Saturday, April 28, 2012

BEWARE! HST rebates on your Toronto condo Purchase

Yes,  the real estate condo market is HOT!
Yes, You can flip your unit for immediate profit!
Yes, You can rent your unit!

Yes, Revenue Canada;  affectionately referred to as CRA  is made aware of the transaction. HOW you ask?   You pay Land Transfer Tax on your purchase; Tarion Warranties apply.  Even in a Flip there are disclosures.

You can sell your unit and claim the [HST] tax on closing or if you rent your unit and provide a copy of the lease; preferably you will pay the tax and request a rebate a year later.  Personally, people try to slip through.  CRA is clever too!
Many investors who bought new homes or condominiums several years ago from plans are trying to take advantage of the hot real estate market by selling without moving in. However, these same investors signed papers with the builder promising that they would move in, so the builder applied for HST rebates on their behalf. Now CRA wants the HST rebate back with interest. That can be as much as $30,000. 
I’ve heard plenty of stories from realtors about investor clients receiving demand letters from CRA about the HST.
The lesson is that buyers must understand their obligations if they intend to apply for any HST rebate on a new home or condominium. Either you must move into the home as your primary residence on closing, in which event you can immediately apply for the full rebate, or you must rent it out for at least one year and then apply for the rebate. If you are intending to immediately re-sell your home without moving in, then just pay the full HST amount when you buy the home from the builder, and don’t apply for any rebate.
There!  Now you have a definitive answer from Mark Weisleder, a real estate lawyer.   So when a REALTOR tells you to beware, that Revenue Canada is watching, we are not using scare tactics or fear.  We just know better.   Thats why you use an  experienced real estate agent.

Add your comment!   Do you have a story to share?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Condo Facts for Toronto

Recent survey by the TD Bank released Spring 2012 talks about the preferences that Toronto Condo Consumers have about condos vs single family homes.  Condos are less upkeep, more affordable and offer amenities.  This plus the proximity to public transit in the City (and PATH) could keep you indoors if you prefer.  The largest concern is Condominium Maintenance Fees.

"The possibility of a fee increase can be a little unnerving," says Haque. "While there's no way to 'lock-in' to a monthly fee like you can with a mortgage, you can prepare for a fee increase by building a buffer into your monthly housing budget, as some Canadians have wisely done. That way if fees go up, it won't be a major shock to your cash flow. If they don't increase, you have extra money to put aside in savings or towards your mortgage. You can also explore flexible mortgage options that allow you to pay more towards your mortgage when you can, then, upon an approved application, ease off on payments when you need to. This can be a useful feature in the first few months of transition to a fee increase."
Top features Canadians look for in condos
According to the poll, condo buyers think the most important features when deciding on a condo to buy are:
1. Good building security (94%) and low condo fees (94%)
2. Energy-efficient building features (92%) and attractive interior
design (92%)
3. A balcony (90%)
4. Parking for their car (87%)
5. Close to public transit (84%)
Women are more likely than men to look for a building with a balcony (92% versus 87% of men) and environmentally-friendly features (86% versus 79% of men), while men are more likely to say finding a brand new condo - not a resale (56% versus 46% of women) - is important to them.

Parking has become a large issue in buildings that are built GREEN (encouraging Public Transit). Tenants / couples move in with two cars expecting to rent one (spot) on arrival. ** Read the Bulletin Boards during your site visits. Line ups for spots are readily visible. You can expect monthly parking rental fees at $100 - $150 per month. While the major components of Maintenance being Hydro costs, Water, security and cleaning staff; THEN building amenities,  what will DRIVE your selection?

Add you comments.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Avoid First Time Buyer disappointments

David Pylyp House Buying Family Toronto
With so much information available online IF a buyer takes a moment to inform themselves or Let's ask a few First Time Buyer Questions;

  • Are you prequalified for a Mortgage   How much can we spend?
  • Have you investigated a Home Inspector or will Uncle Bob suffice
  • Do you have a lawyer to close your transaction?
  • Have you selected a professional REALTOR who can answer your questions and guide you through all the steps in your transaction
  • Yes. Buyers Agency Is Required
  • Who is Responsible?   I am 

There is no side step, no shuffle, no bouncing; No Mississippi Two Step; I co-ordinate everything and attend your closing. I deliver your keys.
Buying a home means bouncing between three professionals — realtor, banker and lawyer — whose efforts you’re responsible for coordinating. It helps if you understand what’s going on. Often we didn’t, instead counting on the person we were dealing with to prompt us on the next step.
So what do you need explained?

A complete worksheet is provided for you, so that you have absolute clarity in your home purchase and the required expenses (plus applicable taxes) House Closing Cost Calculator This displays monthly operating costs based on the various down payments that most people select.
House Closing Costs Toronto

Additional Calculators that I always use in the course of our relationship are the First Time Buyers Rebate Calculator provided by Stanley Gelman QC   This simple tool deals with situations where one partner has owned before while the other may qualify for a First Time Buyers Rebates.

Try for yourself;  Actual Legal Closing Fees plus Tax Rebate status.  LTT Rebate Calculator

When you are considering stepping into the Toronto real estate market,  think long term ownership, Do you have a firm grasp on the costs of ownership, whether its condo or a detached house?  Have things explained to your satisfaction. Ask the agent you are working with;  IF they will provide you an EASY OUT if we don't get along.   I will.  What about a Satisfaction Guarantee if you are unhappy with your home selection?

Websites like Buying in Toronto  have search fields by topic to assist you in your topic search.  Other sources are CMHC and the Canadian Real Estate Association.  I have workbooks available immediately if you would like. Fact Sheets, tool kits and resource video material is available to prepare you for your home purchase adventure.

Work with a full time REALTOR on your home purchase.  We are used to answering questions.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Mere Listings Toronto MLS

How would you answer this question received by email?

Subject: MERE FSBO listing

I have a commercial/retail/industrial property that I would like listed on the MLS and was wondering how much you charge to do that?

I said ---Depending on location, sale ability and pricing I would be pleased to list the unit for you. Commissions are competitive at 1.5 % to list. Commission to Selling broker is at 2.5% as a norm

Today this response:

I am not looking for an agent to represent my property. I am looking for a broker that will give me a MERE FSBO listing.

How would you have responded?

Are you feeding the race to the bottom of real estate commissions; with 33,000 agents racing for 89,000 transactions in Toronto merely posting listings on MLS is a HUGE issue. If I have listings on the system and do not delete the sold mere listings BUYERS will call you for you to explain it is sold and switch them to other listings... Experienced professional service is not free.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Cool! New Islands Right at Sunnyside

What a fabulous addition to the Toronto Humber Bay Shoreline! All the condos along Lake Shore Blvd ( Marine Parade ) will now have additional man made islands at the mouth of the Humber River Bridge towards Sunnyside!

View Larger Map

The string of islands would go in at the mouth of the Humber River and extend about one kilometre from shore. The plan would take clean fill from construction jobs to build a solid earth barrier underwater that would deflect polluted Humber River water out into the lake and away from Sunnyside Beach.

Above the water, the feature would look like a string of small islands that could be landscaped, support wildlife and made accessible to the public, city councillors on the public works committee were told Tuesday.

“You could design this to have pedestrians come out to the islands,” said Toronto Water general manager Lou Di Gironimo. “You could connect the islands. There’s many ways to design them, we could make it a very attractive feature.”

Not only visually appealing, this will greatly extend the opportunity for the public to have access to park land and the waterfront. The Martin Goodman Trail is already well used for rollerblading, cycling, joggers and a promenade on a sun filled day! This will enhance the visual views from Palace Place and Park Lake Residences.

If you would like to select a community that is along this strip you might be interested in these buildings; Condo Selections