Tax Credits for Home Owners



TaxSavingsBoth the Ontario Government and Federal Government offer incentives to Home Owners.

The Ontario Government offers a $10,000 Healthy Homes Renovation Tax Credit…click here for details:  http://www.ontario.ca/taxes-and-benefits/healthy-homes-renovation-tax-credit

Here’s the link to the Canadian Home Renovation Tax Credit:  http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/gncy/bdgt/2009/fqhmrnvtn-eng.html#q1

Here’s the link to the Canadian First Time Home Buyer’s Credit:  http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/gncy/bdgt/2009/fqhbtc-eng.html and an alternate link:  http://actionplan.gc.ca/en/initiative/first-time-home-buyers-tax-credit

Please check the sites to ensure these credits are still available…and check with your accountant to see if you qualify.

Good savings!

Kathy Dimaline is a Real Estate Broker for RE/MAX Grey Bruce Realty Inc.  The comments on this Blog are the opinions, only, of Kathy Dimaline and do not constitute any legal advice or legal opinion and does not represent the interests or opinions of RE/MAX Grey Bruce Realty Inc., brokerage.

Do You Need a Permit for a Dock on your Shore?


If you have a waterfront home or cottage or vacant waterfront lot and you want to install a dock so that you can keep a boat at your shore you need to do some investigation prior to construction.

Investigate Conditions

Investigate Conditions
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On smaller inland lakes, having a dock at your shore is a common occurrence.  However, on the larger Great Lakes, I strongly suggest analysing water conditions, shoals and prevailing winds. There are many days where the lake is very calm and it looks like you can put a dock out, but there are just as many days where the lake is extremely rough due to wave action or winds.  This wave action can do major damage to your dock and your boat.  Pull out charts or talk to neighbours who are familiar with the area to check for shoals and other water hazards.  It is most likely you will have to be in a protected harbour that offers access to the open lake.  FYI, these types of properties tend to have higher real estate value.

Example of a Boat Slip

Example of a Boat Slip

Once you determine that you can have a dock, you want to then determine what type of dock.  The main types of docks are:  boat slips, often carved out of rock at the shore; crib docks which have large areas in the water that are netted and filled with stones, rock or concrete; pole docks, which are becoming more and more popular because you can pull them in for winter protection; cantilevered docks that protrude out from a raise shore, usually on a rock formation; and floating docks, which usual extend off of any of the above mentioned choices.

Example of Crib Dock in Progress

Example of Crib Dock
Under Construction
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The Ministry of Natural Resources control any work that may affect water vegetation or fish habitats.  Anything that involves dredging in the water or any large construction on the shore or bottom of the lake…whether you are adding to the shore (ie adding sand) or removing rock or sand from the shore.

As far as a dock is concerned, you need to apply for a work permit if you are creating a boat slip or channel involving dredging or if you are creating a dock with cribs or a boathouse that is placed on the lake bottom that is more than 15 square meters.

Example of a Pole Dock

Example of a Pole Dock

Generally, you DO NOT need a permit for cantilevered docks, floating or pole docks and any other dock with a total surface of less than 15 square meters on the lake bed.   However, I recommend, if you plan to install a dock at your property you should contact your local Ministry of Natural Resources office for confirmation of their rules and regulations.

You can find further information on this website:  http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/en/Business/CrownLand/2ColumnSubPage/STEL02_165788.html

Happy Boating!

Kathy Dimaline is a Real Estate Broker for RE/MAX Grey Bruce Realty Inc.  The comments on this Blog are the opinions, only, of Kathy Dimaline and do not constitute any legal advice or legal opinion and does not represent the interests or opinions of RE/MAX Grey Bruce Realty Inc., brokerage.

Dyers Bay Log Home or Cottage–$299,000 (#592)

Click on photo for Full Listing Details

Click on photo for Full Listing Details

On the Georgian Bay side, this lovely  log home is situated at desirable Dyer`s Bay. Open concept  living/dining/kitchen area with vaulted ceiling, pine floor and gorgeous fieldstone  gas fireplace. The master bedroom is oversized, also with comfy gas fireplace.  Large laundry/utility room & 2pc powder room. Main bath has whirlpool tub & separate  shower. 2 other bedrooms, 1 with private entrance and the other currently used as den. Large loft ideal for family room or extra guests. Covered deck with  Georgian Bay views. Single car garage and shed could convert to Bunkie. Close to Bruce  Trail, water access, boat launch, bird observatory, and flat rock beach.  

“0” Tax on Your Property

Ontario’s Conservation Land Tax Incentive Program

BP20If you own a piece of property that can be deemed as “provincially significant” you can apply for a Land Tax Incentive.  This program, if approved on your land, will exempt you from property taxes on that portion of your land deemed significant.  This is where we often get lands for sale with “0” or very little taxes.  To qualify you must agree to maintain your property as conservation Land and not carry out activities that would degrade, destroy or result in the loss of the natural values of the site.  Properties must be a minimum of 1/2 an acre.

The program runs on a year to year basis.  Once qualified, you will receive a notice each year asking if you want to continue your eligibility for the following year.  You must certify that the information that you provide is accurate, that you intend to maintain the property as Conservation Land and you authorize a representative of the Ministry of Natural Resources to enter your property, from time to time, to confirm.

If you have been receiving a tax exemption and the MNR discover that you are not maintaining as Conservation Land, you lose your exemption and the municipality can recover up to 5 years of taxes that were not paid.

BP1Only lands considered highly significant by the Ministry of Natural Resources qualify.  Lands that are eligible are:  provincially significant wetlands (often identified on your property with EH zoning),; provincially significant areas of natural and scientific interest (identified on your property as ANSI); habitat of endangered species (could be flora or fauna); and lands that come under the Niagara Escarpment Commission (identified on your property as Development Control).

I have this exemption on a piece of property and it’s nice not to have to pay taxes on it.  You can still use the land, you just have to agree to protect the designated natural heritage value of your property.

For more information click here:  www.ontario.ca/CLTIP

Kathy Dimaline is a Real Estate Broker for RE/MAX Grey Bruce Realty Inc.  The comments on this Blog are the opinions, only, of Kathy Dimaline and do not constitute any legal advice or legal opinion and does not represent the interests or opinions of RE/MAX Grey Bruce Realty Inc., brokerage.

Land Transfer Tax


LandTransferTax

 

If you are buying a home, cottage, vacant lot, commercial property or farm, you will be paying the Ministry of Finance a Land Transfer tax.  This is a graduated percentage of the property you are buying.

 

Here’s the schedule for that graduated tax:

  • 0.5% of the value of the consideration up to and including $55,000,
  • 1% of the value of the consideration which exceeds $55,000 up to and including $250,000, and
  • 1.5% of the value of the consideration which exceeds $250,000, and
  • 2% of the amount by which the value of the consideration exceeds $400,000 for land that contains at least one and not more than two single family residences.

I find it much easier to calculate using a Land Transfer Tax Calculator…click on the image above or click here for a link to a calculator:  http://www.macnaughtonlaw.com/landtax.htm

Some Municipalities, such as Toronto charge an additional Land Transfer Tax when you buy…but there is no such extra tax on the Bruce Peninsula.

You pay this tax on closing and it is usually taken care of by your lawyer.

This is an additional cost to your purchase and should be taken into consideration when planning your finances.

For more information you can go to the Ministry of Finance website at:  http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/tax/ltt/

Kathy Dimaline is a Real Estate Broker for RE/MAX Grey Bruce Realty Inc.  The comments on this Blog are the opinions, only, of Kathy Dimaline and do not constitute any legal advice or legal opinion and does not represent the interests or opinions of RE/MAX Grey Bruce Realty Inc., brokerage.

Greenough Harbour Waterfront Lot–$134,900 (#590)

Click Photo for More Details

Click Photo for More Details

One of Ontario`s newest `coastal` waterfront developments on the beautiful shores of Lake Huron  on the Bruce Peninsula. Come to Greenough Harbour where you will experience crystal clear waters,   clean air, plenty of privacy, and a community designed to emphasize environmental preservation.  Lot has approximately 121` of shoreline. Flat rock at shore. Great views. Approximately 1.5 acres in size.   South facing for sun on your beach all day!

 

Lake Huron Waterfront Lot–$89,000 (#587)

Click on Photo for More Details

Click on Photo for More Details

 This lot is ready for you to build with money saving improvements already installed.  Just bring in your contractor the laneway is in, building site has been cleared and a septic system is ready for use. There’s good water depth at the shore for swimming and small watercraft.  The lot is treed and private. 174′ X 195′ in size.

Tobermory Commercial Property–$449,000 (#588)

Click Photo for More Details

Click Photo for More Details

Live on the Beautiful Bruce Peninsula and be your own boss. Buy the assets, land and approx 5,000 sq foot building and start your own business. Or, buy the full package and run the existing well established Outdoor Goods store.  The store sells outdoor clothing, footwear, fishing, hunting, camping gear and much more.  There’s an Army Surplus section and a “Gently Used Reclycle” section.  The current owners have been successful in obtaining two very high traffic draws to the store– hunting and fishing licenses and LCBO bottle return.  There’s an Artist Co-Op renting the upper floor and an additional rental income from the office unit.  

Drinking Water Safety

DrinkingWater
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Only 4% of the earth’s water is Fresh, of that, 95% is ground water, and 5% is considered Surface water and NOT safe for drinking.  Ground water is surface water that has been naturally filtered through the ground, making it safe to drink.  Everyone deserves and wants safe drinking water at their residence.
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On the Bruce Peninsula only Wiarton, Sauble and Lions Head have Municipal Water systems.  Wiarton charges $25.00 per month plus $1.45 per cubic meter.  Sauble charges $20.00 per month plus $1.32 per cubic meter plus an annual fee of $85.00.   Lions Head charges $525/yr plus $2.25 per cubic meter.  These numbers are based on 2013 rates.
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All other residences and cottages have private wells.  It is the owners responsibility to ensure they have safe drinking water for their families, guests (including renters) and potential buyers.  A buyer may accept a property with less than satisfactory water quality but any potential mortgage holder will NOT.  A buyer may accept a property with less than satisfactory water quality provided they have been so informed and are aware of any risks.  Problems with a well, septic, or water quality and quantity should always be disclosed.  Such disclosure will help to protect a seller from future repercussions.
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The Grey Bruce Public Health Department only tests private well water for “bacterial contamination”.  We are in a low risk area for “chemical” contamination, however, if you are selling or buying a gas station or a service station or a home or cottage near this type of business, it is wise to test for chemicals as well.  Public Health does not offer this service.  Wellaware.ca has information on how to obtain private testing for “non-biological” parameters.
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WatertestA bacteriological analysis tests for Coliform and E. Coli.  The Health Department recommends that you test your well 3 times per year and generally speaking you want a reading of “0” Coliform and “0” E. Coli.  Don’t assume that your water is biologically safe…the tests are free and worth your health.   Click here for Test Result Outcomes
In this area, Coliform is usually bacteria built up in the pipes servicing your home.  This bacteria can be built up through lack of use, ie:  if you come to your cottage only a few times a year, or from contaminated surface water that is seeping into your well.  E. Coli is the bad stuff which is usually human or animal waste.  These contaminants are not likely to be transported to your well through the water table or aquifer through natural flow, but likely conveyed through improperly sealed wells, unused wells, poor septic systems, or nearby farms leaching into the ground water.
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It has been my experience, that most wells in this area test well.  However, it is important to maintain your well and your septic system to eliminate possible contamination.  Wells need to be 50’ from any septic system.  Receipt of  a test with E. Coli should indicate to you a problem with your system or a neighbours and this should be investigated further.  I would like to point, however, that you can easily contaminate a water sample by simple improper handling of the bottle.  That’s why the Health Department wants 3 tests to determine stability of the system.  Click here for directions on taking a water sample.
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BleachThe Health Department recommends “shocking” or “disinfecting” your well any time a water system has been opened for repairs or if your first sample test has a Coliform reading.  “Shocking” the well simply means introducing chlorine (bleach) to the system to kill bacteria in the lines.  Click here for instructions on disinfecting your well.  If “shocking” the well does not result in a negative reading, ie “0” Coliform…don’t continue to “shock”…it’s time for a professional.  Call a plumber.   You may need a water treatment devise.  There are a number of treatment options depending on your water quality; filters, chlorine pumps, ultraviolet irradiation, ozone, etc.  Most common problems can be solved easily and inexpensively and will give you peace of mind in the future.
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You can find further information on safe drinking water by clicking on this link.
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Safe water is a privilege and a right.  Be safe, be healthy.
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FACT:  The average Canadian household uses 350 litres of water per day, that’s twice as much as the average European household.*  Perhaps it’s because we have access to such an abundance of fresh water!
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FACT:  The sale of bottle water is NOT regulated in Canada.  Bottled water may contain naturally occurring bacteria which, under improper and/or prolonged storage conditions, could increase in numbers to levels that may be harmful to health.*
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* Public Health Department Safe Water booklet
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Kathy Dimaline is a Real Estate Broker for RE/MAX Grey Bruce Realty Inc.  The comments on this Blog are the opinions, only, of Kathy Dimaline and do not constitute any legal advice or legal opinion and does not represent the interests or opinions of RE/MAX Grey Bruce Realty Inc., brokerage.