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December Market Recap: “Price Growth Continues as Calendar Year Closes.” If you haven’t checked out our latest market report, click here!

What’s On in Toronto This January

Welcome to a brand-new year! The weather may be less than stellar right now, and you might have some post-holiday blues, but thankfully there are plenty of events happening in the city to break you out of your wintry funk.

Head on over to the west island of Ontario Place from now until March 17 for its stunning Winter Light Exhibition. Local artists will display their illuminated works at this free-to-attend event, which features installations that project, shape, transmit, reflect or contain light. More: Winter Light Exhibition

This winter, you can take advantage of free skating at the historic Evergreen Brick Works. You don’t want to miss a chance to explore the magic of the city’s most picturesque outdoor skating rink, with its snow-covered gardens and twinkling lights that look like stars. There’ll even be food trucks on-site on Wednesday nights! More:Free skating at the historic Evergreen Brick Works

Trevor Noah, host of The Daily Show, will be performing four full comedy shows in Toronto Jan. 11-12. The acclaimed comedian’s shows almost always sell out, so you’ll want to grab your tickets fast. More: Trevor Noah

Experience Star Wars in a whole new way by checking out Star Wars: A New Hope in ConcertJan. 23-26. The Toronto Symphony Orchestra will perform John Williams’ iconic score alongside the equally iconic movie that started it all. More: Star Wars: A New Hope in Concert

Market Marvels: Toronto’s Most Unique Home Buys

We all know that Toronto real estate comes with a hefty price tag. But have you ever wondered what the most luxurious (or at least unique) houses in the city are like?

Beyond the multiplying sky-high towers of the city’s core, there are a number of real estate gems within the GTA that most of us could only dream of owning.

In Oakville, for instance, one breathtaking waterfront property has been given the distinction of being quite possibly the hardest house to sell in Canada. Chelster Hall is the 43,850-square-foot crown jewel atop 10 acres of prime waterfront. Completed in 2006, the grand house has its own private chapel, bowling lane, and indoor and outdoor pools to go along with its six bedrooms and 13 full bathrooms. It’s on the market for a whopping $59 million.

If you’re wondering what market marvels exist in the city proper, look no further than swanky Yorkville, where you can actually find a place that offers square footage typically only seen in the suburbs. For $31.5 million, there is a two-story penthouse that features 10,200 square feet of living space and approximately 5,000 square feet of terrace space. It also comes with four bedrooms, six full baths, a library, a gym, and, of course, remarkable views.

But have no fear. Unique real estate gems that won’t obliterate your bank account do exist in the city. Recently, a castle-home that was described as looking like Aladdin’s castle in the titular film sold in Scarborough for $760,000. Unfortunately, however, the eclectic property is slated to be demolished, likely to make way for more expensive real estate. How Toronto!

Negotiations: There’s More to Them Than You Think!

When you think of real estate negotiations, what comes to mind? For most buyers and sellers, price tops the list. While this is certainly an important part of any real estate deal, did you know there are at least six others areas of potential negotiation?

Closing costs: In addition to the price of the home, buyers must pay closing costs that cover lender fees and other charges. Buyers may ask sellers to help pay for these costs with a flat dollar amount or a percentage of the fees.

Closing date: Do you need to close on a home quickly? Perhaps you need a little more time to search for your next home. There are also different advantages to closing at the beginning and end of the month.

Personal property: What will be included with the four walls and roof? Negotiations will be worked out on whether the seller includes the washer and dryer, kitchen appliances, and even items such as living room furniture or that pool table in the basement.

Contingencies: Many real estate contracts are contingent on financing or other home sales. The buyer may need to complete their lender requirements by a certain date or complete their current home sale before the contract is in full force. These details must be worked out and agreed to up front.

Home repairs: Most contracts include a stipulation that the buyers can complete a home inspection. Once the buyers receive this report, they can ask the sellers to fix items that were found to be in disrepair. Each of these items must be negotiated.

Home warranty: This can be provided as an incentive to buyers to offer peace of mind. It can be particularly appealing for older homes. It typically provides coverage for the home’s HVAC system, appliances, and other major items in the event that they need repair soon after the purchase.

Does this sound like a lot to negotiate? It is. Fortunately, the best agents are expert negotiators and can handle all of these points for you. When you work with us, we’ll identify your top needs and work hard to get you the best deal.

Header image via Getty Images.

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