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Thursday, 25 August 2016

How Smart is Your Home

How "Smart" is Your Home?


 

Smart home products are quickly catching on with consumers ranging from front doors that unlock as you come up the walkway, robot lawnmowers that keep your grass trimmed, remote controlled thermostats and lighting, to home monitoring cameras. What was once science fiction, or conveniences seen on the TV show the Jetsons, “Smart” technology has become today's reality.
This new trend has widespread implications for those people thinking about selling their home or shopping for a new home. A 2015 Real Estate Survey showed that 81% of home owners are more likely to purchase a home with Smart home technology installed. According to the survey, 33% of agents said homes with Smart technology sold faster than those without.
What does Smart home technology looks like today?
Any device in your home that uses electricity can be put on your home network and at your command. Whether you give the command by voice, remote control, tablet or Smart phone, the home reacts. The main idea for Smart homes is that we’re building intelligent living spaces that take care of us instead of the opposite.
Smart home technology isn’t just a new gimmick, it is a practical way to make your home greener, saving you time and money without lifting a finger. A few examples include:
1. Home Automation
What if your home could sense when you were awake and adjust the lights or thermostat accordingly? What if your baby monitor alerted you to your baby’s sleep activity and comfort level? And what if your refrigerator could detect when you’re low on groceries and then send your car a reminder to go to the grocery store.
It’s hardly a far-fetched thing today. Wireless Smart home technologies such as Nest and Zigbee have made it easier than ever to automate your home or control aspects of it from a Smart phone or tablet.
Nest, for instance, works with compatible Smart appliances— including Philips HUE lighting and Logitech remotes—to set your home on autopilot. Observe any room without getting up from the couch with easy-to-install cameras; set your remote control to also warm up your living room when you settle in for movie night; or even get updates on your pet’s eating habits while you’re at work.
2. Home security systemsThe next most popular type of Smart home technology that people currently have installed in their home according to the survey is Smart home security. In addition to traditional systems, these may include video monitors inside and outside the house that you can view on a Smart phone from anywhere you happen to be.
3- Home entertainments systems
No Smart home would be complete without the right entertainment system to compliment your lifestyle. A Smart home has you covered, from a superior 4K TV experience with a billion colours, to in-wall sound bars and outdoor speakers.
The Smart home industry is moving forward
While we all likely have more than a few Internet-connected devices already in our homes—whether it’s a Wi-Fi enabled game console, a Smart TV, or a connected security solution—these are piecemeal solutions. A truly Smart home is one that connects multiple systems into one system and collects and responds to data.
The Smart home industry is still moving forward, many companies are already pouring millions of dollars into developing technologies that seamlessly integrate our digital and physical worlds within our cars and homes and we are about to see the fruits of this movement in the near future.

Source:  Canada Realty Newsletter

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Great time to list your home

Great time to list your home

Hamilton and Area home prices show healthy increases


Source CHCH Website
 

hamilton homes

The Royal LePage House Price Survey was released on Thursday and it showed a strong year in price increases for home prices across Hamilton in the first quarter of 2016.
The Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto Area (GTA) real estate markets continue to lead the country in home price appreciation, with Canada’s economic landscape supporting robust housing demand in these metropolitan areas.
Meanwhile in Quebec, the residential real estate market in the Greater Montreal Area is showing the most promising signs of renewal seen in recent years, posting home price increases and a noticeable surge in unit sales in the first quarter.

The price of a home in Hamilton saw a healthy increase in the first quarter of 2016, rising 5.8 per cent year-over-year to $400,593, according to the Royal LePage House Price Survey[2] released Thursday.
More specifically:
· The median price of a two-storey home increased 5.2 per cent to $431,266
· The median price of a bungalow increased 8.2 per cent to $351,520
· The median price of a condominium decreased 2.4 per cent to $243,399
Nationally, the price of a home in Canada increased 7.9 per cent year-over-year to $521,621 in the first quarter.
When broken out by housing type, the price of a two-storey home rose 9.2 percent year-over-year to $629,177 and the price of a bungalow increased 6.8 per cent to $426,216. During the same period, the price of a condominium increased 4.0 per cent to $344,491.
If you are thinking about listing your home give me a call
Todd Fryer,  Broker
Century21 Aberwin Realty Inc
905 869-3473

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Todd Fryer of CENTURY 21 Aberwin Realty Inc. receives The prestigious Masters Silver Award

Local REALTOR® receives national award for exceptional service
                                                                         
Todd Fryer of CENTURY 21 Aberwin Realty Inc. receives The prestigious Masters Silver Award


Hamilton, Ontario March 30, 2016  – Todd Fryer of CENTURY 21 Aberwin Realty Inc. has been awarded the Masters Silver Award for delivering incredible real estate sales results to clients. Members of the CENTURY 21 Canada™ senior leadership team presented the award locally, onstage at the recent CENTURY 21 Canada Gold Gala & Awards event.




“My success has come from my personal goal to exceed every client’s expectations, going above and beyond to deliver the best service and market knowledge,” said Todd Fryer. “Thank you to my colleagues, broker, and CENTURY 21 Canada for supporting my growth, and especially to my clients. I couldn’t have achieved this without you.”


“Todd is a true professional and that has made them a trusted and valuable real estate partner in the community and a major contributor to the overall success of our office,” said Tom Peddle, Broker of Record. “Congratulations from all of us, you’ve earned this award with hard work.”


Todd has been a real estate professional serving the community for 10 years. He is also an active member of the community, contributing to local charities such as The Grimsby Conservation Club and Breast Friends Cancer Support Group.


Todd provides home buyers and sellers with industry leading insights, marketing, and exposure for their properties. Visit century21.ca and toddfryer.com to discover the C21® difference.


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For more information, please contact:
Tom Peddle
CENTURY 21 Aberwin Realty Inc.
8-1575 Upper Ottawa
Hamilton, Ontario L8W 3E2
905 525-9990
tom.peddle@century21.ca


About CENTURY 21 Aberwin Realty Inc.
An independently owned and operated franchise affiliate of Century 21 Canada Limited Partnership (century21.ca), a real estate master franchisor with exclusive rights to the CENTURY 21® brand in Canada. As the exclusive sponsor in the real estate category of the AIR MILES® Reward Program, only participating CENTURY 21 offices can offer customers Miles on their real estate transactions.


The CENTURY 21 System is the world’s largest and most recognized residential real estate franchise sales organization with approximately 6,900 independently owned and operated franchised broker offices worldwide and over 100,000 sales professionals. CENTURY 21 provides comprehensive technology, marketing, training, management, and administrative support for its members in 78 countries and territories worldwide.


®/™ trademarks owned by Century 21 Real Estate LLC used under license or authorized sub-license. ©2016 Century 21 Canada Limited Partnership.


The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Tax breaks available to renters, homeowners and first-time buyers

Tax breaks available to renters, homeowners and first-time buyers


Canada’s red-hot housing market continues to heat up, but that hasn’t stopped the government from offering up a few incentives, too.
“20 years ago none of these (credits and incentives) were there,” says Brian Quinlan, accountant and partner at Campbell Lawless LLP.
Now, the government is offering all sorts of goodies to help Canadians with their living situation – be it renters, first-time home buyers or homeowners.
Yahoo Canada Finance took a look at the different credits and incentives you don’t want to skip over when filing this season’s taxes.
Renters
While there’s no specific federal income tax deduction or tax credit, rent may qualify for provincial tax credits and benefits for lower income individual or families.
“In Ontario, it is part of the Ontario Trillium Benefit (OTB)… cheques are sent out quarterly and amounts received are not taxable,” says Quinlan.
OTB payments are based on the previous year’s income tax return. To figure out if you’re eligible use the provincial government’s calculator.
But it’s not just Ontario says Gerry Vittoratos, a tax specialist at UFile.
“In Manitoba it’s a pure tax credit on your return based on rent you’ve paid as well,” explains Vittoratos. “In Quebec it’s similar to Ontario.”
Moving along
If you moved at least 40 km to take courses as a full-time student at a post-secondary program, you can deduct expenses incurred from transportation and storage costs as well as the cost of cancelling a lease for your old residence and travel expenses like vehicle rentals, meals, accommodation and temporary living expenses.
The moving expenses deduction applies to both first-time home buyers and homeowners who have moved that year, says Vittoratos.
“A lot of people don’t realize if they’re moving for the purposes of the job they can claim moving expenses as well,” he says.
Homeowners get the added bonus of deducting any costs to maintain the old residence (up to a maximum of $5,000) when it was vacant after they moved provided they’ve made a reasonable effort to sell the home during that time.

According to the CRA, this includes “interest; property taxes; insurance premiums; and cost of heating and utilities expenses.”
First-time home buyers
“There are several things that could be applicable to home buyers,” says Vittoratos. “The most obvious one is the home buyers’ amount which is a non-refundable tax credit of $5,000 on the return – but what you’re getting as a tax credit is really 15 per cent of that amount which is $750 dollars.”
The point of the Home Buyer’s Tax Credit (HBTC) is to assist first-time home buyers with the costs associated with the purchase of a home like legal fees, disbursements and land transfer taxes, which can be crushing, especially after saving for a down payment. It’s calculated by multiplying the lowest personal income tax rate for the year – which is 15 per cent – by that $5,000 credit.
“The only catch is you have to meet the CRA definition of a first time home buyer,” says Vittoratos.
In other words, you or your spouse or common-law partner have to have acquired a qualifying home – which is single-family, semi-detached houses, a townhouse, mobile home, condo or apartment – and haven’t “lived in another home owned by you or your spouse or common-law partner in the year of acquisition or in any of the four preceding years.”
“It can’t be a cottage – it has to be the principal place of residence,” he adds.
You can also take up to $25,000 out of an RRSP tax free to fund your purchase provided you begin repaying it the second year after the year you take it out.
Generally, you have up to 15 years to repay.
Home office
“Whether you rent or own, if you have your own business you can deduct certain expenses based on only the portion of the home you are using for the business,” says Vittoratos.

But the rules are strict.
To claim a portion of your home as a home office, 51 per cent of the time you’re in that space it must be used for business. After figuring out what percentage of your home’s total square footage that room makes up, you can deduct that percentage of the cost of electricity, heating, maintenance, property taxes and home insurance if you own.
“However you cannot deduct mortgage interest or capital cost allowance,” he says. “But it’s not just limited to business owners, it’s also salaried employees or commission employees who have a home office – a renter can deduct heat and hydro but they can’t claim the rent that they’re paying.”