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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.”

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

5 Home Upgrades That Won’t Add Enough Value

5 Home Upgrades That Won’t Add Enough Value

 
 
If you’re hoping to increase your home’s value (above and beyond the cost of an upgrade itself), you should know that the upgrades you value might not be valuable to potential buyers. In fact, you may never recoup the full cost of some home improvements, and the primary offenders might surprise you! What five common upgrades have the worst return on investment? Find out below.

1. Adding a pool
Pools can be hit-or-miss when it comes to added value. If you’re selling Orlando, FL, real estate, or you live in a warm climate where people are inclined to use a pool year-round, you’re more likely to get a favorable response from buyers. Often, however, the return is not enough to pay for the pool itself. Don’t forget that you’ll need to operate and maintain the pool, and this comes with a sizable extra cost. Ultimately, your likelihood of recouping the money you spent on maintenance, in addition to the installation costs, is pretty low.
Plus, adding a pool to your home could be a major turnoff to some buyers. Buyers with small children may be concerned about safety risks, those looking for a low-maintenance yard won’t want to deal with the hassle and upkeep of cleaning a pool, and buyers who are on a tight budget may not have the extra cash to deal with the added expense.
2. Highly custom design decisions
Your idea of a dream kitchen probably isn’t everyone’s idea of a dream kitchen. Unless you plan to stay in your house for many years to come, think twice about renovations that are too personalized. If you install a kitchen backsplash, you might recoup the cost, because the difference between “no backsplash” and “backsplash” is noticeable. But the specific type of tile might not matter to buyers — they could be just as happy with a simple ceramic tile as they would with an expensive Calacatta marble tile. Similarly, choosing a beveled countertop edge that’s complex and ornate, rather than a basic beveled edge, can turn off buyers whose tastes don’t align with yours.
In fact, these custom features may wind up costing you come listing time, as many buyers will factor in the money they’ll need to spend to change the house to suit their own tastes. If you’re going to upgrade your kitchen just for the sake of selling, stick with neutral, builder-grade design decisions.

3. Room conversions
Buyers will be looking to check certain boxes when they tour your home: For example, three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a garage. Getting rid of these expected spaces (or altering them into something unusual) may harm your resale value. Every bedroom, for instance, is coveted space that can bump your listing up into the next bracket. Buyers are looking for a two-bedroom, three-bedroom, or four-or-more-bedroom home.
You might not need that extra room and dream of knocking down a wall to create a giant walk-in closet. Or perhaps you’d prefer to cover the walls with soundproof foam and convert it into a recording studio. Unfortunately, most buyers won’t share your interests. Instead, they prefer an extra bedroom for children or guests.
4. Incremental square footage gains
Sizable square footage gains — like finishing your dingy basement so it becomes an additional livable floor — can be a boon in buyers’ minds. But tiny, incremental changes may not give you much of a return on your investment. You may love your new sunroom, but it’s not likely to drastically increase your home’s overall value. Adding square footage in a way that doesn’t flow well with the floor plan can also backfire. Sure, a half bath on the first floor would be useful, but if buyers have to pass through the kitchen to get to it, the half bath loses some of its appeal.

5. Over Improving
No one wants to buy a mega-mansion on a block full of split-levels. When your upgrades feel overboard for your neighborhood, you alienate buyers on two fronts: Buyers who are drawn to your neighborhood won’t be able to afford your home, and buyers who can afford a home of your caliber will prefer to be in a ritzier area. Keep the “base level” of your neighborhood in mind. Tour some open houses on your block to see how your neighbors’ kitchens look before you invest a small fortune in granite countertops and high-end fixtures. Being a little nicer than the other houses around you can be a selling point, but being vastly more luxurious is not.
Pursue these home upgrades for your own enjoyment — but don’t trick yourself into believing you’ll more than recoup the cost of the improvement in the form of a much larger listing price when it comes time to sell. You can always opt for the projects that have the best potential to draw in a buyer instead!
Source: Huffington Post