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Real Estate and Business

Paying Extra to Own a Home: Renting Versus Owning

It is well-known that in the long-run it has been proven over hundreds of years that it is more lucrative to own your home than it is to rent it. This is especially the case in Canada given our capital gains exemption on principal residences. However, though this is usually the case an the case in the long-run, it isn’t always the case at specific points in time.

It is more lucrative to rent, rather than own your home when the market is in a bubble and it is about to go through a correction. That is something that hasn’t happened in Toronto for decades.

The belief and desire that home ownership is the best thing to do drove millions of Americans to purchase homes they could not afford leading up to the 2007-2008 liquidity crisis and  housing crash in the United States. This blind desire to own a home, fueled by the media and misunderstanding of the economics of home ownership, contributed to the skyrocketing of real estate prices. What made it worse was the government’s willingness to help families buy homes when it made more financial sense for those families to rent. Yet, the calculation of whether one should buy or rent is very straight forward.

The cost of renting your home usually includes:

  • Monthly rent
  • Utilities used
  • Tenant insurance

The cost of owning our home usually includes:

  • Mortgage payments (principal and interest)
  • Maintenance fees (if a condo unit) or maintenance costs
  • Insurance
  • Property taxes

When you add up the costs if you were to rent or own a specific home there are years when it is cheaper to rent and years when it is cheaper to own. Theoretically, the cost of renting should be equal to the cost of owning a home (less the principal repayment component of the mortgage payments). Leading up to the devastating collapse of the United States real estate market the comparison clearly showed a significant premium in owning a home. In other words, it was about 25% cheaper to rent than to own. So, home prices were over-inflated and out of equilibrium. It was only a matter of time before the market adjusted itself.

In Canada, the situation includes two additional significant factors; 1) the heavy immigration rate driving increasing demand and 2) the capital gains tax exemption on primary residences. These two items work to drive demand and produce a higher financial return on home ownership.  With increasing demand comes increasing prices for rent… and for home prices.

Very simply, the more people that need a place to rent, the more a rental unit will rent for. The more a rental unit rents for, the greater the value of the unit and the property it is located at. Though in Canada, the price of housing increased at a greater pace than rent, due to rent control. After a few years of rising housing prices, the pressure was put on by tenants to offer more rent to secure under-priced rental units.

In Toronto, the housing market continues to be in a state of disequilibrium as demand outpaces supply, which is kept tight by regulations and policies of all levels of government and the development and tax costs forced on developers by those governments.

Though a young professional might be tempted to rent a lower-cost unit in Toronto (if they can find one), the reality is that if they don’t buy their own place, their chances of home ownership might be worse in the future and certainly their accumulation of wealth will be significantly hampered.

To take advantage of the housing market returns, many millenials are renting in Toronto to live and buying in smaller communities where prices are low and they can get a rental income as the property appreciates in value. They can then use the equity in that property to buy their Toronto home down the road.

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Signs of a Hoarder

It is important to know the signs of a hoarder because hoarding is a dangerous behaviour which can lead to fires, insect and rodent infestation, disease and other serious health, safety and legal consequences. Recognizing a hoarder will help prevent a situation which can be costly, if not disastrous for landlords, partners and housemates.  In my work as a Real Estate Professional and Property Manager, I sometimes come across homes where hoarders are living. Sometimes they are owner-occupied and sometimes they are tenanted, but in both situations they require a lot of time and effort to deal with the situation. This post will help you recognize the signs of a hoarder, understand the impact of hoarding and will provide some references for the process to deal with the situation and useful techniques.

Hoarding living room
Example of hoarding in a living room. Attribution: Shadwwulf at English Wikipedia

Definition of Hoarding

Hoarding is more accurately known as Hording Disorder or Compulsive Hoarding. It is a behavioural pattern expressed through excessive accumulation of, and inability or willingness to discard, large quantities of objects that cover the living areas of one’s home, causing significant distress, and/or persistent discontent resulting in impairment to one’s quality of life and ability to function. Hoarding behaviour is often associated with not just health risks and impaired functioning, but also workplace impairment, economic burden, as well as, adverse effects on family members and friends. At extremes, hoarding can prevent intended use of space to the point that it limits activities, such as sleeping, moving through the house, cleaning, cooking and entertaining.

Though in most cases, hoarders are aware of their irrational behaviour, the emotional attachment to the hoarded objects is much greater than the motive to discard the items. In fact, the underlying attachment may not be about the items themselves, but the need to simply accumulate items for a sense of security and/or stability.

Though it remains unclear whether compulsive hoarding is a separate, isolated disorder, or simply a symptom of some other condition, from my experience I have found that it is tied to some traumatic event or ongoing dysfunctional situation that occurred in one’s past. Regardless, it is considered to be a Compulsive Obsessive Disorder. Importantly, hoarding only gets worse with age. Getting to the underlying cause of this behaviour is essential to dealing with hoarders. However, you’re not likely to cure them and should recruit the help of a qualified and experienced mental health professional or coach.

Signs of a Hoarder

There are some red flags or signs that you should be aware of when identifying a hoarder. Some of these signs are easier to identify than others and they should never be considered conclusive proof that an individual is a hoarder. Use them as red flags to explore the possibility as part of your due diligence process in dealing with individuals.

  1. Avoid guests and visits to their homes.
  2. Indecision about what to keep or where to put things.
  3. Distress or feeling overwhelmed or even embarrassed by possessions.
  4. Wearing shoes, accessories or clothing that is worn beyond reason.
  5. Fear of contamination or superstitious thoughts.
  6. Fear of change.
  7. Suspicion of other people touching their items.
  8. Obsessive thoughts and actions, such as fear of running out of an item or needing it in the future, checking the trash for unintentionally discarded items.
  9. Significant difficulty organizing or categorizing possessions.
  10. Social Isolation.
  11. Family or Marital Discord.
  12. Financial Difficulties.
  13. Serious anxiety when attempting to discard items – watch people that save packaging or bits of leftovers.
  14. Take free items even when they don’t need them.
  15. Appears to be more common in those with psychological disorders, such as depression, anxiety, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
  16. Associated factors may include alcohol dependence, paranoid schizotypal personality and avoidance traits.

A Hoarder Home

Though it may be too late for landlords to avoid ahead of time, these are the signs of hoarders inside their homes (in addition to the above):

  1. They hold onto a large number of items that most people would consider useless or worthless, such as:
    • Junk mail, old catalogues, magazines and newspapers
    • Freebies and promotional items
    • Worn-out or outdated cooking equipment
    • Things that might be good for making crafts
    • Clothes that they might want to wear one day
    • Trash and broken items
  2. Their home is cluttered to the extent that many areas are inaccessible and no longer used for other than storage, such as:
    • Unsanitary washrooms
    • Showers, sinks, and tubs filled with items and can no longer be used for washing or bathing
    • Kitchens that cannot be used for cooking or food preparation
    • Beds that cannot be used
    • Tables, chairs, or couches that cannot be used for dining or sitting
  3. Their clutter and mess has reached an extent that it can cause distress, illness, and impairment, causing the hoarders to:
    • Keep the shades drawn to hide their clutter from the outside
    • Get into a lot of arguments with family members about their clutter
    • Not allow visitors in, even family and friends, or repair and maintenance workers, because they are embarrassed by the clutter
    • Are at risk of fire, falling, infestation, or eviction
    • Feel anxious or depressed because of the clutter
    • Be reluctant or unable to return borrowed items

It is estimated that between 2% and 5% of all adults are hoarders. So, if you deal with tenants or homeowners, you’re likely to come across hoarders more often than you may think. It is good that you be prepared by having a process, techniques and professionals in place to help deal with these situations.


I’m working on my next post to discuss the process, resources, and techniques in dealing with hoarders. Follow me on social media or visit my website regularly to be notified of when it is published.

Baldo Minaudo, M.B.A.  (Direct: 416-564-0245)

Real Estate Broker, Real Estate Homeward Brokerage Inc.

Property Manager specializing in downtown Toronto rental condos and Toronto east-end rental detached homes (not affiliated with Real Estate Homeward Brokerage Inc.)

#hoarding #hoarders #hoardingdisorder #compulsivehoarding

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Gymnasium Space Available During Ontario Teacher's Strike

CUPE, The Canadian Union of Public Employees announced yesterday that they are willing to escalate their work-to-rule campaign and launch a “full strike action” if a deal cannot be reached. Laura Walton, who has led negotiations on behalf of the union stated, “Make no mistake, CUPE members are prepared to go on strike. We are ready.”

Already, three major school boards have announced they will be closing schools during the strike action. This will potentially affect the education and physical activities of hundreds of thousands of students in Ontario, mostly in the Greater Toronto Area.

Thousands of activities affecting students, parents and adults that have been using school facilities will be affected by this strike action. Don’t let it interfere with your scheduled activities.

Available now for rent for Leagues, Meetings, Gatherings, Sports, Workshops, Exercise Classes, Dance Classes, and more.

There are spaces that are available, including private clubs and sports centres. However, they will book up fast.

There are two spaces available in Toronto’s Upper Beaches on Main Street.

  1. Traditional Full Size Gymnasium: This large gymnasium is 80 feet long and 47 feet deep. That’s a whopping 3700 Square Feet plus!
  2. Theatre Space: Has a traditional raised stage and can accommodate an audience of 248 individuals with an attached fully equipped commercial kitchen.

On site parking with access from Main Street and rear entrance.

For details on both these spaces visit this post: Available Space

If you’re interested, contact me directly, Baldo Minaudo, M.B.A., Broker, Real Estate Homeward Brokerage. Direct: 416-564-0245.

Note: A standard gymnasium size is 50 feet by 84 feet. Some high school gymnasiums are larger with dividing walls and can accommodate regulation size basketball games. This gymnasium was built in the 1950s to accommodate the youth of the Calvary Church community in the upper beaches.


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For Rent: Upscale 1+1 Bedroom Hemingway Condo Apartment at Shops at Don Mills in North York

Mid-rise Urban Lifestyle Living At The Shops At Don Mills

Welcome to The Hemingway Condos at The Contemporary Urban Village at The Shops At Don Mills. This one plus one (1+1) bedroom unit on the 4th floor has one of the best views in the building. The North Facing view provides a quiet atmosphere amidst the trees and greenery. You would never suspect you’re in the city until you go up to the rooftop patio and garden and capture a 360 view that includes the core of Toronto’s cityscape with the CN Tower and surrounding high-rises, the Yonge/Eglinton and Yonge/Sheppard clusters, and the expansive vista of detached homes and landscapes in between.

The unit offers a clean layout with functional kitchen, breakfast bar and open concept that combines dining and living rooms with direct window view. This recently renovated unit is ready for you to make your abode with your personal touch and character. New laminate floors and paint throughout provides a clean fresh space.


This unit is unfurnished and does include window coverings. Appliances include washer, dryer, stove, refrigerator, cooktop oven, microwave, dishwasher, parking and storage locker. Includes Heat, Water, Air Conditioning, Parking, Storage. Tenant pays for own use of Hydro and Cable/Internet.

Quality Building and Google Reviews

The Hemingway is an in demand building with limited available. It’s known for its quality of environment as can be seen through the reviews found on Google with an

average of 4.7 out of 5.0 stars.  Two of the most recent reviews (both 5 stars) state “Better for living quiet place will think after retiring” and “Nice staff with a friendly attitude”



The Hemingway Condo provides great amenities including: 24 hour concierge service, modern lobby, Exercise Room, Swimming Pool, Rooftop Terrace with BBQ, party room, security guard and lots (I mean lots) of visitor parking.

The Rooftop Terrace and Garden is well-done and maintained. It provides a great place to hang out and enjoy the open air, view and company of some friends. Book one of the quality BBQ stations and show your culinary mastery.

Take some time to practice your putting on the rooftop putting green.

Cross the street and enter into the Shops at Don Mills with its upscale shops, restaurants, cafes, VIP Screening Room Cineplex Theatre, Centre Square and the wonderful seasonal sculpture and events. Take a walk to discover nearby walking trails, parks. Very close to DVP and TTC.

Building Ergonomics and Social Engineering

The parking garage is really well lit and clean making it feel safe. The hallways are also clean and well lit, providin

g a positive feel.


This unit is perfect for the young professional or mature individual looking for a quiet building with access to a vibrant lifestyle in a diversified community of fashionable professionals of cultures from around the world. Great place to make new friends, stay at the forefront of innovations and develop your network.

Whether you’re a corporate executive, professional, entrepreneur, writer, artist or social media influencer, this building and this neighbourhood will provide you with both the inspiration and environment to produce, relax and excel. For more information on the neighbourhood visit Living At The Shops At Don Mills

Only $2200 per month!

If you’re a AAA tenant, don’t miss this exclusive listing opportunity. Application form, credit check, proof of income and/or employment is required.

Listed through Baldo Minaudo, MBA, Broker, Real Estate Homeward 416-564-0245

*** Not intended to solicit clients under contract with a broker***

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Main Street Commercial Space for Lease or License

If you’re a performing artist, chef or small business owner you know how difficult it is to find good space in the Upper Beach or anywhere near the downtown. Any good space located on a main street with top exposure, public transit access and parking space is highly sought after, yet elusive to budget conscious start-ups, artists, entrepreneurs and business owners.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Church-Entrance-condnsed.jpgFortunately, the Calvary Baptist Church at 72 Main Street in Toronto’s Upper Beach decided this month to make some of its useful space available to those who are looking for space for their community-focused endeavor.

The 125 year old Calvary has been an iconic part of the Upper Beach community for over 125 years. With a full stage that accommodates an audience of 248, a large gymnasium that is 80 feet long and 47 feet deep, a full commercial kitchen, meeting rooms, worship centre and space for more, the church can be a saviour for those in need of space for their venture or project. To make it more start-up and small business friendly, the space is available on a licensing basis to reduce the cost for everyone.

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Gymnasium: Ideal for sports leagues, gaming, tournaments, conferences, pop-ups, training and large gatherings. Can also be used by athletes, coaches, trainers and instructors. With a depth of 80 feet, this gymnasium provides space for instruction, practice or competition in volleyball, soccer, badminton, basketball, handball, floor hockey, table tennis, dance and so much more. The gymnasium can be accessed by both a main entrance and a parking lot entrance.


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is stage-to-right-and-wide-condensed.jpgStage area: Ideal for musical and theatrical performances, as well as presentations, seminars, workshops, public speaks, dances, rehearsals, dinners, coaching and more. The stage facility can be accessed directly from the Main Street location. The iconic wooden doors and stone entrance way provide an excellent accent for theatrical productions, performances and theme events.


Space is available to set up studios for dance, art, yoga, or anything requiring amble space.


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is kitchen-condnsd.jpgCommercial Kitchen: Great for the aspiring chef, catering business, food product startup, cooking lessons or celebratory dinners. This kitchen has several stainless steel sinks, a serving window, large commercial refrigerator, commercial dishwasher, coffee maker, microwave, ovens and range.

The film industry has just discovered this great space and has begun to use the stage area and worship areas for video and film production. There is even interest from one music association to use the space. This is no surprise given the artistic talent found in the Upper Beach and Calvary’s rich history.

The plaque that is displayed outside Calvary’s main entrance shows some of the cultural, artistic and historically significant influences that are a contribution to the Upper Beach, ‘The Memorial Window and Tower’.



This historic stained glass window and “Soldiers’ Tower” which frames it are dedicated by the congregation of Calvary Baptist Church to the memory of Canadians who gave their lives in WW II. Following the first night blitz of London in 1940 a piece of glass, blown from a window in Westminster Abbey, lay on the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior. Picking it up, Padre Bob Sneyd was inspired to begin a collection. Today, fragments from 90 cathedrals and churches in England and northern Europe damaged or destroyed in that conflict are part of this window. Its unique design was created by Canadian artist Ernest Taylor. Major R.F. Sneyd CD DD served as a chaplain in the Canadian Army, 1939-45, and was minister here from 1932 to 1974.”

If you would like to explore how you can use this space to grow your venture or project contact Baldo Minaudo, M.B.A., Broker, Real Estate Homeward, 416-564-0245, based in the Beach.

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