Trusted Tips and Resources

Trusted Tips & Resources

Robert MacKay your Trusted Regina Real Estate Lawyer expert explains how CRA may penalize you if you fail to report it.

MacKay & McLean provides the professional services of a large Regina law firm, with the intimate attention of a small firm. The legal process can be daunting and overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. MacKay & McLean is with you every step of the way.

MacKay &  McLean are TRUSTED REGINA LAWYERS


It’s an exciting time – the old house is sold, the new one is ready, and all that’s left is the move…..oh wait – not quite yet! There's all that legal “stuff” to deal with now….signatures….titles to be given…and pages and pages of documents that need to be signed before the key is in your hand!!! And to top it all off – who really knows a good real estate lawyer?

Robert MacKay your Trusted Regina Real Estate Lawyer expert explains how CRA may penalize you if you fail to report it.

Reporting the sale of a principal residence was unnecessary before 2016, the year the federal government announced a series of steps designed to slow the housing market down and close housing-related tax loopholes. Some people used the previous lack of scrutiny of gains from the sale of a home to their advantage, including investors flipping homes, and others who owned both a cottage and a house and weren’t conscientious about declaring which was a principal residence.

CRA says that if you forget to report the sale of a principal residence, you’ll need to amend your tax return for that year as soon as possible. Late reporting may be accepted in some cases, but it’s possible you’ll have to pay a penalty equal to the lesser of $8,000 or $100 for each complete month you’re late in reporting.

In most cases, you won't pay tax on the money you make from selling your home if it was your principal residence every year since you bought it.

If you sold property in 2017 or after that was, at any time, your principal residence, you must report the sale on Schedule 3, Capital Gains (or Losses) corresponding with the tax year and Form T2091(IND), Designation of a Property as a Principal Residence by an Individual (Other Than a Personal Trust). 

According to CRA here is why you must report the sale.

For the sale of a principal residence in 2016 and subsequent years, we will only allow the principal residence exemption if you report the disposition and designation of your principal residence on your income tax return. If you forget to make this designation in the year of the disposition, it is very important to ask us to amend your income tax return for that year. Under proposed changes, we will be able to accept a late designation in certain circumstances, but a penalty may apply.

Once you have committed to either buying or selling your property, simply tell your realtor and lender, as applicable, that Robert MacKay will be representing you and to forward the appropriate instructions to MacKay & McLean, attention "Robert MacKay". 

Robert MacKay's team provides professional, personalized service and with their assistance, you can rest assured that your real estate transactions will be handled with the utmost consideration and care.

They  provide a full range of legal services including:

  • Real Estate & Mortgages
  • Wills & Estates
  • Family Law & Divorce
  • Commercial & Corporate Law
  • Litigation & Personal Injury

ROBERT Mackay is your TRUSTED REGINA REAL ESTATE LAWYER!



Trusted Regina Mortgage Broker Skott Enns shares a tip on renewing your mortgage.

Get free expert mortgage advice from a multi-award-winning Regina mortgage broker. Skott Enns is a Trusted Regina Mortgage Broker and he is fully committed to helping clients find the best option that suits their financial goals. His mission isn’t to simply help you get a mortgage with the best mortgage rates, he wants to help you figure out a plan to pay off your mortgage as quickly as possible! In his latest Regina mortgage tip, he shares some great advice on mortgage renewal! 


Mortgage Renewal Time?

If you have a mortgage, at some point it will come up for renewal (unless of course, you are really close to paying it off, and in that case – congratulations!!!). When this happens, it is important for you to know your options, so that you are not leaving money on the table or putting yourself in a situation that could cost you money down the road.

There are two primary reasons that you may want to leave your existing lender: rate being the primary one, and sometimes you may simply be unhappy with the service (or lack of) that your existing lender is providing to you.

Approximately 65% of clients will simply sign the first mortgage renewal form offered to them by their existing lender when. No questions asked. That is a mistake, and often a costly one. Don’t get me wrong, the easiest thing for you to do is to sign that form. No requalification, no additional questions, things just keep humming right along… but here is the thing: the banks are also aware of the fact that two-thirds of clients will ‘just sign’, and guess what… the higher the interest rate they can get you to pay, the more money they make.


How often do you think they will have your best interests at heart when renewing your mortgage?


Negotiating a Better Offer Upon Your Mortgage Renewal

The reality is that at the end of that term, you are indeed a free agent! Get out there and play the field. Here is how I would recommend doing that.

Ask Your Existing Lender To Come To The Table With Their Best Rate

Again, there is no doubt that the easiest thing to do IS to stick with your existing lender, and if they are offering a competitive rate, then my advice will always be to stay there. However until you know what they are willing to do for you, it is difficult to determine what the best course of action is.

Call A Mortgage Broker

As a Mortgage Broker, we work with an array of lenders: big banks, credit unions, mortgage finance companies, private lenders etc. Once you have a rate from your existing lender, your Mortgage Broker will be able to run through the mortgage products that the various lenders are offering, and figure out whether or not you would save money by switching lenders. Once we are within 120 days of your mortgage coming up for renewal, if there is a better rate out there for you, we can lock it in. One other reason to avoid signing blindly is that life happens, and situations change… if you just got out of a 5-year fixed term, but have a growing family and recognize that you will likely be upgrading your home in less than two years, perhaps it makes more sense for you to consider a shorter fixed-term or a variable term (where the penalty for breaking that term is only a 3-month interest penalty). A Mortgage Broker will help you to work through all of these scenarios.

 

A Quick Requalification

In the event that you can save money by switching lenders, it is important to realize that you will need to requalify. However, in most cases, assuming your financial situation is similar or better than what it was when you first obtained the last mortgage, this shouldn’t be a big deal. Typically, you will require the following documentation:

  • A letter of employment confirming position, salary, and full-time/part-time status
  • A recent paystub
  • A copy of a recent mortgage/renewal statement from your existing lender
  • A copy of your house insurance policy
  • A copy of your property tax bill ensuring payments are up to date
  • A void cheque or PAD form for the bank account where you would like your new mortgage to come out of

Other Points to Consider When Renewing Your Mortgage

Please recognize that every mortgage is different, and if you are self-employed, a part-time employee, own rental properties or something a little outside the norm, additional documentation may be requested, but the above list will cover the majority of the paperwork. Clearly, it may take a little bit of time to gather these documents. It is up to you whether or not you believe it is worth it.

If I can save you $5,300 (a recent real-life example) over the next 5 years through lower payments and interest savings, is it worth spending 2-3 hours collecting a little information? In my eyes, you are making $1,766 per hour if it takes you three hours…. Now there are a LOT of things that I would do if I was paid $1,766/hr to do them, even if they are not my favourite! I would teach myself to snowboard. I would eat plates of raw oysters. I would shop at Walmart. And I would definitely collect void cheques and paystubs if it meant I could save that kind of cash.

When switching lenders, there may or may not be fees involved. Discharge fees, appraisal fees, ‘legal’ fees can all be part of the switching process, HOWEVER, in many cases, these fees can be covered by the new lender. Again, best to discuss these options with your Mortgage Broker, and see what they can do to save you money.


One final point about moving lenders… 

Since October 2016 there has been a substantial rule change that has come into effect which does make it more difficult to qualify for purchasing a home today. That is the truth and there is no getting around it. However, if you are simply renewing your mortgage with a different lender, although you DO have to re-qualify, you have grandfathered in under the pre-October 2016 guidelines… which is great news, and ensures that you have a much better chance of being able to move lenders if it makes sense to do so.

If you are looking for honest, unbiased advice from a mortgage broker in Regina Skott Enns would love to talk with you!   

Skott Enns is a Trusted Regina Mortgage 



Trusted Regina Real Estate Lawyer Robert MacKay warns about the potential implications of renting your property.

When looking to buy, sell, or refinance a property, you need to hire somebody who is not a stranger to addressing the real estate needs of individuals and families. Robert MacKay is the man to call. ROBERT MacKay is your TRUSTED REGINA REAL ESTATE LAWYER!


Our Trusted Regina Real Estate Lawyer Robert MacKay want's to ensure Landlords are fully aware of the financial and legal issues that can arise from criminal activity conducted by a tenant.  

A recent article from the Star Phoenix "Regina landlords lose bid to make insurer pay for drug-house explosion" details how a local landlord attempted to gain compensation for the home from the insurance company.  The insurance company had denied their claim and pointed to a 2003 notice posted in a renewal package that stated simply: “We do not insure property used for the illegal cultivating, harvesting, processing, manufacturing, distributing or selling of marijuana.”

Even though the landlords claimed they took all reasonable steps to screen the tenant and his partner, who had children and were otherwise “model tenants.” There was simply no way for them to know the tenants were surreptitiously running an illegal drug operation in the home, they argued.  However, Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Richard Elson rejected those arguments stating "changes to the policy were hardly “buried.” They came highlighted in a special box on the front page of the renewal form". Further, he noted that renting always carries an element of uncertainty — and landlords should be prepared for the worst.


How can a landlord limit responsibility for a crime committed by strangers on the rental property?

Screen tenants carefully and choose tenants who are likely to be law-abiding and peaceful citizens. Weed out violent or dangerous individuals to the extent allowable under privacy and anti-discrimination laws that may limit questions about a tenant's past criminal activity.

  • Don't accept cash rental payments.
  • Do not tolerate tenants' disruptive behaviour. Include an explicit provision in the lease or rental agreement prohibiting drug dealing and other illegal activity and promptly evict tenants who violate the clause.
  • Be aware of suspicious activity, such as heavy traffic in and out of the rental premises.
  • Respond to tenant and neighbour complaints about drug dealing on the rental property. Get advice from police immediately upon learning of a problem.
  • Consult with security experts to do everything reasonable to discover and prevent illegal activity on the rental property.
As in this case, screening doesn't always help it can limit the possibility of being denied by your insurance company.  Ultimately the liability falls on the property owner to be aware of the possible issues that can arise from criminal activity.  

Before you decide to rent out a property consult with a lawyer such as Robert MacKay to be certain that you are aware of all the potential legal implications and your options.  

For more questions and help with any legal property issues consult with our Trusted Regina Real Estate Lawyer Robert MacKay

Robert MacKay's team provides professional, personalized service and with their assistance, you can rest assured that your real estate transactions will be handled with the utmost consideration and care.

They  provide a full range of legal services including:

  • Real Estate & Mortgages
  • Wills & Estates
  • Family Law & Divorce
  • Commercial & Corporate Law
  • Litigation & Personal Injury

ROBERT Mackay is your TRUSTED REGINA REAL ESTATE LAWYER!


Full article:

Trusted Regina tip on eco-friendly renovations

 

Go eco-friendly with your home renovation:

 

 

 

Being kind to the environment is on the minds of many these days. If you’re planning a renovation at your home this summer, there are many ways that you can reduce your carbon footprint and maybe even save some money. Here are some tips for “greening” up your reno:

Buy local – Choose suppliers that are close to your home and who sell local products to help reduce the carbon emissions that are produced during transportation.

Follow the three ‘R’s – Reduce, reuse and recycle! Before shelling out the big bucks to buy brand new, check out online classified ads, antique stores, flea markets or locate a Habitat for Humanity ReStore in your community. You can find everything from sinks to lighting fixtures, paint, windows, lumber and more at a ReStore – the stock is constantly changing. As an added bonus, you can feel good knowing that your money will go toward building a home for a well deserving family!

 

 

 

Choose Energy Star rated appliances – Upgrading appliances to Energy Star rated models can save you up to 40 percent annually on your electric bill. Keep an eye on the labels when shopping for refrigerators, ovens, dishwashers, washers and dryers to determine if they are Energy Star rated.

Go low with paint – Low VOC, that is. Did you know that the typical household paint contains more than 10,000 chemicals? Some are quite hazardous, particularly volatile organic compounds or VOCs. Many popular paint manufacturers now offer low and zero VOC products, so choose wisely. Low VOC paints are typically around the same price point as standard paints so it just makes sense to make the switch!

 

 

Eco-friendly insulation – During a major reno when studs are exposed, it’s probably in your best interest to replace the insulation, particularly in an older home. First you’ll need to find out the R-value of your current insulation – this is a measure of thermal resistance, or how much heat passes through the insulation. Visit the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation website at http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca for a handy chart explaining the many types of insulation on the market and their R-value.

 

 

Robert MacKay Trusted Regina Real Estate Lawyer shares Pilot Butte homeowner legal issues

It’s an exciting time – the old house is sold, the new one is ready, and all that’s left is the move…..oh wait – not quite yet!! There’s all that legal “stuff” to deal with now….signatures….titles to be given…and pages and pages of documents that need to be signed before the key is in your hand!!! And to top it all off – who really knows a good real estate lawyer?

MacKay and McLean provides the professional services of a large Regina law firm, with the intimate attention of a small firm. The legal process can be daunting and overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. MacKay & McLean is with you every step of the way.

MacKay and McLean are TRUSTED REGINA LAWYERS

Pilot Butte homeowner considers lawsuit over backyard drainage ditch:

REGINA – Stephanie Gabber’s excitement over buying a new home in Pilot Butte quickly wore off when she tried to develop her backyard and found a drainage ditch running through the property.

“Had I known, I would never have bought here, ever,” she said.

Gabber bought the home in May. She planned to put up a fence and lay down sod. When she started the work, she was told to stop because it would interfere with the easement.

“I bought it (the property) so my dogs could play, my kids could play. That’s not what I have.”

Gabber said the easement wasn’t disclosed to her before buying the property.

The town said it’s a registered land title, but admitted to a discrepancy with Gabber’s property lines on the Saskatchewan Land Surveyor’s Real Property Report.

Water works manager, Chaun McCurdy, said the town is moving the ditch one meter closer to the edge of her property, but unfortunately that’s the best they can do.

“Without it there to catch that water and direct it away, it will eventually go and fill up other people’s backyards,” said McCurdy.

 

 

Robert MacKay with MacKay & McLean Barristers & Solicitors said the situation highlights the importance of having a team in your corner when buying a home. That includes a realtor, lawyer and mortgage broker.

“There’s a lot going on in a transaction and it could be easy to miss,” said MacKay.

He also recommends homeowners always invest in title insurance.

“If you have this old survey and got a newer one that says the easement is here, but it should be here, what does that do to the fair market value of your property? Well, with title insurance you may have a claim,” explained MacKay.

However, Gabber is prepared to go a step further and file a lawsuit against the municipality of Pilot Butte.

“I’m stressed beyond belief. Mentally, it takes a toll. Financially, it takes a huge toll.”

McCurdy said he’s spoken to the land developer and home builder to ensure anyone buying property in the new development is fully aware of the easement.

 Robert MacKay's team provides professional, personalized service and with their assistance, you can rest assured that your real estate transactions will be handled with the utmost consideration and care.

They  provide a full range of legal services including:

  • Real Estate & Mortgages
  • Wills & Estates
  • Family Law & Divorce
  • Commercial & Corporate Law
  • Litigation & Personal Injury

 Mackay and Mclean  TRUSTED REGINA LAWYERS!



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