First Time Homebuyer Property Transfer Tax Credit Increased!!

ATTENTION FIRST TIME HOMEBUYERS!! The BC Government has announced that effective February 19, 2014 the Property Transfer Tax for First Time Buyers has increased to $475,000 from $425,000. The new threshold will allow a partial exemption between $475,000-$500,000. See full details – CLICK HERE

Confused about how GST works on your Real Estate Purchase?

Now that the HST has been changed back to a GST / PST model, there’s a lot of questions out there with regards to how things work with regards to purchasing real estate.  The following should clear up most questions.   How does G.S.T. apply to used residential housing? It does not. Used residential housing is’ not subject to G.S.T. How does G.S.T. apply to new residential housing? G.S.T. is payable on the purchase price of newly constructed or substantially renovated residential homes. Substantially renovated is defined in the legislation as the removal or replacement of most of the house construction components except for the foundation, external walls, interior supporting walls, floor, roof and staircase. What is the tax rate for G.S.T.? 5%, subject to any rebates, discussed below. Are there any rebates if the new home is to be the primary place of residence? First, let us define primary place of residence. This means a home that you own, jointly or otherwise, that you intend to live in on a permanent basis. To be eligible, the intent to use the home as the primary place of residence must be evident at the outset of buying the home. A recreational cottage, an investment property or a property you might retire to in the distant future do not qualify. If the Purchaser (or a certain related family member) is planning to reside in the new home as their primary place of residence, they may be eligible for a G.S.T. New Housing Rebate. This rebate equals 36% of the G.S.T., but only applies for homes under a certain price point. Assume the purchase price of a new home is $350,000 excluding G.S.T. The gross G.S.T. is $17,500 (5% of $350,000). The G.S.T. New Housing Rebate is 36% of $17,500, which is $6,300. …

$10,000 New Home Buyer Bonus – STILL TIME LEFT!!

If you are currently in the market for a new home and qualify as a first-time new home buyer, you may be eligible to receive a significant bonus of up to $10,000 from the BC government.  The First-Time Home Buyers’ Bonus is a non-taxable one-time payment to the purchaser and we’ve seen many happy homeowners benefit from this limited time government offer. With interest rates at historic lows, and a great selection of brand new homes on the market, this truly is a great opportunity to own your first home. ELIGIBLE  FIRST – TIME  NEW HOME BUYER You will qualify as a first-time new home buyer if: You purchase or build an eligible new home located in B.C.; You, or for couples, you and your spouse or common law partner, have never previously owned a primary residence; You file a 2011 B.C. resident personal income tax return, or if you move to B.C. after December 31, 2011, you file a 2012 B.C. resident personal income tax return (you will not be eligible for the bonus if you move to B.C. after December 31, 2012); You are eligible for the B.C. HST New Housing Rebate; and You intend to live in the home as your primary residence. There is still time left to take advantage of this great offer from the government.  To find out more info on this government incentive, CLICK HERE.  

Free Properties in White Rock, BC?

Only 100 years too late !!  When I finish building my time machine, I’m going back to 1911 to take part in this deal!! Check it out!

Questions to ask before hiring a property inspector

Hiring the right home inspector is important. After all, you want the inspection to leave no stone unturned when determining the condition of the house you are considering purchasing. Unfortunately, the professionalism and range of services vary widely in the home inspection industry. So it pays to ask the right questions before you choose. Here are a few suggestions: “What does your inspection cover?” A home inspector should be able to present you with a detailed list of what is covered in the inspection. Don’t settle for a vague verbal promise like, “We check everything top to bottom.” Get it in writing. In addition, you should get an assurance that the inspection complies with all Local and State or Provincial regulations. “What are your qualifications?” As with most professions, experience counts.You want to check how long the inspector has been in the business, and how many homes like yours he has inspected. Also ask about his credentials.What professional training programs has he completed? Does he belong to a recognized home inspection association? “Do you also offer to do home repairs or renovations?” If he does, it’s a conflict of interest.You want an inspector to give you an unbiased report as to the condition of the house, without any expectation of getting some contracting work on the side. “How long will the inspection take?” You’ll want to find out if the inspector takes his time and does a thorough job, or rushes things so he can get as many homes done in a day as possible. On average, a typical single family home should take two to three hours to inspect properly. “May I contact some references?” Ask for references from people in the neighborhood you are considering. Then, make sure you call them.  

First Time Homebuyer (new home) BONUS!

Following the announcement of the B.C. First Time New Home Buyers Bonus there has been some confusion on how the bonus will be paid to qualified applicants. The initial reports about the First Time Buyers Bonus were misunderstood due what the Ministry of Finance call a “Poor choice of words” in the initial press release. It is not a Tax Credit! The First Time Home Buyer Bonus will be introduced in the legislature and is expected to obtain “Royal Ascent” sometime in May 2012. The application form is now ready, and can be downloaded directly from the BC Ministry of Finance – CLICK HERE TO GET IT!! Once approved the Ministry will mail out the cheques up to a maximum of $10,000. It is estimated that the process will take about 4-6 weeks from application. The tax credit is equal to 5% of the home price, subject to a maximum of $10,000 The tax credit is pro-rated based on your income and phases out for higher income families This credit only applies to new homes This credit only applies to first time buyers For further info visit: www.fin.gov.bc.ca or call; 1-877-387-3332 BC Finance Minister, Mr. Kevin Falcon, has announced the reinstatement of the BC PST, to take effect on April 1, 2013 (subject to approval by the BC Legislature). In simple terms, home buyers will continue to pay HST until April 1, 2013 and will be eligible for additional rebates. After April 1, 2013 only 5% GST will apply. For properties under construction at April 1, 2013, specific transitional rules will apply. Mr. Falcon also announced that the full PST Legislation will be introduced in the legislature this spring, including the transitional rules. Full information on the B.C. Home Buyers Bonus is below: 2012 First Time Home Buyers Fact Sheet Loading…

First Time Homebuyer Incentives, 2012

At the British Columbia’s Budget 2012 conference today, the provincial government announced two incentives for the residential construction industry and its consumers: 1. A $10,000 temporary, one-time refundable income tax credit for first-time home buyers who purchase a newly constructed home, effective today, February 21, 2012 through to March 31, 2013. Details are available here:http://www.bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2012/homebuyers/2012_First_Time_Home_Buyers_Fact_Sheet.pdf 2. A $1,000 Seniors’ Home Renovation Tax Credit, a refundable personal income tax credit for the cost of permanent renovations that provide individuals age 65 and over with increased independence. This is an annual $1,000 credit based on 10% of eligible expenditures. Details are available here:http://www.bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2012/backgrounders/2012_Backgrounder_2.pdf Combined with the HST-to-PST transition rules and HST tax-relief measures announced last week for new homes, this should help to stimulate the new-homes industry throughout BC. However, the budget did not include measures to mitigate the HST impact on home renovations.   Loading…

Affordable Housing in the Lower Mainland, BC

LOOKING FOR GREATER AFFORDABILITY? HEAD TO FRASER VALLEY SURREY, BC – According to the president of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB), international affordability studies regarding Vancouver are misleading because they don’t reflect the reality that homebuyers purchase more affordable homes every day in neighbouring communities. Sukh Sidhu is a REALTOR® who lives and works in Abbotsford. “So far this month, over 50 homebuyers in the Fraser Valley have purchased a condo for $199,000 or less and over 100 families are now proud owners of townhomes valued at $399,000 or less. “About one-third of our buyers are first-timers and two-thirds are using equity from an existing home to either buy up or down size and they’re thrilled with the value and benefits home ownership provides.” According to a recent Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey, Vancouver ranks the second most unaffordable major housing market in the world based on median household income and a median home price of $678,000. Based on January sales to date, the median home price in Fraser Valley is $405,000. Sidhu says, “To buy that home, you would need about $80,000 as a household income, however to buy a typical condo or townhome in Surrey or Abbotsford for example, you need less than $60,000 as a household income. “We’re not suggesting that affordability isn’t an issue in Greater Vancouver. In fact, REALTORS® in BC are amongst the most active proponents of strategies to make home ownership more accessible. What we are saying is that these broad, general studies don’t reflect what’s really happening within the local housing market.” The FVREB is scheduled to release its final January month-end sales statistics from its Multiple Listing Service® during the first week of February.

FREE Info About Real Estate Investing in Canada & USA

If you’ve ever thought about investing in real estate, in Canada or the USA, then this FREE information evening is something you should definitely check out!!! Below you’ll find details about the event. SPACE IS LIMITED, so please RSVP as soon as possible to reserve your spot!  

Things To Consider as a First Time Homebuyer

Are you among the thousands of people in the Fraser Valley who pay rent each month, knowing full well that you will never see that money again? For many, this need not be the case. Instead, why not take that money and build it into an investment that can last a lifetime? Right now there are excellent opportunities for first-time buyers. Mortgage rates are attractive and there are plenty of reasonably priced homes on the market. What kind of home do you need and want? Buying a home is a balance of many requirements such as family size, location, income and lifestyle. REALTORS are excellent sources of advice and help in these matters. Not only do they have the experience and knowledge to make sure the choice you make will be the right one, but with access to the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®), they can seek out suitable properties for you and provide you with a customized list of homes that meet your needs, wants and budget. Ask yourself exactly what you need in a home. How many bedrooms? How close to schools or shopping centres? Do you plan to have more children? Do you need a garage or a finished basement? New homes offer extensive warranties and pristine conditions but may not have mature trees or landscaping. Older homes often include improvements such as finished basements or rec rooms, decks and patios. Be sure to have any resale home inspected for needed repairs or upgrading. decide on a preferred location Living in the city means you will be close to amenities such as theatres and shopping. If you prefer a more rural lifestyle, make sure the extra time spent driving each day won’t detract from your enjoyment of the property. Townhomes and condominiums are obviously suited to particular lifestyles …

First Time Homebuyer Program Information

First Time Home Buyers’ Program Introduced in 1994, the First Time Home Buyers’ Program is designed to help British Columbians purchase their first home. Under the program, eligible purchasers can claim an exemption from Property Transfer Tax if the fair market value of the home is less than the threshold amount. Thresholds For registrations on, or after, February 20 2008, the fair market value threshold for eligible residential property is $425,000. A proportional exemption is provided for eligible residences with a fair market value of up to $25,000 above the threshold (i.e. up to $450,000). Other Criteria To qualify for the First Time Home Buyers’ exemption you must meet all of the initial eligibility criteria. To retain the exemption, there are also requirements which must be met in the year following the transfer. For a general overview of the eligibility criteria, please see the brochure, Property Transfer Tax and the First Time Home Buyers’ Program. For complete information on all of the eligibility criteria, please see: Bulletin PTT 004, First Time Home Buyers’ Program Instructions for Completion of the First Time Home Buyers’ Tax Return First Time Home Buyers’ Program – Follow Up To claim the exemption you must file a First Time Home Buyers’ Property Transfer Tax Return (FIN 269) and the appropriate Land Title forms at the Land Title Office when you apply to register your property. Refunds If a purchaser did not apply for the exemption when the transfer was originally registered at the Land Title office, but met all the FTHB eligibility criteria at that time, the purchaser may apply for a refund within the first 18 months from the date of the original registration. Please see How to File for more information.

First Time Home Buyers’ Program – Year End Financing Follow-up

When your application for exemption from property transfer tax under the First Time Homebuyers’ program is received, a letter is sent to you confirming receipt of your application. This confirmation letter outlines requirements that must be met during the first year after you register the transfer at the Land Title Office. If your property purchase was registered on, or after, February 20, 2008, you are no longer required to meet any financing requirements to qualify for the First Time Home Buyers’ Exemption, or provide financing information in your year-end follow-up letter. If your property purchase was registered before February 20, 2008, you must meet the financing requirements that were in place when you purchased the property. However, effective February 20, 2008, you are free to pay down any amount owing on your mortgage. If your property purchase was registered before February 20, 2008, and you paid down your mortgage before February 20, 2008, the following requirements apply to you. For all areas of British Columbia, the allowable mortgage paydown limit is the greater of $13,000 or an amount that reduces your mortgage to 70 per cent of your property’s fair market value. Regular and lump sum payments made against the principal of your mortgage are used to determine how much your mortgage had been reduced. If your financing allowed for amounts to be borrowed, in addition to the amount borrowed to finance the purchase of your principal residence, such as re-advanceable mortgages or lines of credit, payments you made against the various principal amounts are pro-rated between the various amounts borrowed. If you paid down more than the allowable limit, you may be allowed to keep a portion of the exemption based on the date you went over the limit. It is important that you have your lender/mortgage holder provide this …