BY: MAURICE ANDERSON
Too many homeowners believe spring maintenance is all about the cleaning. Sure, spring cleaning comprises a big chunk of any spring home maintenance schedule, but maintenance aimed at various structures, appliances, and systems within the home is, arguably, just as important. Nearly all homeowners love to see spotless windows for that first sunny, 25-celsius day, but you can’t forget your roof and the possibility that water leakage formed over the winter. Indeed, just as much as that first spring day should provide an excuse to go for a hike or a picnic, it should also provide a reminder that your outdoor spring maintenance is waiting.
Last month, Premier Kathleen Wynne’s government rolled out its answer to the province’s spiking home prices, the “Ontario Fair Housing Plan.” One of the plan’s marquee measures was the introduction of a 15% tax on home purchases by non-resident foreigners in Toronto and the Greater Golden Horseshoe. Premier Kathleen Wynne said the tax would not apply to new immigrants who plan to live here but are instead aimed at speculators who will “never set foot in Ontario.” The proposed tax would apply to transfers of land that contain at least one and not more than six single-family residences, including semi-detached homes, townhomes, and condos. It would not apply to transfers of other types of land including multi-residential rental apartment buildings, agricultural land or commercial/industrial land. A rebate would be available for those who later become citizens or permanent residents, as a well as foreign nationals working in Ontario and international students. There is a widespread perception that foreign buyers are driving high prices within the real estate market among numerous other reasons which are why Premier Kathleen Wynn informed us of the new regulation to help slow down the market and escalating costs. Last year, Vancouver, introduced a foreign buyers tax last summer. Vancouver saw a 26% drop in the number of sales last month when compared to April 2016.
There are a lot more renters than buyers in today’s market and it is just as hot and active as buying and selling property. For renters who feel that their rent is increasing drastically Premier Kathleen Wynn has implemented a move to expand rent control to all private rental units in Ontario, including those built after 1991, which are currently excluded. As per Housing Minister Chris Ballard said: “the government would move to remove the 1991 rule after residents complained of massive rent spikes.” The rent controls must come through approved legislation but will take effect today, April 20th. Annual rent increase for an existing tenant can be no higher than the rate of inflation. Rent increases will be capped at 2.5%, even if the rate of inflation is higher.
If you are thinking about selling your property you may have to take into consideration where your property is located and if your new buyers will need to complete major or minor renovations and if so is the price reasonable in the temporarily shifting market. Your property must show well and the value needs to be prevalent. Poor presentation and the incorrect marketing strategy can be detrimental to your sale. At the moment, there is more supply than this time last year which means as a buyer you will be facing less competition but it still is not the market to expect you will be able to purchase drastically under asking on every property you see. Some sub-markets have not been affected by Premier Kathleen Wynne’s announcements. If you find a property you still need to act fast because I am now beginning to see properties up for sale on a first come, first serve basis which means you should still have all your documents in order and finances prepared to avoid multiple offers where you can.