Does Your House Qualifies as Principal Residence?

 



 
How Your House Qualifies as Principal Residence to Avoid Capital Gain Tax on Sale (Important question from investment standpoint)?

A property qualifies as your principal residence In Canada for any year if it meets all of the following four (4) conditions:

1. It is a housing unit, a leasehold interest in a housing unit, or a share of the capital stock of a co operative housing corporation you acquire only to get the right to inhabit a housing unit.
2. You own the property alone or jointly with another person.
3. You, your current or former spouse or common-law partner, or any of your children lived in it at some time during the year.
4. You designate the property as your principal residence (Form T2091(IND).

The land on which your home is located can be part of your principal residence. Usually, the amount of land that you can consider as part of your principal residence is limited to 1/2 hectare (5,000 square meters), which converts to about 1.24 acres (53,819 square feet). Since these requirements are based by CRA guidelines. If you have further questions or need clarifications, you should speak directly to Canada Revenue agency or your Accountant.


 

STOP PAYING RENT

 

 How to become a HomeOwner rather than a Home-Renter!


From basement suite to house and condo, renting is a huge business in Mississauga as in other areas of GTA. If you currently rent, you know that paying out those hundreds of dollars every month to line the pockets of your landlord is not a pleasant task. However, like most renters you probably feel stuck in a home that isn't even yours simply because you can't save up that down payment for your own home.

This guide contains details on how you can stop paying rent and start contributing to your own financial future, rather than that of your landlord. By knowing some valuable information about the real estate industry, as well as some tips and tricks about property ownership, you should be able to start on the road from renting to owning. This blog will tell you how you can:

                                                                      -Save for a down payment for your property
                                                                      -Make best use of your financial institution, and other loan sources
                                                                      -Consider reversing the rental roles

 

7 Little-known Facts That Can Help You Purchase Your First Home


Purchasing your first home can be challenging. Your monthly cash flow may easily cover the proposed mortgage costs, but perhaps accumulating the down payment is what you find difficult. Or maybe you have financial reserves, but cash flow is what's holding you back. Whatever the reasons, purchasing a new property can still be accomplished, regardless of your financial standing. Consider the following facts:

 

The down payment on your property doesn't have to be as large as you think:


Several programs exist to help first-time buyers enter the property market. These programs require that you have never purchased a home before, and that you meet basic qualification standards. It is important that you consult a professional real estate agent like me who is familiar with these programs, so that you may make best use of them.

In some areas it is also possible to assume a mortgage. If this is an option in your area, your real estate agent will be able to perform search on listings requiring small to no down payments.

 

Your lender may help you with your down payment and closing costs:


Depending on your financial standing, you may have assets worth equal to or more than your needed down payment. If this is the case, your financial institution may be willing to lend you the extra cash needed for your down payment, while securing it against your assets.


 

The seller may assist you in purchasing your home:


Some sellers may be willing to lend you money to purchase the home. This is known as a ‘seller take-back' and is essentially a loan from the seller to the buyer. Instead of your monthly mortgage payments going to a financial institution, they would go directly to the seller. This loan works in exactly the same way as any other, and is subject to the rules and regulations outlined upon instantiation.


 

You may be able to borrow without going into debt:


Options exist for you to borrow for certain investments to a specified level, and using those investments to leverage a significant tax return. This process can be further coupled with a first-time homebuyer's plan, and turned into significant equity.

You can also borrow against savings in an RRSP, and if repaid in a certain time period, avoid any interest payments.


 

While purchasing, consider becoming a landlord yourself:


If you're interested in subsidizing your mortgage payments with some supplemental income, why not consider becoming a landlord yourself? Houses and condos with extra bedrooms and living facilities are often not much more expensive than those without. If you have been pre-approved for a mortgage that allows you to purchase a larger property, why not consider renting out the extra space and having a tenant pay your mortgage?


 

You may be able to secure a loan even with a lower credit rating:


Oftentimes it is possible to secure a loan, even with a poor credit rating. If you have enough equity to borrow against, your financial institution may consider lending you money to purchase a home.

It is also possible to use a ‘seller take-back' loan for the purchase, using the seller as the lender.


 

Secure a mortgage before you begin your searching:


Before you begin looking for a property, you should get pre-approved for a mortgage. It is important to make sure that you know your budget, as well as your monthly payments to make sure that they are within your means. Enlisting the help of a professional mortgage specialist is a good idea when it comes to locating a loan that meets your needs. Oftentimes a professional will be able to locate more competitive mortgage rates than those offered by a single financial institution. There is usually no obligation, and the benefits of knowing your buying power while shopping for your home reduce stress and wasted time.


 

Where to go from here?


This writting illustrate that you have options other than paying large monthly payments to your landlord. It is clear that with a little creativity and help from my Real Estate experties, you can make the break from renting to owning.

Make sure to consider your options – If you're interested in more information, please contact me at 647-261-9000 or email at IdreesRealty@gmail.com.

 

 IS IT REAL ESTATE BUBBLE OR REAL INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY?

 






It’s a time again when there has been much media attention on Canada’s housing market as the year 2014 coming to an end and many of the market pundits predicting the real estate market’s so called bubble to pop up in 2015.

However, while many of us think the housing market in Canada is overvalued and due for a correction, in my opinion the correction, if any will likely happen over several years and it is not a sudden melt down for sure but will happen in orderly manner. Many of Canadian economists are also calling for a slowdown, rather than a meltdown.

However, In order to kick off recession for the Mississauga real estate or its melt down, these three major things have to happen:

1. Interest rates Spike: The mortgage rates need to spike up sharply which puts affordability at risk. However, the government has been very cautious and fully understand its adverse affects and therefore, simply isn’t in the cards. The Bank of Canada isn’t anywhere near a rate hike and a relatively subdued inflation forecast, I see no reason for interest rates to substantially rise in coming years.

2. Unemployment: It needs to be widespread and drastic. As per the current jobless rate which hover around 7% and which is projected to remain steady. Given this macroeconomic condition, it is also very unlikely that the unemployment rate will surge to 10 per cent or above which as per my opinion is needed to cause housing slow down.

3. Mortgage credit: The bank credit has to be squeezed drastically to the point that it becomes very difficult for a buyer to avail it which will make it almost impossible to possess a house, resulting into decreased real estate transactions. However, as per current bank policies, it’s not in the cards as well as it goes against the interest of Canadian banking industry which has a very heavy portfolio of bank mortgages and is one of the major revenue source for them. The Canadian banking system will continue to provide sufficient mortgage credit to keep the housing market financially liquid.

 
Is It a Real Estate Bubble or Real Investment Opportunity?


In my opinion, keeping in view the major economic factors as described above and more importantly the buyers’ high confidence level at this point of time, there is no imminent signs of real estate drastic price fall, specially keeping in view of the good influx of Canadian immigrants each year (250,000+) and the fact that more than 90% of these new immigrants decide to settle down within GTA, thereby it creates new opportunities for the local businesses and the rental market which is evident by increasing rental cost each year despite launch of many new condominium projects and Mississauga City Hall initiative to legalize the basement apartment to provide affordable accommodation for its residents. It is also very evident that the Mississauga property buyers are recouping major property expenses/cost through their rentals which is in high demand and it’s not difficult at all to rent a property in Mississauga. With the annual increase of house prices from 4 -7%, building up of equity each year and the rising rental rate, owning of a house has never been so easy as in current times.



 
Therefore, in my opinion it is a very good opportunity to invest in Mississauga Real Property due to the following major factors:
·     Historical low mortgage rates

·     Availability of bank credit

·     Buyers’ high confidence level

·     Rising rental revenues

·     Mississauga being one of the favorite cities to reside

·     Steady inflation rate

·     250,000+ new immigrants to Canada each year

·     Steady economic growth

·     Forced savings of monthly equity portion of the mortgage payment

 
Even when mortgage rates do start rising, I believe it will happen gradually and over an extended period, therefore, there seems no room for hawkish thinking of sudden real estate melt down but a soft landing is a possibility.
 
 
  Buying a Condo as Investment

 
Are You Thinking about Buying a Condo as Investment!

 
If you are thinking about buying a condo as investment then how do you know if it is a good investment?

There are several calculations you need to make, and questions to address, to determine the answer. When considering a condo as an investment, you must accurately estimate:

· The annual rent you may receive, and  

· The annual expenses you will incur, including such things as:

    · Real estate taxes

    · Condo Fee

    · Insurance

    · Maintenance and repairs

In addition you have to take into account the occasional expenses that may occur, such as:

· legal fees if an eviction is required

· advertising costs to get tenants

· repair costs if a tenant damages the property


Let’s take an example. You find a good condo selling for $200,000 and you buy it on cash. It will rent for $1450 per month ($17,400 per year). You think that represents at 8.7% yield ($17,400 divided by $200,000). Before you get too excited, you must factor in such expenses as:

                     -Real estate taxes are $1,500 per year
                     -Insurance is $300 per year
                     -Condo fee is $450 per month
                     -Estimated maintenance and repairs expenses about $300 per year
                     -You figure the condo will be vacant about one month per year (you calculate this as a cost of $1450 a year)


Those costs total to: $8,650 a year (or about $720 a month).


Your net rent is now $8,750 ($17,400 minus $8,650), which represents a yield of around 4.4%, which is still an attractive return. In addition to cash flow, you will get annual appreciation of the value of the property if market remains stable. If you expected Condo market to go up about 4% a year as in the past, in the first year your condo would appreciate from $200,000 to $208,000 a gain of $8,000. Second year price increases to 216,320 a net gain of $16,320 in just two years.

If you cannot pay cash, and must finance the property, you’ll also have to factor in the mortgage cost. For investment property, you need to put 20% - 35% down to qualify for the loan. In the scenario above, let’s say you put 30% down ($60,000) and finance the remaining 70% ($140,000) at a 3% rate over 30 years. Your mortgage payment would be $593 a month.

When you add your payment of $593 a month and the estimated expenses calculated above, of about $720 a month, you get $1,313 a month of estimated expenses. With expected rent of $1,450 a month, this property would still deliver positive cash flow, and based on these numbers would likely be a good investment keeping in view annual price increase and Equity build up over the time.

Other Factors to Ponder Upon:

Before making any real estate investment you must also assess how realistic your assumptions are. Here are some additional questions to consider in determining if a condo buy will be a good investment:

-Is your condo in an area where rental property is in demand, such as near downtown, fashion/financial district or a college/university/subway?
-Is it in an area that is getting less popular or more popular?
-Is there any major development planned by city council in the area?
-Could a new condo development be built nearby, leaving yours in need of expensive improvements to compete?
-Buying a condo may be a first step to build-up equity for the subsequent purchase of a freehold house!


 
  Rent - To - Own Program

 
Who Should Consider Rent-to-Own Option

A rent-to-own agreement can be an excellent option for people who want – but are not financially ready – to become homeowners or Who do not have a good credit. A rent-to-own agreement gives them the chance to get their finances in order (by improving their credit score and saving money for a down payment, for example) while “locking in” the house they’d like to own. If the option money or a percentage of the rent goes toward the purchase price, they also get to start building some equity.

To make rent to own work, potential buyers need to be confident that they’ll be ready to make the purchase when the lease term expires. Otherwise, they will have paid the option money – which could be substantial – and a premium on rent for 12 to 36 months, with nothing to show at the end.

If there’s a good chance would-be buyers still won’t be able to qualify for a mortgage or secure other financing by the time the lease expires, they should instead continue renting (with a “normal” lease), building credit and saving for a down payment. Then, when they’re ready, they can choose from any home on the market in their price range.

The Bottom Line

A rent-to-own agreement allows potential buyers to move into a house (maybe even their dream home) while getting their finances in order to purchase the home several years in the future. It’s not without risks, since they could end up losing money if they don’t (or cannot) buy the property when the lease expires. It’s vital for buyers to read and understand every word of the contract and know exactly what they’re getting into.


  Are You a First time Home Buyer? - 5 Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them


Buying your first home can be exciting, stressful and scary too. But knowing the common mistakes of first-time home buyers will ensure you don’t make the same ones and can help make the transition much smoother.

1) Spending Too Much

It’s important to be realistic about what you can afford! The final sale price isn’t the only cost to consider when owning a home. Houses come with plenty of bills like closing cost and property taxes, future renovations and occasional unforeseen costs like burst pipes or city trees needing to be trimmed.

What you can do about it: Take a close look at your finances. Be aware of your current fixed costs and always leave some cushion in your budget. Ask the homeowners what they spend in a year on their bills so there aren’t any surprises. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation has plenty of useful online budget calculators to help. As a general rule your monthly housing costs (mortgage, property tax and heating expenses) should be no more than 35% of your gross monthly income.

2) Spending Too Little 

Yes, this can also be a mistake! If you spend too little on a home that you’ll outgrow quickly, you’ll incur the expense of moving (which can be quite pricey) perhaps before you need to.

What you can do about it: Think ahead. Are you planning on starting a family soon? Will you outgrow the house? Perhaps stretching your money a little bit to stay in a house for longer is a more sound financial decision.

3) Buying With Your Heart 

Sure the house is gorgeous, fully renovated and painted your favourite shade of cream and has an ensuite bathroom for every bedroom. But it’s on a busy road and you have three young kids and two cats who like to run outside.

What you can do about it: Be smart! Visit the house at least twice (you’d be surprised at how your opinion can change on a second and third visit) and think critically. Go through every aspect of the house, every room, every floor, its location and neighbourhood and really try to picture yourselves in the house for years down the road.

4) Missing Hidden Closing Costs

The final sale price of the house isn’t the only cost of buying a home. There are many "closing costs" that should be taken into account when deciding what price range you can afford. Lawyer fees, transfer taxes and moving costs can all add up.

What you can do about it: Closing costs can be anywhere from 1.5% - 4% of the final sale price, so be aware and take this into account when determining your budget.

5) Not Doing Your Research 

Blindly buying a home can be a big mistake. Whether you’re paying too much attention to your realtor and family “who just LOVE the place!” or are feeling the pressure to make a quick buy, moving into a house that hasn’t been thoroughly vetted can be a big, expensive, regretful mistake.

What you can do about it: Do your research and do it first-hand. No realtor or family member can know exactly what you want more than you. Spend a day walking the neighbourhood, learn about your neighbours, research the local schools and visit the mall, public transport and parks. As for the house itself, get an inspection report. These can uncover unseen things like termites and flooding, two expensive undertakings.

Buying a home is exciting and daunting. But doing your due diligence and choosing a good Realtor can make the process much easier, and get you into your dream home with less stress.

 
  Getting a Great Apartment on Rent when Vacancies are Low:


 
Low vacancy rates are great news if you are a landlord, but significantly less so if you find yourself searching for a new apartment. Finding a good apartment at a reasonable price is significantly more difficult when rental units have a low vacancy rate. What do you need to do to get a good condo when vacancy rates are low?

Finding a Great Apartment When Vacancy Rates are Low

Be realistic. If you are moving out of your parents’ house, moving into a new city, or switching to a more central or expensive neighborhood, you may be in for a shock at the size of apartment your budget gets you, or the sticker price to live somewhere up to your current standard. Spend some time browsing apartments similar to what is within your budget on Kijiji before going to a showing so you have a good idea of what the market is like before you start going for showings – that way, you can identify a good deal when you come across one.

Separate wants from needs. Before seeing any apartments, figure out what you consider absolute must haves, and what you can live without. Is central air conditioning really a must have if you see a great unit that has good airflow? Do you need in unit laundry if there is a Laundromat in the building? Knowing what you will and will not compromise on before your search will help you make decisions on a tighter timeline.

Figure out the prices of all the things you think you need. Maybe you feel you need access to an underground parking spot, but have you looked into what the cost is for street parking in your city? How does the premium of having a reserved spot compare to a monthly parking pass in the area of the building? If parking is easy to come by in the blocks near your apartment, is it really worth shelling out the difference?

Be prepared to act. If you see a great place, assume landlords are telling the truth when they say they have a lot of interest. If you want to move in, be prepared to negotiate and lock down the agreement on the spot. Research what is standard in your province for documents required to sign a lease, and bring it with you to every showing. This may include a copy of your credit report, a letter of employment, bank statements or pay stubs, and the contact information of your current or past landlords. A reference letter from a prior landlord stating that you were a good tenant and paid on time may help you be more competitive as well.

Familiarize yourself with signs of rental fraud and local laws. Scams become more common when the competition for apartments is tight, because fraudsters know people are under pressure to lock down a good deal. Similarly, unscrupulous landlords may demand things that they have no right to, such as cash deposits before any binding agreement is signed. Be wary of any requests for cash or other similarly untraceable transactions. Stick to cheques, credit cards, certified cheques, and other traceable forms of payment, and never send money online for an apartment that you haven’t seen.


 
  GET A REFUND ON YOUR ENERGY EFFICIENT HOUSE!


 
If you buy an energy-efficient home or make energy-saving renovations, you may be able to get a savings boost from your mortgage insurer! Canadian mortgage insurers have a program that helps home owners save when they buy energy-efficient homes.

Home owners purchasing a qualifying energy-efficient home are eligible for a 10 per cent mortgage insurance premium refund. If you purchase a qualifying $400,000 home with 5 per cent down, you are eligible for a 10 percent refund of your $11,970 in mortgage insurance premiums. That’s $1,197, a substantial savings!

Existing home owners who make retrofits to improve energy efficiency can also apply for this refund. You’ll be required to complete an NRC, an energy assessment evaluation pre and post retrofit, and you’ll need to improve your home’s energy efficiency by the required amount. Of course, your home’s energy improvements will also reduce your energy costs for years to come!
 
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