Category Archives: advice

Don’t forget to pay your condo flipping taxes

Just a reminder, flipping condos as a money making venture means you have to pay taxes on that income and the CRA is going after those who don’t report condo flipping profit.

From April 2015 to December 2017, the CRA audited 4,951 files in British Columbia and assessed $140.0 million as a result of these audits.

The penalties for non-compliance are harsh.

“The CRA will apply a penalty equal to 50% of the additional tax payable if a taxpayer knowingly makes a false statement when filing a return,” the CRA says. “During the period of April 2015 to December 2017, the CRA applied 1,254 penalties, totaling $38.6 million. The highest penalty was almost $2.5 million.”

Read the full article here.

Pro-tip: Don’t rent your ‘vacation home’ to a 14 year old

It’s kind of fabulous how easy it is these to days to rent out your spare homes as a vacation home with an online listing. And it’s easy to find a vacation home for a short term stay as well, all you need is a credit card… or your parents credit card.

Police say they were called around 8:30 Friday night to a home on Ottawa Avenue near 24th Street and saw 200 teens flooding out of the house.

Palmer says damage is now estimated at approximately $20,000.

“Walls were kicked in, furniture was smashed, artwork was smashed, furniture was tossed off the balcony into a hot tub,” he says.

The family has agreed to pay for the damage and no criminal charges will be pursued by the owner of the rental home.

Full article here.

Good time to be sitting on a $800k down payment

With interest rates going up there’s good news and bad news for housing. It can make it tough for people who are stretched thin financially, but might be good news for people waiting to buy:

The people who will benefit are those who have a nest egg and have been waiting for the right time to buy a home, he said.

“The real winner here is somebody sitting on a $800,000 down payment who says I’m going to wait for prices to fall.”

Overall, interest rates will continue to rise, added Brander. He predicts mortgage-lending rates could increase by several percentage points in the coming years. But as long as those increases are incremental, like Wednesday’s announcement, the economy will be able to absorb it, he said.

Seems like it’s always a good time to be sitting on an $800k down payment, but maybe we’re just optimists. Read the full article here.

Don’t lend money to your real estate agent.

We know the readership of this site has a deep and abiding love of all things real estate so we figure you might need this public service announcement. Don’t lend money to your real estate agent.

Rita Fulciniti put a down payment on a new west-end condo, thinking that home ownership would bring her a little comfort and financial security in her retirement years. Instead, the 66-year-old is living in a homeless shelter, broke, and still chasing the Toronto real estate agent who borrowed her life savings.

In March 2014, Fulciniti’s $42,000 down payment was for a second-floor unit in the Vivid Condos on Michael Power Place near Bloor Street West and Islington Avenue. A year later, while the condo was still under construction, Fulciniti learned her potential roommate wouldn’t be moving into the building.

Fulciniti approached Chaim Smilovici — who also goes by the name Howard Smilovici, and was a real estate agent with Adenat Realty at the time — to find a tenant who would help cover the costs of carrying the condo. It was the beginning of her nightmare, she says.

The real estate agent did find her a room mate (that’s good!) but borrowed $95k (that’s bad!) with an agreement to pay in full plus a $5k bonus and a 12% annual interest rate (that’s good!).  He then lost all her money investing in a nightclub (that’s bad!).

Read the full article at the CBC.

Resolve to make 2016 the year of the Emergency Fund.

What’s in your emergency fund? Do you have cash on hand to get your through unexpected lean times?

Rob Carrick over at the Globe and Mail think’s it’s time to focus on building your emergency fund in 2016.

Now seems an opportune time to return to the emergency fund theme. The Bank of Canada indicated last week that it would consider using negative interest rates, an extraordinary measure already in use in some European countries, if the economy worsens significantly. Governor Stephen Poloz believes the makings of a recovery are in place, and he doesn’t expect to have to resort to negative rates. And yet, oil prices last week hit their lowest point in six years.

I took a look at our household emergency fund recently and decided we needed to up our game. How about you?

Definition of an emergency fund: Money sitting in a high-interest savings account at a bank or credit union. These accounts are insulated from the ups and downs of the stock and bond markets, and easily accessible online. Interest rates are pitiful on these accounts, but the emphasis is on safety over returns.

Read the full article here.