COVID-19 Relief Measures To Help Canadians

Buying or selling a house is a big undertaking under normal circumstances, let alone in the midst of a pandemic. With economic impacts and the uncertainty that accompanies day-to-day life, Canada’s federal, provincial and municipal governments and companies have implemented a number of COVID-19 relief measures to help soften the financial blow.

We’ve compiled a list of some pre-existing and newly announced programs and incentives intended to assist current homeowners, buyers and sellers, along with some links to further inform anyone seeking some COVID-19 relief.

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How Canadian Real Estate Can Continue During Coronavirus

COVID-19 has hit 2020 like a wrecking ball, slowly making its way across borders. Social distancing has us all pressing pause, letting go of priorities in favour of time spent indoors, connected only though our screens. Alas, in the real estate market, even amid a global pandemic, there are still sellers who need to sell, and buyers who need to buy.

Lucky for us, in this age of technological glory, real estate agents have access to some great solutions to ensure that processes remain safe, and transactions can continue to take place. This too will pass, and in the meantime, we can all use a little creativity to ensure that our brief pauses don’t turn into a full stop.

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Our Commitment During the COVID-19 Crisis

To our valued customers and real estate consumers,

We know this is a trying and stressful time for all of us in Canada.  Things are changing almost hourly with government recommendations at the federal, provincial, and municipal levels.

At RE/MAX, we want to offer you stability and comfort knowing your real estate needs are still being met in a safe and responsible manner.  On, we continue to offer up-to-the-minute listings, accurate home estimates, and timely, valuable real estate news — especially important at this time.

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Top Things Sellers Often Forget to Do Before Showing Their Home

There can be a lot of stress involved when trying to sell your home and one of the biggest factors that is always on a seller’s mind is showing process. While your home is on the market, you never know when a showing is going to be scheduled and therefore sellers must be on their toes in making sure their home is tidy and looks its best to potential buyers. However, with so many things to organize before a showing, it can be easy for a seller to forget to do something essential before an agent brings a potential buyer through your home.

We’ve reached out to our RE/MAX Influencers – a panel of RE/MAX Sales Associates throughout Canada – to narrow down a list of the top things that sellers often forget to do before showing their home.

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Smart Ways to Spend Your Income Tax Refund

With tax season right around the corner, many Canadians are collecting their tax slips outlining your earnings and investments, gathering receipts and perhaps you’re even planning how to spend your income tax refund. To some, this perceived windfall is considered a “green light” to go on a spending spree. According to Canada Revenue Agency, the average income tax refund in Canada in 2019 was $1,740 – about the cost of an all-inclusive vacation for one in the sunny south, a few nice dinners out, or a decent shopping spree. However, if you’re getting an income tax refund, it means that you’ve overpaid in taxes and you’re simply getting some of that back. Stop treating this as “extra” cash and put these funds to work for you.

3 Ways to Save (or Spend) Your Income Tax Refund

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How Much Will It Cost to Buy a House?

You’ve likely heard people lauding the benefits of home ownership. Canadian real estate has historically seen solid long-term gains, which bodes well for existing home owners and those who plan to buy and keep the place for the long term. Other benefits of owning a home – a roof over your head, a place to plant roots, pride of ownership, retirement plan, the list is long and varied. However, as with all investments, there is that initial cost of owning a house in Canada, and unlike other investment vehicles, a home comes with ongoing costs as well. So, down to the nitty-gritty: How much will it cost to buy a house? The price of the home and the services associated with the purchase are all relative to the type of property, its age/condition and location, so do your research to ensure it remains a good investment. A real estate agent can outline what you can expect to pay, and maybe some unexpected expenses as well. In the meantime, here’s a list to factor into your budget.

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Bank of Canada Makes Interest Rate Announcement

Bank drops overnight benchmark rate to 1.25%

As was widely expected, the Bank of Canada announced that it is dropping its benchmark interest rate by 50 basis points. The Bank’s overnight interest rate target currently sits at 1.25 per cent, down from 1.75 per cent. Despite Canada’s economy and inflation both hovering at expected levels, the Bank cites global and Canadian economic shocks due to coronavirus concerns.

The next interest rate announcement is scheduled on April 15, 2020. Read the release below:

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Canadian Housing Market Outlook

Average home price expected to rise by 3.7% next year

• Increased consumer confidence could be a key factor affecting the housing market in 2020
• 51% of Canadians are considering a home purchase in the next five years, up from 36% at the same time last year
• Only two in 10 Canadians say that the mortgage stress test negatively affected their ability to purchase a home in 2019

RE/MAX is calling for a leveling out of the highs and lows that characterized the Canadian housing market in 2019, particularly in Vancouver and Toronto, as we move into 2020. Healthy price increases are expected next year, with the RE/MAX 2020 Housing Market Outlook Report estimating a 3.7 per-cent increase in the average residential sale price.

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How to Afford Real Estate in Canada

Fifty-one per cent of Canadians are considering buying a home in the next five years, according to a recent RE/MAX survey. This number is up from 36 per cent one year ago. As the price of real estate in Canada rises in many major urban markets, this shift comes as homebuyers adapt to the mortgage stress test, and enjoy increased purchasing power as Millennials enter their peak earning years. Despite these intentions, the high price of homes continues to impact market activity in Greater Vancouver and real estate in Ontario – specifically the Greater Golden Horseshoe Area, with tertiary effects on more-affordable housing markets surrounding Toronto and reaching as far as Niagara, Ottawa and even the Atlantic provinces. These factors have prompted an evolution of property types and how consumers are buying them. Ultimately, if your goal is to become a homeowner, you’ve got options.

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RE/MAX Among Canada’s Best Places to Work

RE/MAX continues its streak of being the best in the business – only this time, it is RE/MAX’s own employees who are singing the company’s praises, with RE/MAX INTEGRA ranking as one of Forbes’ best places to work in Canada in 2020. RE/MAX INTEGRA, the franchisor for the RE/MAX brand in Ontario and the Atlantic region, has claimed 44th spot on Forbes‘ annual list of Canada’s Best Employers found here. The company was also 106th of the best places to work in Canada 2019 (#106) and best places to work in Canada in 2018 (#88).

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