Canadian Housing Tax Break
Due to Canadas tax systems Principal Residence Exemption, when we sell our homes, any increased value or capital gains are not taxed.
This generous tax break matters to Canadian homeowners. Collectively, we have about $3 trillion in home equity and our homes are often our largest financial asset.
However, starting with our 2016 income tax returns, there are some changes in how homeowners qualify for the Principal Residence Exemption.
Until now, the Canada Revenue Agency has not required Canadians to report on a home sale when during tax season. If you sold your home in 2016 or later, you will need to complete a Schedule 3, Capital Gains of the T1 Income Tax and Benefit Return in order to report your sale.
The good news is that, in terms of taxes, nothing has changed. The same tax benefit is available to anyone who sells their home, provided the property was the principal residence for every year you owned it even if you use part of your home for business purposes. There is no new tax involved only a requirement that we report the sale details on our tax returns.
So, if there is still no tax to pay, why the extra paperwork?
When it comes to taxes, not everyone plays by the rules. The Principal Residence Exemption is a very generous tax break and it is occasionally misused by those involved in speculative house flipping in order to evade taxes on their profits. In these cases, people were claiming the exemption for homes they owned, but may never have lived in. Reporting these sales allows the government to make sure that only eligible homeowners get the benefit that they are entitled to.
So, if you sold you home in 2016, make sure to report the sale when you file your 2016 tax return. You will still get the same tax break and you will help prevent the misuse of this important homeowner tax benefit.
Stress Test Best Practices Tool Kit
With the new Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions stress test rules firmly in place since January, Canadian homebuyers have learned they need to arm themselves with practical information on how they can ensure they are stress-test ready.
The following is a guide and best practices tool kit for those about to embark on securing their new or next mortgage:
Make a financial plan
Any time a big purchase is at stake, laying out a financial plan is always the best first step to take. By creating a plan, home buyers can protect themselves from increased interest rates and ensure they are staying on budget.
Have a contingency fund
Without question and now more than ever, home buyers need to establish contingency funds. Its incredibly important to have funds set aside when unexpected costs such as property repairs arise. An established contingency fund also looks good to financial lenders.
Pay off debts and increase downpayment
The most important tool in the Best Practices Tool Kit is to pay off debts as quickly as possible and maximize your down payment. If you already have a mortgage, increase the frequency of payments by taking advantage of what the financial institution offers such as accelerated bi-weekly payments.
Broaden search parameters
Although you may have an ideal neighbourhood in mind, it is important to also consider broadening those search parameters. Often there are homes in other neighborhoods that could be a perfect choice if you are willing to commute a little longer.
Im here to help you
I can help you to navigate confusion surrounding the stress test. Ultimately, being stress test ready means being ready for future increases in rate so that you can afford your next home comfortably on your budget.
Preventing Falls on Stairs
Accessible housing refers to homes that are designed or modified to enable independent living for all residents, including seniors or persons with disabilities. Accessibility can be achieved through architectural design and also by integrating accessibility features, such as lowered light switches, grab bars, walk-in bathtubs, lowered shelves and cupboards, modified furniture or by installing electronic devices in the home.
Stairs in the home can be dangerous and can be a barrier to accessibility unless they are designed or modified to reduce the risk of falls. If residents have limited mobility, it may be necessary to install ramps, home elevators or stairlifts to make the home safe and accessible.
A high percentage of Canadians who visit hospitals after a fall on or from stairs or steps in their homes are seniors (men and women 65 years or older). When seniors fall, the consequences can be severe and long-lasting.
Most falls on stairs can be prevented. Prevention starts by keeping in mind that there are risks in using stairs. Good planning and simple strategies can help prevent falls and injuries.
Click here for more information https://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/odpub/pdf/63637.pdf?fr=1441901329905