Canadian Real Estate Association Resale Housing Update
2012-12-26 | 10:07:20
Click here to view update for 2012 and 2013.
Tax-free savings limit rises to $5,500
2012-12-06 | 05:12:07
Tax-free savings limit rises to $5,500
By The Canadian Press | Mon Nov 26 2012
OTTAWA - Ottawa says Canadians will be able to be able to contribute an additional $500 a year on their Tax Free Savings Accounts starting Jan. 1.
That means Canadians can put in $5,500 a year, with any investment income earned not subject to taxation while it remains in the TFSA.
When the TFSAs were created in 2009, the government said it would index the contribution limit to inflation in $500 increments.
The Jan. 1 increase will be the first adjustment in the contribution limit.
The government says about 8.2 million Canadians have opened a tax-free account.
It says 2.5 million Canadians contributed the maximum $5,000 amount last year.
Former civic museum taking shape as new centre for visual arts
2012-11-30 | 08:15:27
GUELPH — This community is about to get a new boarding house, but it isn’t what you’d expect.
Mrs. Black’s Boarding House for the Arts is a new moniker for the former Guelph Civic Museum building on Dublin Street South, which business partners Kirk Roberts and Peregrine Wood are busy turning into a new centre for the visual arts.
They envision a bustling and productive facility comprising artist studios, special events and shows, a local mecca for the arts.
“We’re trying to create a community,” Roberts said Tuesday.
Hence the name, Wood added, noting Mrs. Black operated her own form of community there when it was a 1920s boarding house for students attending the Ontario Agricultural College, the precursor of the University of Guelph.
Nov. 30 is the date the two principal entrepreneurs at Tyrcathlen Partners Ltd. get possession after closing a deal with the city to purchase the site, though they’ve been busy with renovations that include opening the interior space for redevelopment and unveiling the many windows that were boarded up when it was a museum.
The municipality no longer needs the space since relocating the museum to a nearby former convent.
“The city has been kind to allow us access to the building,” Wood said Tuesday while providing a tour of the facility. It’s been shown to potential tenants and an architect has studied it “to visualize the building . . . to find the best use of it.”
Comprising three storeys and a usable basement labyrinth, the building adjacent Waterloo Avenue boasts 9,000 square feet.
“It’s a big building, but there’s lots of common space,” she said, referring to open corridors and landings suitable for moving large art pieces. There’s also a sizable elevator.
As they envision the space, the third floor comprises six studios for mid-career artists. The second has classroom space for educational programs in the arts and up to seven shared studio spaces for emerging artists assisted through a mentor-in-residence program.
“It’s almost like an emerging artists’ incubator,” Roberts said.
The first floor will serve as a gallery, special events area and perhaps workshop space, he said. That could include guest curator shows and resident artist displays for the public to peruse.
The basement includes a shared workshop area and rental space, including a sound-insulated area where performances could be held on occasion. That’s still up in the air. “I think this is where we can be creative,” Wood quipped.
“We’ve had a lot of interest expressed in print making,” Roberts said.
There’s also building space for non-profit organizations and storage.
Wood said the building has amenities that lend themselves to the visual arts in particular, such as natural lighting through large windows, high ceilings, versatile track lighting and tough concrete and hardwood floors.
The first tenants are expected “as early as Saturday,” Roberts said. More arrive in December and January. By February it should be a bustling centre of activity.
HARPER GOVERNMENT TAKES FURTHER ACTION TO STRENGTHEN CANADA’S
2012-06-21 | 09:30:43
Harper Government Takes Further Action to Strengthen Canada's Housi... http://www.fin.gc.ca/n12/12-070-eng.asp
Ottawa, June 21, 2012
Backgrounder: Supporting the Long-Term Stability of Canada’s Housing Market
Frequently Asked Questions
As part of the Government’s continuous efforts to strengthen Canada’s housing finance system, the Honourable Jim
Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today announced further adjustments to the rules for government-backed insured
“Our Government stands behind the efforts of hard-working Canadian families to save by investing in their homes and
their future,” said Minister Flaherty. “The adjustments we are making today will help them realize their goals, build on
the previous measures we have introduced to keep the housing market strong, and help to ensure households do not
become overextended. As just one example, the reductions to the maximum amortization period since 2008 would
save a typical Canadian family with a $350,000 mortgage about $150,000 in borrowing costs over the life of that
The Government is announcing four measures for new government-backed insured mortgages with loan-to-value ratios of more than 80 per cent: Reduce the maximum amortization period to 25 years from 30 years. This will reduce the total interest payments Canadian families make on their mortgages, helping them build up equity in their homes more quickly and pay off their mortgages sooner.
The maximum amortization period was set at 35 years in 2008 and further reduced to 30 years in 2011.
Lower the maximum amount Canadians can borrow when refinancing to 80 per cent from 85 per cent of the value of their homes. This will promote saving through home ownership and encourage homeowners to prudently manage borrowings against their homes.
Fix the maximum gross debt service ratio at 39 per cent and the maximum total debt service ratio at 44 per cent. This will better protect Canadian households that may be vulnerable to economic shocks or an increase in interest rates.
Limit the availability of government-backed insured mortgages to homes with a purchase price of less than $1 million.
“Investing in a home is a great way to save,” said Minister Flaherty. “That is the dream that mortgage insurance was intended to support. The measures we are taking today maintain that intended purpose.”
Minister Flaherty said the new rules will take effect on July 9, 2012.
TIPS ON RENOVATING A BASEMENT
2011-03-12 | 11:25:06
Tips for Renovating Your Basement
Want to add more space to your home without building up or out? Look no further than your basement. According to the Appraisal Institute of Canada, renovating a basement can give you a 50-75% return on your investment when it comes to selling your home. Here’s how to get it done right:
Start with a plan
What type of space does your family require? Is it an extra living space for your teenager, a playroom for the little one, or perhaps an entertainment area for all to enjoy? Once you decide on how you want to utilize the space, you can layout your design. If budget allows, an architect or interior designer could assist you with the layout design and make valuable suggestions.
Do it yourself or hire a professional
Depending on your skill set, budget, and time, you may want to enlist the services of a contractor who has the expertise required to finish a basement. If you do it yourself and don't have the required time or skill to do the job correctly, you may find yourself looking at a repair bill far exceeding the amount you originally thought the project would cost. Make an informed decision. Be sure to carefully weigh all factors when deciding which option is right for you, while considering costs, material, labour, and equipment requirements.
Framing basement walls and ceilings is one of the most important aspects of any basement renovation. Two popular wall framing options are wood or steel studs. Wood is the classic choice. It is versatile, easy to work with, and cost-effective. Whereas steel, although more costly, adds a level of strength, rot resistance and won’t warp and crack like wood might over time. Two popular ceiling framing options are dropped ceiling tiles or drywall. Dropped ceiling tiles provide easy access to pipes and wires which can be a saviour if a tub or toilet on the main level floor springs a leak. Alternatively, dry wall ceilings offer a smooth finish and require less vertical space – a great option if your basement ceiling height is already low.
There are plenty of basement flooring choices to choose from including laminate, linoleum, vinyl, wood and ceramic tiles. Be sure to match your flooring choice with the intended use of the space and your geographic location. For example, a game room may require more durable flooring than an office. Do you live in an area with a tendency for flooding or is your location dry? Carpet with high density under pad will offer cushion and moisture protection from the typical condensation found in basements. Engineered hardwood made for below grade installation will flex and handle moisture better than traditional hardwood. Ceramic tile is great for bathrooms and laundry rooms and is easy to install on concrete.
Add a bathroom
Installing a bathroom in the basement is a great way to add value to your home. Determine if you require a full bathroom or if a powder room will suffice. Powder rooms are relatively simple to install, easy to keep clean, and won’t take up too much room. Full three or four piece bathrooms can provide a comfortable, private, and even luxurious, space for overnight visitors to enjoy. With either option, time and costs can be reduced if bathroom fixtures are located near existing plumbing and are arranged in a line on one wall. Be sure to check local codes for plumbing and electrical aspects of your project.
No matter what kind of plan you come up with for your basement, remember to factor in plenty of closet or storage space. This will enable you to de-clutter the rest of your home to keep it tidy and inviting. Further, if you ever decide to move, having this extra storage space should appeal to just about any prospective buyer.
A finished basement can not only increase your home enjoyment but it can also add valuable square footage. From everyday living to financial value, finished basements provide many benefits to you as a homeowner.
Royal LePage Shelter Foundation
2010-11-08 | 11:00:08