Better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your home says the Ontario Real Estate’s Association’s Tim Hudak.
Specifically, the CEO of OREA is advising all homeowners to get title insurance after a “rare” but concerning Jan. 2022 case of an unknown male and female allegedly impersonating the owners of an Etobicoke home and selling the property while the owners were away on business at the time.
Toronto Police, who released photos on Thursday of an unknown man and woman they hope the public can help identify, say the owners didn’t even find out about the home sale until months later.
“The best safeguard here is title insurance,” said Hudak, adding it’s typically bought during a home sale — but can be purchased years later — and about 90% of Canadian homeowners have it.
“Under title insurance your possession of the property is protected and insured. You’re eligible for compensation. Title insurance lasts for the entire time that you own the home. Title insurance typically costs a dollar for every thousand dollars of value. So if it’s a $500,000 home it would be $500, or a $1 million home would be $1,000. That’s a one-time (payment.)”
Hudak said he was “shocked’ when he heard about the Etobicoke case, and called the criminals who pulled the fraud off highly “sophisticated.”
“This level of identify theft combined with mortgage and real estate fraud is thankfully rare in Canada but we should all be on guard,” said Hudak.
“Basically this must have been sophisticated criminals to assume the identity of the homeowners, to stage viewings of the home without the neighbours knowing, and also to get by their lawyer, the lawyers for the buyers, as well as the realtor, and a financial institution, all who are responsible for verifying identification. Whether they had somebody as an accomplice, or people just messed up, they did somehow get through the existing checks. This is an extraordinary circumstance.”
And while some people might buy a home just by looking at photos online during a virtual tour, he said most want to see it in person before “the biggest financial purchase of their lives.”
Hudak said he’s never heard of another case like this in his six years at OREA and more typical is someone stealing a homeowner’s identity, putting a mortgage on their property and grabbing the money with the owner none the wiser until they go to sell their property.
“That’s the usual way this operates,” said Hudak. “That’s much more common. These criminals took it to a higher level with an entire home.”
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Top 10 real estate sales in North and West Vancouver 2022
Wine room? Check. Heated driveway? Check. Infinity pool, boat lift, putting green? Check, check, check.
While the real estate market took a cooler, even icy, turn in the last six months of 2022, that doesn’t mean that sales of luxury real estate vanished on the North Shore.
In fact, those for whom the mortgage “stress test” isn’t a worry were still flexing a certain amount of buying power. Buyers at the high end of the market favoured large mansions – most clocking in at around 10,000 square feet – along with large lots, waterfront or expansive water views. Finishing touches like outdoor fire places, movie theatres, gyms, spa rooms and hot tubs didn’t hurt either.
Here’s a look at the top 10 real estate sales of 2022 on the North Shore.
1. 2910 Park Lane
According to public real estate records, the top sale on the North Shore last year was an iconic five-bedroom, seven-bathroom luxury estate at 2910 Park Ln. on the Altamont waterfront which sold for $21.5 million on Aug. 10.
The 14-year-old, 9,400-square-foot home sits on a lot of almost half an acre of high-bank waterfront, including 98 feet of shoreline.
The home was built in 2008 by its former owner Mossadiq Medaly, a former chair of BC Hydro and a leader in the renewable energy industry, on the site of an apple orchard formerly owned by a member of Vancouver’s Woodward family.
Designed by architect Peter Grant, the home features luxuries like an elevator, indoor-outdoor speaker sound system, in-floor heating system, heated driveway, five fireplaces, infinity pool, floor-to-ceiling windows and a professional music room.
The luxury home, assessed at $14 million, was originally listed for sale at about $30 million.
2. 754 Beachview Drive
A deluxe six-bedroom, eight-bathroom home at 754 Beachview Dr. was the only home in North Vancouver to make the Top 10 sales list. The luxury home on three-quarters of an acre was assessed at just under $12.55 million this year. The 8,850-square-foot home sold in September for $14.9 million.
Features of the oceanfront mansion include an infinity pool, 10-person hot tub (now that’s a party!), golf putting green, dock with boat lift, four-jet-ski slip and private ramp. Inside features double height ceilings, Miele appliances, movie theatre, billiard area, gym, sauna, steam room and wine room.
3. 2975 Palmerston Avenue
Located in West Vancouver’s sought after Altamont neighbourhood, this distinctly modern mansion by architectural firm Battersby Howat sold for $14.75 million in February after just 24 days on the market. The six-year-old, 10,000-square-foot three-storey house on a landscaped half-acre lot sold for close to its asking price of $14.88 million. The home features floor-to-ceiling windows and glass doors that create a dramatic open feel leading to spectacular garden views. Outside, a hot tub and pool beckon. The home also boasts an array of technology for controlling lighting, a private elevator, security system, air conditioning and garage parking for five vehicles.
4. 1335 Chartwell Drive
Homes in the British Properties are among those often sought out in the higher echelons of the real-estate market. It’s all about the views up here, and showing off luxury details. The fourth-highest sale on the North Shore, at 1335 Chartwell Dr., which sold for $12.8 million July 23 after just 15 days on the market, ticks those boxes. A one-year-old custom build, the six-bedroom, eight-bathroom 10,000-square-foot house features a “grand foyer” with a 20-foot hand-painted dome ceiling rising above a crystal chandelier. Italian tile, Miele and Wolf appliances, four marble gas fireplaces and a wine cellar, theatre, sauna, gym, pool, hot tub and heated driveway complement the bling.
5. 2919 Mathers Avenue
A “health and wellness wing” including a massage room, separate “staff quarters,” “butler’s pantry” and a 27-foot, 11,000-litre tropical aquarium are among the unique features of the fifth-highest property sale on the North Shore in 2022 at 2919 Mathers Ave. The seven-bedroom, 11-bathroom 8,000-square-foot Mediterranean-inspired home on almost a half acre in Altamont sold for $11.8 million on April 11 after 55 days on the market. That’s significantly less that the original asking price of $14.3 million. An integrated Band & Olufsen audio visual system, fitness room, infinity pool and jacuzzi complete the package.
6. 3704 McKechnie Avenue
A contemporary custom-built home, nestled among trees on a “trophy property” backing on to McKechnie Park, this three-year-old 5,300-square-foot home at 3704 McKechnie Ave. sold for $11 million on Feb. 18, 2022 – less than the asking price of $12.8 million.
The five-bedroom, six-bathroom home on a third of an acre in Westmount features an open floor plan drenched in light with all rooms offering sweeping ocean views.
7. 2860 Mathers Avenue
A 17-year-old 12,000 square-foot home on Altamont’s “Golden Mile” was the seventh highest real estate sale on the North Shore last year. The three-storey, seven-bath, six-bedroom home at 2860 Mathers Ave. sold for $10.7 million, considerably below the $14 million asking price, on April 20, after 75 days on the market. The modern concrete home features a wine room, gym and indoor swimming pool and has geothermal heating and cooling. There are also solar panels for hot water, a rainwater reclamation system and a heated driveway.
8. 1022 Eyremount Drive
If a mini golf course and elevator are among the luxurious touches you expect in home, this one-year-old British Properties mansion fits the bill.
The almost 10,000-square-foot home at 1022 Eyremount Dr. features gasp-worthy views of the ocean, city and Lions Gate Bridge. The five-bedroom, eight-bathroom mansion is billed as having “every imaginable luxury” including a walk-in wine cellar/cigar room, billiard area, home theatre and sauna, as well as five fireplaces. It sold for $10.5 million Sept. 18, after 69 days on the market, a relative bargain compared to the asking price of $16 million.
9. 1578 Chippendale Road
Amazing views from the British Properties are the key feature of this 9,700-square-foot 23-year-old home on a huge flat lot at 1578 Chippendale Rd. The three-storey, six-bed, five-bathroom mansion sold April 15 for just under $10.3 million. Almost 300 feet of frontage allows for a “massive street presence.” A library, sauna and media room are also among the features of the home.
10. 3874 Marine Drive
This two-storey, four-bedroom four-bathroom home on the waterfront in West Bay at 3874 Marine Dr. is the smallest of the top ten homes to sell last year at 3,700 square feet. It’s also the oldest at 73 years. But what it lacks in sheer size it makes up for in gorgeous west coast character on a spectacular 17,600-square-foot property that slopes gently to the water’s edge. Tiered patios, a waterside pool and boathouse lead down to about 80 feet of natural shoreline. There’s also tranquil gardens a pond and gazebo. Inside features large rooms with stunning views, all in a comfortable home.
This home was the only one on the North Shore’s top ten sales that sold for under $10 million last year, fetching $9.8 million on Sept. 17, after just 17 days on the market.
Why commercial real estate can be a great hedge against inflation
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Build financial freedom with real estate investing
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It’s a solid investment choice for people looking to build their portfolios and protect their wealth for the future, but it hasn’t always been accessible.
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This article was created by Wise Publishing. Wise is devoted to providing information that helps readers navigate the complex landscape of personal finance. Wise only partners with brands it trusts and believes may be helpful to the reader. This article provides information only and should not be construed as advice. It is provided without warranty of any kind.
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