This week’s Quick Hits includes stories about $1 Billion products, and products that are FREE! Then, there are products that are for sale, but are broken, and disguised as working…
Who says honesty is the best policy?
More Bemoaning of BMO?
I think we may have ‘touched’ on this already this week, but it’s interesting to see all the response on BMO’s “Low Rate Mortgage” of 2.99% which is gaining momentum in the mortgage market.
Every day this week, I read articles in The Globe & Mail about possible mortgage rate wars, and what Mark Carney and Jim Flaherty think.
From The Globe: “Finance Minister Jim Flaherty says he stands ready to intervene in the housing market again, just as a mortgage price war breaks out among Canada’s major banks.”
“Bankers also argued that the 2.99 per cent fixed-rate mortgages they have begun to offer, after Bank of Montreal spurred a price war, are not a big problem for consumer debt levels, in part because many Canadians still have variable-rate mortgages that are even lower than that.”
So maybe my argument about the potential for misleading uninformed consumers won’t even factor into this discussion!
FOR SALE: Scotia Plaza
If you’ve got a spare $1 Billion burning a hole in your pocket, I have something you might like…
Bank of Nova Scotia is looking to sell its headquarters in Toronto’s financial district, and although the talk is preliminary, experts are saying that it could sell for as much as one billion dollars. The building was constructed in 1988 and measures 68-storeys, making it Canada’s second-tallest skyscraper.
I keep hearing about this “hot commercial real estate market,” so this should be a quick sale, no?
I’d imagine that the pension funds will be the usual suspects for this type of asset, so I’ll call my friends at CPP, OTPP, and the like to see if I can assist them in any way…
(Solar) Power To The People!
I’ve never quite seen anything like this:
This is an expensive home in an upscale area, and it sticks out like a sore thumb.
I’m not going to tell anybody how to live their lives, and I’m not going to get into a debate about environmentalism, but does anybody else think that this house now looks exceptionally unnattractive?
I mean, I’m sure the owners here are saving a few bucks each month by churning their own butter, combining those little soap-bar leftovers into one giant bar, and using solar power, but I don’t think they’ve increased the value and marketability of their home.
Hey, to each, their own, right? Maybe not everybody is primarily concerned with money, and maybe they put the environment first. To that, I say, “bravo, Mother Nature thanks you.”
A new company out of Ottawa called “HomeProof” is launching a registry of properties that housed former drug operations, aka “grow ops.”
This will be the very first registry of its kind, and for a fee, Realtors will be able to search a property’s address against millions of national records consisting of insurance claims and criminal reports. This is similar to the “CarFax” reports for automobiles, which trace the entire history of a car through accident reports and insurance policies.
HomeProof will provide information on insurance claims on everything from fires to floods, but it’s the grow-operatives that pique most people’s interests!
The service will only be offered to Realtors, home inspectors, lawyers, and other authorized representatives associated with real estate, but the public will be able to pull reports for their own properties.
ADT Versus Alarm Force
A client of mine is comparing options for home security in her new Riverdale house, and the options out there are…..interesting, to say the least.
Alarm Force offers free installation and $25 monthly monitoring.
ADT offers a $1,200 installation and $50 per month monitoring.
But it doesn’t end there!
ADT also offers a multi-page “information package” slandering Alarm Force, complete with supposed testimonials from people called “Member 1” and “Member 2” that describe their displeasure with Alarm Force before they, of course, switched to ADT.
I’m no expert here, but don’t you just want a really loud alarm to sound if and when somebody tries to break into your home? They’ll either get scared off, in which case “response time” doesn’t matter, or they’ll brutally murder you in a matter of minutes, in which case response time also doesn’t matter. Call me a cynic.
Broken? Or Just A Lotta’ Work?
A listing came out this week for a condominium unit, over $500K, in a two-year-old buildint that I would consider to be well above-average in terms of the quality of the finishes.
But I laughed hysterically when I saw the caption in the private “Brokers Remarks” on the MLS listing. It read:
“Need To Use Lighter For Gas Burner On Stove”
Again, I’m no expert, I’m no chef, and I’ve never been enrolled in culinary school of any kind.
But what kind of stove starts with the use of a lighter? Maybe a super-duper one in a restaurant – but surely not a normal, run-of-the-mill stove that you’d find in a condominium.
So is there a chance that this stove is actually broken? And maybe they’re just disgusing this on MLS? Or maybe it’s not meant to be disguised and it’s just an odd way of disclosing “Stove Is Broken. Ignitor Needs To Be Replaced. Current Owner Is Lazy And Just Uses A Lighter.”
Putting On The Ritz
I was a tad confused this week when I saw the hot-sheets and a new listing for a 1-bedroom…..priced at $1,500,000.
I’ve seen a lot of 1-bedroom condos in my time, but I have to be honest – not even in my wildest dream did I think I’d see a 1-bedroom at a million-five.
What’s the future of the “luxurious ultra luxurious luxury” market in downtown Toronto when Trump Towers is looking for $1,900/sqft for some of their remaining units?
No ‘Man’ Is Too Old To Be A Boy
A friend of mine sent me the image below this week, and I’ve been determined to work it into a blog post somehow. After trying to work this into articles about mortgages, I figured I’d just plop it down here.
For any man who was a child of the 1980’s, you’ll love this.
G.I. Joe had to be the most popular toy when we were growing up, and no amount of Transformers could possibly trump the ongoing battle between G.I. Joe and Cobra.
“Knowing is half the battle.” I live my life by that message…
If you’re not laughing out loud, then you clearly didn’t watch G.I. Joe as a child…