Tag Archives: Cottage

Buyers Should Brace for an Unprecedented Real Estate Frenzy in Long Point

Buyers can expect mad competition for cottages to continue.During the course of marketing this cottage for sale the seller received multiple offers to choose from. Bidding wars are the new normal in today’s ultra competitive real estate market.

LONG POINT –  Buyers can expect the mad competition for cottages to continue with many selling for over-asking prices amid multiple offers.

In a seller’s market, the way to achieve the best price is to have the most exposure in the shortest amount of time. Erie’s Edge Real Estate Ltd. has the local knowledge and experience to position properties that will create a favourable response from today’s buyers. The result is often competing offers also known as “bidding wars.”

With the average price of a detached house hitting $1.3 million last month in Toronto, a significant uptick in buyers from the GTA looking to invest in property elsewhere are driving prices way up.

Additionally, millennials priced out of urban areas are opting for the cottage as recently featured in The Globe and Mail.    

Generating and presenting multiple offers is a complex process. A seller in receipt of competing offers has several possible options to consider. They are:

• Accept one and reject the others;

• Sign one back and reject the others;

• Reject all offers, sending them back to the buyers for improvement;

• Sign one back and hold on the other offer(s) pending a response from the buyer getting the sign back;

• Hold on to one or more offers while sending the other offer(s) back to the buyers for improvement: or

• Hold on to a couple copies of each offer, and send the other copies back to the buyers for improvement if they so desire.

Each of the above options has positive and negative consequences for the seller. If you’re thinking of selling and want our assistance in obtaining the most amount of money and navigating the complexities of the current real estate market we can be contacted at 519.586.7922 or www.LongPointBeach.com.

 

How Much Will I Owe in Capital Gains Tax if I Sell My Cottage?

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When you and your family decide that it is time to pack up the bug spray, sunscreen and bathing suits and list your family cottage you may have a lot of questions.  Like, who gets to keep the water wings? Where did your favourite blue bathing suit go? And, who wants to help use up the last of the fire wood and marshmallows?

There’s also a good chance that you’re going to have a few questions for your local REALTOR®.

Such as “What will I owe in capital gains tax if I sell my cottage?”
With the sale of any property, you are required to report it to the CRA and pay the applicable capital gains tax. This includes the sale of your beloved family cottage. The CRA does offer an exemption on this appreciation tax to principal residences, which could possibly apply to your cottage. Let me explain.
 
If you enjoy your cottage as your vacation home and it IS NOT  your principal residence then you would be required to pay the applicable capital gains tax at time of sale. How much exactly? The amount that you will owe depends on the appreciated value from the time you purchased the cottage 
 
For example,  if you purchased the cottage for $200,000 ten years ago and now plan to sell the cottage for $500,000 due to appreciation and improvements you’ve made over the years you would owe capital gains tax on $300,000 (the difference between sell price and purchase price).
 
On the other hand, if your cottage IS your primary residence then you may be exempt from paying any capital gains tax.
Although the sale of a principal residence still needs to be reported to the CRA it is exempt from being taxed on capital gains.
In some scenarios, your cottage may start off as your vacation home but become your primary residence after some time.  If this is the case, the tax owed on capital gains is based on the appreciation before it became your principal residence. 
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For example, you purchased the cottage for $200,000 ten years ago but moved in to the cottage as your primary residence after five years of ownership. At that point the cottage had appreciated in value to $250,000.  In the five years since you’d been living there, you completed improvements increasing its value further and intend to sell it now, another five years later, for $500,000.
 
In this scenario you would only owe capital gains tax on $50,000 (the value of the property at the time it became your principal residence less the original purchase price). You would be exempt from paying the capital gains tax on the additional $250,000 in appreciated value over the five years that the cottage was your principal residence.
 
Contrary to popular belief, capital gains are not taxed at your marginal tax rate. Only half (50%) of the capital gain on any given sale is taxed all at your marginal tax rate (which varies by province). On a capital gain of our example of $50,000 for instance, only half of that, or $25,000, would be taxable. For a Canadian in a 33% tax bracket for example, a $25,000 taxable capital gain would result in $8,250 taxes owing. The remaining $41,750 is the investors’ to keep.
 
If you’re thinking of selling your cottage we can help make sure you are asking the right questions and getting the answers that you need. You can reach out to us at 519.586.7922.

5 Things To Know About Real Estate Deposits

From a seller’s perspective, a deposit is a sign of good faith that the buyer, who has contracted to purchase the property, will complete the transaction on the date specified in the contract.

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Here are some common questions I’m often asked about real estate deposits.

1.  When does a deposit have to be paid?

The standard agreement of purchase and sale states that the deposit must be submitted “herewith” or “within 24 hours of the acceptance of this Agreement”. Neither alternative is legislated but an accepted good practice.

The reason that buyers are encouraged to come up with the deposit immediately is to demonstrate to the seller commitment to complete the transaction. 

Sometimes a buyer may not be able to submit the deposit within 24 hours for good reason. For example, when a buyer lives out of the area in which the property is being purchased, it’s unlikely that even using courier the required deposit will be received within 24 hours. 

This happens quite often to me when selling cottages. Buyers often live two, three or more hours away from where they are interested in buying a cottage. Often times the decision to purchase a cottage is made a couple of days after viewing the cottage when the buyer has returned home from cottage country. The exchange of a deposit cheque cannot be completed in person unless the buyer decides to drive all the way back to provide the cheque. 

In such instances, I simply change the pre-printed 24 hour term in the agreement of purchase and sale to an additional 24 or 48 hours to allow the buyer time to courier or express post the deposit to my office. 

In today’s technological age the use of e-transfers for submission of deposits are becoming increasingly popular thereby making the standard 24 hour submission of deposit quite simple.

2.  Can the buyer get out of a deal by refusing to pay the deposit?

No. Once the agreement of purchase and sale has been accepted by both buyer and seller, a binding contract exists. Failure to deliver the deposit may be determined a breach of contract by the Buyer. 

I’ve heard it said that a good lawyer will be able to get a client out of a real estate contract should the buyer change his or her mind. This is not the case in my experience. Your REALTOR® should understand contract law and all of the complexities and legalities to making certain that real estate contracts are airtight once all conditions have been waived or fulfilled. 

Should a buyer wake up the morning after with a serious case of buyer’s remorse and refuses to pay the deposit, the seller can sell the property to another buyer. In the event that the seller gets less money than the initial buyer agreed to pay the seller can sue the buyer for the difference (plus legal fees).

3.  What happens to the deposit money once paid?

In most circumstances the deposit is held in trust by the seller’s real estate brokerage. When a deposit is held by the real estate brokerage in trust it is protected by insurance so that even if the brokerage goes bankrupt the buyer’s deposit is protected.

4.  What happens to the deposit money if the buyer is not able to fulfill conditions?

Most agreements of purchase and sale contain conditions such as allowing the buyer to arrange a mortgage, have a home inspection completed or have the septic system inspected to make sure that it is in proper working condition, for example.  

In the event that a buyer is unable to fulfill conditions within the specified time frame indicated in the contract, the deal becomes null and void. For instance, if a buyer is not satisfied with the results of a home inspection the buyer can choose not to proceed with the purchase and request the return of the deposit. However, if the seller suspects that the buyer did not act in good faith in trying to satisfy the condition, the seller may refuse to release the buyer’s deposit. In this circumstance the deposit must remain in the brokerage’s trust account until a court order indicates who is entitled to the deposit.

In the event that the Seller does release the Buyer from the transaction, which is the case more often than not, the Buyer’s deposit shall be returned in full.

5.  How large of a deposit is required when making an offer?

This is an initial decision of the buyer which must be agreed to by the seller (just like any other term or condition of an offer). 

If a buyer’s offer includes a deposit of $1,000 yet the seller doesn’t think it’s enough to illustrate the buyer’s commitment to complete the transaction, the seller might counter offer requesting an increased deposit. From a seller’s perspective, a deposit is a sign of good faith that the buyer, who has contracted to purchase the property, will complete the transaction on the date specified in the contract. As I noted at the beginning of this blog, a deposit from a buyer indicates to the seller a sign of commitment. Meaning that the buyer is committed to completing the transaction in good faith and on time.  

While there is no right answer or minimum amount required, the size of the deposit should be given very serious consideration by both buyer and seller. As a buyer, put yourself in the seller’s shoes for a minute. How much deposit money will give a sense of confidence that the buyer is committed to the transaction? To read more about how much of a deposit a buyer should submit with an offer, click here

The purchase and sale of real estate for most people is one of, if not the single largest financial transaction of their life. REALTORS® are able to provide you experienced guidance and counsel when it comes to navigating the complexities and legalities of real estate contracts.

If you have any questions about deposits or any other real estate matters, feel free to “leave a comment” below and we’ll get in touch.