The Northwest Territories and Nunavut both have the highest average salaries by far in Canada, ranging from $60,000 to $86,000. The Yukon follows in third, with Alberta leading the provinces a good $10,000 behind.
In: Real Estate News27 Sep 2012
One of the trends that is becoming increasingly popular in the Canada real estate industry is the ‘private sale’ method. The number of ‘real estate for sale by owner’ listings continue to increase online day by day. If this trend were not to produce highly beneficial results for the homeowners, so many home sellers will not be jumping into the band wagon of marketing their own homes. If you are a home seller that is trying to get a good deal for your property in Canada, you too can try marketing your own home and save a substantial amount of money on realtor commissions.
Don’t worry even if you have not done something like this before, you can sell your home successfully without getting help from a realtor and save a huge sum of money. To do this, you should find a reliable ‘for sale by owner’ listings service to make your property accessible to homebuyers in your area.
Not only the home sellers are keen to list their property under ‘homes for sale by owner’ listings, even buyers prefer to interact with the homeowners directly as this ensures an enhanced level of transparency in the dealings as opposed to dealing with a realtor. You can therefore confidently post your ‘real estate for sale by owner’ listing online and expect good number of prospective buyers to approach you.
In this process, you are likely to come across number of ‘for sale by owner’ listings services. It is your responsibility to review these listing services carefully and find the best service provider to post your listing. Here are some important factors that you should pay attention to while choosing your ‘real estate for sale by owner’ listing service.
If the real estate listing service is a popular and credible one, the reputation of the service will spread by word of mouth references and more people will be already using the service. You need to therefore check how well the ‘homes for sale by owner’ listing website is populated. Does the online listing service feature good number of listings for various locations? Does it have many listings for your area? Looking for such indicators will help you get a clearer picture on the reputation of your ‘for sale by owner’ real estate listing service.
You should also take time to review the terms and conditions before you signup for your listing. This will save you from running into unnecessary confusions at a later stage. Look for real estate listing services that offer their listing service at a flat fee so that you will be able to save a lot of money when you actually sell. You should also be able to edit your listing anytime you like without any problem and without having to pay any additional charges as long as it is the same property that you are listing. Most importantly check whether your real estate listing service provider offers good customer support. Once you manage to identify the best ‘for sale by owner’ listing service provider you will save thousands on real estate brokerage.
You can take out from your RRSPs to purchase a home if you are a first-time home buyer in Canada. You can withdraw up to $25,000 from your RRSP savings to put toward a down payment on a property, to be repaid over a period of 15 years.
You can find your house on the online MLS database at realtor.ca. You can search for homes in your neighbourhood and see if your house is listed.
Canadians only need a 20% down payment for investment properties; if you are planning to buy a home to live in yourself, you only need a 5% minimum down payment. However there are some parts of the country like Southern Ontario and BC where you would need a minimum of 20% to purchase a property do to high real estate prices.
In: Real Estate Tips27 Sep 2012
You can’t terminate a listing agreement with a real estate agent without their consent. However if you are unhappy with your realtor’s performance, you might want to try contacting their brokerage and discussing the problem. If they do agree to cancel the listing agreement get it in writing.
No, an appraisal is not necessary when selling a home. It can help give you an idea of the home’s worth but so can your real estate agent. Usually the buyer’s mortgage lender will order their own appraisal to make sure the property is worth the financing amount.
No, a seller can choose to sign a sales agreement with a buyer without a pre-approval letter, however they are taking a risk by doing so that the buyer will not be able to get the necessary financing to close the deal.
Usually both the seller and the buyer hire lawyers for the process, and each is responsible for their own legal fees.
You can claim any renovations that are considered to be of a lasting nature, including materials, services, some appliances. You can’t claim expenses for cleaning/maintenance, nor can you claim renovations that were part of a new purchase. You also can’t claim renovations to a business, or the ‘business area’ of a home if you are deducting those expenses against business income.
For a more complete list of eligible and ineligible expenses, visit Revenue Canada’s page on the Home Renovation Tax Credit: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/hrtc/
While you don’t strictly need a license as an appraiser in BC, in order to obtain the professional designation to be eligible for insurance you need to complete the coursework through the Sauder School of Business at UBC. This can be done via correspondence. Visit the Real Estate Division at Sauder’s website: http://www.sauder.ubc.ca/
If you are already licensed in Oregon you may be able to fast-track some of the coursework.
A verbal contract of any kind is theoretically binding in Canada, but can be extremely difficult to prove as a) existing and b) containing all the terms and conditions set out in the verbal agreement. However home purchases, or the transfer of any interest in a property may be required to be in writing depending on the province, under such laws as the Statute of Frauds. Not every province in Canada has the same requirements.
Only the buyer pays HST on a new home – resale homes are not affected.
No, it is not true that the Home Renovation Tax Credit can only be claimed by the lower income spouse – any adult member of your immediate family can claim it, and it can be divided among family members in any fashion as well.
To get a mortgage in Toronto you typically need a down payment of at least 5%. However these day I would not be surprised if the bank will ask for a 20% down payment. It is becoming harder and harder to get approved for a mortgage in Toronto.
There is no ceiling on mortgage rates. Lenders charge customers slightly more than it costs them to borrow money themselves – if the lending rates are very high, then customers will facing high mortgage rates as well. For example, in the 1980s during Canada’s recession, mortgage rates went as high as 22%.
There are a few types of tax associated with the sale of a property: land transfer tax, which varies according to region; capital gains tax, which is a tax the seller pays on a property that is not a principal residence; and the upcoming HST tax in Ontario and BC, which applies only to new homes.
An easy way to get sales information on houses in your neighbourhood is to visit MPAC.ca, the Ontario Municipal Property Assessment Corporation that is responsible for property tax assessments. They offer an online service that gives you access to your property’s assessed value as well as the sales information of other homes in your area.
If interest rates rise significantly, it will probably reduce Ontario home prices as it will make mortgages less affordable, flatten sales and create more competition among sellers for the remaining buyers out there.
Usually variable rate mortgages will increase in step with the prime rate, going up and down by as much as the prime rate.
If you have a variable rate mortgage, expect mortgage rate increases to increase your monthly payment. If you have a fixed rate mortgage and are soon due for renewal, you will be facing higher interest rates to choose from, and higher payments there as well.
You can find Toronto property assessments are done by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC), and they offer a free online service that provides your property’s latest assessed value: visit MPAC.ca
Yes, most mortgage lenders require you to have basic home insurance since they own part of the home and stand to lose if anything should happen to it.
Not always true – you can set the date of possession to differ from the closing date for reasons of convenience to both parties; maybe the buyer can’t move in for a few more weeks, and the seller needs this time to find a new property. It’s all a matter of agreement between the two parties.
In: Tax Information21 Sep 2012
Unless you designated the rental unit your principal residence, selling it will trigger capital gains tax, even if you give it to your son or sell it to him for the same price you purchased it for. For it to qualify as a principal residence, you or a member of your immediate family had to ‘ordinarily’ inhabit it at least part of the year.
You should also beware that selling it to your son at a price well under market value not only won’t avoid the capital gains tax – you will be taxed at the fair market value rate – but if your son ever decides to sell it, the CRA will use that undervalued figure to determine the capital gains tax HE pays – so you will be double-taxed in effect.
By selling your own home you can save 5-6% of the sale price in real estate commissions, but there are added expenses (marketing materials, for example, or appraisals to determine the property’s value) that will reduce those savings. You might also find yourself forced to pay a flat fee or partial commission to a buyer agent in order to close a good deal.
There is also the risk in selling your own home that you don’t get as good a price as you would get with the help of a real estate professional, which might negate any savings altogether.
Interest rates and house prices don’t always have a direct relationship, but when rates are very low they can stimulate the market by making mortgages more affordable to buyers. The more buyers, the better the position for sellers, so home prices tend to go up as buyers compete for available properties. High interest rates can have the opposite effect.
If you lock into a fixed rate mortgage, at the end of your term (which can be short, like six months or a year, or as long as ten years – averages are usually 1-5 years) you have to negotiate new mortgage terms based on the new, current rates, which may be higher or lower than the one you enjoyed previously.
You should take advantage of that time to shop around for the best possible rate and terms, since all of it can be renegotiated at that time.
Yes, your payment changes with a variable mortgage rate; when interest rates increase, your total payment over the mortgage’s life (amortization) also increases, which means you need to pay more monthly to meet your final due date. If the variable rate goes down, then your monthly payment also goes down.
A high credit score makes you a more attractive client to lenders – you are more likely to be approved for loans, mortgages, credit cards, car loans, lines of credit, etc. It’s up to you to decide if you need any of these.
If you can’t pay off your bills at once, then make sure you make all your payments on time. If you can’t manage your monthly debt load, then contact your lenders about consolidating your debt. Usually they will agree to this if it means they will get their money back eventually. This can reduce your interest and your total monthly payments. If you continue to meet your obligations and slowly pay down your debt eventually your credit score will improve.
Real estate news in Canada including buy and sell information, local market updates, guides, tips for Canadians in the real estate market.