Renting

3 Crucial Tips For Avoiding Rental Scams

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Before purchasing  a home, many people opt to rent an apartment or property to live in. This gives them time to save up and learn how to live independently. Rental properties can also come with a number of other benefits like free wi-fi, maintenance, and repairs.

However, despite the numerous merits of renting a property, there are numerous details that people need to go over beforehand. One of the most important pieces of information that they need to learn is how to avoid rental scams. People fall victim to rental fraud all the time; even in major cities like Toronto.

Before potentially wasting hundreds or thousands of dollars on a rental scam, people should know how they work and how to avoid them. By doing so, renters can differentiate between a real opportunity and a swindle.

Tip #1 - Learn How Rental Scams Work

Although rental scams are an old tactic, the internet has changed the landscape. Modern scammers will often take photos and information from people on the internet. The scammers will then use what they have gathered to create fraudulent posts on websites like Kijiji or Facebook rental groups. In general, the end goal of the scammer is to obtain the first month’s rent and a downpayment from unknowing renters.

Tip #2 - Watch Out For Prices That are “Too Good To Be True”

When it comes to renting an apartment, house or any other type of property, renters can never be too suspicious; especially when it comes to aspects like pricing and screening. If the rental property is listed at a price that is too good to be true, then renters should be wary. This is due to the fact that is could be a fake ad. Scammers will often list the property at a rock-bottom price. They do this to entice more potential renters.

Additionally, renters need to be cautious if the “landlord” doesn’t require screening beforehand. Many legitimate landlords won’t let a tenant into their property without being screened. This is due to the fact that they want to rent to people that they can trust.

Tip #3 - Meet the Landlord In Person

Many landlords want to meet their potential tenants before they move into the property. This gives the landlord a better idea of how the potential tenants behave. If the landlord can’t meet in person, they may be a rental scammer. To ensure that the rental agreement is legitimate, renters should always set up a meet with their potential landlord. It is even better if the landlord can meet with the renters at the apartment or property.

Renting an apartment or property is a satisfying and exciting part of a person’s life. However, before rushing into it, everyone needs to learn how to avoid rental scams. Thankfully, there are numerous things that renters can do to avoid rental scams. Some of these things include knowing how rental scams work, always being suspicious and meeting the landlord in person.

Get in touch if you have any more questions. I’ll be happy to help.

Real Estate Sales to Now Indicate School Catchment Area

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In an unprecedented, but welcome move, Realtor.ca has announced that they will start to add school catchment information to the property listing on their site. In essence, within the information offered about the property that is for sale, there will also be information regarding which school district the home falls under, which is indicative of the school your child would attend should you move to that location.

A long-time important consideration for parents and children when it comes to choosing where to live, the move by Realtor.ca to add this convenience to their site is the first part of a partnership with Local Logic. This partnership will see the addition of neighbourhood-specific lifestyle information on the site’s property listing, with schools being top priority.

Understanding Catchment Area

The catchment area is a geographically bound area, marked by specific GPS coordinates, whereby all children in that area attend a specific elementary, middle, and high school. The students who fall outside the area are listed as attendees of a different school, although with some exceptions, students outside of the area can attend. All schools have a catchment area, affiliated with them, and these may change depending on the number of students the school can take on, as well as how close or far the children live to their home.

Choosing a Home

When it comes to choosing a home, there are a lot of factors to consider, including price, age, location, and neighbourhood. And now, increasing numbers of people are looking at the school catchment areas within that neighbourhood. In fact, many parents are choosing where they would like their child to attend school and then only looking for houses in that area. While this makes sense if you are particularly set on a specific school, be aware that catchment areas change and that if the school is already at capacity, your child may be denied attendance and sent to another school which has more space.

Converting to a Sale

From a real estate agent’s perspective, the addition of this new information is not only available for our clients and to maximize their experience, but it also increases lead conversion. The research has shown that when consumers can interact with neighbourhood data, they are “three times more likely to convert into a lead,” and offer a realtor a chance to pursue a sale.

This is good news for the cities where the information is already offered, including Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Regina, Halifax and several other Ontario suburbs. With the plan to have many more integrated into the system within the next month, there are also plans to offer an additional feature which will allow parents to search for a specific school within the catchment area, or search by school type, such as elementary or high school.

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Early interactions indicate strong engagement with the data, with a high degree of interest from consumers, including parents and young children. It is also proving useful for those people indirectly affected, such as future owners wondering about bus routes or school speed routes that may impact their daily commute time.

If you are looking to find a home in a particular school catchment area, please let me know. I am happy to work with you to identify the location that will best suit your family’s needs and allow your children to attend the most fitting school.