Deadline is approaching! At the end of January 2010, the Federal Home Renovation Tax Credit incentive, part of Canada’s economic action plan, will be coming to an end. If you’re a Canadian homeowner and were thinking of a kitchen remodel or finally landscaping your front or back yard…time to move.
Here’s the low-down on the Home Renovation Tax Credit.
What is it? : It’s a federal non-refundable tax credit based on eligible expenses for improvements to your house, condo or cottage exceeding $1,000 but not more than $10,000.
Maximum credit: $1,350.
Valid period: Purchases made before February 1, 2010.
Eligible expenses must be of an enduring nature and integral to your property (no, new TVs or lawn mowers don’t count, sorry).
Be sure to get your contracts in writing, and keep your receipts. Claim the credit on your 2009 income tax return at the time of filing.
Examples of Eligible Expenses:
- Kitchen, bathroom, basement renovations
- New windows, doors, flooring
- Major remodels such as building an addition, garage, deck, shed or fence
- A new furnace, woodstove, fireplace, water softener, water heater
- A new driveway or resurfacing a driveway, re-shingling a roof, or painting of a house
- Landscaping- new sod, perennial shrubs and flowers, trees, etc
- Swimming pools (must be permanent, in and above ground)
- Fixtures- blinds, shades, shutters, awnings, lights, fans, etc
- Associated costs such as permits, professional services, equipment rentals, and incidental expenses
Examples of Non-eligible Expenses
- Furniture, appliances, tools, and audio and visual electronics
- Routine repairs, maintenance and cleaning (eg. furnace cleaning, snow removal, lawn care, pool cleaning, house cleaning)
- Financing costs
For more information on the tax credit, call 1-877-959-1CRA or visit www.actionplan.gc.ca.
Hope that you’ve all had a fantastic holiday season and a great New Years! 2010 is going to be an exciting year for Vancouver and we wish you all the best as well!
Late last month I wrote a blog about the impacts of staging. Since then Laura Howren and I teamed up with local decorator Hanan Arabatlian with Aura Interiors Inc and decided to do a video blog on what a difference staging can really make.
The subject condo is a approx. 560 sqft, one bedroom condo unit located in the TV Towers2 building on Vancouver’s main shopping drag, Robson Street. The unit had been sitting on the market for over a month, which for a unit in that location, in that price range, should’ve been snapped up within a couple of weeks at most. According to the listing agent of the listing they’ve had many buyers come through and all say the same thing: “Where does everything go?”
The layout of the unit is somewhat disfunctional, it’s open but has many angles. The kitchen is an open one with not much counterspace; the “flex space”, or storage room looks like it should be a utility closet, and the bedroom looks so small vacant that it’s almost impossible to envision a bed fitting in there.
The transformation was amazing; the small little space suddenly made sense, and the unit felt much homier, cozy and urban. At the open house that was held that weekend (the work was done on Friday) the listing agent found her audience saying the exact opposite of what they had been saying before; many commented on “how big” the unit was! Take a look at some before and after pictures below.
And the burning question…did the condo sell? Well, we haven’t gotten an update from the listing agent to date, but last we heard (which was right after the open house) they were working on getting an offer accepted!
Need to sell? Call Laura at 604.209.3674 or firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you’re looking for a decorator, call Hanan at 604.209.5423 or visit www.aurainteriors.ca.
Photographer: Morgan Beall at Morgan_Beall@Vancity.com
The short answer? Absolutely (well, in many cases).
Do you ever recall walking into a home, whether you were in the market to buy or looking for an apartment, and thinking “I can never live here” , “I would LOVE to live here!”, or even “Where will everything go”? What do you think brought on those thoughts? It all has to do with presentation. You can walk into a home that has the worst layout, if it’s staged impeccably, it will still have you leaving with the warm fuzzies. Or what about a vacant home? Some buyers have an extremely difficult time trying to envision where their furniture is going to go, and when it does go there what will it look like, will it flow with the rest of the home, will it be functional, or what might the home look like with different paint colors…it goes on and on and on and on and, on.
Staging or decorating a home can make rooms look larger, lighter, trendier, homier, cleaner, all of the above. Even the simplest fix like changing a wall color can impact the whole feel of a room. You don’t need a big budget to make changes; all you need is a little imagination (and maybe some help from a professional, if you aren’t the imaginitive type ).
I find many home owners hesitate to stage their home because of the cost of hiring a professional. You might be nodding in agreement. Stop there. Cost? The cost to stage your home is minimal compared to the cost of holding your home for an extra month or two. An extra month or two’s worth of mortgage payments, prorated taxes, homeowner’s dues if you live in a condo all adds up, for a space you’re just trying to unload. And I say an extra month or two because, statistically speaking, staged homes sell approximately 80% faster and according to the Canadian Maritz Research in ’05-’06, 63% of buyers will pay more for a home that is move-in ready! (See here for more stats). Technically that would mean it could be more than a couple of months, but we aren’t discussing my
Interior designers/decorators come into your home and gives it a facelift. They’ll give you suggestions as to where your furniture will go (or they’ll just do it for you), what accent pieces you should use and where, or if you’re even willing to remodel for a sale, they can give you suggestions as to what to do in order to get the highest impact (think kitchens and bathrooms, Guys/Ladies, kitchens and bathrooms). And after a consultation and them working their magic, guess what? You no longer have to worry about it!
I’ve hooked up with an excellent interior designer/decorator and we’ve decided to start an exciting new project of videos of her giving us tips to make our spaces look prettier. The plan is to tape a series of videos that will show you how to enhance your home for a quicker and more profitable sale (or just to make your home feel homier)… If you have any requests, would love to hear them! Contact me at email@example.com with requests. Meanwhile, check out her site: www.aurainteriors.ca!