My daffodils and crocuses aren’t showing as strongly as other years, but friends and acquaintances have remarked to me recently that the market must be doing well because they’re seeing “Sold” signs popping up everywhere! There definitely has been an increasing trend since December. Twenty residential properties sold in January of this year and by my reckoning, we were up to 26 for the month of February. That’s well up from last January and February which posted 13 and 16 respectively. Current sales are still lower than our Sept, 2013 high of 30, but the trend suggests that we may hit that in the next month or so. If you’ve been thinking of selling, give me a call for a free market evaluation.
Changes to the Property Transfer Tax…
When you buy property in BC, you will be subject to a Property Transfer Tax at the time of purchase each time you buy a property. The tax is 1% on the first $200,000 of fair market value (generally, the selling price) and 2% on the balance. It’s often a bit of an unexpected hit for buyers, but there is good news for first time homebuyers: You’re exempt! (subject to some qualifications). One of these qualifications is that the price of the home purchased is under $475,000 (previously $425,000 until the February Provincial Budget). That covers the vast majority of homes in Powell River.
There is a list of other exemptions, but most don’t apply to the average homebuyer. The tax itself is about 26 years old and is a huge revenue generator for the provincial government – about $900 million per year, so I don’t expect we’ll see this one disappear any time soon! Coincidentally, the PPT was initiated the same year the Loonie made it’s appearance in Canada.
What About My Deposit?
As in many types of sales transactions, a deposit, which is not essential to the creation of a contract is given by the buyer to the seller as “good faith money”. In standard real estate contracts though, the deposit is written as a condition of the sale. Non-payment within the agreed-upon time frame can result in termination of the contract by the seller.
Deposits are generally held in the real estate brokerage’s statutory trust account. The Real Estate Act makes the brokerage a “stakeholder”. This is a legal term meaning that the money is held on behalf of all parties to the contract. The deposit is only released when all parties sign a release or if it is paid into court. (One party sues the other when agreement about release cannot be reached.)
As a buyer, I put a deposit down because I’m satisfied with the terms of the contract and fully intend to fulfill the contract. The deposit is paid toward the price of property purchased on completion of the contract. As a seller, I accept the deposit as good faith money showing that the buyer is serious about completing the contract.
This information is given for general interest only. Always seek the advice of a lawyer if you need to act upon anything written here.
As We Get Older…
Over the last 25 years, the percentage of Canadians who choose to own their own home over renting has increased. The 2011 Canada Census found that 92% of all seniors over 65 years of age lived in private households. Of the 8% living in “collective dwellings”, over half were 85 years or older. If the trend continues, then I should start looking at my accommodation now with a view toward the future. Is my living area (kitchen, bath bedroom) on one floor? What is the stair situation? Could I rent the basement or upstairs to a caregiver? Should I be looking for a change that will suit my longer term “senior” needs?
One-level, Modern Living
- Newer home in great new neighborhood
- 3 bedrooms, 2 bath,1576 sq ft
- Manageable yard on top of the world!
7219 Georgia Crescent
Call me for a showing!