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Notable News of the Week: October 5, 2012

Massive Toronto condos will be ‘sculptures for people’ – CBC News

The plans that art impresario David Mirvish and architect Frank Gehry have put forth, in the Mirvish-Gehry Project, include tearing down the Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto and replacing it with three condo towers, as well as a space for OCAD University, museums, art galleries and business offices. The three 80-storey buildings will not just be typical condo towers, but “sculptures for people to live in,” says Mirvish. Mirvish adds that, while the Princess of Wales Theatre would be eliminated, he is not retreating from his theatre roots or the traditional architecture of the theatre. Gehry says he wants to deliver a feel of ‘old Toronto’ in the first six stories of the towers.

The entire complex is estimated to take seven to ten years to complete. A formal application for the project will be filed soon, with a community consultation to follow shortly after. The Mirvish-Gehry project has Toronto residents split into two groups: those for and against the redesign.

Top 50 safest global banks – The Wall Street Journal

According to Global Finance Magazine’s ranking of the world’s safest banks, seven of Canada’s largest banks placed in the top 50. TD Bank performed the best on the list sitting just outside the top 10 at number 11.

The safest banks in the world (Canadian rankings):

  • 11. TD Bank
  • 12. Scotiabank
  • 16. Desjardins
  • 17. RBC
  • 25. BMO
  • 26. CIBC
  • 28. National Bank

Why you need a good real estate lawyer for condo purchases

When buying a condo, a real estate lawyer is necessary to look over the set of documents that outlines the condominium corporation’s status certificate. According to realtor David Fleming, the most important areas of the status certificate concern:

  • the risk that the corporation will suffer from a lawsuit
  • the condominium’s budget
  • the reserve fund for updates and renovations
  • specific rules and regulations regarding outdoor space, parking, and so on
  • the property management team

For first-time home buyers, these issues certainly affect your everyday life in the building, making it essential to carefully look over these documents. Using a lawyer’s expertise to perform a thorough review of the status certificate will ensure that you know exactly what you’re getting into.

Getting a mortgage – harder for the self-employed? – The Globe and Mail

It can be a challenge for the self-employed individual to secure a mortgage as they tend not to have the traditional financial statements and documents that salaried employees have. With no T4 slips, employment letters, or steady paycheques, the self-employed rely on ‘stated income’, which is the amount of income the borrower states they have, supported by tax returns, contracts, and financial statements. For self-employed individuals who are able to supply sufficient third-party validation will be granted access to the same mortgage interest rates as traditional borrowers.

Another option for self-employed individuals is to obtain a self employed mortgage, however, it may require a higher down payment percentage (could be as high as 35 per cent) and are subject to higher CMHC insurance premiums.

Tighter mortgage rules start to take toll on high-end homes – The Globe and Mail

The federal government’s tighter new mortgage rules have impacted the high-end home market. Initially, many felt the new rules would only affect Canadians looking to purchase entry-level properties such as first-time buyers. However, with the maximum amortization period falling from 30 years to 25 years, raises monthly payment amounts, which effectively reduces the affordability of potential high-end homebuyers who would have qualified to buy more expensive homes.

As part of the new rules, high-ratio mortgages over $1 million are no longer an option, which has had a minor impact on the market as a whole, but takes a noticeable toll on the fragile high-end home market.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!