Ontario Residents Rant About Election

From this morning’s impromptu coffee chat with some local residents at Tim Horton’s. These are some comments I gathered from a small group of coffee sippers this morning and tried to get it as close to what I heard as possible. So don’t attack me please, just give your thoughts to what has been aired.
 
Doug Ford was on CP24 this morning talking about Patrick Brown cutting a deal with Christine Elliott to endorse her in return for keeping his seat. If that is true, there are now three things that are of concern about Elliott;
 
1) That she is playing the same old backroom deals that have tainted the Ontario Liberal government’s reputation over the last few years,
 
2) Her lack of loyalty to the party as expressed through her accepting a job from Kathleen Wynn, and
 
3) Her philosophy and approach as shown through the debate last week showing her unwillingness to take out the brook and clean out the waste, dust and nonsense from Kathleen’s attack on Ontario’s traditional lifestyle and family structure.
 
If the Conservatives are to win the next election, they need to elect a leader who is capable of representing the people with a clear focus on every Ontarian and break lose from the corrupt relationships with special interest groups for the sake of looking good among ill-informed voters. Then they need to campaign hard to make sure that they get as many Ontarians out as possible to vote!
 
Then they need to have a clear plan to:
 
1. Help average taxpayers with being able to earn a living and afford their own house. Unless you’re a government employee or union worker in Ontario, it’s almost impossible to buy your first home without family help. This has to change. With homes costing over $1M and the new mortgage rules/stress test, banks unwillingness to lend, even someone earning $250,000 can’t afford to buy a home without a significant down payment. At $244,000 individuals have to give the government 55% of each additional dollar they earn and they only get to keep 45%. How is this ‘regressive tax system’ fair or even good for everyone when the best and brightest leave once they get to those income levels?
 
2. Support small business (which accounts for 90% of job creation in Canada) through
a) reducing red tape and regulations. The Liberal’s have shown their dislike of small business with statements like ‘if you can’t afford to pay more for wages you shouldn’t be in business’. This philosophical attack on small business has to be reversed. They should be saying, ‘how can we help you hire more people and give them the opportunity to earn more as they add more value to your business’.
b) the redundancy of unions and the Ontario labour act has to be addressed. We don’t need both. So, decide on which way you want to go and focus on it. Once the government started dictating wages and other terms of employment it basically has replaced what unions were originally meant to do…stop the exploitation of workers and provide them with security. Well the government is doing that directly now. So why are companies forced to double regulation?
 
3. Electricity expenses. If you want to have union jobs that result in higher wages than other jurisdictions we compete with, then you have to reduce other expenses. Why are we paying so much more for electricity than we should? We can’t even compete with mass production or automation because we’re competing with countries with much lower energy costs. Find a way to drop electricity expenses for manufacturers in Ontario.
 
4. Housing availability and traffic congestion. Wynn has thrown money at the same old things that have created these problems to begin with. The underlying issue with traffic and affordability is supply and demand combined with the NECESSITY FOR DAILY TRAVEL. In Europe they got it right when they have people living where they work. Why are we having people commute 30-40 kms to get to work? Create the incentive and support to have people work closer to home. Adjust zoning to include commercial in residential neighbourhoods. Make it more affordable to build houses in different areas on non-fertile farm land. Why are we paying an upwards of $25,000 per unit for building/development permits, t hen paying double land transfer taxes in Toronto? The government is taking as much as $100,000 in these and related taxes just to build a home. Why? This money goes to general expenses (bureaucracy?).
 
5. Quality of education. The quality of education in Ontario has dropped significantly over the last 25 years! I’ve come across some really bad teachers in the school system who shouldn’t be allowed near children, let alone teach them. Why is it so hard to get rid of these bad teachers, but more importantly, WHY IS THE MINISTRY OF EDUCATION PUTTING TEACHER JOB SECURITY AHEAD OF THE EDUCATION, DEVELOPMENT AND PSYCHOLOGICAL HEALTH OF THE CHILDREN? Wynn was so interested in sex education, but she did nothing for addressing the quality of education issue or how to deal with the Teacher’s Union which is allowing some teachers to destroy the self-confidence, motivation and future potential of young children. What is your plan?
 
Your thoughts? 

B.C. Launches Aggressive Housing Plan Targeting Luxury Homes

The NDP government of British Columbia has introduced an aggressive $6 billion plan targeting luxury homes, foreign buyers and absentee property owners.

In an attempt to make housing in Vancouver more affordable for everyone, the NDP government has launched over 30 measures that include increasing property taxes on homes above $3 million by thousands of dollars a year, increase foreign buyers tax from 15% to 20% (an extra $50,000 in tax for every million dollars). taxing AirBnB rentals and some new taxes as well. The AirBnB should be no surprise as I have posted about it in the past and vlogged about it on my youtube channel.

The idea is to take money from those that have it and buy housing for those that want to live in Vancouver, but can’t afford it. The plan is an extensive one that will require a large degree of complexity and hiring staff in order to implement.  A large portion of taxes raised will end up going to hiring more government employees. What is left will go towards building of rental and affordable housing according to their targets.

Over the years, Canadian real estate has become the place for foreigners, especially those from China, Russia, India, Middle East to park their money. For whatever reason, these individuals feel that it is safer to put their money in Canada, away from the legal, political and economic uncertainty in their home countries. In the process, they have driven up Canadian real estate prices beyond the reach of the average hard working Canadian. Well-educated and willing youth, many with fairly decent jobs, and unable to purchase their own home are seeing unemployed foreign youth living in multi-million dollar homes and driving luxury or even exotic sports cars.

The message is clear, in order to appease the cries of the general population for affordable housing, politicians looking to get elected have yielded the battle cry of affordable housing. Unable to address the fundamental underlying issue they have turned to smoke and mirrors to address the concerns of the population. Unfortunately, this is not going to end here as those underlying issues remain unaddressed.

There is a reason why foreigners are able to buy homes when Canadians cannot afford it. There is a reason why well-educated Canadians can not get jobs and foreigners are living luxurious lifestyles without employment. Rather than address those issues, the NDP government of B.C. is simply taking money from those that it sees having a lot of it and giving it to those that don’t have enough of it.

It is probably that the prices of the $3 million plus homes will be cooled. It is also probable that some of those home owners may now liquidate their $3 million home, but will a homeless person buy it? No, that homeless person will still be homeless. But, those foreigners may not be visiting Vancouver, spending their money at restaurants, transportation, buyer cars, furniture, etc. If that happens the impact on average local jobs could be negative, which means less tax revenues. In turn, this could make it even harder for individuals to afford homes at all levels of prices.

The NDP government’s message is clear, Vancouver belongs to British Columbians, so speculate on real estate somewhere else!

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Originally published by Baldo Minaudo on BaldoMinaudo.com, Baldo Minaudo, M.B.A. is a Real Estate Broker located out of Toronto serving local and international clients. He may be reached through is office 416-698-2090 or through his website.

Jim Pagiamtzis sharing 10 strategies to create success

1. Grow Your Network
2. Reading
3. Seek Mentors/ Leaders
4. Collaboration
5. Passive Income
6. Me Time
7. Keep Learning
8. Have fun!
9. Business Development
10. Travel

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KD3oeWlM5ZE[/embedyt]

Spacious Upscale 1 Bedroom + Den Unit in Annex Near Yorkville For Rent

UPSCALE UNIT: 95 Prince Arthur Ave Condo Unit in Annex near Yorkville. Spacious (~900 s.f.), 1 Bedroom plus Den on 2nd floor of well-managed building in upscale, professional neighbourhood near U of T, Yorkville, TTC, Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), Restaurants, and much, much more. Ensuite laundry, Central Air, Storage Locker. INCLUDES WATER AND ELECTRICITY. This is a fantastic unit at only $2500. You won’t find better deal. Looking for quality tenant for minimum 1 year lease.

Please contact Baldo Minaudo, M.B.A., Broker, Real Estate Homeward at 416-564-0245 if you’re interested.

Please contact me at 416-564-0245 if you’re interested.

Please contact me at 416-564-0245 if you’re interested.

Please contact me at 416-564-0245 if you’re interested.

Please follow and like us:

Originally published by Baldo Minaudo on BaldoMinaudo.com, Baldo Minaudo, M.B.A. is a Real Estate Broker located out of Toronto serving local and international clients. He may be reached through is office 416-698-2090 or through his website.

Money Transmitter Licenses and Canadian First Global Data in the U.S.

Almost every U.S. state requires a state license in order to transmit money into, out of or within the state. These licenses are expensive to acquire and to maintain and establish a financial barrier of entry.

Licensing requirements include the following considerations:

  • applicant’s financial condition
  • applicant’s net worth
  • amount of business for the previous year
  • anticipated business for the upcoming year

The cost of acquiring a license average more than U.S. $175,000 per state and the annual renewal fees on average are more than U.S. $135,000.

In addition to the various state requirements,  money transmitters must also register with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) of the U.S. Department of Treasury. Registration is valid for two years before it needs to be renewed. Money transmitters must use the BSA E-Filing System to submit initial registration forms and renewals. There are both civil and criminal penalties for money services businesses that do not register with FinCEN.

In effect, these regulations help to validate the worthiness of the companies that acquire the money transmitter license. Given the financial investment and the corporate strength in order to acquire the licenses, companies that are granted licenses achieve a degree of credibility.

It is believed that it is more difficult for foreign companies to acquire these licenses. However, given Canada’s highly developed, regulated and structured financial industry, Canadian-based companies are afforded a strong reputation internationally.

One Canadian, publicly traded company, First Global Data Inc. (traded as v.fgd on the TMX) is an international financial services technology (“FINTECH”) company. The Company’s two main lines of business are mobile payments and cross border payments. First Global’s proprietary leading edge technology enables the convergence of compliant domestic and cross border payments, shopping, Peer to Peer (“P2P”), Business to Consumer (“B2C”), and Business to Business (“B2B”) payments. First Global enables its strategic partners and clients around the world with our leading edge financial services technology platform.

First Global Data (www.firstglobaldata.com), according to their most recent press release, has acquired 31 money transmitter licenses. “We continue our focus on US wide licensing as the more State licenses First Global has, the larger the market opportunity for our services such as Happy Transfer launched on the WeChat social messaging platform with our China-based partner LianLian; for the Company’s First Global Money international remittances services which delivers into Latin America, India, the Philippines and other very large markets; for domestic USA peer to peer and mobile payment services; and for additional cross border payment services the Company intends to provide to consumers across the USA”, said Andre Itwaru, Chairman and CEO of First Global Data Limited.

This company is  positioned to strategically take advantage of Canada’s financial industry reputation, leveraging our access to the U.S. market and bridging it with Asian demand. With a stock price at under CDN$0.30, I’m curious to see the value of the users it has acquired through partnerships. With Canadian Schedule A banks paying thousands of dollars for credit card customer acquisitions, this company’s value might already be well beyond its stock price.

See related post: First Global Data Appoints Top Notch CFO

OSFI Changes May Signal Expectations of 2% Increase in Mortgage Interest Rates

This month the Office of Superintendent of Financial Institutions for Canada is finalizing changes in legislation that will include requiring those that purchase a home with a minimum down payment of at least 20%, not needing mortgage insurance, to prove they could still afford their mortgage payments if interest rates were 200 basis points (two percentage points) higher than the rate they negotiate.

Jeremy Rudin, the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, told reporters. “But we do know this: Housing prices are still near their all-time highs, and mortgage rates are still near their all-time lows. And while sound underwriting is always important, it’s never been more important than it is now.”

Though OSFI, nor the banks have stated that interested rates are headed 2% higher, the fact that they are stress-testing for this to happen, tells me that they are planning for it to happen.

Meanwhile, the Bank of Canada has already announced that they are expecting to increase interest rates again later this month.

Banks have already tightened their lending policies and I’m getting reports of strong applicants having their mortgage applications turned down by the banks.

Globe and Mail article on OSFI announcement

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Originally published by Baldo Minaudo on BaldoMinaudo.com, Baldo Minaudo, M.B.A. is a Real Estate Broker located out of Toronto serving local and international clients. He may be reached through is office 416-698-2090 or through his website.

Which Way Is The Toronto Housing Market Moving?

Toronto Detached Homes in high demand

I am often asked about where the Toronto housing market is headed. In the long-run we all know real estate has to go up. After all, there is only so much land and the population keeps growing. Toronto is one of the top destination cities for immigrants from around the world. However, in the short-term, as governments pass policies and regulations affecting housing, the Toronto housing market will be impacted.

We’ve already seen the consequences of tightening mortgage rules and the Ontario Government’s fair housing act, which seems to have contributed to dampening of house appreciation, while possibly decreasing availability of rental units and increasing rents. Contrary to what the government tried to accomplish? Correct. The reason being that with the extra costs of providing rental housing, any new units on the market will need to be rented at higher rates to cover the increasing tax and regulatory related expenses.

So, as the market adjusts to these new changes and with what I believe will be a Bank of Canada interest rate hike this month, I expect Toronto housing market growth to be hampered further. Of course, some neighbourhoods will be affected more than others. Contact me if you’re looking to buy and I’ll help you choose the right neighbourhood and home to meet your needs in this changing market.

Follow me for my next post in regards to another development this month that will further dampen Toronto housing market growth. (

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/baldo/)

Odds of a rate hike soar to almost 50% overnight after Canada’s growth wows economists

Recreational Properties Poised to Increase in Demand

Record Toronto home prices may have tipped the scales for those looking to make significant lifestyle changes. A few months ago, when the Toronto housing market was at its hottest, I noticed individuals selling their Toronto homes with no intention of getting back into the market. Instead they were deciding to rent in Toronto and invest their money in recreational properties to enjoy a different lifestyle.

Discussions with real estate professionals in caribbean countries revealed a sharp increase in the proportion of their recreational properties being sold to Torontonians. Word from luxury real estate professionals is that three Toronto families have purchased  homes on one street alone at the luxurious Albany Club Resort Community in the Bahamas developed by Joe Lewis. It seems that countries that respect privacy and have reasonable tax structures, such as Belize, Panama and the Bahamas are attracting many well-to-do Torontonians.

A few years ago, many high-income earning Canadians had left Canada to reside in Asian countries with lower taxes. One MetroActive member was able to save over a million dollars in taxes and invested that extra money in Asian recreational rental properties which have been providing him with a net 10% annual return, not including the capital appreciation. He comments, “Why would I pay 54% in income taxes of what I earn above $244,000 and then have to pay 13% in HST when I spend what’s left.”

Recent socio-economic changes in Canada, and specifically Toronto may be adding to the desire to make these lifestyle changes.  Concerns over record-level spending at municipal, provincial and federal levels, combined with deterioration of civil rights and legislation to accommodate special interest groups at the expense of the majority may have tipped the cart too far.

For some Canadian families, it is about selling their city residence to purchase their dream cabin or cottage, but for others is about escaping the big cities, which have been going through a socio-cultural shift that now supports a much different lifestyle than that which they prefer. Even in Canada, demand for recreational properties is soaring.

According to a survey by Leger for RE/MAX, 28 per cent of Canadian homeowners with children under 18 would consider selling their primary residence to finance a recreational property. Before you get too excited, understand that the key word is ‘would’ not ‘will you sell your primary residence’.

Retirees and those approaching retirement, are putting most of the equity from the sale of their Toronto or Vancouver home into a recreational property. Torontonians are the largest proportion of Canadian snowbirds in Florida with a large presence in Arizona. Canadians have also been investing in Bahamian recreational properties for years, and more recently have been flocking to Panama and now Belize.

A few years ago, I started talking about the retirement lifestyle strategy. In a nutshell, it takes the equity in your Toronto residence and provides you with a recreational property in a warm climate with the potential for both increased cash flow and capital gains. It isn’t for everyone, but if you have a Toronto home it could be your best option.

Contact me for to arrange a meeting to discuss this option. Baldo Minaudo 416-564-0245.

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Originally published by Baldo Minaudo on BaldoMinaudo.com, Baldo Minaudo, M.B.A. is a Real Estate Broker located out of Toronto serving local and international clients. He may be reached through is office 416-698-2090 or through his website.

Jim Pagiamtzis Speaking on Activity based management

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=naJzEZKSJcA[/embedyt]

Jim Pagiamzis shares insights on time management

Time
Event Management
Flex time
Fixed Time
Phone calls
Take the dog out!

Feel free to leave a comment

EXCLUSIVE: 1381 Queen St East in Leslieville Toronto For Sale

EXCLUSIVE LISTING: 1381 Queen Street East, Detached Victorian Income Property Listed for Sale at $1,539,000

Leslieville Rental Property1381 Queen Street East, detached rental property (3 Units) in Leslieville (Toronto)

This Is A Stunning, Solid, Detached Victorian Home In Leslieville! Three (3) Self Contained Units,  Renovated Including Mechanics.  Beautiful Victorian Detailing…Leaded Glass Windows, High Baseboards, With Soaring Ceiling.  Two 1068 SF Self Contained Suites Tenanted ($1420.00 Per Unit), and One 1500 SF, 2 Storey, 3 Bedroom Suite That Can Rent For Approximately $3000.00 per Month (Owner Occupied).  Solar Panels That Reduce Hydro Bills.   Huge City Lot (23.29’ x 165’) With 6 Car Parking. AMAZING OPPORTUNITY!

Zoned Commercial/Residential.

Address: 1381 Queen St East, Toronto.

For viewing or more information contact: Baldo Minaudo, Broker, Real Estate Homeward, 416-564-0245.

Home may not appear exactly as shown in picture. Buyer solely responsible to verify all details and information. Not intended to solicit clients under contract with a brokerage.

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Originally published by Baldo Minaudo on BaldoMinaudo.com, Baldo Minaudo, M.B.A. is a Real Estate Broker located out of Toronto serving local and international clients. He may be reached through is office 416-698-2090 or through his website.