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Latest news from I4 Properties Group

Tips for New Edmonton Investors

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Despite all the advice about not buying a residential property for income purposes when the market is uncertain, many still do, and for good reason. Rental properties are always in demand in the hottest real estate markets, with vacancy rates still hovering in the mid-1% range. As such, buying property to rent out makes sense, as long as you have a large enough down payment to ensure that rent covers expenses.

 

Location:

For the best entry price point consider single-unit rentals, such as condos and remember the golden rule- “location, location, location” is the name of the game. Do your homework and learn what areas of town are located near universities or hospital hubs. Quite often, these neighborhoods offer year-round tenant stock and slow but steady price appreciation.

 

Conveyancers vs. Solicitors:

A more complex transaction will probably be better suited to a solicitor. A very simple transaction can be handled by a conveyancer. They will be cheaper than a solicitor and likely able to do the same job. The main difference between conveyancers and solicitors is that conveyancers may be restricted in what they can do if things get complicated.

 

Inspection:

It amazes me how many new investors purchase a property without any building or pest inspections only to find out that it’s termite-ridden or that it has issues with the foundations. Paying for a building or pest inspection buys you the insurance of knowing that the property doesn’t have any major issues that are going to cost you an arm and a leg down the road.

 

Brain vs Heart:

Most of us will get emotional when we purchase our first investment property. But getting emotional means we could pay more for the property than we should have. We can easily make poor financial decisions if we think emotionally and don’t stay objective about the potential investment. Try to look at buying your first investment property as a financial deal – as if you’re buying stocks on the stock market.

 

Goals:

Remember that investing in property is a vehicle for financial success. It’s a means to an end. It’s not the end itself. You want to achieve something financially. So know what you want to achieve and try and buy property that will help you to achieve that.

 

Analysis:

Don’t just assume that because your mortgage is $400 per week and the property rents for $450 per week that your property is going to be positively cash flowed. There are many expenses associated with an investment property that you need to consider before you buy in including property taxes, building management fees, and maintenance costs. The last thing you want is to purchase a property thinking it’s going to net you a positive cash flow only to find that it’s actually costing you hundreds of dollars per week that you cannot afford.

 

Negotiate:

As in life, almost everything in real estate is negotiable. Most people assume they can only negotiate on price alone. You can negotiate things like settlement dates, have early access to the property, put down a smaller deposit. Imagine if you’re holding your deposit of $100,000 for an extra month and you’re getting 6% on that. That means you’re going to earn 0.5% on that $100,000 – $500 for delaying the closing by one month….a good start on the road to positive cash flow!

 

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Downsizing 101: Build Small, Live Big

 

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The term “Home Downsizing” can mean different things to different people. Some definitions we have seen include:

 

  • Selling off excess personal property in order to make more room.
  • Moving into a smaller, more manageable home.
  • Cashing in on personal property investment
  • Reducing the mortgage payment and living expenses.

 

Perhaps the simplest definition of Home Downsizing is “Making do with less”. That can mean shedding off all of the excess baggage that you have in your life including expenses, personal property, collections, or junk…and living a simpler, less complicated life. If you are considering a major downsizing or move in the near future, one or more of the following statements likely apply to you:

 

  • Your children are grown and gone.
  • Your home has become an empty nest.
  • You are retired, or getting ready to retire.
  • You are ready to move closer to or to live with your children.
  • You live in a home larger than you now need.
  • The housework and yard are becoming too difficult to maintain.
  • You are tired of the house and yard work and want free time.
  • Increased taxes and carrying costs are too much of a burden.
  • You’ve lost a spouse or partner and are now living alone.
  • You want to live in an amenity-rich neighborhood and enjoy shops and services at your doorstep.
  • You would prefer to live in a year-round warmer climate.
  • You are ready to tap into the home equity you have built up.

 

Here are some reasons to consider downsizing a move up:

 

Easier to maintain. Anyone who has owned a house knows the amount of time, energy, and effort to maintain it. All things being equal, a smaller home or condo requires less of your time, energy, and effort to accomplish that task.

Less cleaning. And that should be reason enough…

Less expensive. Smaller homes and condos are less expensive to purchase and less expensive to keep.

Less debt and less risk. Dozens of on-line calculators will help you determine “how much house you can afford.” These formulas are based on net income, savings, current debt, and monthly mortgage payments. They are also based on the premise that we should spend “28% of our net income on our monthly mortgage payments.” For most Canadians looking to purchase real estate and stay within this percentile, condo developments are the best option.

Less environmental impact. A smaller home or condo requires less resources to build and less resources to maintain. And that benefits all of us.

More time. Many of the benefits above (less cleaning, less maintaining, mental freedom) result in the freeing up of our schedule to pursue the things in life that really matter – whatever you want that to be.

Encourages family bonding. A smaller home or condo results in more social interaction among the members of the family. And while this may be the reason that some people purchase bigger homes, I think just the opposite should be true.

Forces you to remove baggage. Moving into a smaller home or condo forces you to intentionally pare down your belongings.

Less temptation to accumulate. If you don’t have any room in your house for that new treadmill, you’ll be less tempted to buy it in the first place (no offense to those of you who own a treadmill… and actually use it).

Less decorating. Choosing wall color, carpet color, window treatments, and light fixtures for dozens of rooms may appeal to some buyers, but for those who prefer a turn-key experience, smaller homes and condo projects provide a variety of pre-selected materials and colours to choose from instead of buyers having to source materials, hire contractors, and manage construction budgets on their own.

Wider market to sell. By its very definition, a smaller, more affordable house or condo is affordable to a larger percentage of the population than a more expensive, less affordable one.

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Hungry for an Investment Property?

soh_exteriorStudio on The Hill has officially opened and move-ins are well underway. While the landscaping won’t be fully completed until the Spring, the building is all but complete and the response from owners and investors has been very positive. Owning, investing or living in Strathcona puts you or your renters at the gateway to everything #YEG has to offer including arts and culture, shopping, culinary delights, and year-round outdoor activities.

Starting at $253,000, only a handful of condos remain for sale, and we are receiving daily calls from renters looking to move in…….if you are interested in owning an investment property contact us today and we can schedule an appointment with a top investment advisor while the demand for rental hits its peak.

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10 SURVIVAL TIPS FOR MOVING DAY

Moving Day can be a dreaded event if you are disorganized, so follow these 10 tips to ensure that your big exodus is problem-free . 

 

1. Be thrifty, find free moving boxes

Save a little cash and acquire all the boxes you need for free. Best places: the ‘free’ section on Craigslist, grocery and clothing stores, and warehouse-style stores.

 

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2. Purge your stuff

Now that you’re sorting through all your things, it’s a perfect time to see what can be donated or chucked altogether! Make an effort to pare down your possessions so your move will be a little easier and your new home will be a bit less cluttered.

3. Create a schedule so you don’t get overwhelmed

Plan ahead! Don’t forget to defrost, towel dry, and clean your refrigerator 24-48 hours before moving day. Otherwise, it’ll be pretty stinky and leaky!

4. Take pics of your electronics before you unplug

Before you disconnect them to be boxed up, take a picture on your phone or camera of the cords on the back of your television and other electronics so that you can remember where they all go! This will save you a ton of time when you set it up again.

5. Put hanging clothes in garbage bags

Keep your clothes on the hanger, but wrapped up. When you get to your new abode, simply take off the garbage bags. Don’t forget to label so you know whose stuff is whose!

 

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6. Pack a first-night box

Most people don’t think to do this, and end up rummaging through several boxes on moving day to get their pajamas or the coffee maker. Pack yourself a “first night” box with all your toiletries, some clothes, and anything you’ll need the following morning such as dishes and silverware or your hair-dryer.

7. Safely pack your plates

Since they’re already plate-shaped, foam disposable plates are awesome for packing your real plates. Put them in between each plate in your stack before you pack it all up. Plus, you can totally class up the cheap comfort food you’ll want to get after you’ve finally unpacked your last box some day.

8. Plastic Wrap Your Drawers — With Everything Inside

Use plastic wrap to keep dressers drawers shut when the moving truck jostles them about, or for trays of items that would be just fine staying in the trays as long as they didn’t fall out. Plus, you can leave its contents in there, since the drawers no longer have a risk of sliding open!

 

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9. Use Wine Cases For Your Glassware

There’s bound to be a local bar, winery, or even some grocery stores that have empty wine cases you can snag. Keeps your glasses organized and it’s easy to stuff some newspaper and such in each compartment so there’s some padding to protect them.

10. Don’t Mix Items From Different Rooms

Keep items from one room in boxes separate from the others, it’ll save your sanity when you finally unpack.

Click here for more tips on how to survive moving day.

 

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30,000 Reasons to Invest in a Rental Property

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Claiming the New Residential Rental Property Rebate

 

As its name implies, the new residential rental property rebate is for owners and landlords of new residential rental property and can amount to $30,000.

 

Typically, landlords are not able to claim any good and services tax or harmonized sales tax on their returns for amounts they paid or that were payable on the purchase of residential property.

 

This is because residential properties are exempt from GST. However, the new residential rental property rebate may allow you to claim some GST and/or the federal percentage of HST.

  

Qualifying

 

The first people to occupy the new residential rental property must be tenants; these first occupants cannot include the landlord.

 

The rebate must be claimed with the government — not obtained from the builder — by way of application to the Canada Revenue Agency after closing on the property.

 

To qualify, you must have paid the GST/HST on a purchase of a new or substantially renovated housing complex in a residential building.

 

Each residential unit for which you are claiming an NRRP rebate has to be a qualifying residential unit.

 

Complete the Qualifying residential unit test to determine if your unit qualifies.

  

How to Claim the NRRP Rebate

 

You can make an application within two years after the property closes or sells. All applicants must complete Form GST524, GST/HST New Residential Rental Property Rebate Application.

 

Depending on the specific situation for which you qualify, you may need to complete additional forms and applications. Send all of these applications to the CRA along with any supporting documents that the forms request.

 

If you receive the rebate and then sell the residence within one year, you may have to repay the rebate unless you sell it to a person who occupies it as his principal residence.

 

http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pub/gp/rc4231/rc4231-e.html#P292_38539

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Alberta Rebounds, Condo Investments Are Sound

“The worst is in the rear-view mirror,” says a recently released report from TD Economics, referring to Alberta’s economic downturn since late 2014.

 

The BMO Blue Book report for October forecasts 2.3 per cent growth in Alberta next year — second only to B.C.’s mark of 2.5 per cent.

 

Last month, TD Economics forecasted that the province’s real GDP would grow by 2.2 per cent in 2017 and 2.3 per cent in 2018. (www.cbc.ca/news)
The report indicates that oil prices will continue to rebound, paving the way for growth in overall investment.

 

This, as Edmonton’s condo market boasts several new development offerings while interest rates remain as low as 2.29%. (source: TD Bank- October 2016)

 

September’s average price of single family homes was $430,461, while average prices for re-sale condos were $251,365. (ereb.com/news)

 

For new condos at an average selling price of $300,000, monthly mortgage payments can fall under $1000 /month, less than the average renter is currently being charged in the Edmonton Metropolitan Area. As Alberta’s economy rebounds, condo investments are sound.

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“We are moving into the quieter real estate months with a healthy inventory, strong prices and slower listings and sales,” said Steve Sedgwick, Chair of the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton. “It continues to be a good time to buy. We usually see less inventory coming into winter months, so it is beneficial for buyers to have a respectable selection and reassuring for sellers to see continued stability in average sale prices.”

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26 REASONS TO CHOOSE #YEG

1. IT’S A GREENER PLACE THAN YOU THINK

Where’s the largest expanse of urban parkland in Canada? Nope, it’s not in Vancouver. Edmonton’s North Saskatchewan River valley parks system takes that title with a total of 7,300 hectares (you could fit about 18 Stanley Parks in there, if you squashed them). In fact, 20 back-to-back parks make up the system, which spans along both sides of the river (itself winding through the middle of the city), making this capital a whole lot greener and natural than you may have thought.

2. THEY TAKE FESTIVALS VERY SERIOUSLY

Edmontonians will throw a festival at any time of the year, but the summer calendar is especially jam-packed. From the Fringe Festival to the Folk Festival, the Pride Festival to K-Days, the Shakespeare Festival to theSymphony Under the Sky — there’s no shortage of reasons to let the good times roll.

3. EDMONTON IS GAINING WORLDWIDE CRED

National Geographic included Edmonton in its list of the “Best Summer Trips for 2015” — the only Canadian entry — praising the city for its endless festivals (see above), eclectic neighbourhoods and one-of-a-kind restaurants. 10Best also listed Edmonton as a go-to city for fun and adventure.

4. BEAUTY SUMMER DAYS APLENTY

Edmonton is one of the country’s sunniest cities, and its northern location means it gets some really lengthy summer days. On the longest day of the year, the sun rose at 5:04 a.m. and didn’t set again until 10:07 p.m.

5. FIFA HAS PUT THE CITY ON THE MAP

An unlikely place for soccer records, Edmonton briefly held one for the largest crowd watching a Canadian national team in Canada, ever, in any sport. In mid-June 2015, 53,058 soccer fans watched Canada take on (and beat) China in the FIFA Women’s World Cup tournament opener. Vancouver swiped the record from them a couple of weeks later with a 53,855-strong crowd at the Canada-Switzerland game, but for a while there, Edmonton set the bar pretty high for the rest of the country.

6. THEY’RE SETTING UP A MASSIVE SLIP ‘N’ SLIDE IN THE CITY

A ginormous 1,000-foot-long slip ‘n slide will be set up on a hill in the middle of the city in the middle of July, because that’s totally what every city should be doing. A single slip on the slide costs $15 and a full-day pass costs $45 — you just need to bring your own inner tube.

Slide the City

7. EDMONTONIANS ARE A RESOURCEFUL BUNCH

Make Something Edmonton is a grassroots organization that brings creative types together to share resources and show off their projects, which range from community gardens to an app that helps with garbage disposal.

8. NO, THEY  THE NORTH

Toronto may throw around the “We The North” slogan, but Edmonton lives it. While the rest of Canada’s major cities hang out about as close to the 49th parallel as possible (or even lower) Edmonton hangs out way up at the 53rd. Sure, that makes for slightly longer winters but it also makes for pretty respectable bragging rights.

9. IT’S WHERE THE BUFFALO’S COUSINS ROAM

Elk Island National Park is just 35 kilometres east of the city and it’s a great spot to watch bison in the wild. They’re the biggest land animals you can find on the whole continent.

10. IT’S SURROUNDED BY GIANTS

In Alberta, it ain’t a road trip until you’ve pulled over to take your photo next to a giant replica something or another. And the Edmonton area has a ton of those. There’s a giant baseball bat, a giant milk bottle, a massive Stanley Cup, a huge cowboy boot, an oversize badminton racket and, of course, a massive pair of shoes and stockings. Not far out of the city you can also find a giant mallard, a giant Easter egg, the world’s largest pierogi (see below) and a giant sausage.

Panoramio

11. THEIR BAKED GOODS GOT THE BUZZFEED STAMP OF APPROVAL

Dutchess Bakery prides itself on baking only from scratch with some of the world’s finest ingredients. The end result is a mouth-watering collection of sweets, for which BuzzFeed dubbed them “arguably the best bakery in Canada.”

12. THEY KNOW ECO

The relatively new Metterra hotel in funky Old Strathcona is the biggest hotel in Canada entirely powered by green electricity, generated entirely from renewable energy sources. Take that, oil sands.

13. THREE WORDS: SKATE TO WORK

(Coming soon, maybe.)

14. THEY HAVE A UFO LANDING PAD

Yes. It’s true. In St. Paul, the municipality a couple hours’ drive away from Edmonton, you can find the world’s first UFO landing pad, built in 1967 to “attract both visitors and Martians to the municipality.” Right…

Al Hunt via Flickr

15. YOU CAN TAKE THE TRAIN THERE

Via Rail service is pretty sparse in western Canada, and while you’d think they’d head straight across the country via Calgary, the rail line actually goes up through Edmonton to Jasper, Alberta, and onto Vancouver.

16. THERE’S A BRAND NEW PROVINCIAL MUSEUM IN THE WORKS

And you thought moving a one-bedroom apartment was bad. The Royal Alberta Museum is packing up its worldly goods and moving downtown into a brand new building with double the space and new wings to show off more of Alberta’s natural history. In December 2015, the current museum will close to make the transition to its new digs, scheduled to open late 2017. Patience!

17. THEY’VE GOT THE LONGEST CONTINUOUSLY RUNNING JAZZ CLUB IN CANADA

Yardbird Suite has been keeping the city’s hepcats entertained since 1957. It’s also entirely volunteer-run, which means the music is the priority here.

18. THERE’S A RUBIK’S CUBE EXHIBITION COMING

Whether you’ve conquered Rubik’s Cube or have given up forever, this exhibition at Edmonton’s Telus World of Science will leave you with more appreciation for the simple-looking toy. Learn about its early days in Communist-era Hungary and meet a robot that can solve the cube in a matter of seconds.

19. RESTAURANTS ARE MAKING WAVES

The four-year-old Rge Rd, a.k.a. Range Road, has already made it onto EnRoute magazine’s list of top restaurants across the country and is wowing locals and visitors with its whole-animal approach to farm-fresh cooking.

20. TWO WORDS: BACON FESTIVAL

Yep, they’ve got a festival for that, too.

21. FANTASYLAND STILL EXISTS!

The West Edmonton Mall may be aging beyond its glory days but it’s still home to the Fantasyland Hotel, where you can choose from 120 themed rooms, including the Princess, Polynesian, Roman, Igloo and African. Also, never forget the West Edmonton Mall whale, which is making its triumphant return soon.

West Edmonton Mall

22. THEY’RE ALWAYS THINKING ABOUT MAKING THE CITY BETTER

You know you’ve got a happy city when locals come together one day just because it feels good. On the longest day of the year, June 21, Edmontonians took to the streets to make their city even better as part of the #DIYCity initiative. There were random public art installations, impromptu concerts, community kite flying, craft sessions, free yoga and more.

23. THE CITY IS PROUD OF ITS PRIDE

To mark this year’s Pride Festival in Edmonton, city workers painted rainbows across three intersections in Old Strathcona, and there’s already a petition to keep them there permanently.

24. THEY HAVE THE BIGGEST PIONEER VILLAGE IN THE COUNTRY

Head back in time at Canada’s largest living history museum (a fancy way of saying a place where people dress up in old-timey costumes and talk about the good ol’ days). Fort Edmonton Park covers the early days of the fort, which was established in 1759, and travels all the way up until the 1920s.

25. THEY KNOW A CHAMP WHEN THEY SEE ONE

Wayne Gretzky is still Edmonton’s golden boy. The Great One helped the Edmonton Oilers win four of their five Stanley Cups back in the ’80s. When the team won its fifth cup, the year after he was traded to LA, the city erected a life-sized bronze statue of the guy even though he never played for the city again.

26. AND THEY STAND BY THEIR TEAM

While much of the rest of the country likes to rib on the Oilers, they’re the second-last Canadian team to win a Stanley Cup, so maybe the team’s very dedicated fan base has good reason to keep the faith. As a reward, the team has a brand new arena in the works for the 2016-17 season. Don’t worry, Bronze Gretzky is coming, too.

Source: 

JUL 5

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Ottawa Helps First-Time Buyers

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First-time buyers have several options when it comes to financing and mortgaging their new home. Withdrawing funds from your RRSP, receiving GST tax credits, and extended amortization programs are just a few options available to qualified applicants. For more information about these services and others, visit the links listed below or contact our mobile mortgage specialist, Ani Lika, for complimentary consultation and strategy services.

 

 

HOME BUYERS PLAN
http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/hbp/

 

GST REBATE ON NEW HOMES FOR FIRST-TIME BUYERS
http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/hbtc/

 

CMHC MORTGAGE LOAN INSURANCE PREMIUM REFUND

https://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/co/buho/

 

MORTGAGE ADVICE

http://mms.tdcanadatrust.com/ani.lika/

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