Travel Tips for Extended Stay Apartments in Toronto

Travelers often find hotel rooms expensive and too small to be comfortable after a week or two. The corporate housing industry has sprouted up to provide an alternative: accommodations are offered in serviced furnished apartments so that business people and others staying in a city for a month or more can take short-term leases on corporate suites in the part of the city that is preferred by the customer. Some executives prefer peace and quiet while others like to be close to the action.

The city of Toronto is a destination that most Canadian business people will visit at some point if they are company executives.

Most major corporations maintain offices in Ontario’s capitol so there is an endless flow of airport traffic, many quality hotels, and countless restaurants to serve visitors. For some, the 0 or so per night hotel room cost is not the main issue when the company budget is large; the executives however have greater needs for privacy and they may not want to dine out for every meal.

The corporate housing solution provides furnished apartments in condo buildings with all the amenities they are used to at home. The apartments have twice the floor space of hotel rooms – this allows the visitor to relax and settle in.

It’s doubtful that anyone would look forward to the formalities of hotel living after being in office meetings all day. A hotel room is little more than a place to sleep and shower. The urge to get out of the room usually results in a trip to the lounge or other public place to be around other people so less work gets done.

The average cost of a corporate suite is about 0 per night so for half the price you get twice the space plus closets, couches, kitchens, dishwashers, laundry machines, internet access, dinnerware, parking, sauna, gym, and swimming facilities in the building – everything that can satisfy the needs of someone who has to be away from home for several months. Chances are they will be working on the laptop much of the time in these days of telecommuting and remote virtual offices.

The companies that arrange these suites find suite owners who will be away or who rent units for profit and put them in the reservation system which customers can access online. Photos of the suites can help the guests choose the décor they prefer. The corporate housing business makes a marginal profit in normal times but the companies in Toronto suffered losses in the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) outbreak scare of 2003 when, in April of that year the World Health Organization advised that all but essential travel to Toronto should be avoided due the enormous Chinese population coming and going from their home country, possibly spreading the disease. This magnified to near-quarantine levels and destroyed the tourist trade for many months.

The scare turned out to be nothing substantial but the effect on the city’s economy was profound and long-lasting. So was the fear of touching door handles, eating in restaurants, being in crowds, shopping in stores, and shaking hands with people. The ripple effect seemed to cost everybody money. Toronto was so paralyzed by the SARS scare that a concert called “Molson Canadian Rocks for Toronto” featuring the Rolling Stones and AC/DC was put on to help revive the city’s tourist trade.

Real Estate Equity – Investment Capital, Debt Consolidation or a Retirement Nest Egg?

There is a significant interrelationship between personal investment planning, credit purchasing and real estate ownership. On the face of it that may seem obvious, but the complexity of the interrelationship bears some scrutiny.

During the last quarter of the 20th century there was an amazing proliferation of the use of credit card purchasing. Credit card purchasing continues to gain use as a means for medium term financing for larger household needs, as well as, a means to spread over time individual fluctuations of income and other changes in the economy. Unfortunately, many Americans caught up in the economic prosperity of the several past decades have used credit cards to amass debt beyond or challenging their ability to repay.

It has been over two decades since Congress removed from the federal income tax code the ability to deduct interest payments on most credit/debt instruments “except” home mortgages. This Congressional enactment immediately catapulted the home mortgage market to the forefront. Suddenly, 2nd home mortgages and complete home refinancing became an attractive tax-incentivized debt consolidation tool. Of course, the financial sense of using a home mortgage for debt consolidation depends on several key factors. Among them is the rate of interest in the home mortgage marketplace, personal circumstances and a willingness to trade short-term debt for long-term debt on the prospect of real estate appreciation.

There continues to be substantial debate regarding the financial sense of maintaining equity in a home. In the simplest terms the two sides of the issue are:

Equity in a home can be put to better use. Essentially this means home equity that could be turned into cash should be invested in financial instruments that will outpace appreciation in the value of the home. This assumes that home equity cash can be put to more effective financial use. Second home or investment property purchases, tuition for education and high interest credit card debt are the more common uses of cash out refinancing or second mortgage financing and can all be considered a more effective application of equity depending upon circumstances.

* Conversely, as the home loan is paid down and home value appreciation develops the equity that builds eventually becomes a retirement nest egg. A debt free home is can represent utopia for those entering their retirement years.

As the debate goes on, the truth of the matter is that the best approach depends on factors such as economic climate, personal timing, property value appreciation and personal investment discipline.

Then there are the tax issues that play into nearly all financial decisions. As previously noted, home mortgages and second mortgages are tax deductible. This factor can be a significant decision point. The interest paid to the lender, as part of a mortgage payment, is deductible from federal and most state income taxes. Lenders provide notification of the amount of interest paid on a home mortgage during the tax year, and that amount may be itemized as a “qualified residence interest” deduction on federal, state and local income tax returns. The interest deduction is applicable to debt assumed for home ownership up to $ 1 million. The deduction applies to first and second mortgages, as well as, other debt instruments used to finance a primary residence.

Debt that is assumed for any purpose, but financed through a home loan, is also deductible so long as the amount of indebtedness does not exceed the lesser of $100,000 or the fair market value of the home.

Refinancing an existing mortgage to release equity without the additional benefit of an interest rate reduction may not be the most frugal approach. As with any mortgage there are specific closing costs associated with the transaction that is mostly based upon the amount of the loan. Conversely, a second mortgage for the purpose of extracting equity would normally create a much smaller loan and consequently lower closing cost.

When considering a second mortgage there are two distinct structures that normally come into play. The “Home Equity Line of Credit” generally offers a low interest initial interest rate and only requires the payment of the accumulated interest each month. The advantage of this structure is that it is a line of credit with a limit and the consumer only pays interest on the amount actually used. The risk factor is that it is a floating interest rate adjusted to a particular financial index such as “prime” or “cost of funds”. The option less adventurous borrowers elect is the standard fixed rate second mortgage amortized over 15, 20, or 30 years.

Regardless of the structure of the loan current lending criteria will likely restrict the amount of the mortgage to 80% “combined” loan to value (CLTV). This means that the maximum amount borrowed including the existing first mortgage cannot exceed 80% of the value of the property as determined by the lender’s evaluation.

Modern Bathroom Renovation Ideas

If you are getting a bathroom renovation then this is one of the very best ways to transform your home and make it look like a show home or a home of tomorrow. The bathroom is one of the rooms that is the quickest to date and which often looks the most out of place. At the same time it is one of the rooms (like the kitchen) where you spend a lot of time and where there are a lot of features that can be updated to look more modern. By smartly choosing your bathroom renovation features you can make it a feature rich experience that looks and feels modern and that at the same time is even more of a joy to use.

The first idea for modern bathroom renovations that is an absolute must is to get a walk in shower. Walk in showers are basically shower cubicles that are not elevated off the ground and that are often inside a glass enclosure.

You can use these easily by walking in and you will be surrounded by light as it comes in through the glass. This means that the first and most impressive benefit of these kinds of showers is that you won’t feel at all claustrophobic – in fact you are likely to feel very spacious and this makes it easier to relax and makes it feel more Uncategorized. At the same time you will find that walk in shower enclosures are easier in many ways to keep clean etc. This is because there is no shower screen which can leak water and because you won’t need to step in and out of them and that makes it much easier.

There are other factors that can improve your shower too. For instance, why not get extra jets that can spray you from different angles. These are normally synonymous with spa retreats, but modern innovation has meant that they’re now cheap enough that we can afford them in our own home and enjoy the feeling of powerful blasts of water coming from every angle on our back. At the same time this will often be enough to help us to clean other areas that often get forgotten so it also improves hygiene.

What’s more common these days though is to have jets in the bath and this way you have created a spa tub in your bathroom. The bubbles create a highly relaxing sound, improve your bubble bath and massage your muscles into relaxation making them perfect for relaxing in after a long day and they are of course another feature that will make your bathroom seem very modern and all-singing and dancing.

Another option is to have a glass sink. This won’t change the effectiveness of the sink, but it will make it look very modern and it can almost be like an optical illusion at times when completely clean as it looks as though there is just a semi circle of water floating in the bathroom. If you also have a glass shower enclosure then you’ll find that the two match.