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Posts from the ‘tips’ Category

Free Real Estate Seminar In Sooke: Buying Your First Home

Log Cabin In Sooke

Is 2016 The Year?

Learn all about mortgages, real estate, and how to buy your first home


Coming up Wednesday, January 27, 2016, you can spend a couple of hours with three of Sooke’s real estate and mortgage professionals learning about strategies you can use to get into your first home in 2016. The seminar is free, but you must pre-register, as there’s limited space.  Read more

Rural Living In Sooke: Heating With Wood

WoodStove

When I bought my house in Sooke – in the Otter Point area, one of the things that attracted me to it was its cozy Pacific Energy wood stove. Having never heated with wood in the past, it was a bit of a learning curve to figure it out. I learned that a modern wood stove isn’t just a steel box you burn wood in – it is actually a complex system with many variables that need to be accounted for in order for it to function safely and efficiently. Luckily, my stove came with a fairly detailed manufacturer’s manual from which I was able to learn some valuable information. Read more

Manufactured/Mobile Homes and CSA/Electrical Safety Stickers

Currently for sale – http://TimAyres.ca/104

In British Columbia, you cannot legally sell a manufactured/mobile home (sometimes known as a trailer) without either a CSA (Canadian Standards Association) or BC Electrical Safety Authority (BCESA) certification. When a trailer is manufactured in Canada, its manufacturer applies a decal, usually on the exterior near the front door, with its CSA number, and sometimes inside the home in the kitchen or electrical panel. Read on to find out what to watch out for if you’re buying or selling a manufactured home.  Read more

Upcoming First Time Buyer Real Estate Seminar – Sooke, Victoria, BC

Is this the year you stop paying rent and start paying yourself? If you’re considering buying your first home in 2012, you should make sure that you join me on February 15th (Langford) or February 16th (Sooke) for a free and informative interactive seminar – Buying Your First Home.  Read more

Rural Living In Sooke – Protect Your Well From Freezing

Snow in the Otter Point area of Sooke

All this snowy weather got me to thinking – just because we live in one of the mildest climates in Canada, doesn’t make us immune from freezing temperatures every now and again. Where I live in the Otter Point area of Sooke, we have a well. We’re also several hundred metres above sea level and the temperature tends to be a few degrees cooler than in the village of Sooke. When I bought the house, the former owner told me that the well head had frozen and that she had installed a very simple system to prevent it in the future. Read more

Disputing Your 2012 BC Assessment Value

It’s the end of the first week of January, and by now you should have received your 2012 BC Assessment notice in the mail, or checked online to see what the provincial assessment authority values your property at. Most people simply open it, read it, and file it away with their other house documents. It makes great water-cooler banter, as colleagues ask “what was yours assessed at?” and “did yours go up or down?” But what if you disagree with your assessment? Read more

How Do Property Taxes Work, And When Are They Due In 2011?

First, the easy part: your 2011 property taxes are due July 4, 2011. If your property is in the District of Sooke, you can pay in myriad different ways. There is a drop box for your cheque at municipal hall, or you can visit and pay in person. You can pay in person or online with most banks, or you can mail a cheque. If your property is in the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area (Otter Point, Shirley, Jordan River, Port Renfrew, or parts of East Sooke), your taxes are payable to the provincial Minister of Finance and can be paid in person at a Service BC office, dropped off at the Surveyor of Taxes in Victoria, or online or in person at most financial institutions.

Many home owners will have their taxes paid automatically by their mortgage lender. Lenders will estimate your taxes owing and you’ll pay, along with your mortgage payment, into a side account from which the taxes are paid every year. Lenders do this because they want to be sure the taxes are paid – property tax debt takes priority before mortgages should the borrower default!

However, even if your lender pays the taxes, you’ll want to apply for the Home Owner Grant. The Home Owner Grant is a yearly grant from the provincial government to help offset your property taxes. If you qualify, that’s $570 off your property taxes! You’re eligible for the grant if :

  • you are the owner (or spouse/relative of the deceased owner) of the property;
  • you are a permanent resident of British Columbia
  • you occupy the building on the tax notice as your principal residence
  • you have not applied for or received a home owner grant on any other property in the Province during the calendar year; and
  • no other person can have received a home owner grant on the property for the calendar year.

Most property owners in Sooke will qualify as long as it is their principal residence. The grant is less for properties over $1.15M in assessed value. There is also an additional grant for seniors and other groups.

The thing that confuses people the most is the timing of your taxes. Even though you pay your taxes on or about July 2 of every year, you’re paying for that whole calendar year (ie, January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2011, not July 2, 2011 to July 2, 2012). Where this can come up is when you sell your house. People sometimes assume that if they sell their home in the spring, they’ve already paid their property taxes. Not true, because they haven’t been levied yet. When you sell your home, no matter what time of year, your lawyer or notary will have to adjust for the taxes on the statement of adjustments at closing.

For example, If you sold your home and it closed on March 31, 2011, the adjustment would be negative (a debit) to compensate the buyer for the time you occupied the house in 2011 (90 days) – since they will be responsible for paying the property taxes in July. If you sold your home and it closed on August 1, 2011, you would have already paid the taxes, so the adjustment would be positive (a credit) with the buyer compensating you for the time the buyer enjoys the house in 2011 (152 days).

Where does your tax money go? In the District of Sooke, it is interesting to note that only 42% of your tax bill funds municipal services directly. The rest is paid on your behalf to other taxing authorities, including BC Transit, Vancouver Island Health Authority, the Capital Regional District, schools, hospitals, and fire and police service. In the Juan de Fuca Electoral area, it depends on which unincorporated community you live in.

Some other Sooke property tax tidbits:

  • Sewer parcel tax is $515, included in the total payable taxes on your property tax notice, if you live within the sewer specified area.
  • Taxes in Sooke remain among the lowest in the Capital Regional District
  • The District of Sooke has a 5-year financial plan which it updates yearly

 

 

 

What Does Net HST Included Mean?

 

Here’s a question from a reader of the blog:

I saw on a listing for a new house “Net HST Included.” What does this mean?

New homes in British Columbia are subject to the HST of 12%. However, to lessen the impact, there is also a rebate from the Provincial government on a sliding scale, depending on the price of the house. The impact is that you never pay 12% HST on the purchase of your new home. Embedded below is a spreadsheet of the actual amount payable.

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Foreclosure in BC – Part 3 – Closing and Possession

 

 

 

That'll buff right out.

The Court Approved Your Offer – Great! Now What?

In Part 1, I went over how to pursue an offer on a foreclosure or court ordered sale. In Part 2, I detailed how things go down in court. In this post, I’ll go through the ups and downs of closing on a foreclosure and taking possession of the property.

Once the offer has been approved by the court, the petitioner (the bank/lender/mortgagee) submits to the court a draft court order which contains all of the instructions needed to close the sale, such as the purchaser’s full name, the closing date, the order in which financial obligations will be paid off, and so on. The master or judge will approve the draft order and this will be registered at the Court Registry. From this point it is really not that difference from a regular transaction. The buyer retains a lawyer or notary to complete the sale. Funds from the buyer’s lender are sent to the buyer’s lawyer on completion day and transferred to the petitioner’s lawyer and clear title is registered in the buyer’s name.

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Feb 15, 2011: Free Victoria Real Estate Seminar: Buying Your First Home

 

 

 

Is this the year you buy your first home? There are plenty of great properties on the market, and prices are more attractive than in recent months. Interest rates are still low, but expected to rise this year.

How much do you need and how can you save for a down payment? What’s the best type of mortgage for you? What homes are available and what sorts of programs are out there to help a first-time buyer?

How will the new mortgage rules that come into effect this year affect your buying power? Do all homes have HST applied to the price?

All these questions and more will be answered at a fun, free, interactive seminar I’m putting on next month with two other professionals.

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