Obviously, they did not purchase anything that day but one week and 2 buildings later, they purchased a beautiful unit that they and I liked really well. They now know and my past clients know why I choose to work with just a few buyer clients at a time because having to prepare properly before every showing because of lack of faith in the listing data, is time consuming and for the buyer, creates a bit of mistrust in the MLS listing.

Again, I want to re-iterate that not all real estate agents were like some of the above and if you do list a condo in London Ontario, check weekly that the information on the listing is accurate. For two reasons, to ease the uncertainly of the buyer and prevent you from being taken to court for false information.

Resisting Change in Real Estate in London Ontario


Did you know that we are programmed to resist change, even when it’s in our best interest?

Chip Heath, a Stanford business professor, an author of 2 great books Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive And Others Die” and “Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard”, covers change and why we resist change.

He states that our analytical, rational side may say” I want a better beach body”, but our emotional side says “I want the Oreo cookie”.

So at work, we may want to change how we treat our customers and clients, but our emotional side is in love with the comfort of routine. Heath writes that we need to align those two conflicting sides of ourselves.


You have to convince your emotional side of yourself  to go along with the change and not just motivate the rational, analytical side.

Real estate and practitioners of real estate face change daily and some let the change beat them up. How many have you heard “I’ve done it this way for 10 years and that’s the way it is.”?

“Why did they make those changes at ___________? I liked “the old way” or my favorite “I hate this new system, new phone, new app, new boss, new headache”.

Well, for me, I welcome change because if I stop learning and growing, I die. I don’t want that to happen yet  so bring it on, give me all the change you got, and by the way, how to sell your house in London Ontario is changing too.

Note: I wrote the above 13 months ago and change has reared its head because of the following:

 The hosting company, Point 2 and Yardee Canada have decided that by December 31, 2016, all blogs posted on their servers will no longer be available.

After December 31st, 2016, the old blog versions will no longer be available in Point2 Agent. Please make sure to switch to the new built-in WordPress platform by the end of this year. 

The public content of your old blog will be online until December 31st, 2016. If you would like to move the existing content to the WordPress platform, you will need to create new posts and copy/paste the old content.

After 1593 posts at the Envelope Real Estate Blog , they are all gone! Even my 966 blogs in my condos in London blog as well.

 Change is good and WordPress may be one of the better platforms for bloggers so I welcome the change and  bemoan the loss of my past efforts .

 Bear with me in this new blog platform, I am not a copy and paste person, so will not copy and paste 2000 plus blog posts to the new platform.

 It has been said content is king, so as a pauper I will try to ascend to the top again!