Home renovation tax credit deadline looms but there may still be time for you

The opportunity to take advantage of Canada’s Home Renovation Tax Credit expires at midnight on January 31. Obviously, the clock has run out when it comes to hiring a contractor but a quick trip to your favorite home renovation store might be in order if home improvements are part of your plan over the next few months. Items purchased before the close of business this Sunday may qualify for a 15% tax credit up to $1,350.

More info here.

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.  All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email.

Real estate geeks can follow our daily updates on Twitter @norm_fisher.

Our Saskatoon home search tool offers MLS listings represented by all real estate brands, presented with more detail than you’ll find anywhere else. Check it out here.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

Reduce energy costs and emissions while increasing the resale value of your home

Installing a high-efficiency furnace in your home is certainly good for the environment, and it’s also good for the household budget, in some cases reducing energy costs by more than thirty percent. In fact, according to SaskEnergy, “upgrading your heating equipment is the best improvement you can make to save energy and money.”

The chart below demonstrates potential savings derived from the installation of a high-efficiency furnace, based on average home owner’s use of natural gas and electricity in Saskatchewan. Electrical costs are based on continuous operation of the furnace motor during the winter months and utility rates that were effective on June 1, 2009. Actual savings may vary based on a number of variables.

In addition to the energy savings that you’ll see through the use of a more efficient heating appliance there are several other opportunities for savings when you upgrade.

•    There is no provincial sales tax payable on “ENERGY STARqualified furnaces and boilers.
•    You could qualify for an upgrade grant of up to $1,420 through the Saskatchewan EnerGuide for Houses Retrofit Grant Program.
•    According to ENERGY STAR, a programmable thermostat can further reduce energy consumption costs by as much as $180 a year, plus you can qualify for an additional $15 rebate with the Programmable Thermostat Rebate from SaskEnergy.
•    The ENERGY STAR Loan Program provides financing at prime plus 2% on approved credit. *
•    The cost of your new high-efficiency furnace qualifies for the Federal Home Renovation Tax Credit and could increase your saving by hundreds of dollars.

If all of that isn’t enough to convince you, here’s an added bonus; a high-efficiency heating system will increase the resale value of your home and make it more attractive to a growing number of energy conscious home buyers.

* Visit the SaskEnergy website for full details including terms and conditions.

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.  All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email.

If you live in Saskatoon we’d sure appreciate hearing your comments about your neighbourhood. Please visit our “Saskatoon Neighbourhoods” page and let us know what you love about your community.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

Saskatoon Trades and Skills Centre to undergo major expansion

The trades training centre at Mount Royal Collegiate will undergo a $3.6 million dollar expansion in a joint effort between the federal and provincial government according to a story on the Star Phoenix website. Nearly $3.2 million dollars in funding will be provided by Western Economic Diversification Canada while the province contributes roughly $366,000.

“In order to ensure we continue our economic growth and to build a more diverse, dynamic and cosmopolitan community, both in Saskatoon and right across the province, we need to make sure that more people have more education and more skills training and that way they can help to sustain the growth. The Saskatoon Trades and Skills Centre Inc. will help meet the demand for skilled tradespeople in the province and expand Saskatchewan’s economic opportunities,”  said Rob Norris, minister of advanced education, employment and labour.

Star Phoenix story here.Learn more about the Mount Royal area of Saskatoon.
Visit the Saskatoon Trades and Skills Centre website.

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions. All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email.

Follow our daily updates on Twitter @Norm_Fisher.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

How to take advantage of the Home Renovation Tax Credit

Part of “Canada’s Economic Action Plan” includes a Home Renovation Tax Credit that could help you save up to $1,350 on eligible home improvements when goods are purchased or professional services are performed after January 27, 2009 and before February 1, 2010.

The Home Renovation Tax Credit is a federal non-refundable tax credit based on eligible expenses for improvements to your house, condominium, or cottage. The 15% tax credit applies to eligible expenses that exceed $1,000, but not more than $10,000. For instance, if you installed new windows at a cost of $5,000 and new shingles at a cost of $5,000 your tax credit is calculated as follows. ($10,000 – $1,000) x 15% = $1,350 tax credit.

You must get your contracts in writing, keep your receipts and claim the credit on your 2009 tax return.

Eligible expenses must be of an enduring nature and integral to your property.

Examples of eligible expenses

Renovation of a bathroom, basement, or kitchen
New windows, doors, or flooring
Building an addition, garage, deck, shed or fence
A new furnace, fireplace, water softener, or water heater
A new driveway, or a new surface on an existing driveway
Re-shingling a roof, or painting a house
Landscaping projects like new sod, perennial shrubs and flowers, trees, etc.
Swimming pools (permanent – in-ground and above ground)
Fixtures – blinds, shades, shutters, awnings, lights, fans, etc.
Associated renovation costs such as permits, professional services, equipment rentals, etc.

Examples of non-eligible expenses

Improvements made to rental units even if located with your primary residence
Furniture, appliances, tools
Audio and visual electronics
Routine repairs, maintenance and cleaning costs
Financing costs

For more information on the Home Renovation Tax Credit click here.

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.  All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email.

Real estate geeks can follow our daily updates on Twitter @Norm_Fisher.

Our Saskatoon home search tool offers MLS listings represented by all real estate brands, presented with more detail than you’ll find anywhere else. Check it out here.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

Affordable housing assistance from city may be on its way

According to the Saskatoon Star Phoenix, “Saskatoon city council’s executive committee approved a new mortgage support program on Tuesday to help low- and moderate-income people get into the housing market.

“Under the program, which will replace the home start affordable housing initiative, people with a household income of $52,000 or less will be given a five per cent downpayment toward a mortgage on a new affordable housing development, if they’re approved.”

The story is here.

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.  All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email.

Follow our daily updates on Twitter @Norm_Fisher.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate