Monday, 23 March 2015

Cranbrooke Village Grand Opening

On Friday March 20th Options, along with the City of Toronto, celebrated the Grand Opening of our newest development Cranbrooke Village.

Options contributed $11.82 million in down payment loans at Cranbrooke Village and 94 of its 341 suites were made even more affordable with addition contributions of $1.43 million from the City of Toronto and $584,000.00 from Options' sister company Home Ownership Alternatives ("HOA").

Councillor Ana Bailão hosted the event and was joined by speakers Greg Banfield, HOA's mortgage manager, Options homeowners Jason Arias and Cheryl Preminger and Options CEO Mike Labbé.

The grand opening was a great opportunity for Options CEO Mike Labbé and the Options team to acknowledge the many, many people and organizations who contribute making Options communities a reality.

Options homeowner Jason Arias spoke at the event and was interviewed by CBC News about his journey to purchasing an Options condo.
Jason is a single father of a 9-year old daughter. As he says, once he decided to look into buying a home he discovered that Options was really the only option that made sense for him.  He loves that he is able to pay for his home and still have money left over to live his life.  Because of his decision to purchase an Options home, instead of the more expensive condos downtown that he considered, he is able to take his daughter on vacations, go out to eat more often and still have some money left over for savings.  He knew that if he purchased a more expensive condo he would be able to afford it, but not much else.  He is living within his means and for him, that is the key to happiness.

Options homeowner Cheryl Preminger also spoke at the event. She said:

“One day on the subway I looked up and saw the Options ad. I called, attended an information session and realized with the additional help that I would be able to afford a home in Canada for myself and my children.  We were in our condo at Cranbrooke Village less than a year later. A wish from our bucket list fulfilled!” 

Cheryl's story of being an immigrant with no Canadian job, no Canadian credit and becoming a homeowner is truly inspirational.  See more of Cheryl's story here:

Jason and Cheryl are just two of many Options homeowners.  All with their own unique story and background. Options for Homes believes that home ownership should be available to everyone. Home ownership makes households financially stronger which in turn builds stronger cities.

We are so proud to celebrate the opening of Cranbrooke Village and to officially welcome the 341 purchasers into their new home and new chapter in their lives.

Here are a few shots from the event.  Stay tuned for more photos and video footage from our grand opening!

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

#TBT (Throwback Tuesday) St. Patty's Day Scavenger Hunt

We don't do anything by the book at Options, so when it came time to deliver rebate cheques to residents at the Village by High Park we had to put an Options spin it.

On March 17, 2013, residents took part in a scavenger hunt that led them through all the amenities in the building before receiving their cheque.

Watch Village by High Park owner Melanie talk about that day here:

Read more about the St. Patty's Day Scavenger Hunt from the Toronto Star New in Homes Blog here:

Find out how you can become a part of an unconventional condo community, attend a free info session.

And don't forget that Options offers a referral fee to owners that refer friends and family.  Call 416-867-1501 to find out more.

Friday, 13 March 2015

Options Purchase Consultants Never Give Up On Their Clients

97% of Options purchasers at Danforth Village Estates have a total household annual income of less than $75,000.

Even Options staff were taken aback by that statistic.

A total household income of less than $75,000 to own your own home, in the GTA, within walking distance of transit!  This would not be possible without the Options contribution and even more importantly the Options staff and purchase consultants who work tirelessly with potential purchasers to help them qualify for a mortgage and get their finances in order.

Our purchase consultants never give up.  They will work with you and coach you on how to improve your credit,  they will help you create a savings plan and arrange a payment schedule for your down payment that works for you.  Options purchase consultants are there for their clients every step of the way.  They advocate for their clients and are available to answer any questions purchasers may have.

If it is your goal to own a home, there is no one better to have in your corner than an Options purchase consultant.  No other condo developer would provide the amount of counselling and support that Options does.

A recent purchaser at Danforth Village Estates just secured their mortgage from the bank with the help and guidance of one of our purchase consultants.  This is what she had to say upon finding out she was approved:

"THANK YOU so much for the help. You may not realize but this great news will bring security for me & my kids, investing for our future. It motivates me to work harder as a single parent."

Without the effort and drive of our purchase consultants Options wouldn't receive feedback like that and would never be able to accomplish a stat like 97% of purchasers with a household income of less than $75,000.00.

Thank you to all of our purchase consultants for all that you do everyday to help people make better lives for themselves and their children. You deserve all the positive feedback and credit that you get and more.

Options upcoming development at Danforth Rd. and Eglinton Ave. is currently selling and is expected to begin construction in the summer of 2015.

Learn more about Danforth Village Estates here:
or register for an information session now:

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

No "Shoddy" Condo Buildings Here

While many condos in Toronto are being deemed "shoddy" and have a predicted life span of less than 20 years, Options for Homes recently won a DMDA Architectural Design Award.

This article from the CBC discusses the future of  so called "shoddy" condominiums in Toronto:

A Toronto-based real estate agent is quoted in the article.  He said: 

"It's all about timing. We advise most clients to get out before that five-year mark," said Roy Bhandari of Sage Real Estate, which notched nearly C$50 million in Toronto condo sales in 2013, with clients typically from China, Eastern Europe, or the Middle East. "It's the magic number because after five years the warranties are expired."

Real estate agents are advising their foreign investor clients to sell their condos within five years because after that the condos will start to deteriorate? Are we the only ones that see something wrong with this situation?

These condos are built for the short term.  There is no consideration for the purchasers buying the condos after the initial investor let alone their children and the future generations who will have to clean up this mess.  

The article also says, "Real estate brokers are dealing mostly with 10-year investors who want to buy from a blueprint, double their equity during the five years of construction, and enjoy rental income and price appreciation for five more years before selling and investing again elsewhere."

Sustainability is the last thing on these developers, builders and investors minds.  They are looking to build their product as cheap as possible and maximize their profit to make a quick buck and then abandon the people who lose money and suffer in the aftermath. 

Options doesn't believe in sacrificing quality to keep our prices low - instead we eliminate expensive amenities and marketing initiatives that drive the cost of each suite up by thousands of dollars.  In 20 years of developing condos and creating communities we have never heard the word "shoddy" used to describe our work.

Homeowner Jim Munroe explains how he got more than he expected without paying for upgrades:

Unlike other condo developers who build condos as cheaply as possible because their only goal is to make a profit, Options co-invests in your unit (in the form of the Options Loan).  The fixtures and overall building quality are better than average because when homeowners sell or rent out their suite they are required to pay back the Second Mortgage. The loan appreciates by the same percentage as the sale price of the condo so Options shares in the benefit of producing quality condos as the units are sold.

Those additional funds are then allocated to create more cost-effective home ownership opportunities in the GTA and around the world. Without quality design, architecture and construction the suites would not appreciate in value and Options would not have the means to create more housing and Options' not-for-profit model would fall apart. 

It's a fact - The better quality the condo and community the more each suite will appreciate in value therefore the greater the funds which that will be allocated to go towards creating more cost-effective housing.  

Options has been creating communities for over 20 years and we remain committed to producing the highest quality designs and construction at the lowest possible price, that's what our model dictates and that is why we continue to be able to grow the Options model and promote the vision around the world! 

Visit our website: to learn more