Tips for creating an Eco-friendly Lifestyle Around the Home

Living and Eco-Friendly Lifestyle at HomeLiving an eco-friendly lifestyle is easy when you green up your home for spring

Creating a more eco-friendly lifestyle is a great goal for the change of season, especially when warmer weather encourages us to spend more time outdoors. Here are some tips in and around your home to help get you started:

In your everyday spaces

Look for simple changes you can make to reduce your impact on the environment. Shop for eco-friendly products

  • up cycle old furniture in a DIY project
  • donate old clothing or use it for crafts
  • recycle as much as you can
  • use energy during off-peak times as much as possible

In the garden

Consider compost gardening, which involves composting leftover foods and scraps and then using it to fertilize your own crops and herbs. It’s easier than you think and makes a great project and learning experience to do with the kids. There is tons of advice for an ecofriendly lifestyle online, including how to make your own compost garden even if you live in a condo or have limited backyard space.

In the garage

One of the easiest ways to make an impact on your personal carbon footprint is by looking at your vehicle and driving habits.   If you have access to public transportation, consider using it to commute to work and save the stress that comes with sitting in traffic.  Or, consider an electric or hybrid vehicle for increased fuel efficiency and lower greenhouse gas emissions. By driving green, you could save hundreds of dollars at the pump each year and stay on trend.  When driving the following tips will help create an eco-friendly lifestyle as well:

  • accelerate gently
  • maintain a steady speed
  • anticipate traffic
  • avoid high speeds and coast to decelerate.

Find more information on creating an eco-friendly lifestyle with your vehicle at www.vehicles.gc.ca.

 

US Federal Reserve Raises Interest Rates

Do Non-Residents have to Pay Canadian Tax on their Canadian Property?

If you are a non-resident of Canada you may be wondering if you are entitled to pay Canadian tax for the sale of your Canadian real estate. Let’s find out.

Gilmour Knotts Intercorporated Chartered Accountants explains the options for non-residents of Canada.

If the Canadian property is sold in Canada and owned by a non-resident, there is tax due. However, the risk is on the purchaser, not the seller. If for some reason the tax is not correctly handled at the time of sale, Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will try to collect tax from the purchaser.

What is the tax amount?

The tax is calculated on the total gross sales price and is not calculated on the profit. The required tax from the CRA is 25% withholding. This is a default rate of tax on the gross sales price of the property.

How do you reduce this tax?

There is an option to apply to reduce this tax. The seller can have the withholding tax reduced to be only calculated on the net profit, rather than the gross sales. For this to occur, the seller must apply to CRA, with full details, prior to the sale or within 10 days after the date of sale/deposition. If the deadline is missed, penalties will be assigned at a daily rate. This makes for a short period of time to apply the option of reducing the tax as it can take a few weeks for the CRA to process, creating a possibility the seller may miss their deadline.

What are the 2 remedies if the seller misses their deadline?

1. “They can file a Canadian tax return with full details and ask for a refund. There are also deadlines for this and there are issues with whether CRA will permit this filing as the first disclosure was required at the time of sale. You cannot wait until tax return preparation time to file the application with CRA. You must start the process at the date of sale and then apply for the refund at normal tax return filing time.”
2. “They can apply to have the tax used as a foreign tax credit in their home country. The challenge with this is that the tax may be much higher than the home country tax and although they get a credit they do not get a refund.”

What forms are involved? 

T2062, T2062A and non-resident tax returns

 

If you have any questions regarding the above, please give us a call at 604-588-4466 or email us at info@brokersmart.ca

FVREB October Statistics

This past month the demand for townhouses and single family homes have increased. What does this mean for the Fraser Valley housing market? The key stats from the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board FVREB October Statistics Report are outlined below.

Key Stats: 

  • Total Sales: 1,448 – an increase of 16% compared to October 2013
  • New Listings: 2,395 – an increase of 3% compared to October 2013
  • Active Listings: 8, 807 – a decrease of 3% compared to October 2013

President of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board, Ray Werger, says, “Sales overall continue to outperform last year and as we’ve seen for a number of months now are the best they’ve been in five years. Demand remains steady in our region for single family detached homes and townhomes. Last month, the market share of sales of single family homes increased by almost five per cent compared to last year; while the share of condo sales decreased by the same amount and we’re seeing that preference reflected in prices.”

Benchmark Prices: 

  • Detached Homes: $573,500 – an increase of 4% compared to October 2013
  • Townhouses: $298,500 – an increase of 1% compared to October 2013
  • Apartments: $192,600 – a decrease of 3.5% compared to October 2013

Werger adds, “With the influx of new developments and a steady supply of resale units, we’ve never had a better selection of condos than we do right now at prices the lowest they’ve been in years. For those that say housing isn’t affordable in Metro Vancouver, you need to check out the opportunities currently for condo buyers in the Valley.”

To view the full FVREB October Statistics Report, please click here.

If you have any questions regarding the above, please give us a call at 604-588-4466 or email us at info@brokersmart.ca

REBGV October Statistics

The Greater Vancouver market continues to be on the rise as we end the month of October. The housing market will enter November with statistics above the long-term averages. Below outlines the key stats from the REBGV October Statistics Report from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.

Key Stats: 

  • Residential Property Sales: 3,057 – an increase of 14.9% compared to October 2013. Sales were 16.6% above the 10 year sales average for the month of October.
  • New Listings: 4,487 – an increase of 4% compared to October 2013
  • Total Properties Listed: 13,851 – a decrease of 9.2% compared to October 2013 and a 6.6% decrease of September 2014

Benchmark Prices: 

  • All Properties: $637,00 – an increase of 6% compared to October 2013
  • Detached Properties: $995,100 – an increase of 7.9% compared to October 2013
  • Apartment Properties: $380,200 – an increase of 4% compared to October 2013
  • Attached Properties: $479,500 – an increase of 4.7% compared to October 2013

The President of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, Ray Harris, says, “We’ve seen strong and consistent demand from home buyers in Metro Vancouver throughout this year. This has led to steady increases in home prices of between four and eight per cent depending on the property. “Detached homes continue to increase in price more than condominium and townhome properties. This is largely a function of supply and demand as the supply of condominium and townhome properties are more abundant than detached homes in our region.”

To view the full REBGV October Statistics Report, please click here.

If you have any questions regarding the above, please give us a call at 604-588-4466 or email us at info@brokersmart.ca

 

How to Do a Reno When You’re Maxed Out on Your Down Payment

Keeping thinking about that fixer upper home but know it’s not in your budget? Think again!

Are you a first time home buyer? It’s very common for homes the younger buyers can afford are the ones that are in need of renovations. First time home buyers face the dual challenge of not having a big down payment and