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Archive for the ‘Annex Real Estate Toronto’ Category

The Empty Nest Solution

Monday, June 6th, 2016

Isn’t it funny how that space you so wanted 30 years ago seems all a bit much today?

Welcome to the empty nest, that stage in life where your kids have flown the coop and where you and your partner are examining your next phase in life. You may be looking at retirement or far from it. One thing’s for sure, you’re starting to wonder if the house you’re in is too big for your reduced family size.

Renting out a basement apartment or a bedroom is a great option for empty nesters. Not only does it provide added income, but it can also offer solitary empty nesters company or at the very least a psychological buffer knowing that they’re not home alone.

Here, according to real estate investor Don Campbell, are some aspects you need to consider before hanging up the ‘For Rent’ sign.


You will likely have to forgo some of it. Is that something you can live with? Will the extra income be worth your diminished privacy? You need to decide if you can handle having a renter in your residence especially if your rental space doesn’t come with its own separate entrance.

Family not so much

It’s difficult to enforce eviction or collection rules with a family member without it ruffling feathers throughout the family. Avoid if at all possible.

Sign a lease

A properly written lease signed by you and the tenant or tenants is a must. Make sure it outlines the rules, late rent penalties, expectations, and length of term.

Don’t lowball

If you offer the lowest rent you attract tenants whose only focus is on dollars. This will likely lead to quick turnovers as your renter leaves for the next lowest rental. Look online at other similar rentals in your area and set your price in the middle or higher end.

Do your research

Read up on landlord-tenant legislation so you know the rules. You should also bone up on local municipal bylaws and learn about guidelines and standards for fire and building safety, zoning and permits. Call your municipal office or go online to find out more.

Inform insurance

Be sure to let your home insurer know that you are renting out a portion of your home.

Research the tax repercussions

Once you become a landlord you have to claim your rental income on your taxes.  Also know that a portion of the capital gain when selling the property could be deemed taxable.

Being a landlord isn’t for the faint of heart. You will want someone who pays their rent on time, leads a reasonably quiet life and respects your property as if it was their own. While that may sound like a tall order, how you seek out a tenant can make a difference.

Advertise your rental with a sign on your property or house. Consider placing a classified ad in newspapers or post a flyer in grocery stores, libraries and places of worship. Be sure to let your friends, family and neighbours know that you’re on the hunt for an ideal tenant because sometimes word of mouth is the best advertising.

If you are looking for a student, contact campus housing offices at colleges and universities near your home. And don’t forget online platforms.

A Neighbourhood Goes for Green

Friday, April 29th, 2016


The Harbord Village Residents’ Association (HVRA) is aiming to imprint a great big collective green thumb on its neighborhood by replacing concrete and asphalt with plants, grass and trees.

Harbord Village, which is bordered by Bloor, College, Spadina and Bathurst Street, is a neighbourhood that while lush with greenery and private gardens has little public green space, except for three tiny parkettes. The residents’ group decided to approach the city about developing a green plan and with the input of the Harbord and Bloor Annex BIAs, the 2015 Harbord Village Green Plan was born.

“We’ve done the plan and now it’s a matter of mobilizing the community,” says Tim Grant, chair of the association. “We already have an active effort on Croft Laneway where neighbours there have already gotten together and planned three different plantings scheduled for this spring. It’s neighbours helping neighbours and I hope to use that as a model to encourage others.”

The 600-plus member association hooked up with city councilor Joe Cressy in addition to local BIAs to devise its plan, which includes the greening of street corners, laneways, planters and derelict and under-used areas in the neighbourhood.

The first plan of attack addresses the often unoccupied paved space where residential streets meet commercial strips along Bloor, Harbord and College. The green plan calls for planting opportunities at 13 different locations in which in-ground planting, raised container beds, bicycle parking and seating might be provided.

As Harbord Village is home to over 25 laneways, the plan calls for a number of initiatives aimed at improving and greening the neighbourhood’s network of corridors and passages, with current emphasis on Croft Laneway and Sussex Mews. These include encouraging neighbours to plant containers in free spaces next to garages or in paving gaps along building walls, hanging flowering baskets from light standards where appropriate, creating punctures along the centre of laneways and introducing resilient plant species, introducing vining along walls and fences and seeking opportunities for rain barrels and other catchments to provide water.

The plan recommends the replacement of pitchpoint planters. These concrete planters, many of which are marked with graffiti, are only marginally effective at slowing motorists. The residents’ group would rather see an in-ground pitchpoint, which allows ample space for plants, shrubs and trees. These in-ground street features effectively slow traffic and discourage graffiti.

The development of parks in under-capacity parking lots, abandoned recreational courts and sections of surplus lawn around apartment buildings all have potential when it comes to green space.

On May 18, the HRVA is holding its annual spring meeting at the Kensington Health Centre at 45 Brunswick Ave.

“We’re excited about this,” Grant says. “Now we need to get boots on the ground and make things happen.”




The Ultimate Top 5 No-No’s when Selling

Tuesday, April 5th, 2016

Brisk real estate markets like Toronto or Vancouver are great for sellers because of the high level of interest among buyers, many of whom are hungry, perhaps desperate some might say to capture their own properties.

Given this seller’s market, it’s understandable that a seller might be inclined to slack off a bit when it comes to keeping their home in tip-top shape. That’s never advisable. When buyers observe signs of neglect and carelessness they begin to question a property and suddenly your highly sought-after house is not so hot to trot any more.

With that in mind, let’s look at the Top 5 No-No’s sellers need to correct or address before putting their house on the market.

  1. Filth & Junk – Even though the dirtiest of messes can be eventually cleaned up, this has to be one of the top sins. Hide your dirty laundry from plain view. If you don’t have time to wash dishes, put them in the dishwasher.  If that’s not an option hide them temporarily in a bin in your oven. Take out the trash; make your beds and scrub sinks and toilets. As for clutter, it comes in varying degrees. Ask your realtor for suggestions about what areas you need to tackle first.
  2. Doggy Do’s & Don’ts – As cute, lovable, fun and furry as your pets may be, others are apt to approach pets with a high degree of caution. There are a wide range of reasons why strangers won’t like your pets, from matters around cleanliness and safety to everything in between. Some buyers find pets and their messes a huge turn-off so knowing that your house houses one can be cause for concern. It may take some effort, but you’re best to hide any signs of animals, especially when it comes to property damage such as scratch marks on doors or urine stains in carpeting.  Take care of pet-related issues before listing your house and try to take your pets with you during showings.
  3. Don’t Be a Stalker – Interested buyers feel the need to keep their distance from the seller so don’t be tempted to shadow them as they tour your home. Nothing could be worse. You are not being helpful by pointing out technical features of your basement sauna or interesting gossip about the celebrities that live on your street. This is the job of the realtor. Use your agent to communicate selling features. Having the seller linger around the house while it is being shown is detrimental as the purchaser will never feel 100 per cent at ease, which will encumber how they feel about your house in general, no matter how beautiful and reasonably priced.
  4. Stinkeroo – The thing about bad smells is that the only way to escape them is by leaving the dwelling. This is not a good message to convey to a prospective buyer. And yes, you may love garlic and eat it at every meal, but the smell can be overpowering and, believe it or not, offensive to some people. Other olfactory insults can include such cooking smells as bacon and fish. Try not to cook those strong-smelling foods right before or even the day before a showing.  Even more disgusting is the smell of cigarette smoke. Take your butts outside. Animal smells from litter boxes and dirty pets are also highly off-putting.
  5. Reality Bites – Don’t be unrealistic about your house. Yes, it’s a hot real estate market but that doesn’t mean a way-too-high asking price coupled with a property that is rarely available for showings will get you what you want. Try to take the emotion and ego out of selling your home. Price it realistically and make it ready and available for showings.

Hibernate No More!

Monday, January 25th, 2016

It’s easy to understand why Torontonians want to crank up their heat and stay indoors during January and February. But don’t let cool temperatures and a little snow accumulation prevent you from exploring the city.

Despite the chill, there are plenty of fun and fascinating events taking place. Here’s our look at some of the more unique ones:

New Height for Rooftop Skating Rink


There is something decidedly exciting about skating outdoors but when you’re gliding amidst other towering rooftops there’s an added kick. Check out Molson Canadian’s 100-by-45-foot ice pad set 32 stories high atop the financial district at 120 Adelaide St. W. You can purchase ice time between January 29 and February 7.

The Hills are Alive with Toboggans

Toronto has a surprising number of great spots, from baby hills for real beginners to steep cliffs that only old seasoned sledders can navigate. Cedarvale Park, Winston Churchill Park, Christie Pits and Bickford Parks all offer good variety in terms of different size hills.



One of the city’s favourite foodie festivals gets underway January 29 and runs to February 11. Winterlicious offers delicious cuisine and unique culinary events at more than 200 restaurants. For more details, see website for details .

Want Fries With That?

La Poutine Week is the crème de la crème of fried foodie festivals that begins Feb 1 and goes to Feb. 7. For $10, you get to try a poutine dish from participating restaurants and then vote on the best Poutine Week location.

Spot of Tea


If your tastes fun a bit more refined, perhaps you’d enjoy exploring the world of tea at the Toronto Tea Festival. The two-day event at the Toronto Reference Library takes place January 30 and 31. A one-day pass is $15; two-day pass is $25. For more info, click here.

Try the Castle on for Size

Casa Loma offer two popular escape games for the adventurous at heart. Blending fact with fiction and gaming with theatre, the escape games offered here – Escape from the Tower and King of the Bootleggers – require advanced bookings. If gaming isn’t for you, consider the January 23 Robbie Burns celebration which includes a four-course Johnnie Walker scotch pairing dinner. See website for more.



January is the Right Time to Sell

Monday, January 18th, 2016

It`s hot. It`s cold. It`s slumping. It`s smoking.

Each of those descriptors has described the Toronto real estate market at one time or another. And while it`s important to pay the market its due, know also that if you`re thinking of selling your home now is probably one of the best times to do so.

If you are thinking of waiting for warmer temperatures when the blooms on the daffodils and forsythia cast a gorgeous golden glow on your home and invite prospective purchasers far and wide, think again. Springtime is when the bulk of homeowners will also decide it`s best to sell their homes. Yes, your blossoms will look pretty, but your house will have much more in the way of competition if you wait for spring.

While January may not seem like the ideal month to show your home, there is much less inventory on the market right now so your real estate is apt to stand out more. Besides if buyers are house hunting in January, they are likely very serious and motivated purchasers and not your run-of-the-mill tire-kicker types. Would you trudge through cold temperatures, ice and snow just to check out someone`s mudroom reno? Didn`t think so.

Bear in mind, too, that if you list your home in January, it will be viewed as a debutante, of sorts. Much of your house`s competition will be older listings that came on the market in November and December so with your house being the new kid on the block, that`s sure to drive and generate even greater interest.

Because there`s less inventory in January and February, bidding wars can be ferocious. And naturally, as the seller, that`s good news for you.

A Bird’s Eye View of Toronto Neighbourhoods

Thursday, December 31st, 2015

Since the business of real estate is a big part of our DNA at Freeman Real Estate we are always looking at new ways to showcase our products and services.

And what better way to do so than with videos that capture the essence of a neighbourhood and bring life to buildings, houses, condos and commercial spaces. That’s precisely what you’ll find at www.annexrealestate.com, Freeman’s latest website featuring the videos of ten key neighbourhoods thanks to a high-flying drone camera. The videos, which are set to music, feature both wide aerial shots of neighbourhoods and close-up views of houses, businesses, parks, public spaces, institutions, people and streetscapes.

“The vantage point you get is just spectacular,” says Elden Freeman, president of Freeman Real Estate. “The videos really do tell a story of each neighbourhood. I think people who aren’t particularly familiar with certain areas will definitely want to view these short films. They give you a better feel for an area and might help you decide if you would want to live or do business there. And if you are familiar with these neighbourhoods, I suggest viewing them as a reminder of how amazing, vibrant and beautiful our city really is.”

While nothing surpasses visiting a neighbourhood in person, the aerial views in each of the two-minute videos can’t be beat. Neighbourhoods featured include the Annex, Hillcrest, Casa Loma, Wychwood Park, Humewood-Cedarvale, Oakwood-Vaughan, South Annex, Little Italy, Seaton Village and Christie Village.

The website also includes plenty of information that will help you make an informed decision about your next real estate venture. Each neighbourhood’s average list price and sale price are posted in addition to the number of homes for sale and the number of homes that sold during the previous month. You can also search listings based on price and the number of bedrooms and/or bathrooms you require.

Happy watching.

Come Skate With Us

Monday, December 7th, 2015


Freeman Real Estate is once again inviting the community it serves to join its realtors, managers and owners for a free skate this weekend at the Bill Bolton Arena on 40 Rossmore Road in Toronto.

The free skate takes place on Saturday from 5:15 to 6:15 p.m. Refreshments will also be served.

A fixture within the business community of Seaton Village and Toronto’s independent real estate brokerage firms, Freeman has a long-standing tradition of community outreach and giving thanks to the clients and customers it has proudly served since 1972.

“The span of time we’ve spent on Bathurst Street has been good to the Freeman family,” says Elden Freeman, president of Freeman Real Estate. “And I think that goodness funnels back to the customers we’ve acquired in real estate. This is one small way we can show our gratitude and wish all of our clients and customers a Merry Christmas.”

The Freemans enjoy staging local community events year round and have organized historic tours of noteworthy neighbourhoods and sponsored dance performances as well as educational seminars that are open to the public.

Bear in mind that skating is great exercise because it’s easy on your joints and terrific for improving balance, coordination and muscle strength. You can also burn calories on ice skates. Be sure to dress in warm, light layers so you can adjust your clothing depending on how hot or cold you feel. You may want to consider a helmet as well.

Since space is limited at the free skate, you’re best to RSVP your intention to participate at frontdesk@freemanrealty.com or call at 416-535-3103.

See you on the ice!


Toronto Festivals for the End of Summer 2015

Friday, September 25th, 2015

Thinking about ways to while away the last few days of summer? Try attending some of the varied, fun and interesting outdoor festivals the city has in store over the next week or two:

Food truck Festival – Sept. 27

Bring your appetite to Downsview Park for this event featuring 16 delicious gourmet food trucks. Included in the line-up is Busters Sea Cove, ME.N.U Food Truck, Fit to Grill and Indian fusion nosh from Tdots Naansense.

Cider Festival – Sept. 26

Looking for an interesting and new way to cap off your summer? Look no further than the Toronto Cider Festival at the Yonge-Dundas Square. The event showcases craft ciders from across the country as well as Toronto food trucks, live music, cocktail competitions, games and contests.

Word on the Street – Sept. 27

This national celebration of literacy and the written word invites you to participate in author events, presentations, workshops, and to browse a marketplace that boasts one of the best selections of Canadian books and magazines. This free festival at Harbourfront Centre has something for all ages, from children and youth to adults and seniors.

 Woofstock – Sept. 26 & 27

At Woodbine Park, this admission-free event is the largest outdoor festival for dogs and their faithful owners in all of North America. With over 200,000 attendees and 150,000 canines, expect the unexpected in addition to a slew of doggy-related vendors and activities such as stupid dog tricks, canine beauty pageants and dog races.

Canada’s Walk of Fame Festival – Sept. 25 to Oct. 1

Showcasing 100 per cent Canadian talent, this festival features free performances at Yonge-Dundas Square, the Massey Hall concert series and new musical talent at the Horseshoe Tavern. Canadians in all fields are inducted into the hall of fame thanks to this non-profit organization that seeks to pay tribute and recognize Canadian achievement.

Gentleman’s Expo – Sept. 25 to 27

This celebration of manhood at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre covers every gentlemanly pursuit from fashion, cars and alcohol to sex, entrepreneurship and gaming with more than 100,000 square feet of brands and experiences.

Small World on Common Ground – Sept. 26 & 27

A free festival featuring music and arts on the grounds of historic Fort York. Enjoy this family friendly cultural feast that also includes spoken-word artists, pow wow fit sessions, crafts and food.


Considering the Life of a Landlord? Take this Quiz

Thursday, September 24th, 2015
Like Fred and Ethel Mertz, those madcap but lovable landlords of I Love Lucy fame, you may have dreamt of managing a property with tenants or maybe just renting out the upper or lower floor of your house or perhaps buying a condo and having someone else pay off the mortgage.


So what’s holding you back? Are you afraid you’ll get the tenant from hell? Or maybe you fear you’ll be too soft on tenants who can’t pay their rent on time. Maybe you just don’t like people well enough to want to surround yourself with virtual strangers. With interest rates as low as they are, with Toronto’s red-hot real estate market and given the numbers moving to the city each year, now might be the time to consider diving in.


We designed a very unscientific test to see if you’re cut out to manage a rental property. Give it a try:


  1. Handyman is a word that: _________
A) Gets your heart pumping with happy thoughts of many visits to Home Depot.
B) Is properly used for your skills as a grass cutter, eaves-trough cleaner and window washer.
C) Gets overused. I like repairman, as in phone one.


  1. You and your partner’s financial goals are: _________
A) Completely simpatico.
B) On the same page 40 per cent of the time.
C) News to me. I had no idea my partner had financial goals.


  1. Your idea of a rainy-day fund is: _________
A) Two per cent of the purchase price for maintenance and repairs plus more in reserves for unforeseen occurrences such as tenants failing to pay their rent.
B) Putting aside a few bucks for upkeep when it’s convenient for me.
C) Money you spend to lift your spirits during a downpour.


  1. You see tenants as: _________
A) Valued and respected members of society just like me.
B) Good people for the most part.
C) Cash cows.


  1. As a landlord, being hassled by tenants would mean: _________
A) Continually having to chase down those who didn’t pay their rent on time or having abusive renters who destroyed my property.
B) Sending out rent receipts on a regular basis.
C) Having to speak to them.


  1. In conflict situations, you: _________
A) Always remain cool, calm and collected, handling each quarrel decisively with firm resolve and fairness.
B) Hesitate and change my mind several times when dealing with big issues.
C) Yell


If most of your answers were a’s, congratulations, you’ve got what it takes, you, landlord, you. Property management is right up your alley.


If you mostly answered b’s, you have some positive landlord qualities, but you might want to take a course to brush up on the rest. Workshops and courses are available. Check online in your area. You also might want to consider joining the Ontario Landlords Association, which offers discounts on credit checks plus other benefits.
If you scored mainly c’s, well, maybe you should leave your money in the bank.

Wandering about Wychwood

Monday, September 14th, 2015

As part of its ongoing series of neighbourhood walks, Freeman Real Estate is hosting a historic tour of Wychwood Park on Sunday, September 27 at 1 p.m.

As part of its ongoing series of neighbourhood walks, Freeman Real Estate is hosting a historic tour of Wychwood Park on Sunday, September 27 at 1 p.m.

Formerly known as the gated community of Bracondale Hill, Wychwood Park is a small enclave that was set up around the turn of the last century as an artists’ colony thanks to Marmaduke Matthews, an artist and aficionado of the Arts and Crafts movement. Matthews would gain prominence as an artist after painting traditional Canadian scenes that appeared in the illustrated ad work of Canadian Pacific Railway.

Matthews’ friend Alexander Jardin owned a huge block of land in the Wychwood area, which is north of Davenport Road and just west of Bathurst. Jardin sold a good chunk of that land to artists. The land was still very rural back then, when Matthews planned his pastoral community and named it after Wychwood in his native Oxfordshire.

“The area is a little enclave that is almost not part of the city,” says Marilyn Spearin, a local history buff and former school teacher who is leading the tour.

She is referring to the fact that although Wychwood was amalgamated into the city of Toronto in 1909, it remains a private community. The streets and amenities are paid for by the local residents, and the community is managed by an executive council. As one of Toronto’s more exclusive neighbourhoods, house prices easily top a million dollars.

During its start, the land was divided into irregularly shaped lots situated around a central park, pond and tennis courts designed by Toronto architect Arthur Edwin Whatmough.  Many of the homes in Wychwood were designed by Whatmough in the Arts and Crafts style.

Several well-known people have lived there, including Marshall McLuhan and Anatol Rapoport. In 1985 the area became the first residential zone in Ontario to be granted heritage status. A handful of other homes were designed by Eden Smith, a well-known architect who lived in the neighbourhood.

Wychwood is a leafy area home to ravines, old-growth trees and Taddle Creek, a six-kilometre stream that has been largely buried throughout most of the city except in a few spots including Wychwood where it is visible above ground.

The tour On September 13 will also encompass a visit to the nearby Tollkeeper’s Cottage, an historic tollgate structure discovered in the early ‘90s that now houses a museum and a gift shop. Located at Davenport and Bathurst, the cottage is also now home to a blue canoe thanks to the David Suzuki Foundation. As part of the foundation’s homegrown national parks project, the canoe is designed and planted with plants that encourage bees and butterflies. For more info visit www.tollkeeperscottage.ca.

The tour is expected to take one-and-a-half to two hours in total. Participants are asked to meet outside of the Freeman Real Estate office at 988 Bathurst Street just before 1 p.m. Rain date is set for October 4.


The data included on this website is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed to be accurate by the Toronto Real Estate Board. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.