Friday, March 30, 2012

What Were They Thinking?

 Today is March 30. It has been 96 days since Old Saint Nick shimmied down the chimeny of this Villeray condo.  What does it tell you that the listing photo of the living room still has a Christmas tree?
A) Christmas lives in our hearts always?
B)  Don't complain. There's something much, much worse hidden behind it.
C) The agent wants buyers to know exactly how long the property has been on the market.

It's beginning to still look a lot like Christmas!

Monday, March 12, 2012

After 47 Years, Verdun Ends Prohibition

It has been two years in discussion but it looks like Verdun is finally ready to lift the ban on bars and brasseries in place since 1965.
Benelux, a craft brewery with a location at the corner of Jeanne-Mance and Sherbrooke St. in the Plateau will be opening a second outpost on Wellington St. sometime this spring.
This is fantastic news for local merchants and residents who complain that the ban on booze has held back development on Verdun's main drag. People wanting to step out for a post work drink or get-together have been forced to look outside the borough's friendly confines. No more.
There's an article with some of the details in today's free commuter rag, 24.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

When Verdun banned short shorts.

Thanks to Nadine over at the Decouvrir Verdun Facebook page who dug up this Radio-Canada news report from 1963. Listen as a tight-laced civic leader discusses a new bylaw banning the wearing of "short, short shorts."  The report is filmed at the Natatorium, Verdun's lovely and well-used swimming complex on the edge of the St. Lawrence River. Local youths weigh in over whether they are for the rule or against it. Opinion seems to run against the anti-short shorts rule, especially among the teenaged boys. 

Just Listed! Mile End Cottage 4+1 Bedrooms.

Amy Barratt and I have just listed a stunning 4+1 bedroom stone cottage in the heart of Mile End.
This lovingly cared for family home is located on Jeanne-Mance between Fairmount and St-Viateur, steps from the world's best bagels, excellent coffee and all the other good things the 'hood has to offer.

They don't build houses like this anymore, with gracious proportions, high ceilings, big windows and a fenced yard big enough for a vegetable garden, a patio and a parking space, should you so desire.

The ground floor features a large living room with bay window, spacious dining room, eat in kitchen with gas stove and custom wood cabinets and an all-season sun room that looks onto the back yard.

Upstairs you'll find four good-sized bedrooms, including a master bedroom that was made by joining two rooms into one. Two of the bedrooms have balconies. The bathroom is newly renovated.

The basement has a separate entrance and could be used as a living space for a teenager or young adult. There is a full bath with tub, laundry room, storage room and a finished family room that could also be used as a fifth bedroom. Tons of space!

 The heating system is gas and hot water radiators, for my money the best and most comfortable way to heat in our damp, chilly climate.

The asking price is $850,000. It will not linger on the market long, I don't imagine.
 You can find out more by checking my Century 21 website here.

UPDATE: Here's a slide show Amy put together that really gives a sense of the space.

To book a visit call me at (514) 978-6522 or call Amy Barratt at (514) 718-6522.


Divided versus Undivided, A Reader Asks about Taxes

MontReal Estate reader Sabrina read a post I wrote about the differences between divided and undivided properties. One of the most interesting differences about the two is that the property taxes on undivided properties are generally substantially lower on undivided than divided.

Sabrina wrote to ask how much of a difference there is. So here goes.

I can't give you a precise mathematical answer to the question, Sabrina. If you own a condo, your property taxes will be based on a formula the city works out every three years when it adjusts the property tax rolls.

For example, if you look at Plateau Mont Royal, the basic 2012 tax rate or mill rate is .8183 cents per $100 for evaluation if your unit is in a building with five units or less. Add to that .1403 cents per $100 of evaluation for water tax and a road improvement tax of .0047 cents per $100 of evaluation.

If you live in a condo, also known as a divided property, the city will base its evaluation on the value of your property alone, though the truth is that evaluations generally trail market values. Thank goodness.

If you have an undivided property, the property tax will be based on the value of the entire building and will be divided among the co-owners according to what percentage of the building they own. If your property is part of a triplex, that might work out to 31 per cent for the middle floor, 35 per cent for the ground floor and 34 per cent for the top floor. (The percentages can vary, depending on if the person on the ground floor also gets access to a basement, or whether the second floor is smaller than the third floor because of the staircase etc.)

Have I bored you to tears yet, Sabrina?

Here's a more visual illustration. I looked up four properties that sold within the last 6 months in the Plateau. All sold for between $345,000 and $350,000. Two are divided properties and two are undivided. Have a look.

Berri St. undivided. Sold $350,000.  Building evaluation $754,000. Ownership share = 30 per cent. Taxes= $2230.50

De Bullion St. divided. Sold for $350,000. Evaluation $343,000. Taxes= $3,965

Waverly St. undivided. Sold for $345,000. Building evaluation $510,300. Ownership share = 30 per cent. Taxes = $1567.

Henri-Julien Ave. divided. Sold for $350,000. Evaluation $270,3000. Taxes = $1,747.

As you can see, there can be wide differences in property taxes, depending on whether your evaluation is low or high. A low evaluation today will be corrected next time the property rolls are updated. The one thing that doesn't change is that the taxes on an undivided property are lower than those on a divided property that sells for the same price.

 I hope that helps, Sabrina. Thanks for writing!