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2018.5.9

I’m really struggling with the decision of whether to rent a place that is cheaper, but lacking in direct sunlight, but that has lots of space, versus paying significantly more a month for a place with lots of natural light. I almost made the decision to get a cheaper location today but just felt almost disastrously upset about what I was about to do. I’ve still got two months before I’m officially homeless; I’m going to keep on hunting around.

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2015.5.6

Saw my first potential condo rental; it was terrific save for a bathroom that had serious water damage to the ceiling (probably from flooding or leaks above the unit) and a bathroom shower that needed to be burned with fire and entirely replaced. Hopefully the next one is more suitable.

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2018.5.3

I reconnected with the realtor I relied on last time I was on the Toronto housing market and am, again, amazed at how fast, efficient, and helpful he is. A good realtor is definitely worth their weight in gold when renting in Toronto these days.

Link

$1,700 per month to live in a rebuilt garage in the Junction Triangle

Not everyone wants to live in such a small space. And—surprise, surprise—the suite isn’t legal, which is why the owners requested that we not publish their full names or address. And then there’s the fact that the kitchen doesn’t have a stove or oven, just a hot plate.

Let’s see how quickly the city finds this, and shuts it down, given the publicity that Toronto Life gave it. Separately: it costs $1,700 to live in a garage in Toronto right now?!

Link

Twenty-four pedestrians were hit on Toronto’s roads on Tuesday — including an 87-year-old who died

“Do we recognize that weather plays a part in it? Yes, that’s a contributing factor. But what do you do when you can’t see where you’re going? You slow down, you look around. Unfortunately, drivers, let’s be quite frank, are somewhat lazy. They don’t adjust for the driving conditions they face. They’re still trying to push the envelope.”

It’s always a bit shocking to have the Toronto police holding drivers to account for, you know, killing people with their vehicles. It’s a nice change from just blaming pedestrians.

But, at the same time, I don’t think that drivers being “somewhat lazy” is a legitimate comment when talking about people being killed. People get lazy and don’t wash the dishes. Or don’t take the dog out. When they get lazy and kill someone we tend to use another word when we’re not referring to drivers killing pedestrians.

That word? Manslaughter.

Link

Ottawa’s new mortgage rules will drive up rents in Toronto: study

The Globe & Mail:

Recent reforms to mortgage-insurance regulations announced last week by federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau will likely only add fuel to Toronto’s overheated rental market, Mr. Hildebrand said.

He estimates that the typical buyer will need to earn $86,000 a year to afford a condo under stricter mortgage qualification rules that kick in on Monday, a 17 per cent increase from $73,000 under the existing laws. That will push some prospective buyers into the rental market instead.

New regulations effective Nov. 30 will prohibit mortgages on investment properties from being covered by government-backed insurance, which could make financial institutions less willing to lend to condo investors.

Combined, the changes are likely to drive up demand for rental units while shrinking the supply of new rental investors, Mr. Hildebrand said. “It sort of seems to be to be the wrong time to be doing this,” he said. “Even before the changes come into effect, we’re seeing the lowest level of supply in the rental market that we’ve seen in years.”

Now people can be priced out of renting, in addition to owning. A real victory for all city-bound Torontonians.

Link

First-time homebuyer? You could have less borrowing power under new mortgage rules

The CBC:

But Tal says the one place the rule changes will be felt is the Toronto condo market, where sale prices are below $1 million a property and deals often involve first-time buyers with down payments of less than 20 per cent.

“That’s exactly where the target is,” Tal said.

Shaun Hildebrand, senior vice-president of real estate market research firm Urban Nation, agrees with Tal.

“If there is a beneficiary to these policies, it will be the condo market, whether it’s on the for-sale side where buyers are forced into lower price points or on the rental side, as well, as fewer first-time buyers are getting into the marketplace,” Hildebrand said.

While I tend to agree that moving people towards a long-term rental market is important and not an inherently bad thing (in fact, that culture is prevalent in other housing markets), it does demand affordable rental properties. So: will the slowdown in the condo market actually reduce costs of condos due to competition, and lead to a lower rental rate for them on the basis that landlords will not have to recoup the same investment, or will rents remain where they are (and rise) so that wealthy landlords can extract further rents from their tenants?

Link

True stories of lawsuits, fisticuffs and harassment in condoland

Toronto Life:

Lifestyle clashes are inevitable when people of all ages and socio-economic backgrounds live on top of each other in a forced community. When different priorities collide, a siege mentality can set in. In the years since Pantoliano’s case, Toronto has sprouted tens of thousands of new condo units in every shape and size. Retired empty nesters live below boisterous hipsters. People who work night shifts are trying to sleep while parents are getting their toddlers off to daycare. Families with rowdy kids take up residence across the hall from quiet professional couples. And they all unrealistically expect the same degree of freedom and privacy as they’d have in a detached home. Instead, they’re keeping each other up at night, squabbling in hallways, sparring in elevators and petitioning condo boards. The shimmering vertical city has become a breeding ground for lawsuits, bullies and brawlers.

I’ve (generally) been blessed with good condo neighbours above, below, and around me for the entirety of my life. But having spoken to people in my own building who are living beside those who party all the time, cram 6+ people into three bedroom units, and drink and fight in the halls, I know that I’ve just been very fortunate.