Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Update to the Principal Residence Exemption for Canadians

For the 70 per cent of Canadians who own a home, it is a place to live, raise our family, and it connects us to our community.

Due to Canada’s tax system’s Principal Residence Exemption, when we sell our homes, any increased value or “capital gains” are not taxed.

This generous tax break matters to Canadian homeowners. Collectively, we have about $3 trillion in home equity and our homes are often our largest financial asset.

However, starting with our 2016 income tax returns, there are some changes in how homeowners qualify for the Principal Residence Exemption.

Until now, the Canada Revenue Agency has not required Canadians to report on a home sale when during tax season. If you sold your home in 2016 or later, you will need to complete a Schedule 3, Capital Gains of the T1 Income Tax and Benefit Return in order to report your sale.

The good news is that, in terms of taxes, nothing has changed. The same tax benefit is available to anyone who sells their home, provided the property was the principal residence for every year you owned it – even if you use part of your home for business purposes. There is no “new tax” involved – only a requirement that we report the sale details on our tax returns.

So, if there is still no tax to pay, why the extra paperwork?

When it comes to taxes, not everyone plays by the rules. The Principal Residence Exemption is a very generous tax break and it is occasionally misused by those involved in speculative “house flipping” in order to evade taxes on their profits. In these cases, people were claiming the exemption for homes they owned, but may never have lived in. Reporting these sales allows the government to make sure that only eligible homeowners get the benefit that they are entitled to.

So, if you sold you home in 2016, make sure to report the sale when you file your 2016 tax return. You will still get the same tax break and you will help prevent the misuse of this important homeowner tax benefit.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

4 Home Inspection Red Flags

The process of buying a home can be emotionally and physically challenging for many people. During the euphoric stage of making an offer, it’s easy to overlook potential home problems. Especially when you’re consumed with more important issues, such as whether or not the dining table will fit.

During this sensitive time, only seek guidance from trustworthy home inspection professionals with years of experience. And feel free to use the following home inspection checklist to identify any potential red flag areas in what you hope to be your new home.

Foundation Issues
Most experts will tell you that cracks are the red flag to watch for when it comes to foundation issues. We’d agree. While smaller cracks found in concrete generally point to foundation settlement, larger cracks often indicate a more serious problem concerning the structural integrity of your home.

Freshly Painted Walls
Just as we’re recommending you add freshly painted walls to your home inspection checklist, the home seller has likely checked this particular item off of his. Though a new coat of paint doesn’t always signify underlying damage that the seller is trying to cover up – sometimes it is. Pay special attention to any areas which look to be spot-painted.

Questionable Workmanship
Pinterest has made do-it-yourself projects seem incredibly fun and YouTube further encourages us with a plethora of how-to videos. Be mindful of leaky faucets, toilet noises, missing trim work and uneven flooring installation.

Weird Smells
Just as bad smells can be a sign of trouble, so too can good ones! Pleasant smells can sometimes be employed to cover up bad smells. If you spot numerous air freshener plugins, this hints at a possible deeper problem. Of course, the home seller may also love the smell of an air freshener. To find out for sure, contact a home inspection expert.

Certainly, the home inspection can be a stressful part of the home buying process. Even so, identifying current and potential problems allows you to make an educated decision about whether or not to purchase a home. Isn’t that worth a relatively small fee? Most people would say yes.

Is a home inspection with Inspect it All on your home inspection checklist? If so, call (306) 551-3832 or contact us online at

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Why do I need a Home Inspection?

You’ve likely landed on this page because you’re either thinking of making an offer on a home or you’ve just made one. As a potential new homeowner, you owe it to yourself and your pocket book to understand what you’re really getting yourself into. Protecting your investment is the number one reason why you need a home inspection.

When performed by a certified professional like Inspect it All, a home inspection offers an incredible wealth of information. The primary purpose of a home buyer’s inspection is to examine the condition of your potential new home. The job of your home inspector is to point out any relevant details and potential problems a new homeowner may be concerned with. Additionally, your home inspector should offer helpful advice regarding specific home care as well as general maintenance. If you have questions during your home inspection, ask your inspector!

Although the exact length of your home inspection will vary based on the type and size of your residence or property, the average home takes between two and four hours to complete. Although it is an investment of your time, it’s always a great idea to tag along on the home inspection, especially if you’re a first-time home buyer.

No matter where your home inspector starts, they should always follow a check list to ensure nothing is overlooked. Dishwashers, stoves, washing machines and dryers are all common household appliances a home inspector can and will check for performance. Also, they will review the state of your home’s plumbing and mechanical systems to ensure both are working properly. Structural elements such as the roof, walls, windows, attic and doors should also be examined and any issues noted. Your heating and cooling system is last but not least on the home inspection task list.

Upon completion of your home inspection, the inspector should provide you with a time estimate for receiving your report. The home inspection report belongs to whoever purchased it. If you would like your real estate buyer’s agent to have a copy, please provide instructions to do so. Inspect it All will provide the report on the spot at the inspection and will also send an electronic copy if requested.

A professional home inspection will always come with a written report as well as photos. Your report will identify any problems, further specifying which ones are safety issues versus minor defects and major flaws. If any major defects are found during the home inspection, your inspection report can be used as a viable resource for contract negotiation and when making your final decision.

Any items in need of repair or replacement will also be addressed within the report. Finally, your report should include items that are in decent condition at the moment but will require further monitoring.

It’s always worth noting that although a Certified Home Inspector will provide massive valuable information about your potential new home, it can’t tell you everything that might be wrong. No one and nothing can do that. However, for your peace of mind and for no additional cost, our single family home inspections also include services such as a 90 day buy back guarantee and thermal imaging with every inspection!

Are you ready to set up a home inspection? Call (306) 551-3832 or schedule your appointment online!