5 Government Programs that help Home Buyers in Ontario

February 4, 2016 Leave a comment

ontario programs home buyers

There are a number of programs available from both the provincial and the federal government, which provide help for home buyers in Ontario. Each of these can help you to save money, either directly, or when you file your tax return. Here are 5 helpful programs which can save you money:

 

Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit

This is a tax credit that helps low to moderate income individuals with property taxes and the sales tax on energy expenses. The credit is part of the Ontario Trillium Benefit and refunded on your tax return.

http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/en/credit/oeptc/

 

Home Buyers Tax Credit (HBTC)

This is a tax credit for first time buyers which reimburses a portion of closing costs. The credit is refunded on your tax return.  The max is $750.

http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/gncy/bdgt/2009/fqhbtc-eng.html

 

Ontario Healthy Homes Renovation Tax Credit

ontario healthy homes credit

This tax credit benefits seniors and can help them with the renovation costs to improve safety and accessibility in the home. Seniors are eligible for up to 15% back when they spend a max of 10,000 on home renovations.  Amounts are refunded on your tax return.

https://www.ontario.ca/page/healthy-homes-renovation-tax-credit

 

Home Buyers Plan (HBP)

First time home buyers can withdraw up to $25,000 from their RSP’s tax free to use towards down payment and closing costs when buying a home.

http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/ndvdls/tpcs/rrsp-reer/hbp-rap/menu-eng.html

 

GST/HST New Residential Rental Property Rebate

This rebate is for purchasers of a newly constructed home for use as a rental property and GST/HST was payable at closing. As a landlord, you are eligible to receive most of it back by filling out an application and mailing it in.

http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pub/gp/rc4231/rc4231-e.html

We hope you find these programs useful. With thanks to Sherry Love, Home Financing Advisor at Scotiabank Mississauga, for her expert input. You can reach Sherry at (416) 908-8563.

Got questions about home financing? You can equip yourself with all the latest money saving tips, by clicking here. Get all the answers to help you with the purchase of your next home.

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Point2Homes Interview

January 23, 2016 Leave a comment

I was recently interviewed by Point2Homes, a large internet real estate web portal, about the state of the Mississauga real estate market…. here is an excerpt from the Q&A session:

point2homes-randy-selzer-featured

1. How has the Mississauga real estate market performed last year, and what are your expectations for 2016?

The Mississauga real estate market mirrored the overall Greater Toronto Area(GTA) in 2015. We saw very strong demand throughout the year, with multiple offers and bidding wars being the norm. There was an acute shortage of listings for freehold properties, and with nowhere left to build in the City of Mississauga, detached homes increased by about 9 percent during the year. What’s even more remarkable is that, on average, the average selling price for detached homes was 100% of the asking price – in other words, on average, throughout 2015, buyers were obliged to pay the full asking price for a detached home.

High-rise condos, where there are still many being built, especially in the Square One area of Mississauga, saw price increases of 5 percent overall. This is strictly a reflection of supply and demand, for unlike detached homes, there are many new condo projects coming on stream. Condos performed very well in 2015, in spite of the record number of new projects being completed. The average condo in Mississauga sold at 98% of asking price throughout 2015. Rental rates are also at record highs, something that condo investors can appreciate.

The strength in this long bull market has been built on three pillars: low interest rates, which make higher priced properties affordable; an overall good economy in southern Ontario, where most people have jobs; and immigration, where on average, 100,000 people move to the GTA on an annual basis. As long as these three pillars remain in place, my expectation is that the strength in the market will continue.

For the rest of the interview, check here.

2015 Market Report

January 6, 2016 Leave a comment

Mississauga Real Estate in 2015

 

Here is my latest video on the Mississauga real estate market, providing a summary of what happened in 2015, and what to expect in 2016.

In a nutshell, the market provided a 9.5% gain in prices for “freehold” properties – i.e. detached homes, semi-detached homes, and freehold townhomes. The condominium market, specifically centered around the Square One shopping mall in Mississauga, showed a 6.5% percent increase, which is still a very healthy rise in spite of many new condo completions in the area.

Future Predictions for 2016

We predict a continuation of the strong market in 2016, based on the three underlying principles which have supported the market over the last few years:

1.) continued low interest rates
2.) continued decent economy in southern Ontario
3.) continued strong immigration into the Greater Toronto Area

As long as these three principles, or “pillars” as they are described in the video, remain in place, it is our estimation that the strong real estate market should continue in 2016.

Pinnacle Uptown Townhouses

November 11, 2015 Leave a comment

Pinnacle Uptown Townhouses feature Modernist Style

Pinnacle Uptown townhouse

Vancouver developer Pinnacle International has been busy in the GTA over the last decade or so, with multiple projects in both Toronto and Mississauga. One of their ongoing developments is Pinnacle Uptown, which is a 36 acre master planned community of both highrises and townhouses, located near Hurontario St. & Eglinton Ave. in north central Mississauga. Today we will look at the architecture of the very clean and modernist townhouses that are part of this development.

Pinnacle Uptown townhouse

Mississauga Uptown Development:

There are 100 townhouses which are in various stages of completion. They are located in a triangular lot to the west of the current highrises, and are three stories. Each comes with a double car garage, located in the rear, something not easily found in the townhouse inventory of Mississauga. These townhouses were marketed and sold under the brand “Marquis Townhouses on the Park”. There are two new streets where the townhomes are located: Little Creek Road, and Four Springs Avenue.

Pinnacle Uptown townhouse

Amenities:

Amenities are located on the inside of the triangle, and are bundled and branded as the “Marquis Club”. Features include an outdoor pool, hot tub, party room, and outdoor playground. Each townhouse unit features an outdoor terrace over the garage, and 9 foot ceilings on the main floor are standard.

Design:

What we really like about the design of these townhomes are the clean, modernist designs. Colours are predominantly soft pastels and warm earth tones, with tan, or sand colours featuring, and there are clean white framing details. Each unit has plenty of windows, and should provide a bright and airy living experience. The townhouses of Pinnacle Uptown have a very clean look. The architects are Richmond Architects of Toronto.

Pinnacle Mississauga townhomes

Price:

These are high end properties, each over 2000 square feet, and the few that remain for sale are in the $750K range..

Kudos to Pinnacle International for bringing such clean, modernist architecture to their Mississauga project. So many other developers are still stuck in the more traditional mode. It’s great to see a very urban design here in Mississauga. You’d expect it in the downtown areas of Toronto or Vancouver, so to find it here is yet another sign of Mississauga’s growing urban maturity. When I first saw these in person, they were like a breath of fresh air. Just my opinion, mind you!

So what are your thoughts about this type of modernist architecture! Do you like these, or do you prefer a more traditional style? The location is good. Would you live here?

Top 100 Neighborhoods to Invest in Canada

November 9, 2015 Leave a comment

Top 100 Neighborhoods to Invest in Canada

Mississauga was recognized as one of the Top 100 neighborhoods to invest in Canada, in the recently published annual investment guide put out by Canadian Real Estate Magazine. I was asked to contribute to the article, and in it we review three separate areas of Mississauga – Clarkson, Cooksville, and Meadowvale Village. In the guide we review detailed information on population, population growth, vacancy rates, cap rates, average price, average rent, and projected cash flow.

Canadian Real Estate Magazine puts out this special issue every year to provide investors with comparative information for cities across Canada. See the video here:

Clarkson

Clarkson has been selected as a good place to invest due to several reasons. It is an older area, where the price of housing is a bit less than some of the newer areas of Mississauga. It nevertheless has an excellent location, with close proximity to the QEW highway, the Clarkson GO station, as well as good schools and shopping. One profitable strategy for investors in Clarkson has been to purchase semi-detached homes with a separate basement apartment. This way, the investor benefits from two streams of income – one from upstairs, and one from downstairs.

Cooksville

Cooksville, along with Clarkson and Meadowvale, was one of the original towns which were amalgamated to form the City of Mississauga. Cooksville is centered near Dundas and Hurontario streets, the old intersection known as 5 + 10. It is also an older area, with pockets of reasonably priced homes that attract good rents. Cooksville may also benefit if the planned and fully funded Hurontario LRT is eventually built. As it is today Cooksville is ideally located near the QEW highway, and features Trillium Hospital, a major employer and source of good tenants.

MeadowVale Village

Meadowvale Village is situated in the extreme northern edge of Mississauga, and has great connectivity to Pearson Airport, highway 401, and the major employment areas which surround the airport. Once again, for the investor we recommend the semi-detached house, with a separate basement apartment, for an ideal source of two streams of income.

These are just three neighborhoods in Mississauga which we are highlighting in Canadian Real Estate Magazine. There are many other options for anyone looking to invest in real estate, including excellent opportunities with condos in the Square One area. For much more information, see my main site here: www.randyselzer.com

Tweetable: Canada #realestate is a great place to invest. Check out the top 100 Neighborhoods. http://ctt.ec/AdSHN+ @randyselzer
 

Day Trip to Elora, Ontario

October 12, 2015 1 comment

Statue of A.J. Casson by Beverley Cairns in Elora, Ontario

Today’s post won’t be about Mississauga, but instead about a day trip we took from there. Today was a glorious, warm, and sunny fall day, and it was also a holiday, being Canadian Thanksgiving. We had already finished with the big dinner earlier on Saturday, and so we decided to go on a “fall foliage tour” to a couple of our favourite southern Ontario places. After spending time taking in the sights of Belfountain & Erin, Ontario, we then headed west to the lovely town of Elora.

The weather was great, and although it’s been a couple of years since our last visit, it is gratifying that not too much has changed in this quaint village. Elora is located about 100km northwest of Mississauga, in a scenic area near the Grand River, and near a very deep gorge known as the Elora Gorge. There are a lot of artists who live here, and the town is indeed known as an artists colony.

While wandering the quaint boutiques in the downtown area, we found a lot of public art on display – there were quite a few to be found in various locations with a Halloween theme, but also this guy – an interesting statue of A.J. Casson, by local artist Beverley Cairns. This is in a park near the centre of town.

AJ Casson Sculpture Beverley Cairns

The material appeared to be some sort of clay or ceramics….

AJ Casson Sculpture Beverley Cairns

A.J. Casson was a renowned Canadian painter, and a member of the ‘Group of Seven’. There were other works of art in the park, but this particular sculpture had a definite presence – you could really ‘feel’ it, standing nearby, kind of quirky, in a very attractive way. The good citizens of Elora are a lucky bunch.

AJ Casson Sculpture Beverley Cairns

It’s so gratifying to see great public art such as this, especially unexpectedly in a small town in rural Ontario. Kudos to the artist, Beverley Cairns, it’s really a great piece, and to the local folks and politicians who made it possible. It makes an already special place even better. One last pic:

AJ Cassons Sculpture Beverley Cairns

If you haven’t been to Elora yet, or if it’s been a while since you’ve been there, it’s definitely worth the short drive, and the public art is a bonus.

Enjoy public art? Does it have a place in our cities and towns? Do you like this sculpture? Share your thoughts in comments below, we’d love to hear from you!

Pinnacle Grand Park 2 Update

September 22, 2015 Leave a comment

Pinnacle Grand Park2

A recent visit to the Grand Park 2 site being built by Vancouver developer Pinnacle International shows steady progress on the very deep parking structure. A large crew has been working later than most other work sites in the Square One area, and  the results are impressive. Here are a few shots from this afternoon, showing crews pumping and pouring concrete. The above shot shows what appears to be a giant preying mantis, but what is in fact a giant concrete pump…

Grand Park 2 will eventually rise 48 storeys, making it one of the taller condos in Mississauga. There will be 469 units, and completion is planned for 2017.  Architects are Turner Fleischer.

Lots of teamwork involved here with the crew, as some prepare the rebar, and others pour and work the concrete.

Pinnacle Grand Park 2 construction

Pinnacle Grand Park 2 construction

You can clearly see the vast size of the undertaking – there is an enormous amount of concrete and rebar on display, and this is just for the underground parking structure! Pinnacle’s Grand Park 2 condo tower is one of the dozens of highrise projects which are dramatically changing the downtown core of Mississauga City Centre.

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