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Stewart J Lowe & Associates

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The Big Winter Clean out

by Stewart J Lowe & Associates

THE BIG WINTER CLEAN OUT!

  1. Bedrooms
  1. Rotate the Mattress – This will distribute the usage more evenly.
  2. Put on the winter Bedding – Time to put that heavy winter bedding on.
  3. Wash Pillows – Most pillows are machine washable, but they can also be hand washed in a tub.
  4. Clean Ceiling and Walls – This includes air vents, light fixtures, and switch plates.
  5. Dust Your Ceiling Fans – Be careful not to fall if you are using a ladder.
  6. Curtains and Blinds – Wash curtains and dust blinds.
  7. Clean your Closets – Sort through your clothes, shoes, and accessories. Donate what you have not used in the past year. Chances are, if you have not used it in the past year, you will not use it in the future. Also, store your summer clothes.
  8. They say by making space in your Closet you are letting the universe know you are making room for new clothes! 

HAMPTONS NW OPEN HOUSE TODAY 2-4

by Stewart J Lowe & Associates

SATURDAY NOV 25th

227 HAMPTONS TERRACE NW

HAMPTONS OPEN HOUSE SUNDAY 2-4 26th NOVEMBER

by Stewart J Lowe & Associates

http://www.calgarydreamhomes.com/property/227-HAMPTONS-Terrace-NW-Calgary-Alberta

LEST WE FORGET

by Stewart J Lowe & Associates

Winter in Calgary is Here!

by Stewart J Lowe & Associates

Winter is here!

Winter is here in case you hadn’t noticed !  While this may not be something you’re excited about, we need to get on with the reality.  Many homeowners fail to realize the importance of properly winterizing their home before it is too late..

Here in Calgary we have the Chinook Winds so compared to other areas in Canada we may experience a mild winter or a very harsh and cold winter. Maybe there was more berries on the trees this summer and you use it as an indicator, instead of the awesome new Global Weather App (Lots of berries for the birds= harsh winter coming). So you need to winterize your home, like NOW.

So let’s follow the steps below, and greatly increase the chances that you will not have any problems this coming winter.

Outside First

It’s vital to properly winterize the exterior of your home.  There are a variety of tasks that you should complete to make sure you don’t have any problems during the winter months.  Below are some of the most common exterior tasks to complete before the winter.

Look At Your Roof

It’s very important before winter really hits, that you inspect your roof (Pick a nice day before the heavy snow).  A proper roof inspection can provide “peace of mind” and also can help eliminate the chance of a costly repair.

The first decision that you need to make when it comes to a roof inspection is whether you will inspect it yourself, or hire a professional roofing company.  Many of us don’t like even the idea of climbing a ladder to get on the roof while others don’t mind at all. ( I freak out even with the Christmas Lights !)

If you decide to inspect your roof yourself look out for these things: Make sure that all the shingles / tiles are intact and securely attached.  During the cold winter months we often experience high winds, which can ultimately lead to tiles being blown off. Also be on the lookout for holes or cracks in any of the flashing around your roof vents.  Holes or cracks can lead to water leaks inside your home, so it’s important to make sure the flashing is solid and intact on your roof. Roof issues can be costly so ensure that your roof is in good condition 

Clean The Gutters

Blocked gutters are one of the most common culprits of water damage in a home.  To properly winterize your home, it’s important to make sure your gutters are clear of leaves and debris that we have just had in the fall.  Depending on how many trees you have around your home, it’s possible that you may need to clean your gutters more than once a year.

One of the best methods to clean your gutters is to use a small plastic shovel to scoop the leaves and debris out.  Once you’ve cleaned the majority of leaves and debris from your gutters, use a garden hose to flush out the remaining leaves and debris.  Be sure that the water your using to flush any remaining leaves and debris is draining out properly.

If you decide that you don’t want to clean your own gutters, there are several companies in your area that can perform gutter cleaning, for a small amount. The cost can depend on the amount of gutters your home has, and the height of your roof.

Check Central AC Unit

If your home is equipped with a central air conditioning unit, it’s important you properly winterize it.  Central AC is great to have, but can be fairly expensive to repair in the event it’s not properly winterized. Clear all debris away from the unit, including any sticks, leaves, and bushes. Covers on AC units are to eliminate the chance that debris, leaves, or even worse, ice falling inside the unit and causing damage. Finally, switch off the electric box, try not to cover the whole unit because this can trap moisture inside which can lead to problems.

Retire The Lawn Tools

You won’t need your mower or weed wacker tools during the winter, so we suggest that you winterize and store them.  If these are electric powered lawn tools, you need to ensure your tools are kept in a dry place. Even the garage can be a cold place for anything electrical, maybe put them in a corner of the furnace room, if you have space.

Lawn & Patio Furniture

All Lawn and Patio products are designed to be pretty durable.  This doesn’t mean that everything should remain outside all winter to brave the elements!..

Landscaping

A harsh winter can cause a number of issues for your landscaping.  Another task to perform when you winterize the exterior of your home is to properly take care of your garden areas.

One of the first decisions you should make is whether you will have your lawn treated prior to the winter.  There are many products available at your local hardware store for winterizing your lawn that can make a big difference on how your lawn looks after a long winter.

Also it is important to winterize your shrubs and bushes.  It’s suggested to prune your shrubs and bushes in the late fall or early in the winter season.   Since great landscaping is very important when buying a home, it’s worth taking care of your landscaping when it is time to prep it for winter.

Winterize the Interior (cont)

Ok so our last blog dealt with winterizing the outside of your home, so let’s look at the inside.

Drafts

Checking for drafts can save you $$$$ on your homes utility bills, they may be much higher than they should be simply because of drafts? The most obvious places to check for drafts inside your home are the windows and doors. In addition to your windows and doors, be sure to check your plumbing vents, furnace ducts, and of course attic access inspection openings. A good remedy to fix drafts is by using weather stripping. Most big DIY stores stock various types for various jobs.

Check Alarms & Detectors

Your home will remain closed up during the cold winter months, so it is important that your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are clean and working properly. A smoke alarm that has a build up of dust may not function like it should.  Cleaning the covers can be simply done by using a wet rag or paper towel. Maybe phone your alarm company if you have it monitored and ask them to run a test. Most alarms and detectors today do come with a “test” feature that allows you to make sure they are working properly. We also suggest that you replace the batteries on your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors prior to the winter season, unless they are hard wired and don’t require batteries.

Heating System

A major component of a home is the heating system.  The importance of a properly working heating system during the winter months cannot be under estimated.  Have your Filters changed out and your heating system cleaned and inspected, before heading into winter. This will in turn make your home far more efficient. I was advised (after buying expensive filters) to buy the cheaper filters but replace them more often.

Thermostat

If your thermostat isn’t working properly it can lead to the pipes freezing because there was no heat in the home. One very important step as you winterize your home is to make sure your thermostat is working correct.  A simple thing but before testing your thermostat, make sure you replace the battery. My own in-floor heat didn’t come on after the summer and it was only a flat the battery! Of course there are many thermostats available now that are not battery operated, which is preferred.  Many of the non-battery powered thermostats can actually be monitored while away from your home on your Ipad or smart phone.

Reverse Ceiling Fans

Many homeowners don’t realize their ceiling fans are able to be set in different directions. Most ceiling fans have a setting for the warmer months and the colder months. It may seem silly to use a ceiling fan during the winter months but doing so can actually save you money on your utility bills.  While you winterize the interior of your home, make sure your ceiling fans are set in the clockwise direction.  This will create an upward airflow which will decrease the amount of time it takes for the heat to rise and reduces the amount of time your heating system is on. We suggest that you set your fan on low-speed, otherwise, you can create additional drafts in your home.

Stay Warm!

You will enjoy the winter months knowing that you winterized your home, it is as important as the tires on your car! We hope that the above tips on how to winterize your home and increase the chances that your home doesn’t experience any issues or problems during the winter months.

Text or Call 403-850-0669

MAKE SURE YOU GET THE RIGHT MOVING COMPANY

by Stewart J Lowe & Associates

Here are some hints to help you pick the right company.

  • Ask for testimonials from their previous clients.
  • Beware of fly-by-nights , we have a few scary stories.
  • Don’t just pick one off the Internet
  • Remember that you get what you pay for.
  • Ask for a written estimate and contract
  • Make sure they have full insurance coverage
  • Get a copy of their Insurance certificate

Double check that there will be NO extra charges, and what would be the circumstances if there was.

Text or Call if you would like the ones we recommend.   

KHEMKA LAW- Covenant to Restore Title and Indemnify

by Stewart J Lowe & Associates

COVENANT TO RESTORE TITLE AND INDEMNIFY


According to the standard Residential Purchase Contract, the buyer is required to forward Cash to Close (i.e. the final price required to purchase the property after adjustments for taxes, homeowner’s association fees, deposits, etc. are made) to the seller by 12:00 pm on closing day. However, in the event Cash to Close can’t be forwarded to the seller on time, the seller may, but is not obligated to, accept late payment and give the buyer possession on reasonable terms – which includes, but is not limited to, the buyer paying late interest.

If the seller hasn’t received Cash to Close and any associated late interest after 7 days from the adjustment date (generally the closing date) from the buyer and they complied with their obligations within the standard Residential Purchase Contract then they can request the buyer to, among other things:

a. Deliver, at the buyer’s cost, vacant possession of the property back to the seller within 48 hours;

b. Pay for all damages caused to the property by the buyer’s use of it and the costs incurred in providing the seller with vacant possession of the property (i.e. cleaning costs, removal of any goods or chattels, etc.);

c. Pay the costs for all utilities consumed during the buyer’s possession of the property; and

d. Pay costs to register title back into the seller’s name(s) (i.e. Land Titles registration costs, legal fees, etc.).

Conclusion If you have any questions concerning this Tidbit, please do not hesitate to contact Khemka Law or counsel of your choosing. We are always here to assist you and your clients. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Pranav Khemka

Pranav Khemka, Barrister & Solicitor T: (403) 457-9577 | F: (403) 457-9578 E: pkhemka@khemkalaw.com

 

LEGAL: This Thursday Tidbit provides general information only and does not constitute legal advice. Circumstances may vary and no lawyer-client relationship is established from the use or reliance of this information.

 

 

 

SALE OF REAL PROPERTY BY A NON-RESIDENT- Pranav Khemka

by Stewart J Lowe & Associates
The approach taken to sell and convey residential property in Alberta is slightly different for a non-resident of Canada compared to a Canadian resident. These differences and the approaches taken to tackle some of the issues faced by purchasers and non-resident home selling guide are prevalent from the very beginning of the real estate transaction.
The Non-Resident Seller and Their Real Estate Agent
It’s important to note that the standard Residential Purchase Contract (the “Contract”) template is framed for sellers who are residents of Canada. As such, a prudent real estate agent should ascertain the residency status of their clients at the beginning of every professional relationship. If it is found that the seller is a non-resident of Canada, then an agent should advise the client to contact their lawyer and/or accountant to discuss their obligations to report the sale to Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”) and their associated tax implications. Additionally, the agent should advise their client to schedule enough time for the seller to obtain a clearance certificate from CRA by possession date to ensure there aren’t any significant holdbacks upon closing.
The seller will disclose, at the time the Contract is drafted, that they are a non-resident of Canada for income tax purposes by deleting clause 6.1(b) of the Contract and disclosing their true residency status in clause 9.2.
Why and How Does the Seller Deal With CRA
Under Canadian tax legislation, a non-resident seller must report the sale of Canadian real property to CRA for income tax purposes. To do so, the seller must file an application for a clearance certificate (Form T2062) either before the sale of the property or within 10 days after closing. The seller should retain their accountant to fill out Form T2062 on their behalf and compile any other necessary documentation instead of their lawyer since accountants are, generally, more familiar with filling and submitting these types of applications to CRA. It takes roughly 10-12 weeks to obtain a clearance certificate from CRA. It can take longer.
The clearance certificate confirms that CRA has received sufficient payment of taxes for the sale of the property by the non-resident seller and that any remaining sale proceeds can be paid out, accordingly. If the appropriate amount of taxes hasn’t been remitted to CRA, then a clearance certificate will not be issued to the seller. If a clearance certificate hasn’t been issued by closing day, Canadian tax legislation dictates that the purchaser can be liable for the outstanding taxes. As such, the buyer’s lawyer will, generally, request that the seller’s lawyer undertake to holdback enough proceeds from the sale of the home to cover the tax payment. The holdback is usually 25% of the purchase price but can be higher in certain circumstances (i.e. if the property was an income generating property). Since the obligation to pay taxes falls to the purchaser, if a clearance certificate isn’t issued by closing, it is the purchaser’s responsibility to ensure that the sellers have held back enough proceeds to satisfy CRA.
Eventually, the non-resident seller will file a Canadian tax return to recover a portion of the tax liability remitted to CRA. Again, the seller’s accountant should create, file and submit those documents to CRA on their behalf.
The Buyer and Their Real Estate Agent
Canadian income tax legislation requires the buyer to make a “reasonable inquiry as to the residency status of the seller.” Unfortunately, the legislation doesn’t outline what a “reasonable inquiry” entails. Determining the residency status of a seller is extremely complicated and is above and beyond the capabilities of the buyer, their real estate agent and their real estate lawyer. As such, if the buyer obtains signed confirmation from the seller that they are a resident (i.e. not a non-resident) of Canada, then CRA accepts that the buyers have made a reasonable inquiry. This requirement is generally satisfied once the standard Residential Purchase Contract is signed by both parties since clause 6.1(b) of the Contract covers that residency representation. However, lawyers, generally, attach a Residency Certificate to the Transfer of Land as well to cover their bases. But what happens if a dishonest seller misrepresents their residency status to avoid taxes? Are the buyers on the hook for the unpaid taxes?
Buyers aren’t required to examine and verify the seller’s statement that they are a resident of Canada. If the seller represents in writing that they are a resident of Canada then the buyer doesn’t need to worry about withholding taxes from the sale of the property. CRA will go after the dishonest seller to recover any unpaid taxes.
Again, if a seller is found to be a non-resident of Canada then appropriate amendments (outlined above) need to be made to the Contract by the buyer’s real estate agent and the agent should advise their client to contact their lawyer to receive guidance concerning the holdback.
Conclusion
If you have any questions concerning the sale of Canadian real property by a non-resident, please do not hesitate to contact Khemka Law or counsel of your choosing. We are always here to assist you and your clients. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Sincerely,
Pranav Khemka
Pranav Khemka, Barrister & Solicitor T: (403) 457-9577 | F: (403) 457-9578 E: pkhemka@khemkalaw.com
LEGAL: This Thursday Tidbit provides general information only and does not constitute legal advice. Circumstances may vary and no lawyer-client relationship is established from the use or reliance of this information.

Thinking of Moving? We Need To Talk

by Stewart J Lowe & Associates

 


THINKING OF MOVING?   

If you're thinking of making a move within the next few months, there are two important things you need to know.

The first is the market value of your current property. That's the amount your home will likely sell for in today's market. When you know its market value, you'll have a better idea of how much money will be available to invest in a new home.

The second is an overview of what's available on the market. Which of the homes currently available for sale meet your criteria with respect to the type of home, its special features, the neighborhood, etc? How much are these homes selling for?

With those two pieces of information, you'll be able to make a better decision.

Contact us today 403.850.0669

stewartjlowe@gmail.com

Watch CREB® president David P. Brown as he recaps sales activity and the key influencers that shaped September’s housing market.

 

#calgarydreamhomes.com

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Stewart J. Lowe & Associates
Real Estate Professionals Inc
202 5403 Crowchild Trail
Calgary AB T3B 4Z1
Direct: 403-850-0669
Fax: (403) 476-7608