Friday, 28 November 2014

I Know I Can Rely on my Neighbours

Cheryl loved how quickly she moved into her Options condo and knowing people in the building made her feel at home very quickly. 
Register for a free information session to find out how you can make an Options condo your home!

Options offers cash incentives to all purchasers who have referred a friend or family member upon the sales becoming firm. If you know anyone who could benefit from the Options Contribution or anyone looking for a quality home, in a good community at a fair price please have them contact us to register form one of our upcoming Information Sessions or call 416-867-1501 for more information. 

Thursday, 27 November 2014

#TBT Options for Homes - A Proven Track Record

“There is no genius without a touch of madness.”

Many people thought that Mike Labbé was mad to embark on the journey that he had planned when he first started over 20 years ago. At our 20th Anniversary celebration earlier this year, Brian Iler, a long-time Options champion emphasized the genius side of Mike and the Options model:

“Mike Labbe came into my office in 1992 with his idea of Options and an affiliated social capital fund, neither had a name at that point.  Many of you have had the experience of Mike promoting an idea to you.  It can be hard to keep up with him but you always know he’s on to something.  It didn’t take him long to get me on side.  The basic concepts for Options for Homes and Home Ownership Alternatives were clear at our first meeting.  Everything after that was the hard work it takes to make a good idea reality."

Some of Options’ first homeowners who bought in the Distillery District were deemed "crazy" by many of their friends.  It turned out that it was the friends that were crazy for not jumping at the chance to purchase at one of Options first developments. Watch the video below to see some of Options original homeowners speaking about their experience a few years after moving in. 

The Options developments in the Distillery District, St. Lawrence, Parliament Square and Mill Street gave Options the credibility and track record to move on and create communities in areas of the city that other developers wouldn't touch. Creating communities full of proud homeowners who prioritize keeping their buildings and neighbourhoods clean instead of filling developments with renters who often don't stay longer than a few years and don't put effort into the appearance of their neighbourhoods is what Options strives for.  Over the past 20 years we have seen this happen in all of our developments.  It is what has kept us going and driven us to continue to create communities all over the city.  

The Options model hasn't stopped in Toronto.  It has expanded across Ontario, across Canada and around the world, with our first international development beginning construction in Limbe, Cameroon this year.

To find out how you can be a part of the genius and own your own Options home register for a free information session.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Options Budgeting Tips

Are you saving up for a big purchase? An Options home perhaps? It is completely possible to save money and still have a happy, fulfilled life.  You  just have to think frugal and put practices in place to help you succeed and reach your goals. Check out these tips to help you save!
Basics of a Household Budget that Works
10 Things to Save on when You’re Setting Up a Home 
For more tips and tricks check out these 100+ Tips for Frugal Living or check out our ‘Budgeting Tips' board on Pinterest!

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

We Really Do Create Communities

The words "community" and "condo" are not often found in the same sentence.  It seems like an odd claim to make that by building high rise condominiums Options provides homeowners with community. For a lot of people already living in a condo is seems misleading and unbelievable; they don't know or talk to their neighbours and they feel isolated.  Those are not things we hear from Options homeowners. More often we hear things like this: 
"Options for homes was a dream come true for me."
"Our wishes have become our reality upon moving into our condo."
"I am always proud when any of my friends come to see me."
"It's a great oppourtunity.  Take a leap of faith.  I did and it worked."
"I would recommend it to anyone and I do recommend it to everyone!"
"I want to thank Options for Homes from the bottom of my heart for making my dreams come true."
-All quotes from real Options homeowners.  For more just like these click here!
Stories like this are common among neighbours who get to know each other attending the purchaser's meetings leading up to the condos being built and from homeowners who meet their neighbours when they move into the completed developments.  We have been doing it for so long (over 20 years now) that creating communities is second nature.
With many condo communities isolation is in large part due to the high number of investors that own and rent out their suites.  This creates a steady turnover of tenants who rarely stay long enough to get to know their neighbours. Owners are much more likely to stay in their suite for numerous years, and take the time to meet others in their building.  

Our Mclevin development is just one example of a group of people who met because they purchased homes in the same building but have formed life long friendships with their neighbours.  This group refers to themselves as the "Mclevin Ladies".  Watch their video here:

Another way Options helps to foster community is through our development process. As soon as someone becomes a purchaser they are invited to attend board meetings that are held approximately every 6 weeks for their particular condominium. The CEO presides over the meetings and brings purchasers up to date on the status of their development. At these meetings purchasers’ questions are answered and their concerns are discussed. This allows the homeowners to participate in some of the decision-making that creates the kind of community they want. 

One of the more vital aspects of these meetings is that the purchasers get acquainted with other purchasers. By the time the homeowners move into their condo; the people living there are familiar faces they've met at the meetings and some they've already become friends with.
Danforth Village Estates purchaser meeting.

Having condominiums with high owner occupancy can also have a positive impact on neighbourhoods, since owners want to keep their building and the surrounding area beautiful and pleasurable to live in. This in turn raises the property values of their homes and of others in the area; this also leads to improved and flourishing businesses culminating in the homeowners being proud of where they live.
Watch these videos to see what we mean:
This business model has transformed and created many communities. It began with the three Options condominiums on what used to be just vacant industrial land that is now the popular Distillery District. Options has also helped transform neighbourhoods with developments like Shermount at Lawrence Avenue and Allen Road, and Heintzman Place at Keele Street and Dundas Street West.
Do you want to own your own home? Have great neighbours? Be involved in a community? Live in a neighbourhood you're proud of? If so, register for a free information session and learn how to make it happen!

Monday, 24 November 2014

It Was Worth the Wait to Get Into My Own Home

Lata didn't want to keep living with her daughter, she wanted her own space.  She took advantage of the second mortgage and moved in to her home at the Village by High Park in 2011.

Since she moved in she has had a book published and started her own music school!

What will you accomplish when you have your own space to live, work and be inspired in?

Friday, 21 November 2014

Charles Helped Bring Options to His Community

Charles heard about Options and saw a need for cost effective housing in his community, so he decided to do something about it.

He reached out to Mike Labbé. Mike challenged him to find land to build on; Charles met that challenge - and the rest is history.  Watch his story above! You may also recognize Charles’ daughter Kimberly and her husband Daniel from their testimonial video.  
Subscribe to Options YouTube Channel to stay up to date on everything Options. 

If you are interested in getting involved with Options or just want to learn more, call (416) 867-1501.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

#TBT An Introduction to our First Blog

Many moons ago, Options CEO Mike Labb was convinced that starting a blog would be a useful tool to help spread the word about Options.  Check out his first ever blog post:

This blog is not about talking it is about doing.  We do, however, have to talk a little initially…

Hello world!  My younger cohorts tell me that blogging is a way to start a conversation with the world.  We shall see.  My YouTube site has generated about 3100 hits in a year.  It is indeed a small world.

The Options organizations count themselves among a large group of people who want to make the world a better place for all its residents.  We understand that we are stewards of a planet that is important and must survive.  We find ourselves part of a family of change makers and social entrepreneurs who know we must do better faster.
We also believe that we must build on the successes and avoid repeating the failures of the past. 
There have been many attempts to address poverty, human misery, and environmental degradation in the past with varying degrees of success.  We at Options believe that the global economy has come to a crossroads that shows us the limitations of all solutions organized and proposed to date.  With the recent near-collapse of the global economy, we see the inability of the status quo to deliver the solutions that the world needs in an effective and efficient way.
Our hypothesis is the private profit-making business is fatally flawed because of its inability to show restraint.  As social entrepreneurs however, we know and believe that the business sector is most likely the best and most effective solution that we have to date.
We believe further that the restraint can be created by establishing a non-profit mentality within the business community.  Non-profit corporations can be designed from their inception to focus on social resolutions and to be restrained in the returns that adhere to any of the stakeholders.
Profit-making entities are designed from their inception to centralize wealth and we argue that this is inherently an inefficient way to solve social and environmental issues.  The main flaw in the system is that those who control these institutions invariably feel entitled to being rewarded for their efforts consistent with the wealth created by them.
I’m sincerely looking forward to discussing this and various other themes and topics with you via the comments sections of this blog. 
Four years later and all of what he said remains true.  Options is committed to our goals and have remained consistent since the beginning. 
Don't forget to send us feedback on our blog, YouTube channel and anything else. We love hearing from you so don't hesitate to let us know how we're doing!

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Attending a Free Information Session is a Low Risk Investment in What Can Lead to a High Reward Decision

Options homeowners were just like you.  Many of them never thought in a million years that they would be able to call themselves "homeowners".

Take Paul and Michelle Hillier for example, at the time that they were able to purchase an Options home they were both working part time.  Watch Paul talk about getting his first mortgage at 50 years old.

Melanie was nervous at first to purchase a home on only one salary.  She decided to attend an info session and realized that she could do it!

You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by attending a FREE information session. Home ownership may seem impossible but with Options help it may be easier than you think!

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Renting vs. Owning

Studies have shown that home ownership makes you happier, healthier, wealthier and that your kids do better in school. In addition to these reasons, check out this list of 15 benefits of owning your own home instead of renting:

1. Wealth accumulation by paying down debt in the form of mortgage payments, whereas rent pays a landlord’s mortgage down.

2. Your credit rating improves when you own a home.

3. Over time, your net worth increases allowing you to establish a preferred status with your own bank, giving you the opportunity to make other major plans such as owning your own business.

4. If you become unemployed, the landlord still expects the rent payment; most lenders will work with you and perhaps add the missed payments to your mortgage.

5. Owning your condo allows you to choose how you live, entertain and decorate the interior.

6. If you require short-term loans, lines of credit, or other revolving credit arrangements, home ownership will provide greater opportunities to obtain the same credit arrangements at a lower cost.

7. The wealth accumulation achieved by owning your home is tax free, since equity in your principal residence is not a taxable gain.

8. There is a program available for homeowners only, which provides job loss insurance to cover the mortgage payments while you look for work and get back on your feet.

9. A mortgage payment can be fixed for up to ten years!

10. Pride of Ownership: you will be amazed how the small repairs that used to bug you in your rental are now a joy when you own your own home.

11. Sweat Equity: what stocks let you add value by painting, remodeling a kitchen or bathroom?

12. Retirement Plan: every mortgage payment and every percent of inflation adds to your retirement.

13. You now have an estate to pass on.

14. You don’t have to answer to anyone (except the bank).

15. You become a respected member of the community.

Options for Homes has seen first-hand in many of our owner's that home ownership improves the lives of people. We think it's pretty obvious where the check mark should go!

For many people the idea of owning a home is something they don't think is possible for them. At Options we are committed to helping everyone get into home ownership. Attend a FREE Information Session and see how we can help you!

Also, visit our YouTube channel and Subscribe to see testimonials from homeowners to see first hand how their lives and the lives of their children have gotten better since they bought their own homes!

Monday, 17 November 2014

How the Options Second Mortgage Pays it Forward

When we first explain the concept of the Options Second Mortgage we usually get one of two reactions:

1. People don't understand how the Second Mortgage works.

2. They think it sounds too good to be true and there must be a catch. 

We posted a blog the other day explaining how the Second Mortgage works.  Read it here and check out this video of the Village by High Park owner Melanie describing her understanding of the Second Mortgage:

If you still need some clarification register for a free Information Session.  CEO Mike Labbé will explain the Second Mortgage and there will be purchase consultants there who can answer any and every question you may have. 

Friday, 14 November 2014

When a House Becomes a Home

We constantly hear from Options homeowners about their favourite Options Moment.  One thing we hear over and over again is about the moment when they feel at home. Sometimes it takes a while to feel comfortable in a new neighbourhood and in a new environment. 
Moving in, meeting neighbours, exploring the neighbourhood - it can be overwhelming, but there is always that moment where all of a sudden your new Options house becomes your home, your sanctuary and the place you are most proud of.
Watch the video above to see Andrea describe the moment where she knew her Options condo was her home! 
Subscribe to our YouTube Channel to see more videos like this and register for a free information session to find out how you can make an Options condo your HOME!

Thursday, 13 November 2014

#TBT 2004 Co-operative Innovator Award

Check out this 10 year old video of Mike Labbé discussing Options and accepting the Co-operative Innovator Award

Options has gotten a lot of recognition through the years. Check out our various awards here.

Options would not be able to earn any of this recognition without our amazing staff, affiliate organizations and, most importantly, homeowners.  To find out how you can own a home developed by an award winning not for profit organization join us at one of our free information sessions!

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

The Village by Main Station 20th Anniversary Party Recap

Every month Options has been hosting a 20th Anniversary party for each of our developments.  Last night was the last one! Purchasers at the Village by Main Station gathered at Main Square Community Centre, located around the corner from where their condo will be built.  Though purchasers are looking at about two years until they move in the excitement in the room was obvious.  

The party was an oppourtunity for people to meet and get to know their neighbours before construction even begins.  When people first walked into the room they were shy and apprehensive but after a few minutes they began mingling, talking and laughing with their soon to be neighbours.  

We love hearing from Options purchasers whether that be in writing, on video, or through artwork:

"Mike Labbe is very funny.  He makes me laugh at every meeting!" - Earl

"My girlfriends mother lives at the village by Guildwood.  She introduced me to the concept of Options for Homes." - Michael B.

Artwork by Main Station Purchaser Cathy Cheng.

Stay tuned for some great video testimonials from the Village by Main Station Purchasers coming soon!

Thanks to everyone who came out and made the Village by Main Station 20th Anniversary Event such a success! Check out some photos from the event below:

It's no surprise that purchasers at the Village by Main Station come from very diverse backgrounds. They will be moving to Main and Danforth from different areas of Toronto and are all looking forward to their future with Options.  

Many purchasers who attended the event last night say they heard about Options through friends and family.  Options offers cash incentives to all purchasers who have referred a family or friend upon the sales becoming firm. If you are an Options homeowner and know anyone looking for a quality home, in a good community at a fair price have them contact us to register for one of our upcoming information sessions or call 416-867-1501. 

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Options Contribution

You can budget, work extra hours, get a job on the side and cut back as much as possible but sometimes you still need a little help with a down payment.  Options understands that.  We know that things come up, your kids need money for this or that, your car breaks down and needs to be repaired ASAP.  Life happens and it makes it extremely difficult to save up enough for a down payment for a home of your own.  That's where Options' Second Mortgage comes in.  We help you with your down payment!

Options for Homes provides special financing that can help potential homeowners get into home ownership up to 10 years sooner than they otherwise would.

The Options Contribution (or Second Mortgage) is a loan to boost your down payment worth 13% or more of the purchase price of your Options suite.  There are no payments due until you sell or rent out your suite.  At that time, the loan appreciates by the same percentage as the resale value of the home and must be paid back in full. 

The repaid loans then go to create new cost-effective homes for other home buyers.   The Options Contribution is available to anyone who purchases a home from Options and wants to take advantage of the oppourtunity. 

We know it can be kind of difficult to understand and believe at first but at Options we are committed to providing cost-effecting home ownership oppourtunities to everyone in the world that wants or needs it.  Attend a free information session where we will explain what the Options contribution is in greater detail and much more!

Click here to register now.

Options offers cash incentives to all purchasers who have referred a friend or family member upon the sales becoming firm. If you know anyone who could benefit from the Options Contribution or anyone looking for a quality home, in a good community at a fair price please have them contact us to register for one of our upcoming Information Sessions or call 416-867-1501 for more information. 

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Taking the Plunge Into Homeownership

As a young couple, young in their careers, Kimberly and Daniel thought that owning a home was something that was in their distant future.  They took the leap and 7 years later they are extremely happy they got into home ownership when they did!

No matter your age, come talk to one of our consultants at a free info session and find out how you can make home ownership a part of your near future! 

#TBT Cranbrooke Village Construction Tour

In August 2013 Cranbrooke Village was featured in the Toronto Star's New In Homes Blog.

Check out the tour here!

It's hard to believe that in little over a year construction has finished and the building is almost completely occupied. It takes a lot of people to make progress like this happen and we are grateful for every single one.

Cranbrooke Village is located at Bathust and Lawrence and is home to some amazing Options homeowners.  Check out the photos from our recent 20th Anniversary celebration in the party room of the building here!

Here are some great throwback photos of what the development looked like a little over a year ago:

And this is what it looks like now:


There are still a few suites available at Cranbrooke Village, call (416) 867-1501 ex. 221 to find out how you can make Cranbrooke Village your home.

Visit our website to see other Options condos that are Now Selling!

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

The Village at Guildwood’s Key Contributions

See how the Village at Guildwood contributed to Options International! Watch the video above of Mike explaining how contributions from the Village at Guildwood contributed $60,000 to Haiti and how Options has consistently grown our international presence over the last few years.
Check out Options International’s Facebook Page for more information or request a copy of Options Newsletter to stay up to date with Options developments around the world.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Do You Want to be a Guest Blogger on Options Group of Companies Blog?

This year marks Options 20th Anniversary! To recognize the milestone we have been collecting testimonials from homeowners from all of our developments.  You can see what some of our homeowners have been saying on our blog and on our YouTube channel!

Now we want to put you in the driver's seat - we want you to guest blog for us! This is your chance to have your voice heard and to say what you want to say how you want to say it!

If you or someone you know has a blog or just have something to say that you would like to be featured on the Options blog request more information or submit an entry to

We can't wait to hear from you!

Monday, 3 November 2014

Charmaine Knew What She Wanted and Wouldn't Settle for Anything Less

Charmaine knew exactly what she wanted and was able to get it with Options.  She owns her own one bedroom condo at Cranbrooke Village and she lives alone!

Find out how you can get exactly what you want with Options by registering for a free info session here!