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

Oct 05

11 Wellesley Condo

11 Wellesley Street Condo

There are new developments in a downtown plot of land that has long been the subject of speculation. The Ontario Government has sold the site of 11 Wellesley Street West to Lanterra Developments at a cost of $65 million. The area south of 11 Wellesley, between Yonge and Bay has been empty since the ’90s, when it was being considered the prime location for a ballet and opera house — a project which ultimately became The Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts at Queen and University.

Empty plot of land recently purchased by Lanterra Developments

The empty land at 11 Wellesley Street Condo , recently purchased by Lanterra Developments, image by Craig White

UrbanToronto readers will know that Lanterra is also responsible for the recent purchase of the neighbouring Sutton Place Hotel, which will become The Britt Condos, as well as the Murano and Burano condominiums a block south on Bay. While any current plans for 11 Wellesley Condos West have yet to be finalized, the zoning amendment application filed by Lanterra would allow for a mixed-use development consisting of two residential towers at 45 and 54 storeys in height. There would be a 9-10 storey podium and a total gross floor area of 90,700 square metres. 1,304 dwelling units would be constructed above a one-storey street-related retail space and the development would incorporate and frame the proposed public park.

Image by Lanterra Developments of potential condo development at 11 Wellesley Condo
A Lanterra Developments image showing one possible development outcome, image courtesy of Lanterra

Last year, City Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam was supported by City Council in trying to buy the land from the province at a reduced rate in order to build a public park, but the City was turned down by the province and was told to bid for the site, along with developers, an option that was simply too costly to pursue. Since the Lanterra purchase, Wong-Tam has been in talks with the developer to try to convince them to include a public green space with only one tower, as pictured above in a blue-sky concept rendering. Both Wong-Tam and Lanterra continue to be optimistic that a winning situation can come out of this for all parties.

We will report back as plans for the site progress. In the meantime you can get in on the discussion in our Forum thread for t

Aug 23

Teahouse Condos now registering

501 Yonge Street introduces Teahouse Condos

One of the most popular development sites that we have featured in the past year is 501 Yonge, owned by Lanterra Developments. We’ve only made a few posts about the project, but months later, they are still some of the most visited on our blog. There is no doubt about it, Toronto is extremely interested in this project. Now we are unveiling Teahouse Condos

This week, the project went to the design panel, who critiques the form and design of the building, then makes suggestions on how it should be changed to better fit in with the neighbourhood. The panel has released their feedback on 501 Yonge, and it looks like Lanterra is getting ready to move forward.

The Design of Teahouse Condos at 501 Yonge St.

Lanterra and architectsAlliance received positive feedback for the design, and we’re very happy to have a new rendering to see. We had only seen the working drawings of the proposal, which didn’t exactly give us an idea of the impact that the project would make, but this new image gets us pretty excited! By no means is this the finalized design, but we’re getting somewhere.

Changes to Teahouse Condos at 501 Yonge St..

For those unaware, Lanterra has been working with the City for some time to bring this new tower to the area. The plans have changed somewhat, Lanterra is now seeking approval to build two towers, reaching 52 and 23 storeys, versus the twin 58-storey towers they initially had in mind. Lanterra is also working on incorporating both ground floor residential and above ground parking, which are things we don’t see everyday. It’ll be a challenge, but if anyone can do it, Lanterra and architectsAlliance can.

The Corner of Yonge St. and Alexander St. 

There is definitely a need for a change in this pocket of the city. Currently, there is a bunch of low-rise commercial buildings scattered about the area. Given the site’s proximity to major transit lines, Yonge and Alexander is probably one of the city’s highest profile addresses. We’re very excited for it to continue moving forward, Teahouse Condos will be a perfect match for the neighbourhood

Stay tuned to the Toronto Star’s NewInHomes.com, we plan on updating you as we acquire more information.

Lanterra Developments has purchased the parcel of land between Maitland & Alexander Street, east of Yonge Street and plans do build 2 condo towers known as 501 YONGE. Both the south tower (Phase 1) and the north tower (Phase 2) will be designed by Architects Alliance.

This mixed use project with two 58-storey (192 metres) towers contains 960 condo units on a shared 7-storey podium with retail uses at grade and 5 storeys of above grade parking with 302 parking spaces. Above grade parking is required because the TTC subway tunnel runs the length of the property.

The lobbies for the residential condos of 501 YONGE will be on Maitland and Alexander Street. This development offers a great selection of Bachelor (21), 1 Bedroom (675), 2 Bedroom (204) and 3 Bedroom (60) suites. The south tower will have 768 square metres of interior and 826 square metres of exterior amenity and 657 square metres of interior and 683 square metres of exterior amenity space int he north tower.

501 YONGE is located in the heart of Toronto close to College, Bloor & Bay Street, Yorkville & the Financial District.

Register Today and receive the latest news and floor plans for Teahouse Condos

Here are some new renderings of the Condo

Teahouse Condos Now Registering

Teahouse Condos

May 02

ECondos for Sale

E Condos

Two new towers will be developed on the corner of Yonge and Eglinton. This project is brought to you by a well established developer named Bazic Inc and designed by Varacalli Architects. The E Condos will stand out with their distinctive black, white and grey glass panels.

One of the towers stand 38 storeys high while the other is 64 storeys. There will be a total of around 1000 new suites available for sale. The square footage will range from 466 to 1,240. There will be a variety of floor plans available that will include: 1 bedroom, 1 bedroom with dens, 2 bedroom, 2 bedroom plus dens, and 2 bedroom with a den and a terrace. Living in a well established and sought after area will run you about $290k+ for the smaller units. Additionally lockers will cost $5k, and underground parking will set you back another $58k.

On the ground level, between the two condos there will be retail space to provide quick and convenient shopping opportunities. Not to mention that the area is surrounded with stores, restaurants, cafes, bars, grocery store, a movie theatre and much more. It is said that there will be underground access to the three corners of Yonge and Eglinton and to the subway line.

This condominium will be loaded with amenities, and high end finishes that will be built with precision. Nine feet ceilings throughout, windows covering the entire wall, pre-engineered floors, upgraded kitchens that have quartz countertops, integrated appliances, and a modern washroom. A party lounge will be available, dining rooms, yoga studio, fitness room, and a technology lounge. The door terraces will be equipped with barbecues, dining tables, sun beds, and seating.

One of the main attractions is the unique glass swimming pool. Where you can go for a swim while having an incredible view of Toronto from the 31st floor.

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.

Apr 21

River City Condos For Sale

The river city development started back in 2000. It is a three phase project and is in the pre-construction phase. Currenlty Phase 3 For Sale. Where as phase 1 has been fully constructed in 2013, and the second phase is nearing its completion. The 28 storey building will look similar to the first building with its dark colour scheme and will be a visually appealing contrast of the second building that is lighter in colour.

It will also follow LEED gold standards which is the first of its kind in the city of Toronto and will be completely carbon neutral. There are 7 key aspects to obtain this high level of standard. It is a recognized rating system in the construction industry. This deems how environmentally sustainable the building design is.

The seven topics cover to make River City a gold standard include:

1. How minimal the storm water runoff is. The encouragement of carpooling, increasing urban density and green space.
2. Reduce the consumption of water, and treat wastewater as well.
3. Lower energy consumption by using renewable and efficient energy.
4. Use renewable materials to minimize waste.
5. Provide healthy living for tenants by having enough natural light, materials that have low off gas, and fresh area.
6. Improve the area with a green healthy environment.
7. Construct durable buildings.

The neighbourhood, which River City Condos resides in, has a good walk score and is surrounded by well established communities which include Corktown, Leslieville, and the Distillery District.

Apr 05


Take a look at the hottest condo market in the world, visit Toronto today.

We offer to you all the best condos in Toronto

Toronto is a growing city located on beautiful Lake Ontario where you can spend your time taking in the sun, swimming, playing volleyball, having a BBQ with some beers.

This little guide of Toronto will give you all the information about the activities
in the GTA

Take a look at our SPECIAL OFFERS.

Our Condos are completely equipped and you can choose if you want stay near the beach with
a fantastic lake view or in downtown in the core of Toronto
We can offer to you condos in the newest neighborhood. Luxury condos featuring courtyard fountains and pools surrounded by tropical gardens. Condos located in the financial district, fashion district, distillery district, which are all walking distance to fabulous restaurants and pedestrian promenade hosting galleries, entertainment and handicraft shops to upscale international boutiques.

We have a great selection of condos, just select the condo that you are looking for and let us do the rest. We would like to suggest 50 Wellesley Condo, a brand new pre construction development that has a huge buzz about it. Located in one of Toronto’s best neighborhoods. This project will definitely be a great investment opportunity or a great place to live.

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


Jan 22

Using Retirement Money to Buy Real Estate

You may be unaware that special provisions under the
tax laws allow you to withdraw funds from your retirement
accounts to buy real estate.

1. First-time homebuyers can tap their IRA without tax

You can withdraw up to $10,000 once in a lifetime from your
IRA without tax penalty to purchase a principal residence
for yourself or for a family member. A family member is
defined as

your spouse

your child

your grandchild or ancestor

your spouse’s child

your spouse’s grandchild or ancestor.

The homebuyer must be someone who has not owned a home in
the previous two years. If the homebuyer is married, the
spouse must not have owned a principal residence during
that period, either.

2. You can get a loan tax-free from your retirement funds
to buy real estate, even if it’s not a first-time home.

If you are you self-employed, or a small business owner you
get even more flexibility to tap into your retirement
money. Your business does not have to be elaborate.. for
example, you can operate a part-time business as a sole
proprietor, a 1099 income consultant, or as an independent

As long as you are the only employee in your business you
can establish a Self-Employed 401(k) plan. You can then
transfer funds from your IRA, qualified pension plan, like
a 401(k) or a 403(b) tax-sheltered plan, into your Self-
Employed 401(k) plan. Assuming your plan has a loan
feature, you may borrow up to $50,000 from your account
balance (or 50 percent, whichever is less). The loan will
stay tax-free and penalty-free, as long as the money is
paid back on time. You can use the loan for any purpose,
but if you use the money to buy a primary residence, the
loan can be extended from the regular 5 years payback
period to 10 years.

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