Monday’s Quick Hits!

Quick Hits! | November 4, 2019

Quick Hits

I told my mother on Sunday afternoon, “There’s no feeling quite like having already won my fantasy football matchup, and having written my blog post by the time we get home on a Sunday night.”

Very true.

Except by 8:00pm on Sunday night, I had done neither.

With a 92% chance of victory, according to Yahoo, in my fantasy football matchup by the time I arrived at my mother’s house at 2:30pm, and with four hours at my disposal to write a blog post, it seemed like both were virtual certainties.

And yet here I sit, at 8pm, empty-handed.

I just need a few of my fantasy football players to throw touchdown passes to themselves tonight, and all will be well.

As for the blog, I thank the blogging-Gods for the email that just hit my Inbox from a client.

The body reads:

“Candidly, have you ever seen a condo that is more explicitly a fuck pad than this unit?”

Well, I don’t know what this refers to, but I’m pretty sure it’ll make for great fodder on the blog!

Folks, let me walk you through the photo array for this MLS listing, and I’ll provide you with exactly the commentary that was going through my head as I clicked on each photo.

“Nice.  Sleek, clean.  What am I missing here:”

“Okay, again, not sure what Aidan was referring to…”

“Did Aidan send me the right listing?”

“Not the busiest condo I’ve ever seen, but less is more, I guess.”

“He must have sent me the wrong listing.  There’s nothing weird about this place.”

“The couch is a bit weird, but still…”

“I’m already bored of this condo…”

“Ah, okay, same photo but this one has blackout curtains?  What am I supposed to be looking for here?”

“Really, that couch looks awful.  Who sits there anyways?  Why are there like three different backs to this couch?”



“………the…..eff……is this?”

“Wait…what happened here?  Why did the bathroom merge with the bedroom, and the living room?”

“Hang on, hang on, hang on – where’s the toilet and sink?  If this is supposed to be a bathroom, I mean….”

Ah, right.

Now I see!

That’s not a bathroom that was somehow merged with the bedroom.

No, it’s a jacuzzi in an open-concept bedroom/living room.

Actually, if you look at the other five photos in the listing (which I’ll spare you from), you’ll note that pictured above is not the bedroom.

IN FACT………it’s exactly what it looks like: a bed in the living room, next to a Jacuzzi, across from three sectionals that are place in a way that…….well…..never mind.

Yes, Aidan, this is indeed a fuck-pad.

Okay, so my other topics today will pale in comparison, but maybe not everybody is impressed by that fuck-pad, right?

What is Common Law, Anyways?

A reader forwarded me an article from Global News this past week about owning a property with your partner, and the potential pitfalls.

This is actually quite scary, and if any of you have, or are going to, purchase a property with a partner to whom you are not legally wed, you should read this:

“Own A House With Your Partner?  Here’s What Happens If You Break Up”

From the article:

Nora and her boyfriend dated for about three years before they decided to buy a house together in an Ontario suburb.

At the time, she was given financial advice to put the home in her name because she was earning more money while her partner was finishing school. Nora also took advantage of the government’s first-time homebuyers tax credit.

Only a year after living in the home together, Nora and her boyfriend split. They didn’t have any formal agreement about their property and who would be responsible for paying what.

Their mortgage was in Nora’s name, and the couple had another personal loan, too.

“I ended up getting a lawyer because I was very unsure [of my rights] and it was a ton of money we were talking about,” Nora said.

“She unfortunately advised me that he could get up and walk away if he really wanted to, and I would have to take him to court to try and get the money that he owed,” she said.

Thankfully, Nora and her ex-boyfriend came to an agreement through her lawyer. The pair decided they would sell the house, and he would be responsible for his half of their outstanding debt.

I have sold countless homes to couples who aren’t married.

Couples who are “dating,” couples who are engaged, couples who are, or could be considered, “Common Law” by definition – I’ve sold to just about everybody.

Years ago, I used to caution these people to get legal advice, but that backfired once when a young couple actually fired me because they thought it was “none of my business.”  They were so insulted that I “stuck my nose” into their private life, that they decided they didn’t want to work with me.

So now, I just keep my mouth shut, and hope they stay together until death, and/or have an agreement already in place.

The problem, in my mind, with these situations is that the definition of “Common Law” could be considered a grey area.

Here’s a story, and I’m risking taking this really off topic, but so be it.

About a decade ago, I worked at 290 Merton Street in the lower level with about five or six other agents all around my age.  We were all in our late-20’s, and all going through the same phase of life, with similar problems, friends, family, et al.

One day, a colleague of mine said, “You won’t believe what’s happening with my two friends,” and proceeded to tell a story that I just could not believe.  Couldn’t, still can’t.

She had two friends who started dating when they were 18-years-old.  They dated, unbroken, for over a decade, and went through their late teens, early-20’s, mid-20’s, and late 20’s together, and shared all that these years provide.

One day, “he” decided that it wasn’t working, and broke it off.

A younger, more naive version of myself still, I’m sorry to say, thinks the same as the current, similarly naive version of myself, which is that “This is the end of the relationship.”

Oh, no.  No, no, no.  It’s just not that simple.

She sued him.  She sued him for half of everything he had.

Her argument was that she had spent twelve years with him, and if they were not going to get married and share a life, then he had stolen twelve of the best years of her life.

She won.

She got half of everything of his.  In this case, obviously, he had more.

The courts decided that they were Common Law, and that the absence of a marriage license did not mean that the same rules weren’t in effect.

I was flabbergasted by this, and to be quite honest, I still don’t know what to think.

Whatever happened to “dating?”

I get it, I do.  Twelve years isn’t dating.  But it’s not like this guy was going to sign a prenup when he wasn’t even married, right?

Not so.

And as the article above explains, co-habituating should be outlined in an agreement, in advance of moving in, regardless of whether it’s a rental or a purchase, and/or who is paying for what.

I’ve seen my fair share of divorces over the years, as well as break-ups.  It’s never fun to hear from two long-time clients, show up to chat with them, and hear they’re splitting.  And only once have I seen one party buy the other party out.  It almost always ends with a sale of the home, and usually, neither party wants it to come to that.

Ask Alexa…

I randomly Googled “Toronto real estate” today, and Google provided me with what seemed like good, old-fashioned, “Frequently Asked Questions,” such as the following:

Those of you that work in tech can tell me why, how, and what the hell this is.

“People Also Ask.”


What people?

I get it.  Google is the universe we have created for ourselves, and whether it’s “How do you make a bomb from fertiliser?” or “Is China reading my emails?” we use Google to provide commentary on every aspect of our lives.

But boy oh boy did I chuckle reading Google’s “answers” to these questions!

Now I understand that these “answers” are really what other websites have written, but still.  You and I can see that URL at the bottom of the “answer,” but I don’t know that every other searcher does.

Try Googling something really simple and stupid about Toronto real estate, and read Google’s answers.  It’s quite amusing.

You Got The Job!

Have you ever been headhunted?

Have you ever been sitting at your desk, minding your own business, and the phone rings – it’s a complete stranger, asking you if you’re happy in your current job, and if you’d be interested in making more money?

I had a good friend back in the early-2000’s that was a corporate headhunter, specialising in IT.  He would see job postings, then go find a candidate, and collect his fee.  He used to tell me, “I’ve yet to meet a person in IT who is not interested in a 50% increase on his salary.”

I’ve used a headhunter before.  In fact, that’s how one member of my team ended up here.  Well worth the money, trust me!

In real estate, we get propositioned all the time.  We get phoned incessantly by other brokers, managers, or broker/owners, and asked if we want to go for lunch and “talk.”

A lot of brokers read my blog, so I’ll offer this as constructive feedback: I’ve chatted a few times over the years when broker/owners, and the pitch is always the same: “We want to help you take your business to the next level.”  And you know what?  Not one has ever offered a single word beyond that, ie. how?

Last week, I opened my mail to find a flyer from a very well-known, downtown condo firm, which was their “pitch” to me.  My name was written in Sharpie at the top of the flyer, and aside from the type-font address label on the front of the envelope, this was as personal as it got.

What I found amazing about this, other than, you know, the fact that the pitch was via flyer, and not phone call, was that the “benefits” offered by this firm were all worse than what I have now.  Whether it’s the fee structure, services, support, physical space, or any number of other measurable’s, this firm was offering nothing on par with what I have, let alone better.

Imagine being told you should drive a different car, and this particular has a higher MSRP than yours, costs way more to maintain, is less reliable, has a lower safety rating, and happens to smell like feet inside.

It was eye-opening to see how some other brokerages do business.

I’m not telling this story because I’m somehow sore about not being wooed, but rather because if this is what’s going on at the top of this brokerage, and I can’t imagine what’s trickled down to the bottom.  Except that, I can.  Because I see it every day out there.

A Picture Paints A Thousand Words

You know I love artist’s renderings for new condos, right?

I have a huge collection of them, and from time to time, they make for good blog material.

A reader sent me this one the other day, and asked, “What in the world does this say about the actual condo they’re trying to sell?”

This is clearly a second-date, or the end of a first date.

This couple went out for dinner, and he regaled her with stories about his collection of Pinot Noir.

She said, “I’d love to see that some time,” and right out of a movie, he looked at his watch and said, “Oh, would you look at the time?  It’s officially some time,” and then winked.

They went back to his place and uncorked the 2018, aka, “the good stuff.”

What the hell are we doing with artists’s renderings in 2019?

Sure, I see floor-to-ceiling windows and a decent view, but I also see an ugly pillar, an orange kitchen, a really uncomfortable-looking dining table that’s more modern than anything you’d ever find for sale in the city, and a cow-patterned chaise that, for some reason, is pointed at the kitchen island.

Oh – and I see an awkward second date.

Which one of them didn’t bring their wine to the window?

Happy Monday, folks!

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  1. Pingback: Monday’s Quick Hits! | Real Estate News Group
  2. Elaine

    at 9:46 am

    David, with regards to the F-pad, what would you advise this seller if he or she came to you for advice? Would you suggest they renovate to make the condo more neutral and appealing? Or is there a niche market for this type of property?

    1. Appraiser

      at 11:13 am

      I vote for a make-over.

      Unless perhaps one could consistently lease the unit out short-term as a ‘honeymoon suite’ on an air B&B type service for big bucks per night ?

      Otherwise, I believe the niche market you speak of consists primarily of James Bond, James Coburn from the “Our Man Flint” parody franchise, Austen Powers and Quagmire.

    2. condodweller

      at 10:36 pm

      I recognize that building, yes there is a niche market for it. As a matter of fact it’s sold already…

  3. Marina Petkova

    at 3:05 pm

    Yeah, the orgy couch is just the tip of the skeeze ice berg.

    The common law thing is a weird subject. On one hand, it should be discussed more so people know to protect themselves. On the other hand, I know of a ton of apocalyptic breakups where the only reason they did not end up in court is that they were not aware it was an option.

  4. condodweller

    at 11:32 pm

    This common-law issue becomes really interesting when you throw a kid or a pet into the mix.

    This situation doesn’t make much sense though. What do these mean?: “If her ex didn’t agree to cover his half of their home, it would have been up to her to figure it out.”

    “if she and her boyfriend didn’t come to a post-split agreement, she would have been on the hook for the house”

    If she is the only one on title what’s there for him to cover? He was covering some of the mortgage payments and she wanted him to continue paying it? Was this post 2017 and they were underwater and she wanted him to cover the debt after selling?

    Why would she be on the “hook” for the house? She is on title and would keep the house. I guess the issue was she couldn’t afford the house without his income.

    It sounds like a negative equity situation.

  5. Appraiser

    at 7:28 am

    TREB data for October just released:

    Sales up 14%

    Active Listings down-18.8%

    Average price up 5.5%

    Composite Home price Index up 5.82%

    With sales ahead by double digits and listing inventory down even more so, it’s difficult to see anything but rising prices on the horizon in the GTA.

    1. Mxyzptlk

      at 4:49 pm

      And if that happens over the next few months, the spring 2020 market could see lots of home owners who felt they missed out on the (brief) spike in early 2017 rushing to put their homes on the market, which of course would (might?) ameliorate the price gains somewhat. In other words, fasten your seatbelts.

  6. Robert12

    at 7:07 pm

    The asking for the puck pad is (was?) $950,000 with condo fees and property taxes totaling more than $1,100 a month.

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  8. GuQin

    at 1:40 am

    I have really learned some new things from the blog post. One more thing to I have discovered is that normally, FSBO sellers are going to reject you actually. Remember, they will prefer not to use your providers. But if you maintain a reliable, professional partnership, offering help and remaining in contact for about four to five weeks, you will usually be capable of win a meeting. From there, a listing follows. Thank you

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