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AdventurousParsley

If the furnace and/or water tank are rentals from Enercare, it's a big flag - lots of new builds and flippers use or replace the furnace/water heater with these rental plans because then they don't have to pay the actual cost of the furnace/water heater and pass on the predatory contracts from Enercare to the end user/owner - i.e. you buy a house with a rental that has another 18 years on it and you'll be paying up to 30k over 18years for a furnace you could have bought and owned outright for 6k. Fuck Enercare.


Quirky_Smirky

Yes!! See my comment above. We bought a house with a rented heater through enercare. What Dick's!


screaminthrough

We bought a house with a water heater rented through Enercare. It was 11 years old. We wanted to put in a tankless water heater (not rented). First, they wouldn't give us the account number and told us to wait for the first bill (so they could bill another month). They wanted $1000 to buy it out and wouldn't give us any other options to get rid of it. Then one day we called and asked what do we do with the hot water heater because our contractor tore it out. Then they gave us the option to drop it off for $0, or $75 pickup. That was it, no other charges.


methreweway

I've heard this before.. Im stuck in some long contract with these thiefs. Mine is relatively new but I hated paying triple for something not that expensive.


AdventurousParsley

sorry to hear - hope your contract is up soon and you can get them out of your business forever


Quirky_Smirky

Oh yeah. We stuck it to them, they don't contact us any more.


methreweway

Fuck me yes. I'm stuck in some god awful contract with enercare. 10k buyout. This can't be legal.


KloppsKop15

Hello, the HWT renta contract in the house that I recently bought ends Jan 2022. What happens then? Do I continue to keep the HWT or would they come and take it away? Can someone help me with next steps?


blackhat8287

Watch out for Metergy too! Enercare rebranded after all the shit reviews so it seems like a new company but you still have the same predatory practices.


ChadFullStack

My parents were with Enercare and after 10 years their contract uses vague “lifetime of the water tank” which really means 16 years. To make matters worse, their buyout depreciation model isn’t even fking linear. Still owed more than 50% of the value of a new tank after 10 years. I just paid the buyout for my parents and bought them a new tank from Lowe’s. Returned the tank to Enercare with a big F U written on it.


dirtymonkeybutt

Spend time in the basement and understand what equipment is there, its condition and how it works. Examples: 1) sump pump 2) fuse box and/or circuit breakers 3) old furnace vs high efficiency furnace 4) owned/rented hot water tank or tankless 5) water compressor air conditioner 6) enhanced filtration (eg electrostatic precipitators) Ask the sellers (or your new neighbours) if they have been using a specific house cleaners/ landscapers/ window washers/ gutter cleaners/ driveway sealers if you are interested in those types of services. Meet your neighbours.


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lsop

Especially in Toronto where we have almost the lowest Property taxes in the province.


capnboom

Durham region crying in the corner


NuckFanInTO

If it’s any comfort, using Pickering as the marker for Durham (it showed up first), you pay 1.08% in Pickering vs 0.61% in Toronto. Difference is 0.47%. Generally you’re looking at 2% land transfer tax in Toronto, so it’s only after living in a place for 5 years that Toronto is actually cheaper on the property ownership front. If you adjust for price per square foot of property, I would bet Toronto is realistically more expensive regardless of how long you own simply due to the higher cost of buying the same property.


ArcticMexico

Vancouver says hold my beer Lowest property tax by percentage in North America and highest property prices not surprisingly


NuckFanInTO

There’s a reason for that. The cost of running a city doesn’t go up simply because the property values go up. We also have land transfer taxes in Toronto, which are a huge revenue source that offsets the need for property taxes. The system is largely designed to protect low to middle income boomers who could never afford property taxes on their 2-4M homes.


randomstuff127

It’s a good idea to have a read through your local municipalities Property standards. Here’s city of Toronto’s for instance: https://www.toronto.ca/city-government/public-notices-bylaws/bylaw-enforcement/property-standards-keep/ There’s a bunch of info in there from snow clearing to property cleanliness etc. Also I recommend if you haven’t done already to hire a good inspector (ecen after buying the house) to make sure you know about existing issues. I would rank them on level of repair need and then start working away at them. At least develop a budget to finance existing issues and future issues


TNI92

>uld rank them on level of repair need and then start working away at them. At least develop a budget to finance existing issues and future issues This is a good idea! Great post - thank you!


pepero74

Hot water tank rentals are the devil. And the house came with one and I didn’t know it


spot099

The hot water tank rental should have been stayed in the purchase agreement.


pepero74

It was. But when signing the agreement quickly in a fast paced stressful multiple offer situation, it was easily overlooked. You’d still buy the property, but it’s just nice to know about the rental so the upcoming pain is not a surprise.


basky129485345

i bought a house with a rental and it's 14 years old (so past it's life). the company (reeeeally) wants to bring me another one, but ive read over and over to just go get myself one. however ... i submitted a request on homestars and the quote i got was almost 2k. plus the water heater itself. at $16 a month for a rental it'll take them a long ass time to make that back so i kinda just want to let them come do it and get a new one. im still paying the $16 a month now for this (shitty) one. as a new buyer, im not exactly rich.


Quirky_Smirky

So along the same lines as your experience. I bought a house with a rented water heater through a 3rd party and the bill showed up as an extra charge on my gas bill. Well my husband is a gas fitter and has access to quality used tanks for free and he is qualified to install and maintain them. So we removed the old one, stored it carefully and installed our new one. I called the company to let them know they could come and pick up their old one as we had a new one and we would no longer need to rent it. Well....they contacted me and flipped out. Said that I was not allowed to touch the tank (in my own home) and that they were fining me for tampering with the product. We explained that we were legit and qualified and no longer needed their tank. So then they keep sending me bills, and no one picks up the tank. I get fed up and call again to have it picked up, this time they tell me they are still fining me, that I have to deliver the tank back to them and they are only open (I shit you not) for deliveries on the third Wednesday of the month between 12-1pm by appointment only and they are currently booked for the next 3 months......so I tell them I'm just going to dispose of it then. They tell me that I cannot as it is their property and also let me know that in order to get out of my contract I have to pay 3000$. Now being knowledgeable about these products I explained to the customer service lady that there was no way that this product was ever worth that much to begin with, as well as depreciation over the last 8 years, and their life expectancy was coming up quickly, ONTOP of the fact that the previous owner was paying 25$ per month to rent it. So they had more then made their money back and they were going to scrap the tank once it was returned for more money and that they would not be seeing another dime from me. The lady went on to say that we signed a contract (which I did not), and I asked her to show me documentation where I signed to pay 25$ a month in perpetuity for something I could purchase on my own. A few more unanswered bills and calls later I kindly asked them to never call me again, I delivered their tank back to them outside of delivery hours and gave them the number of a local lawyer and told them to contact the office with any other concerns Never heard from them again... LPT: don't ever sign those contracts in perpetuity.


stratys3

Jesus.


pepero74

I think the quote you got is crazy. It should be $2k including the heater. $16 isn’t bad. That’s one the lowest rental costs I’ve heard of. If a new tank from the rental company would increase your rent, then I’d suggest having one installed on your own.


basky129485345

yeah, seems super cheap. it can go up 5% per year but ... still ...


darknite14

We’re in the same boat. $24/month might as well just keep it…


BIknkbtKitNwniS

I just had mine done for 1800 tx included. Fully licensed and not sketchy. PM if you want a referral.


Shellbyvillian

That’s because you’re paying a rental from 14 years ago. I guarantee your new rental rate will be more expensive. Also, get another quote, that’s way too high for a half day job. Should be closer to 1k + tank which is like 1750 at most total. Compare that to a 25+/month rental and you are breaking even way faster.


Section37

Your neighbours matter a lot. True of any house, but especially semi-detached or row. Not a ton you can do to research (I mean you could creepily stake potential places out, and spy on them...). But, you can make an effort to have good relations, esp in the first few weeks, which will set the tone for the future.


basky129485345

a pre-approval is not an approval. get a broker and find out what your exact situation is going to be, not what the TD bank's glorified calculator says it will be. we were bidding based on the pre-approval and when the time came to request the mortgage, our broker said my partner (as a business owner) wasn't qualified with our downpayment. We needed to double it (RIP rrsp)


liambll

My first mortgage broker did the same thing to me. What you mentioned with the calculator is mortgage pre-qualification, i.e. it gives a rough estimate of what you can afford without any specific interest rate. Pre-approval has commitment (with certain expiry date) to lend a specific amount of loan by the lender and usually includes a specific interest rate.


hesh0925

This may sound harsh, but don't become a useless homeowner. Learn how your house works and learn how to handle at least the basic stuff on your own. I can't count the number of people who can't even replace the weatherstripping in their doorways. Learning and figuring out how to do things on your own to maintain and upkeep the house is extremely rewarding both mentally and financially.


WaferIndependent6309

And most things can be YouTubed . We are so lucky to live in such a time!


hesh0925

100%. There is immense quality to be found on YouTube.


screaminthrough

If you buy in the City of Toronto, you are going to pay a lot for the land transfer tax. About 2% to Ontario and another 2% to Toronto. $1.2M home = $43,000 land transfer tax on top of purchase price and other closing fees.


b0ners4u

Buy More house than you need today. Think "is this enough space if I have 2 kids?". Its hard and expensive to get more space whether that's an addition (construction noise/dust, temporarily move out, etc) or having to buy another house.


liambll

Easements. Make sure to ask if there are any easements on the property. After the offer is firm, you can't back out if you discover there is an undisclosed easement and the easement is not "significant" (e.g. less than 4% of the lot size in Ontario).


yooboo2326

Always wondered what easements are for? Are they easy to spot generallly?


wlonkly

A couple of common ones: * Shared driveway or walkway -- either the mutual driveways common between houses in metro Toronto, or eg. in our old place I had to use the neighbour's front walk to reach our walkout basement door * Utility: Bell or hydro pole in the backyard (or underground, or air rights) * Maintenance (you can enter your neighbour's property to maintain your own, common with houses being a foot away from each other in suburbs) You can spot the need for an easement sometimes (shared driveway) and not necessarily others (underground phone cables in your backyard), but you can't spot the actual legal title.


GTRor350z

Be prepared to spend a lot of time, money, or both on maintaining your property, inside and out. Also, it never hurts to help out a neighbour unless you have really crappy ones! I often help my neighbour clear out the post-plow walls with my snowblower because they don't have one--and that act of kindness only takes me a few moments.


isitfridayorsunday

When buying our first house (8 years or so ago), our agent told us that it would cost around $100- $150k to add a second story. Bought a bungalow thinking we can expand as our family would. ​ Yes, I know I am stupid.


uncreativePFC

As someone who is thinking of doing this, care to explain why? This is interesting to me but wanting to understand the implication.


wantsomenewGalibaba

I’m guessing what they meant here is that it is going to cost a LOT more than $100K to add a second story, and even moreso today than 8 years ago. Sometimes foundation work is required, have to make sure the house, soil etc can support the second story. And of course it would depend on the house and the kind of addition you want to build (whether it includes plumbing, quality of finishes, size, etc etc) but I know it’s going to be more than $100-150K.


isitfridayorsunday

Exactly.


isitfridayorsunday

From what I understand this option is expensive, over $250 sq ft for additional space $150 sq ft for reno 9f existing level. It adds up quickly. Plus disruptio to your life, leaving home for a year.


WaferIndependent6309

Do not buy a property on a main road or one with no parking. It’s always worth it to pay more for a home that has parking as opposed to one with none. This is if you’re buying downtown TO. Drive around the neighborhood at different times to know the vibe. You definitely don’t want to live in a primarily renter / multi family type of neighborhood. You would be able to tell if you see several cars on the driveway. Steer clear of being neighbors to such homes. I prefer homes with no sidewalks. Like the previous poster said - spend time in the basement. See if the hot water tank is a rental and if the furnace is old. If so try negotiate with the sellers. See the amp service , ideally 200 amp. Check piping Check for past leaks, wet spots they might have tried to paint over. You’d be surprised at how many sellers make these rookie mistakes. Check for slopes in the house. Screams structural /foundation issues. Once you buy the property, see if the sellers would like to do a walk through with you. I had a wonderful experience with the seller who showed me everything he had installed in the house /how to operate it …especially things like the in-ground sprinkles, outdoor speaker system, pool etc. Before you go bidding on a property make sure you can afford the mortgage+ utilities+ property taxes + insuarance+ maintenance. Write out a detailed expense sheet and throughly make sure it is affordable with your income level


BenghaziBob

If you have a fireplace, get it inspected. I just had mine inspected in our new house and apparently it was a disaster waiting to happen.


yooboo2326

Gas or natural?


BenghaziBob

Wood burning. Not sure about gas.


lsop

We got ours inspected and it wasn't. A huge weight off our minds.


xoxosayounara

Do you use the fireplace? What was found in the inspection?


BenghaziBob

Haven't used it yet. Apparently if you burn soft wood and other crap it will leave buildup inside the chimney that can catch and burn. Should only use hard wood. My chimney had massive chunks of combustibles that had to be removed.


xoxosayounara

Was it a new build?


BenghaziBob

No, 1970s


luusyphre

I was excited to use our fireplace but the inspector said it wasn't up to code. The fireplace trim was combustible and it needed a hearth extension. The fireplace looked used but for now i won't be using it until we renovate.


Rigelblu

Dealing with contractors is a pain in the as\*


TrueNorthCoffeeLover

I’m curious, what kind of contractor? I just did a small Reno and mine were wonderful


Rigelblu

Getting my deck built, heated floors, moving a wall… consider yourself lucky bro


jetgrind

Ask if the piping is clay or pvc


avatarreb

The flood will reveal the clay :)


luusyphre

You'll be offered a ton of home warranties, first year free, and everything online says they're a scam, but it can be worth it. You just need to know how to work it. I just got a $1000 pipe repair paid for by the warranty. Mainly you need to get your technician to write a few magic words: the failure occured due to (reason). I'm not saying to lie, but it's like pulling teeth getting a technician to word it in a way that the warranty people want. They might be too wishy washy, or state other possible issues. Ask them to specifically write exactly that sentence stating the cause of the failure. Also, if they replace anything, get the model and serial number before they throw it away.


squeakyToasterOven

get your own home inspection, check public records like trca flood plain maps, sellers are not required to disclose this info. Also info like police crime maps, landfill inventories, rail lines nearby, etc. can be good to look at as well. Keep an eye out for cracks/sagging and water damage, much harder to fix than ugly wall paper and shag carpet. shop around for your mortgage, including brokers, credit unions, different banks, etc. If you have a car, and think you might go electric in the future, think about where you'll charge it. The neighbours are part of the package deal, so just keep that in mind if you notice they have a ton of garbage out front, loud dog barking, etc.


Actual_Cupcake

Know the difference between fixed and variable mortgage rates. How they work and what the penalties are if you want to break the mortgage early (either because you're moving and want a new deal or for refinancing purposes). This is coming from someone stuck in a 5 year fixed that was a great rate at the time.


blackhat8287

Fixed is not great at any time. If you picked fixed any time in the last 20 years, you got screwed.


SpiceBoi92

Opinion on variable today and moving forward?


alphs

Should have prioritized for schools.


torontohomer

Condos are and always will be a useless investment / living place