Historic Designation, Townhouses, Multiple Offers
Row of red town houses


Dear David, What does it mean if a home has a historic designation? – Old Timer

Dear Old Timer, A handful of properties in our region are designated as historic by their respective cities under Ontario Heritage Act, which applies to properties identified as having cultural heritage value or interest. Under the OHA, there are two types of historical designation: Type IV, which protects specific historic attributes of a particular property deemed worthy of preservation (such as windows or crown molding), and Type V, which establishes broad design guidelines for properties that fall within a “Heritage District” (and may regulate signage, colours, etc.). While it’s hard to make sweeping generalizations about what is (or is not) allowed under the OHA, a Municipal Heritage Permit will likely be required to modify features of a property that have been “designated”.

Dear David, What are the pros and cons of buying a town house? – Looking at Options

Dear Options, If you want to buy your own home but are worried about the expense, a town home can potentially cost tens of thousands of dollars less than a sized single-family house of the same size and can feel even larger, depending on the floor plan. Many town homes in our area are newer builds that may include upgrades like stainless steel appliances, hardwood floors and granite counter tops. If these features are important to you, a town home may help you to feel like you’re getting more bang for your buck. The downside? You’ll likely give up a larger yard and may have to make some compromises when it comes to quiet and privacy.

Dear David, How does it work if a home I want to buy receives multiple offers? – Curious

Dear Curious, A short time ago, it was commonplace to hear that home buyers “didn’t want to complete” when submitting an offer, but the luxury of going it alone is increasingly rare. When multiple offers are received, it puts the seller is in the driver’s seat. A seller and their Realtor may choose to (i) accept the “best” offer, (ii) inform all potential buyers that other offers are “on the table” in hopes that one of them will submit something even better, or (iii) “counter” one offer while putting others to the side, or outright rejecting them. Each of these strategies comes with its own risks. As a buyer, I recommend that you put your best foot forward in a multiple offer situation, but ultimately, the terms of the offer are up to you — not your Realtor.