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Will You Be Affected By the NDP Speculation Tax?

*Photo provided by the Government of British Columbia

As the B.C. NDP move forward with legislation approving implementation of their controversial speculation tax, many residents are left wondering if they’ll be on the hook for yet another home ownership cost.


B.C.’s finance minister, Carol James is in charge of the legislation, and has gone on say that “Only those who own multiple properties and leave them empty in major cities will be asked to contribute. People with cottages at the lake, or cabins, or the islands, will not pay this tax. People with second homes outside of high-cost urban areas will not pay the tax.”


The speculation tax is based on a percentage of the property value, and ranges from 0.5% to 2% depending on various conditions. B.C. residents with vacant properties will continue to be charged the lowest rate (0.5%), with a higher rate to Canadian property owners who aren’t B.C. residents, and highest rate (2%) applied to international property owners.


What Do Party Leaders Think?

British Columbia’s politicians have weighed in, and they’re not all happy. “This is the height of NDP arrogance and hypocrisy. Our goal is to defeat this bill because it is a phony tax. It accomplishes nothing except to grab revenue for the NDP.” said Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson.


B.C. Green Party Andrew Weaver has expressed concern over the bill as well, taking a more measured approach.


“I still have concerns that Canadians are not being treated equally and that there is an insufficient role for local governments in determining what happens in their communities,” Weaver said in a statement.


While the Liberal and NDP leaders seem united in their concern over the tax, the Green Party’s history of siding with the NDP minority government has many apprehensive that the party’s passive allegiance will see this bill become law.


“We’re considering everything, but right now we are negotiating with the government to improve municipal input,” Weaver said. “We have a good working relationship with the NDP.”


Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson was unimpressed. “That’s classic Andrew Weaver,” Wilkinson said. “He talks tough, but then he always supports the government.”


A collaboration between the two parties could easily lead to a defeat of this bill, but with the state of politics in the province today, it seems likely that British Columbians will be left holding the bag for another home ownership tax.


For more on this story, as well as great giveaways, be sure to follow VictoriaHomes.com on Facebook here!

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Pre-Qualified vs. Pre-Approved – What’s the Difference?

The home buying process can begin one of two ways: finding a house you love and hoping you can afford it, or talking to a mortgage broker about what you can afford, and using that information to find a great house. I bet you can guess which path leads to happy people and which leads to headaches.

Shopping for a home is exciting, I get it, but there’s nothing worse than having your offer accepted, only to have it all fall apart because you didn’t have your ducks in a row.

Many people go into a home buying situation thinking that if a lender has pre-qualified them, they have been pre-approved for a loan. These two terms sound similar, but have a completely different meaning.

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Victoria Ranked 2nd Best City in Canada for Millennials

According to housing portal Point2 Homes, Victoria is a “magnet city for young, educated Canadians.” The site released its “Top Millennial Hot Spots in 2018”, ranking 85 cities Canada wide, including smaller cities as well as major metropolis areas like Toronto and Vancouver.


Coming in at #2, just behind Quebec City, Victoria is a favourite amongst younger Canadians for a variety of reasons, including climate, life satisfaction, and “the second highest percentage of millennials in the country.”


Our sunny capital placed #1 in Climate and Life Satisfaction categories, ranked low in unemployment, and has an exceptionally educated population.


“Victoria is growing and changing,” said city Mayor Lisa Helps. Continue reading

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8 Real Estate Hacks Everyone Should Know

1. Hire the Best People

This one will depend on your situation, but the principle applies everywhere. If your home is ready to sell this will just mean finding the best agent in your area to sell it for you. “The best agent” isn’t necessarily the highest selling agent in your area (although that’s a good place to start). Check out their reviews, their photography and videography work, and call or meet a few different realtors to see if their personality is a good fit.

If your property has potential, but needs some TLC, find the best developer to help you get extra value from your property, or the best investor to purchase it as-is. This also means finding the best mortgage advisor (hint: it’s not always the one at your bank) if you plan on getting a loan.

Finding exceptional people is always worth the time and the slight increase in cost, especially when it comes to dealing with your home. Real estate is one of those industries where there are exceptional, motivated, creative agents, but there are also plenty of mediocre ones who don’t even like their jobs. Find someone who treats you like family and stick with them. They’ll return the favour by continuing to give 110% and giving you the most value for your money every time.

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City Council Officially Moves to Restrict Airbnb Rentals

BIG news this week for Victoria’s booming Airbnb industry as city council decided to restrict short term vacations rentals across the city.

According to Times Colonist, the City of Victoria had two main factors that influenced this decision:

  • The housing crisis in Victoria (resulting from extremely low vacancy rates)
  • The unfair competitive advantage of Airbnb rentals over the conventional hotel industry

Basement suites and detached suits provide essential housing for families and individuals in the city, and these regulations will ensure that any short-term rentals in the city will be required to have a business license and comply with all city bylaws. Continue reading

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Top 7 Decorating Ideas To Get Your Home Ready For Christmas

I know, I know. It’s not quite December, and that means for some it’s too early to decorate for Christmas, but we can start planning right?

It’s been getting colder every day, and at VictoriaHomes.com we’ve been wearing mittens and sipping on hot chocolate for weeks now, and it’s got us feeling festive! We can’t wait to pick up a Christmas tree and deck our house out in Christmas lights, but for now here’s a little inspiration to get your home ready for the holidays. Continue reading

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New Mortgage Rules Video - VictoriaHomes.com

Dec 31st Mortgage Overhaul

Call Alex – (250) 882-3335

Alex Burns from RE/MAX and VictoriaHomes.com speaks with Jason Chapman from Mortgage Architects about the upcoming changes to mortgage lending rules coming up in December.

This major shift will affect over 80% of Canadians. Listen in as Alex and Jason discuss what this means for you, and how you can be ready for the biggest change to lending rules Canada’s history! Continue reading

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How to Save on New Flooring

If this is your first home renovation, you might not realize how quality flooring can transform an ordinary home into a beautiful one. To save on costs, some homeowners try and get away with the old flooring for as long as possible if it isn’t too worn, or try carpeting over the existing flooring to cover it up.

Putting in low maintenance flooring that will last forever is just fine for a rental property– where your goal is to create as few headaches as possible over the years, but when it comes to your home you’re renovating to increase the value of your property and to create a space that a future buyer will love.

Flooring has the potential to transform a space, but it doesn’t have to break the bank either. Here’s a few tips to help you keep your renovation under budget, while wowing potential buyers and maximizing the value from your investment. Continue reading

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Victoria Unemployment Rising, but 1000’s of Job Postings Available?

Job Boom Continues, but Unemployment Rate Rising

2017 is turning out to be a big year for Victoria, as the city continues to see a boom in economic activity trickling down from the tech industry into real estate, construction, and tourism.

This surge in technology and construction has led to an increase in economic activity, causing Victoria’s unemployment rate to drop to 3.8% in March, which at the time was one of the lowest unemployment rates in Canada. Continue reading

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