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Homeowners urged to get title insurance after Etobicoke real estate fraud

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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.

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“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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This Week’s Top Stories: Canadian Real Estate Prices Rise Sharply In Some Markets, BoC Sees Further Declines – Better Dwelling

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This Week’s Top Stories: Canadian Real Estate Prices Rise Sharply In Some Markets, BoC Sees Further Declines  Better Dwelling

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Top 10 real estate sales in North and West Vancouver 2022

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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.

Au contraire!

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.

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Here’s a look at the top 10 real estate sales of 2022 on the North Shore.

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This five-bedroom, seven-bathroom luxury estate at 2910 Park Ln. on the Altamont waterfront sold for $21.5 million on Aug. 10. It was the top real estate sale in 2022 in West Vancouver.| Zealty.ca

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.

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A home at 754 Beachview Drive in North Vancouver sold Sept. 8 for $14.9 million. | photo Zealty.ca

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.

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This modern mansion at 2975 Palmerston by architectural firm Battersby Howat in West Vancouver’s Altamont neighbourhood sold for $14.75 million in February. | Zealty.ca

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.

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This home at 1335 Chartwell Drive, in West Vancouver’s British Properties, sold for $12.8 million July 23. | Zealty.ca

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.

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This 8,000-square-foot Mediterranean-inspired home in Altamont sold for $11.8 million on April 11. | Zealty.ca

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.

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This contemporary 5,300-square-foot home next to McKechnie Park sold for $11 million on Feb. 18, 2022. | Zealty.ca

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.

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This home at 2860 Mathers was the seventh highest real estate sale on the North Shore in 2022 at $10.7 million.

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.

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This British Properties mansion at 1022 Eyremont Dr. sold for $10.5 million Sept. 18. | Zealty.ca

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.

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This home at 1578 Chippendale in the British Properties sold for just under $10.3 million April. 15. | Zealty.ca

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.

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This 73-year-old home on the West Bay waterfront in West Vancouver at 3874 Marine Drive sold for $9.8 million. | Zealty.ca

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.

 

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A pool on the water’s edge is one feature of this 73-year-old home on the West Bay waterfront in West Vancouverat 3874 Marine Drive sold for $9.8 million. | Zealty.ca

 

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Why commercial real estate can be a great hedge against inflation

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Despite inflation rates dropping to 6.3 per cent — the largest dip since Feb. 2022 — the economy’s volatility isn’t fading anytime soon.

In fact, experts predict another year of rising inflation, hikes in interest rates and a mild recession for 2023.

Finding a safe investment to act as a hedge and bulk up your income is essential during economic uncertainty. The right investment can support you in an emergency and safeguard the future of your finances.

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As a tangible asset with plenty of cash-flow potential, commercial real estate is a great place to invest to protect your money and your future.

Build financial freedom with real estate investing

Commercial real estate is an enticing investment that can diversify your portfolio and generate consistent passive income.

Forbes reported that over the past 25 years, commercial real estate has outperformed the S&P 500 Index with average annual returns of 10.3 per cent.

Plus, because of the income it generates and its tangibility, commercial real estate acts as a hedge against inflation. When the value of the dollar drops, property values tend to increase and your real estate investment returns prove themselves lucrative.

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.

Invest like a millionaire without having to be one

Because commercial real estate investing is not typically offered on a fractional basis, the barrier to entry has been prohibitively high for most investors.

In the best-case scenario, a lender will ask the investor to put down a minimum of 20 per cent in equity before acquiring a property.

But, through tokenization, HoneyBricks has made commercial real estate investing available to accredited investors looking to build their wealth.

You don’t need to be a millionaire to invest in real estate that produces strong, stable returns. In fact, all you need is a minimum of $100 to invest in your first property and start reaping the rewards of a consistent passive income.

It only takes minutes to create your free account and start investing through HoneyBricks.

With investments both vetted and managed by their experienced team, you don’t have to stress about the status of this stable investment available right at your fingertips.

Sign up for HoneyBricks today and start building a future of financial freedom.

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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