My Agent Mike

Hi! I'm Mike Rapkoski.

Sales Representative, Keller Williams Referred Urban Realty Inc., Brokerage

I have spent the past 18 years assisting clients build their wealth through making wise choices with their real estate buying and selling. I am passionate, dedicated and committed to providing world class service to my real estate clients.

24 November 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Let the Buyer Beware! Yikes!

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You know that often used Latin term muttered when things go wrong as you hear of someone who is stuck with some bad real estate…caveat emptor (let the buyer beware). Well today I had to shake my head as I was out looking at potential properties for a client.

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18 November 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Boulevard and Front Yard Parking Informatiom

With front yard parking (boulevard parking in some areas) being a major headache for home buyers throughout many neighbourhoods, the city of Toronto is trying to make access to getting information on what is legal (or not) more easily accesible.

Many times I encounter sellers during a listing presentation (audtioning to be their choosen agent to represent them during the sale) who will tell me that their property has one (two, three) parking spaces. When I ask them if they are legal spots (most front yard parking spots need a city permit license) I typically get a “i’m not sure, but we’ve never had a problem”.

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16 November 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Building wealth through real estate investing

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I recently took ownership of a loft I purchased as new construction in March 2007 and it got me thinking about my property investment portfolio and also the dozens of clients whom I have helped purchase similar investments over the years.

Although the bulk of my time is spent assisting buyers and sellers with their residential principal residence needs I have personally been buying investment real estate for myself and clients for the past twelve years. Mainly I have focused on duplexes, triplexes, condos or lofts and the odd small commercial building.

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15 November 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Time to re-think the way we build cities

Comments from me: This article was originally posted in the Globe and Mail December 3rd, 2009. I saved the article and was reading it yesterday and thought it brings up some interesting points to discuss. What are your thoughts?

It may be time to ask a key question: Are Canadian cities marching in the right direction? Many very smart people say no.

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13 November 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Affordability a key issue for this panel of experts

Stephen Dupuis – Toronto Sun

In an interactive webinar earlier this week, RealNet Canada Inc., BILD’s official, independent source of new home market intelligence, provided an in-depth analysis of the housing market’s performance in the third quarter of 2010.

I was on the panel as one of the speakers, and I was in very good company with RealNet president, George Carras, Toronto Real Estate Board senior manager of market analysis, Jason Mercer and N. Barry Lyon Consultants Ltd. president Barry Lyon.

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09 November 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Susan Powers says "Stop the Insanity"!!

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The spotlight continues to shine bright on the real estate industry and the focus of many newspapers, magazines and news programs have mainly been one sided with the almost exclusive position being spoken about is what will the affect be with the new changes for a) consumers; b) what the future holds for real estate agents and brokerage companies.

I get why the media is almost entirely choosing to cover one angle of this story and that’s because it sells papers, advertising and viewership. That’s the name of the modern media game where it’s dog-eat-dog (much like my industry) and fueling the hype is what puts the food on the table. No matter that the message being spread (not reported I add) is often flawed, or worse, entirely one sided and self serving but come on media people, wake up and get a conscience! Go out and find a few respectable, professional hard working Realtors and ask them their thoughts. Not just the discount brokers who at best maybe represent 1% of the 100,000 real estate sales people across Canada that are now having to deal with these new rules and the constant one sided reporting you have slanted reports have created.

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04 November 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Follow up and opinion to Remax condo article

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It seems over the past few years any bit of positive real estate information to be published from any of the big real estate brokerages is met with some surefire opposing opinion critique (mostly opinion) by main stream journalists and publications.

And it almost always reeks of the same rhetoric. Reports published like the recent condo market findings by Re/Max Ontario/Atlantic is most obviously biased and self serving (Toronto Life online John Michael McGrath November 2nd) because that’s what all us “real estate” sales people, brokers or companies do. Pass along only one sided (read self serving) information to paint a picture that will allow real estate agents like me to go out and sell more houses.

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02 November 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Condominiums first step to homeownership in most major centers, says Remax

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Given serious escalation in detached housing values, condominium apartments and towns have now emerged as the first step to homeownership, says RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada.

Affordability has fuelled buying activity across the board, according to the 2010 RE/MAX Condominium Report, highlighting trends and developments in eight Ontario markets and one in Nova Scotia. Condominiums now represent one in every three homes sold in the Greater Toronto Area; close to one in every four homes sold in Ottawa and Hamilton-Burlington; and almost one in every five homes sold in London, Kitchener-Waterloo, and Collingwood. The trend has translated into a solid upswing in unit
sales activity, with 78 per cent of markets posting an increase in year-to-date sales (January – September 2010 vs. 2009)—with percentage gains outperforming overall residential sales in most markets examined.

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29 October 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Hey Mike we want to sell our home (part 3 and yes final part!)

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Okay so how does the rest of my appointment go? Well two and a half hours later (yes you read correct!) my clients are now much more educated about their options on selling their home. At this time I tell them I’m not offering the low flat fee service model of “list you and leave you” and that I am sticking with the model I have been using for over fifteen years successfully looking out for my clients biggest financial asset. Sure I could take a couple of thousand dollars from you and say “all the best” and guarantee myself a nice little annual income. But only I would be winning in this scenario. I would rather stick by the formula that I know works and is of benefit to all involved. I have always offered a variety of commission fee options that my clients are free to choose from and have been a bit of an industry leader on this in my opinion. It must work because for the past eight years 94% of my entire business has come from past clients and the referrals they so kindly introduce me to.

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29 October 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Hey Mike we want to sell our home (part 2)

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So to continue we pick back up with me meeting with my clients to discuss the selling of their home. From the moment I arrived at their house I could sense although they were really happy to see me (we had remained in touch through email and phone conversations but we haven’t seen each other in a couple of years) their was some obvious tension on their behalf.

Being first time sellers they had a lot of questions about how the selling process worked and whether they should buy first or sell first since they would be needing another home. As I answered their questions I could feel the tension from the onset disappear and become replaced with a level of confidence and relaxation. When the conversation turned to what it would cost to sell their home the tension started to come back. They admitted to me at this point that being first time sellers they didn’t know what to expect cost wise and that with all of the recent media attention with regards to the Canadian Real Estate Association they had heard that selling your home and the costs involved had now dramatically changed.

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