Buying a home is an exciting time and a significant milestone for many people, but it can also be an intimidating and costly process, particularly for first-time homebuyers. Fortunately, the Canadian government has introduced a new savings account to help prospective homebuyers save for their downpayment. Below, we will share what you need to know about the new First Home Savings Account and other downpayment options for first-time buyers.

What is the First Home Savings Account?

The First Home Savings Account is designed specifically for prospective first-time homebuyers. It's a savings account that offers tax incentives to help prospective home buyers save up for a down payment.

Eligibility Requirements

You need to be a Canadian resident, at…

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Well, it's that time of year when I get to try and predict what's going to happen with the real estate market and check back on last year's prediction. I attended the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton annual forecast last week and the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB®) forecast earlier today, and I have some interesting insights to share with you. But first, let's have a look at my prediction from last year:

"We don't expect the pace of sales to stay ahead of previous years for much longer, we're still dealing with pent-up demand due to extremely low-interest rates and people wanting more space for working and learning from home. The Bank of Canada has committed to keeping rates low for 2021, but the Alberta economy is not expected to get back to…

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Disclaimer This article is not intended to be specific advice, it is recommended that you consult with a tax professional about your specific transaction and circumstances. The tax treatment of a real estate transaction is dependent on the circumstances around how that property was used during the period of ownership. This article is intended to provide some clarity on the general rules that guide the treatment of these transactions.

Sales of Principal Residences

A principal residence is a home that you or a member of your family unit regularly inhabited during the period of ownership. If you, or a member of your family unit, lived in a property it is generally exempt from capital gains tax on the appreciation of that property during the period it…

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Estimating Edmonton renovation costs before you buy.

By Camillo Esposito, Owner of Independent Bath & Renovations: You found a house or a condo in a mature neighbourhood you love but it needs some attention for you to call it home. Established neighbourhoods provide mature trees and landscaping, shopping, a central location and a ton of convenience many people are drawn to. The trade-off is updates and repairs are sometimes required for homes in older neighbourhoods. The challenge becomes, how can remodelling costs be calculated to ensure the combined totals of your mortgage and improvements do not exceed your budget? Ballparking renovations can be a minefield for established contractors as the scope of work is unique…

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We live in the digital age. It seems that everything is getting more intelligent: from phones and TVs to toasters and washing machines. And home devices are part of this technological trend. In this article, Upkeep Media Inc., after successfully working with many property managers, looks at the best smart home devices that attract new tenants and save you money on your rental property.

Why do you need smart home devices?

Smart home devices make life easier both for you and the tenants. There are numerous different products on the market. Some of them are simple gadgets that have only one task. Others are integrated systems offering a futuristic experience of a talking personal assistant. When properly used, smart home devices save time and money while…

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In August the City of Edmonton updated their Secondary Suite zoning bylaws, making it easier for property owners to add a secondary suite to their property. The city expects to see 500 new legal suites in duplex homes, 600 in row-houses and about 550 in homes on small lots around the city, which has greatly increased interest for Secondary Suites in Edmonton’s Real Estate market. Here are the top 3 reasons you should consider adding a secondary suite to your home Income Properties Adding a secondary suite to your property adds a new income stream, increasing your monthly income without requiring more of your time or effort. This money can easily go towards paying down your mortgage, building up your savings or even paying off debt. The decision to…

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On Monday Edmonton city council unanimously voted to approve changes to zoning bylaws allowing suites in semi-detached, duplex and row housing. There is no longer a minimum lot size requirement for secondary suites, which opens up the opportunity to add suites on smaller lots. They also loosened restrictions on the size and location of secondary suites, relative to the primary dwelling. All secondary suites must have one off-street parking space on the property unless the home is in an area with access to high-frequency transit, including 600m from LRT or transit centres, and 150m from transit avenues. One of the benefits of these changes is that many suites that currently exist illegally in semi-detached homes around the city can be legalized. In…

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On Monday, August 20, City Council will be voting on whether to approve changes to the Zoning Bylaw to make building secondary suites (basement suites) easier in Edmonton. The proposed changes are extensive and would allow secondary suites to built:

  • on small lots
  • in semi-detached, duplex and row housing
In addition, the regulations overall are being simplified, giving secondary suites more flexibility in size and configuration. The changes should make it easier to build, and legalize suites, and ultimately lead to more housing choices for all Edmontonians. There are already suites in semi-detached homes all over the city, they're just not legal. I hope these changes are approved so owners can legalize these suites leading to safer living…

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Considered long overdue by many, there are changes proposed to the condominium property act in Alberta that may arrive sometime in the not too distant future. We first wrote about the proposed changes on this blog in June, 2011. The government is looking for changes and open houses have been scheduled in the coming months as follows:

  • July 25, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. – Red Deer, Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery
  • July 26, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m – Calgary, Macdonald Hall, Heritage Hall Building, SAIT Main Campus
  • July 27, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. – Edmonton, Lister Centre, University of Alberta
  • Aug. 1, 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. – Lethbridge, City Hall Foyer
  • Aug. 3, 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. – Fort McMurray, Clubhouse Atrium, Syncrude Athletic Park
There are more…

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Building a deck will enhance your outdoor living space by giving you a place to relax, dine, entertain and spend time as a family. Building a deck will increase your own personal enjoyment of your yard and will also enhance the value of your home. Photo credit: Alberta Vinyl Decking & Railing Ltd. Here are some reasons why you should build a deck:

Increase your property value.

If you think you’d enjoy having a new deck, you can assume potential buyers would feel the same way. An outdoor living space is attractive to buyers, can help you sell your home faster and will increase your property value. According to Remodelling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report for 2017, you can expect to recoup over 71% of the cost of building your deck. The numbers of…

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