Pet Adoption Day for the Etobicoke Humane Society

Please come out and support our Pet Adoption Day for the volunteer-run Etobicoke Humane Society


What is the Right Type of Home for You?

sandra rinomato

Are you the “Do It Yourself Type” or more the “Do It For Me Type”?


People are surprised when I tell them they should know themselves really well before they jump into home ownership. You may think it’s all about budget and location, and less about you, but you can pick your property based on personality.


If you are the kind that really doesn’t like to get your hands dirty, or doesn’t have time for yard work and snow shoveling you may be suited to condo lifestyle. There’s no reason to be hard on yourself, rather, you should be honest with yourself and accept the fact that this is the good life you’ve been looking for. You’ll be happier in the long run.

 freehold vs condo

In a condo you don’t have to worry about the roof, or the snow, or the eaves troughs, the weeds, the pool or the many other maintenance/repair issues that can take up your free time. You can enjoy the pool that someone else cleans, wiggle your toes in the lawn that that the hired gardener tends, and drive away every February morning in a warm ice-free car. If you travel often or for long periods, you will love being able to just lock the door behind you and taking off for a worry free trip.


Doesn’t sound like you? Maybe you are the “Do It Yourself” type. You’re the type to head outside Saturday morning and walk around the yard looking for a job to take on. You strive for the perfect lawn and are aching to get yourself a tractor mower, tackle some repairs, build a shed and put in a pool. Fixing the roof just gives you an excuse to use that fancy extending ladder you picked up. Well then, you may be inclined toward a detached home with a big yard that has plenty of room for vegetable and flower gardens.


home-maintenance_fullIf you aren’t ready for that full on maintenance job that a house requires, and not interested in a condo apartment either, you may be happier in a condo town home where most of the maintenance is taken care of. The town home gives you the feel of being in a house without all the work that goes with it. It’s more affordable and gets you in to a better location or gets you more square footage. The condo association will repair the roof, fix the front stoop that’s a little wonky and even paint the door and garage when it’s time, giving you plenty of time to try out that new BBQ you picked up.


They say home is where the heart is, and with a little soul searching you can find your perfect match.

Preparing Your Home for the Fall Market

sandra rinomato

Thinking of selling your home this fall? Well, it’s time to start preparing for the day the sign goes on the lawn! This is an excellent time of year to spruce up the exterior of the home:

The time is now to paint your front door, garage and trim as you need a certain over night temperature to let it dry properly. Be sure to get advice from your friendly paint store staff for colour schemes. Many paint companies offer brochures that show you colour palettes that work with your type of home.

exteriot colouts roof


You may need to install new eaves or clean them.

You could stage the front porch with outdoor furniture like a bistro set that you can get on sale at this time of year.


Think about adding solar path lighting or soffit lights to make your home stand out at night.


Go to your local nursery and make a plan for your garden. Add bushes or trees that nurseries are selling off at a discounted price that will look great for all 4 seasons.

Don’t forget to fix that leaning fence or replace damaged wood.

Be sure to get rid of that pile of wood or extra shingles that somehow found it’s way to your yard or garage.

Take photos of your garden and take nice exterior shots with the flowers in bloom, green grass and pretty urns. Make sure no animals or people are in the photos though! These pictures will be great for later in the year when the seasons change and these lovely features of the home are hidden–or not so lovely anymore.


Do all the repairs and little adjustments now—inside and out.

This is especially important if you are planning on buying your next home before you sell. The more work you do now, the faster you can get your home on the market and the sooner you can achieve your goal.

Have a garage sale now!garage sale

Get rid of all that stuff, the stuff you had from your university days that has not seen the light of day for decades– and never will. Those shower presents you never used, the appliances you meant to fix but never did. It’s time to part with them. Spend some time reminiscing and hugging those favourite long forgotten items before you send them off to the donation box or the twenty five cent pile at the garage sale. You’re moving anyway, so declutter now while the days are long, the weather is gentle and the bargain hunters are out.

Hire a professional landscaper to do a nice fall clean up or spruce up the beds with fresh mulch or stones. They do such a nice job and the small investment will go famulchr and will entice those drive-by buyers to book a showing.

Get a copy of your summer utility bills as well as winter, and keep them on hand just in case someone asks.

Get a home inspection done if you are in a high demand area that typically sees multiple offers.

I know a lot of people believe that the only time of year to sell is Spring, but real estate transactions happen every day of the year, and for many reasons. There are job transfers, marriages, divorces, deaths and many other reasons why people sell or buy real estate, so don’t hold off unless your local licensed realtor recommends it for your property.


time to sell

Historically, the spring market in my trading area has been the strongest. During spring we see more listings, more transactions and high prices so that may be the time of year for you to sell. With more listings you have more competition in your neighbourhood. Just think, if your house was the only house listed in your high demand neighbourhood just how much attention your home would get!

Some people want to have the kids settled in the new home before school starts or at least register them, so they would prefer to buy earlier in the year. Others want to avoid moving in winter so offer a quick closing on your fall sale, and others just want the right house, so time of year doesn’t matter to them.

pool repotDepending how late in the year you sell, you may want to have your pool professionally closed by a reputable company and retain the receipt. Ask the pool company to make notes regarding the condition of the pool. This will help give the buyer confidence that your pool is in good condition.

By closing anytime other than the end of June you may get better pricing on movers and other services. It’s definitely easier to find an available mover during autumn months. But remember, it tends to get dark earlier so remember to bring light bulbs to your new home….just in case.

 In you would like more info on listing your home in the GTA this fall, call me at 416-565-3001 or visit for more info. 

Sandra Rinomato REALTOR® Academy

Sandra Rinomato just announced she will personally mentor a small, select group of REALTORS® starting this fall! She will share her systems, real estate sales language, and lead generation tips. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to learn hands-on from a respected industry expert with over 18 years of expertise. 

Limited Positions. Apply Today for Fall 20PV-Jonathon+Lindsay-28514. Mention “REALTOR® Academy” in the form found here:


Key Considerations Before Making An Offer

What are some of the key things one should consider before they make an offer?

Some people think that because it’s a home they are buying they can easily change their mind and be released of any obligations of the deal. “If I don’t want to buy that house anymore they can’t make me, right?” Actually, they can sue you, big time! Contracts are very serious, including the Agreement of Purchase and Sale for a home. Contracts have very clear requirements including time, terms and consequence. You should make certain that you fully understand all of your obligations before you sign anything.

house_of_money.jpg.size.xxlarge.letterbox  CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO

Your licensed realtor will lead the way and explain everything you need to know, long before you ever sign the document. They will also make sure that you are aware of and fulfill each and every requirement on or before the deadline, and will serve notice appropriately.

A contract is not something to enter into lightly or half-heartedly. Don’t think you can just test the market, or see what the other side says without consequence. The process is an emotional one and involves vast amounts of money. What if they accept your half-hearted offer? You may be stuck with it! Never go to paper unless you are sure of what you are doing.

Don’t offer on two properties at once, as you may find yourself locked in two deals. That’s very dangerous, unless of course you intend to buy both places. For most of us, that would be a disaster.

Make sure to include, in writing, everything you think is important to the deal. If the other party promises to do something or not to do something, you had better put it in writing. If it’s not in writing, it’s not part of the deal. If it is part of the deal, you can’t change it later-well, don’t count on it, anyway.

Have your financing sorted before you start, don’t guesstimate!

If your bank approval is conditional, fulfill the conditions before you get going, it can take time, and you may not have time. Sometimes you will have to work to secure documentation on old loans that were long paid off, or clear up an issue on your credit file.

Have the deposit liquid in your account in a bank that you can walk into. In other words, make sure you can write a cheque today and it will clear.

If you should find yourself in a position where you cannot complete the transaction you must seek legal advice immediately. Tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Failing to close on a property could cause a domino effect in failed transactions.  Your lawyer and realtor may be able to help you find a solution, negotiate your way out of it, or save you from being in court cases (plural!) for years to come. In the long run, you might even lose a few bucks but considering the alternative, that’s peanuts.

sandra rinomato
Read more:

Owning A Rental Property: What You Need To Know

Owning an income property can be sweet, allowing you to pay down your mortgage with accelerated payments, building equity with help from tenants. Or, you can take the money you receive and use it to improve your property, or -here’s an idea, you can save the money!

If you are considering becoming a Landlord ask yourself this: What is your motivation? Do you want to create income to support yourself now or are you planning for the future? Do you want to subsidize your mortgage? Will it be a place for your ageing parents in future or perhaps adult children? Is this part of your investment portfolio?

Click here for video:


If your motivation is to make money, you have to consider the costs of converting a basement or top floor into a rental suite. How long will it take for you to pay off the investment? For example, if it costs you $20,000 to renovate and your rental income will be $700 net, you will net $8400 per year. It will take you 2.5 years of occupancy and full payment before you start making money.

To make money to live on now, you may need to consider buying in an area where home prices are low yet rents seem to be high. You will make less money on your real estate but you may see a monthly income.

If you want to subsidize your mortgage payments, being as $500 rent pays $100,000 mortgage in most cases, you want to be sure that you can carry the mortgage when the suite is not generating income. Note that only a portion of your rental income can be used for mortgage qualification and conditions may apply-like retrofitting to fire code.

Some buyers want to buy a place that has more than two residential units so they can live in one apartment and rent out the others, and plan to move out of the property when they purchase a single family home a few years later, retaining the first property as an investment.

If your home is a property that had a nanny suite and you don’t use the space and feel you want to capitalize by renting out, just make sure you understand the legality and fire codes for your municipality.

Consider this, should anything go wrong you will have to live with these tenants in your home. Not everyone is cut out for that.

Note that there is a difference between commercial and residential mortgage loans, and a multiplex may not qualify for a residential mortgage so be sure you understand what financing is available to you and what caveats you face.

One thing is for sure: you must familiarize yourself with your provincial Landlord Tenant rules, know your obligations as Landlord, know your rights, and know your tenant’s rights. Just like any business, it’s not easy, but it can be worth it!

sandra rinomato

Read more:

How To Find A Good Realtor

sandra rinomato

You are about to embark on one of the largest purchases of your life. Where do you start? Well, the first thing you want to do is hook up with a reputable, professional and licensed realtor. Awesome, so where do you start?

Where to start?

Start asking around for recommendations from friends and family who have purchased or sold recently. Remember to ask exactly why they recommend this particular realtor, as your criteria may not match theirs.

Next, if you enjoy going to open houses, you may want to strike up a conversation with the hosting realtor. This realtor may or may not be the actual listing agent but if you get along with this person and have a connection with them, you may feel that this person is the right fit for you.

Start following realtors who are prolific on social media and see what they have to say. Check out their blog, and website. Is the website just a generic template with buttons that lead to nowhere? Maybe you need to look elsewhere.

Look in the local papers and big papers to see who is advertising properties for sale or their services and see if there are a few names that stand out. Be careful though, just because they advertise doesn’t mean they are the right fit for you.

I do not recommend using a service that collects your personal data and then sells it to any realtor willing to pay for the lead. You don’t know what you’re getting, who you’re getting and what their reputation is. They claim to use top producers, which statistically, in the Toronto Real Estate Board is someone who does 3 deals per year. In my opinion that realtor is not adequate.

The Interview

Great work, you have a few names on your list. Now what? Start conducting interviews. Call, write or text these agents and let them know you are beginning your search for a realtor.

How does the realtor respond? Do they offer information on the phone? Do they just jump into questions about what you want to buy/sell or do they request a meeting? More experienced realtors will want to sit down in a calm controlled environment to discuss the process, your expectations, their expectations, the paperwork required and everything you need to know before you get rolling and offer you a package of information to keep. If that happens, you know you’ve hit the jackpot! This type of realtor is a valuable source of information, and knows the ins and outs so well that they won’t do business any other way.

During the interview, it’s great to have a checklist of questions you would like to ask, but don’t forget to watch and listen. A savvy realtor will take the conversation a different direction than you may be expecting and you may miss important nuances and information that didn’t make it to your own checklist– so don’t fall into that trap.

You should look for someone who is:

  • hard working because they have their finger on the pulse of the market                                            sandra rinomato
  • savvy because knowledge is very important
  • professional because there are ethics you need us to follow
  • using technology to your advantage
  • communicating to you in a language you understand and feel comfortable with

You should come out of the meeting feeling like you are in good hands, and you know what’s in it for you if you should hire that realtor.

Warning Signs

If your realtor is not listening to you, or fails to respond to you when you reach out, is never available for appointments, does not know the answer to real estate questions and does not bother to research on your behalf then you need to find someone else. If they are not offering guidance and solving problems you need to move on.

If your realtor does not address agency and the Buyer Rep Agreement (BRA) you may want to question this. If your realtor wants you to sign a BRA for more than 2 months, you may want to question why. There may be a good reason, but personally I feel that within 30 days you will know how your realtor works and if you wish to continue working with them you can sign on for a longer period. Someone who wants to lock you in for a long period of time may not have confidence in their own performance to know that you will enjoy the benefits of working with them enough that you don’t have to be locked under contract.

Selecting your realtor should make you feel like you know what’s in it for you, that she/he will be able and willing to communicate with you using your preferred method of technology, and can teach you what you need to know to make a smart real estate move.

Read more:


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,964 other followers