Implications of Renting your Vacation Home or Cottage.

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Renting your vacation home or cottage is a great way to offset some of the costs, such as mortgage and property taxes.  However, before you decide to rent your property you need to do a bit of research on the implications.

First, there’s wear and tear on your cottage.  Do you want to share your personal space, and personal items with strangers?

InsuranceSecond, how does it affect your insurance?  In some cases insurance companies will not insure you if you are renting your property…or, they will charge you a much higher premium.  In any case, make sure you have the proper insurance, especially for third party liability.  The last thing you want is for someone to hurt themselves on your property and sue you.

Thirdly, is your property in rentable condition?  Have you taken all precautions to protect your personal items?  Have you removed all hazardous goods?  Does your home or cottage and property meet standard safety codes (this will be very important if there is ever an insurance liability claim—don’t get caught short).

TaxFourth, do you fully understand HST implications?  Will the sale of your property in the future be subject to HST?  This is a tricky one because HST rules are so convoluted.  A general rule, but you should always check with an accountant, is that you need to personally use the property equal to or greater than the amount that you rent it out.  If you go through a rental agency, you will have to charge HST, but in order to avoid being subject to HST when you sell, you can not claim any Input Tax Credit.

Here’s the link to the HST guide as it pertains to Vacation Property:  http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pub/gi/gi-025/gi-025-e.pdf   Good luck!  Once you read this you will probably realize the importance of reviewing with your accountant.

Fifth, do you plan to rent it out yourself or go through a rental agency?  Rental agencies charge high commissions (much higher than Real Estate agents, I might add), but can get you a higher weekly rate.  Be sure you know what services they provide.  Most expect you to arrange for a cleaner between rentals and to have a handy-man  available for any issues that may crop up during any rental period.

Remax.caLastly, (probably not the last thing to think about, but the last I’ll put down in this Blog)…How will renting out your vacation home or cottage affect the sale of your property when you decide to sell?  Generally, as a Real Estate agent, we are only allowed to show rental properties between renters…which is usually only a window of about 4 hours on a Saturday or Sunday.  This is very restrictive and difficult to work around when we have an interested party.

Renting works for many people…just be sure it is right for you!

Watch for my next Blog on….

Lets Talk About Poop!

Don’t forget to send your comments, stories, or ideas, in the comment section below or via email at dimaline@amtelecom.net.

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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.

© Copyright Kathy Dimaline, All Rights Reserved

Mosquitos, Snakes, and Bears, Oh My!

I get asked a lot about the wildlife on the Penisnsula, especially about Mosquitos, Snakes and Bears…

Yes, we have Mosquitos, Snakes and Bears on the Bruce Peninsula, and a whole host of other natural wildlife.  That’s all part of the beauty of the Peninsula (well, all but the mosquitos).  This is a World Biosphere protected area.  Also protected by the Niagara Escarpment Commission and Parks Canada.  We should be so lucky to still be able to enjoy such natural beauty.  But, I digress…

mosquitoBugs…well in general, they are not bad, but as usual I have to add “I can’t guarantee that”.  Black flies are around for a couple of weeks in May, if it’s cool and rainy they stick around longer, but if it’s hot they go away much sooner.  Mosquitos are around most of the summer and worse right at dusk…but I personally have not had a lot of problems with mosquitos, generally the breezes keep them away.  Then there’s the deer/horse flies…well, I hate these guys…you will generally find them when walking on the road or in the bush, and they are around most of the summer.  With all the travelling I do outdoors showing property, all summer long, I can say I haven’t had too many issues with Bugs.

This is one of my photos!  Found him in a swamp.

This is one of my photos! Found him in a swamp.

There are a variety of snakes on the Peninsula and most of them are harmless.  The Bruce Peninsula is one of the few remaining homes to the Massassauga Rattlesnake, and it is poisonous…it is also a protected species and carry’s a large fine if you kill one.  The hospitals and vets in the area do stock anti venom if you or your dog is bitten…the key is stay calm until you get help.  Here’s a great link provided by Parks Canada that gives you the low-down on these low crawling creatures:  http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/on/georg/natcul/natcul2.aspx

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I saw this guy in a field off of Hwy #6 near Johnson Harbour

I saw this guy in a field off of Hwy #6 near Johnson Harbour

There are Black Bears in the area.  In my 20 years here, I have seen (from a distance) about 4 bears.  So sightings can be rare.  You are most likely to encounter a bear if you try to feed it, leave garbage out or have a bird feeder…all things highly recommended that you don’t do.

This bear was killed on the Highway when someone started to feed him!

Here’s a great site for Black Bear facts:  http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/en/Business/Bearwise/2ColumnSubPage/290579.html

Took this shot of wild turkeys in my neighbourhood today

Took this shot of wild turkeys in my neighbourhood today

Other animals native to the area…porcupine, snow shoe rabbits (they are brown in the summer and white in the winter), coyote, fox, flying squirrels (cute…the last one I encountered was in my BBQ), red squirrels, fishers (brought to the Peninsula to reduce the porcupine population—they are they only natural enemy of the porcupine), martins, yellow spotted salamander (I was surprised to see one of these…they are quite rare to see), wild turkey (a lot of these in my neighbourhood), deer (best sightings in Johnson Harbour) and a huge assortment of wild birds (I have had Merlins and the majestic Bald Eagle at my property).
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Animals and birds are to be appreciated…but please don’t feed them.  If you feed a Bear, you kill him!

Watch for my next Blog on….

Land Locked Properties

Don’t forget to send your comments, stories, or ideas, in the comment section below or via email at dimaline@amtelecom.net.

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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.

© Copyright Kathy Dimaline, All Rights Reserved

Read your Insurance Policies!

Do you need to be covered for this?

Do you need to be covered for this?

Insurance companies DO NOT want to pay out claims.  You need to be an active participant when buying Insurance.

When was the last time you read your full Insurance policy?  Have you noticed how many pages it is and how much small print there is?

Friends of mine were involved in a serious motorcycle accident many years ago and have been fighting the insurance company ever since.  When I ran into them recently they cautioned me to review all of my insurance policies.  Did I heed their warnings…nope…and guess what?  I had a problem with a property and low and behold the Insurance company would not cover the claim!  Here’s what it boiled down to…I had a “named perils” policy…which I do not recall ever agreeing.  This is what some of the “named perils” were,  impact by aircraft, spacecraft (believe it or not), or other land vehicle.  Exclusions included loss or damage to electrical devices or appliances (hello?), automobile, watercraft, other vacant land.

InsuranceSo, my point is…go home, pull out all of your insurance policies, auto, home, cottage, life.  Read over ALL of the fine print.  Know what you are covered for and what you are not.  Pay for extra coverage where you need it…don’t pay for things that don’t make sense (spacecraft invasion)…and make sure you know what your deductibles are.  If you don’t understand something ask your Insurance Company for clarification…and get it in writing!

If you are selling a home or cottage you need to ensure that it is insured…especially for liability.  And, when you have an offer the agreement specifically states that you have to have the buildings insured against fire and damage until closing.

If you are selling a vacant lot, you need third party liability.  Usually this is part of your home insurance, but as I mentioned above, it wasn’t covered on my insurance…so be sure to double check and make sure you have the right coverage.

When buying a home or cottage you should ensure that you can insure it before firming up on the offer.  Insurance companies don’t like vacant residences, they don’t like wood stoves, they don’t like seasonal access, they don’t like oil tanks, they don’t like rentals, and many other points.  You will be able to get insurance, but you need to disclose to them any of these points and make sure you are covered appropriately.  Don’t give them reason to reject a claim!

The Insurance Bureau of Canada have been running a series of TV ads recently.  Here’s their website link:  www.ibc.ca for more information.

Protect yourself, your family and your property…and know what you are covered for!

Watch for my next Blog on….

Mosquitos, Snakes and Bears, Oh My!

Don’t forget to send your comments, stories, or ideas, in the comment section below or via email at dimaline@amtelecom.net.

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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.

© Copyright Kathy Dimaline, All Rights Reserved

Sellers! Don’t get caught in the Over Priced Trap!

Don’t get caught in the Over Priced Trap!

AvoidOverPrice1.  Interview more than one agent.

2.  Be suspicious if someone quotes you a price of more than 20 or 30% (or more) over another agent’s suggestion.

3.  Ask for support with comparable sales…and be honest with yourself on what you know your value to be.

4.  Don’t make a decision if you are being pressured or are uncomfortable…step away and revisit at another time.

5.  If you are suspicious, don’t sign a long contract…leave your options open, in case you want to call the other agent back in.  The other agent will not be offended if you do!

6.  Remember that Buyers are educated and follow real estate values closely…they know when a property is over priced.

7.  Choose an agent based on honesty, ethics, exerience, competence, and success…someone you are comfortable with!

Watch for my next blog on

Read your Insurance Policies

Don’t forget to send your comments, stories, or ideas, in the comment section below or via email at dimaline@amtelecom.net.

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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.

© Copyright Kathy Dimaline, All Rights Reserved

10 Benefits of an Over Priced Listing

10 Benefits of an Over Priced Listing

1.  Your ListingLotsofSigns increases Your Agent’s profile in the marketplace, the more listings, the higher the profile

2.  Your Listing increases Your Agent’s advertising presence

3.  Your Listing increases Your Agent’s ability to attract other Listings

4.  Your Listing helps Your Agent and other agents sell their more attractively priced properties

5.  Other Agents have more time to focus on more attractively priced listings because they won’t show or stop showing Your Listing  Overpriced

6.  Buyer ‘s love to see All those REDUCTIONS and expect even more when they do make an offer

7.  Your Listing increases Your Agent’s chances of selling it his/herself because other agents won’t show or stop showing Your Listing

GreedyAgent8.  When Your Agent sells Your Listing his/herself, he/she makes more money, no matter what the price, because the commission doesn’t have to be shared.

9.  You are so happy when your place finally sells, even if it’s below market value

10.The Sale of Your Listing, no matter what the price, makes Your Agent look good!

OVER PRICED??  WHO DO YOU THINK YOUR AGENT IS WORKING FOR??

Watch for my next blog on

Sellers!  Don’t get caught in the Over Priced Trap!

Don’t forget to send your comments, stories, or ideas, in the comment section below or via email at dimaline@amtelecom.net.

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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.

© Copyright Kathy Dimaline, All Rights Reserved

Assessment too High?…Ask for Reconsideration

It’s about this time, just after MPAC releases their new assessments that I get calls regarding increases in value of your properties.  My response is “Always fight it!”.  Ask for a reconsideration…if you don’t, then you can expect continued increases in the future.

Begin by completing MPAC’s reconsideration form.  Here’s the link on their site:  http://www.mpac.ca/pdf/request_for_reconsideration_residential_2013.pdf

A word of caution:  Every time you fight an assessment MPAC is gathering more and more intelligence on your property and your neighbours…welcome to “Big Brother”.  The more information they have the better their intelligence for future use.

You can provide comparable sales information or assessment information of properties in your neighbourhood.  In my opinion, this task is a challenge for anyone, including MPAC.  We are in an area where there are so many variables on properties…we don’t have cookie cutter homes and cottages, we don’t have lots that are exactly the same size, shape or with the same features.  So, work with what you know and don’t be afraid to go onto MPAC’s website and search for comparable assessments…you can access up to 24 properties.

The only way for anyone to know the true value of a property is to sell it…and that won’t help your current taxation situation. You can ask a Real Estate Broker, like myself, to do an official opinion of value on your property based on comparable sales, however, in most cases it is likely that the opinion of value will be more than the assessment.  So, I say save your money on the cost of the appraisal and try for a reconsideration anyway.

I’m always available and happy to give you a quick assessment over the phone and if the MPAC assessment is way out of whack, then yes, get an official valuation.

If you just bought a property and you paid less than the assessment, you definitely should ask for a reconsideration…because, what you paid is the true market value.

It’s my opinion that if you don’t try you will never get it adjusted.

Don’t forget to send your comments, stories, or ideas, in the comment section below or via email at dimaline@amtelecom.net.

Watch for my next Blog on….

Demystifying the Agreement of Purchase and Sale-Title Search Clause

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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.

© Copyright Kathy Dimaline, All Rights Reserved

Welcome…

Welcome to my Blog!

Writing this blog is a way of keeping in touch with you on a regular basis.    The goal is to entertain you with articles that are light, upbeat and informative about life and real estate on the Bruce Peninsula

There are a lot of details and very specific requirements involved in buying or selling real estate on the Bruce Peninsula, and, there are a lot of details in the contracts required when buying or selling property. In sharing my knowledge and experiences I’m hoping that this Blog will assist you with your real estate decisions, now or in the future.

My door is always open…figuratively and  literally…by phone, email, social media and at the office at Ferndale where the showroom is open 7 days a week (7 to 7).  You can follow me on my websites at www.davismclay.com, and www.getoutofthecity.ca, on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and on this Blog.

Don’t forget to send your comments, stories, or ideas, in the comment section below or via email at dimaline@amtelecom.net.

Watch for my next Blog on….

MPAC Assessments

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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.