May 04

1 Yonge Condos

It is almost time for the grand opening. Please register today if you are looking for a great investment in the Toronto area. There a plenty of condo investments that you can make, but purchasing a unit on yonge street will provide you with the hottest address in the City. This will include easy access to the highway, a step away from the Lake and of course you will be living in one of the best communities.  With a prefect walk score you will be minutes away from the coolest lounges, finest dining, cafes, restaurants and all the night life you can imagine.

On global news Toronto is quickly shedding its image as an adolescent City. Pinnacle International just announced the development of the largest and tallest development coming to Canada, 1 Yonge Street Condos.  Please check out the official website at for all details concerning this project. This looks like it will be a major undertaking and will be an awe inspiring addition to the Lakeshore Waterfront.


Register at

Register at

As you can see this will be an amazing development and will feature 6 Towers that will span 2 blocks. The timing could not be anymore perfect, the real estate condo market is booming in Toronto and there are plenty of foreign investors.  In real estate opportunities like this don’t come to often, many buyers and investors have a keen interest in 1 Yonge Condos. There will be over 4100 units to be sold over 6 phases, that is a staggering number.

If you are looking for a condo on yonge street this will be the place for you.  Located in the center of Toronto you will be a stones throw from lake and you will be surrounded by the most vibrant  neighborhoods around.

1 Yonge Street Condo Specifications

Pinnacle International announces that the development is currently in preconstruction at 1 Yonge Street in Toronto.

Name : 1 Yonge Condo

Website :

Builder : Pinnacle International

Type : Condominium

Ownership : Condominium

Address : 1-7 Yonge Street when finished

City : Toronto

Province : Ontario

Postal : M5E 1N4

Construction Phase : Preconstruction/Registration

Total units : 4137 units

If you are a serious buyer visit their website today, they have an experienced sales agent ready to help you out with the purchase of a unit or just to get any extra information about the project.  Don’t delay too long, and don’t misunderstand.  This will be the hottest piece of real estate that will be selling in Toronto for the next decade, so do yourself a favor and get a unit at the lowest possible price.



Need some advice concerning real estate

So how do you invest in pre construction

Dec 04

Property and the “Buy to Let” mortgage

If you intend to purchase a property to rent out then you will require a “buy to let” mortgage. If you intend to raise capital from a property that is to be rented, in order to purchase another property, you will require a “let to buy” mortgage.

Either way, the borrowing is secured against the property to be let out and the amount you can borrow is normally dictated by :
The deposit that you are putting down in the case of a purchase,
or the equity in the property in the case of a re-mortgage.
Your borrowing potential is very strongly linked to the amount of rental income to be received however earned income can be used to top it up.

In addition to rental income, there are a number of different factors that can influence a lender’s decision to lend. These include, but are not limited to:

The type of property being purchased – Ex local authority, studio/high rise flats are some examples of property that lenders may find unacceptable
The type of proposed tenant – Some lenders do not accept students, some won’t accept DSS
The type of tenancy agreement – Most lenders insist on a minimum six months assured short hold tenancy
Whether there are any licensing requirements – Certain properties are subject to mandatory HMO* licensing
The borrowers personal financial circumstances – Some lenders require a minimum level of income
Employment status – It may be possible to purchase a buy to let as a ‘house person’
Age – Some lenders have minimum and maximum borrower ages
Mortgage history – It may not be possible to borrow from some lenders if you do not have a current residential mortgage
All lenders offering Buy To Let mortgages differ in their approach and the buy to let market is becoming ever increasingly complicated due to the rapidly changing economy. We will examine all of your options and present them to you in order to come to an informed decision on the most efficient way to proceed.

Nov 30

100% – 105% Home Purchase Only Financing Program

No Prepayment Penalty

Ideal for first-time home buyers and move-up Borrowers
who lack the funds for down payment and closing costs,
and interested in obtaining maximum 15, 20, 25 or 30 year term financing.

With this loan program, the first-time homebuyers or move-up Borrowers get a loan that covers 97% of the homes value and also covers the 3% downpayment, resulting in 100% mortgage financing.

Key Features Overview

Purchase financing has to be a single family residence (no duplex or larger allowed)
Single Family Housing (1-Unit) $322,700 (2003), and up to $333,700 for 2004:

SFRs (Single Family Residence)
Modular (double-wide unit, at minimum, built after June 15, 1976)
PUDs (Property Under Development) (include: modular homes)

No down payment is required from the Borrower, however, the borrower is required to pay at least 3% of the sales price, all of which may be applied towards closing costs and/or prepaid items (i.e. insurance & taxes etc…).

Acceptable Sources of Down-payment and Closing Cost Funds
(contributions limited to 3% of the lesser of the sales price or appraised value)

Borrower funds on deposit including checking, savings, certificate of deposit, Individual Development Account or other depository accounts.
Borrower’s own secured assets, such as a 401(k) loan.
Grants, Gifts or unsecured loan from a relative, domestic partner, fiancé, or fiancée, nonprofit agencies, nonprofit community organization, government agency, or the Borrower’s employer that need not be repaid.
Unsecured loan from the Borrower’s employer, cannot be due and payable, and the Borrower must retain the right to continue making payments on it in the event that the Borrower no longer works for the employer.
Contribution plus the LTV may not exceed 100%. No Exceptions.
Premium pricing limited to 2% of value. (i.e. 2% of $200,000 = $4,000)
Unacceptable Sources of Funds

Sweat equity

Maximum Financing (multiply home value by .05)
per these guidelines

Borrowers can finance up to 105%
Maximum LTV/CLTV (loan to Value/Combined Loan to Value): 100/105
LTV = Loan Amount divided by Home Value (as appraised)
CLTV = LTV + Secondary Financing

If the CLTV is greater than 100%, the subordinate financing may only be a Community Second. Funds from the Community Second can be applied toward closing costs and prepaid items. Any excess amount after satisfying closing costs and prepaid item requirements is to be applied towards the down payment.
The minimum LTV (Loan divided by value) is as follows:

With no secondary financing, 90% is the minimum LTV
With secondary financing, there is no minimum LTV

Mortgage Insurance (MI) Requirements

Borrower Paid only (TAMI not allowed)
Loans with a representative credit score less than 620:
Require delegated manual MI, and
A-minus rates may apply, and
An MI certificate must be in the loan file prior to closing
For MI requirements for energy-efficient mortgages may differ among lenders
All manufactured housing requires non-delegated manual MI.
An MI certificate must be in file prior to closing.
The certificate must be from PMI, RMIC, or Triad.
Bankruptcy – Discharged with confirmation
Foreclosure – Copy of Satisfaction of Debt (Cancellation of Debt issued by all creditors)

Nov 24

97% LTV Home Purchase & Refinance Program

Our 97% LTV Purchase Loans designed to open doors for more low to moderate income borrowers, first-time homebuyers and move-up borrowers, and those that lack the funds for a down payment and closing costs.  This loan program is made possible by lowering the customary 5-20% down payment range to just 3%, and by expanding sources of funds that borrowers can use for their down payment and closing costs.


Key Features Overview

  • Owner-occupied Primary Residences (attached or detached home)
  •  Offering a low down payment to more easily qualify for home financing
  •  NO – Prepayment Penalty
  • No Reserves – NONE (2mo. recommended for emergencies) or 1 pending credit histories or 2 months if Teacher or Public Safety Employee
  • Affordable Seconds – permitted (see: Affordable Seconds) Maximum CLTV: 105%
  • Community Second – permitted (see: Secondary Financing Assistance) Max. CLTV: 100%
  • PUDs (Property Under Development) financing
  • Cooperatives – for Teachers or Public Safety Employees Only (max. LTV 90%)
  • 1-unit SFRs (Single Family Residence) 15, 20, 30 year terms
    •  Modular homes, and Prefabricated homes (double-wide unit built after 06/15/76)
    • Min. LTV: 95.01% Max. LTV: 97%
  • 2-unit (30 year term for 2-unit)
    • for Teachers or Public Safety Employees Only
    • Min. LTV: 97%, Max. LTV: 105%
  • 3, 4-Units Not Allowed


Borrower Funds for the 3% downpayment, closing costs, financing costs and prepaids/escrows, can be obtained from a variety of sources (5% for 2-unit home with 3% from borrowers own funds).

  • Seller’s Contribution – Limited to 3% of the lesser of the sales price or appraised value.
  • Borrower’s personal cash – checking, savings, 401(k) account or a life insurance policy, or similar accounts, or
  • Cash-on-hand for Borrowers who do not use checking, savings, or similar accounts, but may be a limited user of credit. Cash-on-hand may be used if the following are verified:
    • Monthly receipts or alternative doc’s indicating Borrower has no checking, savings, or similar accounts
    • and Updated credit report shows no new accounts or no substantial increase to existing accounts that approximate the amount of cash on hand,
    • and It can be confirmed that the Borrower would have sufficient income, given normal household expenses, to have saved the cash provided.
  • Gifts from relatives, domestic partner, personal finance, or financing from fiancé
  • Affordable Seconds (80/20 loans)
  • Community Second
  • Grants, Gifts or unsecured loan from a relative, domestic partner, fiancé, or fiancée, nonprofit agencies, nonprofit community organization, government agency, or the Borrower’s employer that need not be repaid.
    • Unsecured loan from the Borrower’s employercannot be due and payable, and Borrower must retain the right to make payments on it in the event that the Borrower no longer works for the employer.

Note: None of the required 3% may come from any lender generated or funded source.



Borrower’s Income
Borrower’s income may be up to and including 100% of area median income with exceptions in certain high-cost areas designated by Freddie Mac.  Information about median income, central cities and targeted census tracts for Colorado can be found at:

No income limitation if the subject property is located in a concentrated area. A concentrated area is:

  • An area designated by HUD as a central city.
  • A census tract with an area median family income of 80% or less.
  • Any 1990 census tract where nonwhite and Hispanic persons comprise 50% or more of the population


Income – Teachers or Public Safety Employees Only:

For borrowers qualifying as a teacher or public safety employee, overtime and part-time income may be used to qualify the borrower under all of the following conditions:

  • The employer verifies that the borrower has received the income for the last 12 months.
  • The employer indicates in all probability it will continue.
  • The income used to qualify is a most recent 12 month average.
  • Rental Income: If one of the units is rented or intended to be rented, 75% of the rent or projected rents for the unit may be added to the borrower’s income when calculating the debt ratios.


Debt Ratios(total-expenses to total-income ratio)
-teacher/public safety borrowers: The max. SFR qualifying ratio is 41%.

A teacher or public safety employee: The max. SFR qualifying ratio is 45%or 50% w/two months reserves. Note:  All two unit properties: The max. qualifying ratios are 35/43%.


Rental Income
Rental Income from a related person residing in the Borrower’s primary residence is allowed provided all of the following conditions are met:

  • The relative has resided and paid rent on a regular basis with the Borrower for at least one (1) year.
  • The relative will continue to reside with the Borrower in the new residence.
  • The rent paid does not exceed 30% of the total qualifying income.
  • The relative has supporting documentation for the residency and the receipt of rental income is verified.


Credit Requirements – Credit Score > 600 preferred) and credit score < 660 A-minus rates may apply.


Housing Payment History – If the borrower has had either of the following, careful evaluation of their credit history to determine if the problems were due to extenuating circumstances or financial mismanagement:

  • More than one 30-day late housing payment in the last 12 months, or
  • More than two 30-day late housing payments or more than one 60-day late payment in the last 24 months.


Mortgage Insurance REQUIRED (must have certificate prior to closing)

  • A minus (A-) pricing applies for borrowers with credit scores less than 660
  • Credit scores < 660 and the subject property is a 1 unit or < 620 and a 2 unit property
  • Borrower has Nontraditional credit or no credit score

Oct 28

Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM)

The interest rate with this program periodically rises and drops based on different market indexes. You will be assuming risk if the market justifies the rate increasing, but can also tremendously benefit if the market justifies the rate to fall. This loan program is popular with homeowners who only plan on being in the home for a short period of time.

There are two main factors that go into determining the rate you pay, the index and the margin.  The index rate is set by market forces and made public by a neutral third party. Margin is the number of percentage points that is added to the index as agreed upon with the loan program, this is how your adjusted rate is determined. Multiple indexes exist and each has its own way of determining fluctuation. CMT, LIBOR, MTA, COFI are examples of the indexes that are used for these loan programs.

It is very important to ask if and what are the limits to what the rate can be raised for the ARM at each review and over the entire life of the mortgage. Limits on a rate increase are known as “caps”, these caps are essential so you will have the ability to predict how your rate and monthly mortgage payment could change.

Oct 26

Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP)

The Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) is one of the safest and most efficient ways to save one’s home. Unfortunately, not everyone qualifies for a home loan modification. You must meet both government and lender guidelines to be able to take part in the program. Home loan modification qualifications may vary from lender to lender, but for HAMP, the following rules apply:

1) The mortgage must have been taken out in 2009; that is, the date of origination must be on or before January 1st of the said year.

2) You must use the home as your primary residence at the time of the loan modification. Rental or commercial properties, second homes, and homes of more than four units do not meet home loan modification qualifications.

3) Your mortgage balance must be no more than $729,750 if it’s a single-family home, $934,200 if it’s a two-unit property, $1,129,250 if it’s three units, and $1,403,400 if it’s a four-unit home.

4) You must be in financial hardship or prove that you’re at risk of it. According to home loan modification qualifications, a hardship is valid if it’s beyond your control. Losing your job, medical expenses, or a death in the family can be a valid hardship, but excessive spending or bad investment choices may not make the cut.

5) The loan must not have been previously modified. You cannot get a second loan modification even if you still meet home loan modification qualifications.

6) You must have a source of income to prove that you can afford the modified rates if they are granted. Most lenders’ home loan modification qualifications require at least two months’ worth of pay stubs or documentation of income.

7) You must prove that you have no other means of keeping the mortgage current besides a loan modification. This is usually in the form of bank statements and income tax returns.

8) If your total debt takes up more than 55% of your monthly income, you will need to attend a credit counseling session at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Once you meet these guidelines, you can send a HAMP application to your lender. They will then assess you using their own home loan modification qualifications. Make sure to provide as much information as possible and be prepared to submit additional documents if necessary. This will help you avoid delays and get your loan modification processed sooner.

Oct 22

How to Select a Settlement Attorney

Because today’s real estate settlement is an
extremely complex matter, the competence of the
attorney handling the transaction is clearly the most
important factor. The first question to ask when
inquiring about a settlement is: who will actually be
conducting my settlement? Will I have a Real Estate
Attorney in the room? A licensed settlement Agent?
Or just some employee of a title company with no
formal training in the intricacies of real estate?

Once you have determined that you will have an
attorney at the settlement table, you should ask if the
Settlement Attorney has kept their skills sharp and
current by taking recent continuing education courses
or even better, if the attorney TEACHES
THOSE COURSES? Finally you should ask whether the
attorney belongs to relevant trade and professional
associations such as the Greater Capital Area
Association of Realtors (GCAAR), Maryland Land Title
Association (MLTA), District of Columbia Land Title
Association (DCLTA), and the Real Estate Section of
the Local Bar Associations.

Stress-Free Settlements’ General Counsel are members
of the MLTA, DCLTA, Affiliates of GCAAR and have
been elected to serve on the Steering Committee of
the DC Bar Real Estate, Housing and Land Use Section.
They also have been approved to teach Real Estate
courses which qualify for Continuing Legal Education
Credits for attorneys by the DC Bar and for Realtors by
the Real Estate Commission.


How many settlements has the settlement attorney
handled? Obviously there are many variables in every
settlement and the more settlements that have been
closed successfully, the more likely that the settlement
attorney will have addressed any problem issues that
may arise during your settlement.

But sheer numbers of closed settlements does not
necessarily mean valuable experience. Additional
factors in determining the settlement attorney’s
experience include whether the settlement attorney
handles others real estate matters besides settlements.
For example, have they ever been Realtors or do they
handle real estate litigation. Each of those experiences
provide valuable skills for a settlement attorney.


Is your settlement attorney highly regarded by his or
her peers for honesty and integrity. Have they been
selected by their peers to leadership posts in trade
associations or received other honors, awards or


When selecting your settlement attorney, you need to
make sure that the office is located in a convenient
location and that the office is willing to accommodate
your busy schedule. As a busy Realtor running from
settlement to settlement and showing to walk-throughs
you are well served to select a well-located office with
easy access in and out which will accommodate early-
morning, evening and weekend settlements when
necessary. Your busy clients will appreciate a flexible
settlement office who will never keep you waiting but
will always find the time to squeeze in one more
evening settlement for that client who is leaving town
the following morning.


These days accessibility is a combination of common
courtesy and use of state of the art technology. You
will have many questions concerning your settlement
and it will be essential that you are able to get answers
from your settlement attorney or his staff.
Accessibility may take the form of returned phone calls
in a timely manner; e-mail exchanges or access to the
settlement attorney’s web site which may contain
useful information about the real estate settlement
process and may link to valuable resources.

Before selecting a settlement attorney, make sure you
can reach him or her 24 hours a day via at least one
means of communication: phone/fax/e-mail or text

Stress-Free Settlements uses the latest in
telecommunications technology to stay in touch with
clients. All telephone messages and incoming faxes are
logged into an e-mail system accessible from each
office and from each settlement attorney’s personal cell
phone. Your calls will be promptly returned by a
member of the Stress-Free Settlements team who will
have the answer to your question.


You want certainty in your real estate transaction.
You should select a settlement attorney who is willing
to provide you with written fixed list of costs which
may be applicable to your settlement. But don’t be
fooled into selecting the cheapest nor the most
expensive settlement provider. The low-cost
settlement agent may cost you far more if the
settlement is not handled properly, delayed or worse,
cancelled due to incompetence or indifference

Apr 21

Odor Can Chase Away Buyers

Having pet odors inside your home can turn off potential home buyers and keep your home from selling. Ask your real estate agent for an honest opinion about whether your home has a pet smell.

If your agent holds her nose, here’s how to get rid of the smell:
Air your house out. While you’re cleaning, throw open all the windows in your home to allow fresh air to circulate and sweep out unpleasant scents.
Once your house is free of pet odors, do what you can to keep the smells from returning. Crate your dog when you’re out or keep it outdoors. Limit the cat to one floor or room, if possible. Remove or replace pet bedding.

Scrub thoroughly. Scrub bare floors and walls soiled by pets with vinegar, wood floor cleaner, or an odor-neutralizing product, which you can purchase at a pet supply store for $10 to $25.

Try a 1:9 bleach-to-water solution on surfaces it won’t damage, like cement floors or walls.

Got a stubborn pet odors covering a large area? You may have to spend several hundred dollars to hire a service that specializes in hard-to-clean stains.

Wash your drapes and upholstery. Pet odors seep into fabrics. Launder, steam clean, or dry clean all your fabric window coverings. Steam clean upholstered furniture.

Either buy a steam cleaner designed to remove pet hair for around $200 and do the job yourself, or pay a pro. You’ll spend about $40 for an upholstered chair, $100 for a sofa, and $7 for each dining room chair if a pro does your cleaning.

Clean your carpets. Shampoo your carpets and rugs, or have professionals do the job for $25 to $50 per room, depending on their size and the level of filth embedded in them. The cleaner will try to sell you deodorizing treatments. You’ll know if you need to spend the extra money on those after the carpet dries and you have a friend perform a sniff test.

If deodorizing doesn’t remove the pet odor from your home, the carpets and padding will have to go. Once you tear them out, scrub the subfloor with vinegar or an odor-removing product, and install new padding and carpeting. Unless the smell is in the subfloor, in which case that goes next.

Paint, replace, or seal walls. When heavy-duty cleaners haven’t eradicated smells in drywall, plaster, or woodwork, add a fresh coat of paint or stain, or replace the drywall or wood altogether.

On brick and cement, apply a sealant appropriate for the surface for $25 to $100. That may smother and seal in the odor, keeping it from reemerging.

Place potpourri or scented candles in strategic locations. Put a bow on your deep clean with potpourri and scented candles. Don’t go overboard and turn off buyers sensitive to perfumes. Simply place a bowl of mild potpourri in your foyer to create a warm first impression, and add other mild scents to the kitchen and bathrooms.

Control ongoing urine smells. If your dog uses indoor pee pads, put down a new pad each time the dog goes. Throw them away outside in a trash can with a tight lid. Remove even clean pads from view before each showing.

Replace kitty litter daily, rather than scooping used litter clumps, and sweep up around the litter box. Hide the litter box before each showing.

Relocate pets. If your dog or cat has a best friend it can stay with while you’re selling your home (and you can stand to be separated from your pet), consider sending your pet on a temporary vacation. If pets have to stay, remove them from the house for showings and put away their dishes, towels, and toys.

Mar 15

FALSE: Saving Money = Good Investment

How many rich people do you know who have become
wealthy by investing in savings accounts? I rest my case.
But don’t get me wrong. Saving money is good. In fact,
it is important to the wealth building process. It’s not
the money saved that is important. It is the DISCIPLINE
required to save it. But you can’t except your savings to
carry you to wealth. And this is the fact that is so
widely misunderstood.

Even the seemingly exciting high interest rates paid by
the popular money market funds are not enough. Any dollar
that earns LESS the 10% per year is losing venture
assuming inflation & taxes. “But, you say, “savings
accounts and certificates of deposit are safe and the
money comes easy”. And I reply, “Does it make you feel
safe and secure to know that every day you are getting
poorer and poorer?” If you ignore the erosion effects of
taxes and inflation that is exactly what could be
happening to you!

There is nothing wrong with economizing. There is a place
for it in the scheme of wealth. However, if you want to
become wealthy you must learn how to save smart. The
money you save is only parked temporarily in liquid,
interest-bearing accounts waiting for a better place to
invest. This smart money is then shifted into long-range,
less liquid investments which generate wealth-producing
rates of return. RATES well in excess of 10% per year.
ANYTHING LESS is tantamount to treading water in the
swimming pool on the deck of the Titanic!

What kind of investments generate double digit rates of
return over the long haul? Real Estate Investment
Properties. If you combine the LEVERAGING EFFECTS of
aggressive financing available to investors today with the
beauty of having someone else pay for you to own your
investment (your tenants) the results are clear. Even
when propery values only increase at modest rates of 3% to
4% per year, if you purchase the investment property with
20%, 10% or even less down, the returns on YOUR invested
capital can be huge!

Using leverage to invest in stocks is called buying
on “margin”, and it is considered to be highly speculative
and therefore risky. Using leverage in real estate is
done by almost every person in the USA who owns a home.
The wealth statistics of home owners vs. non home owners
in this country are staggering. It is as close to an
automatic way to generate wealth as you are going to get.
For more information on wealth building strategies with
real estate,

Jan 23

Number of Single Women Buying Homes Growing

According to the National Association of Realtors, 22% of the buying force of home sales are women for the year 2006, which is up 14% from 1995.

Single men on the other hand account for just 9% for 2006, unchanged from the mid 90’s.  Home builders and real estate agents are paying attention to this trend by specializing in smaller, low maintenance houses that women prefer.

Good realtors are familiar with the neighborhoods that emphasize safety and houses with attached garages


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