Part IV: Building Value: Managing Your Investment and Seeing a Return in VS .NET

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Part IV: Building Value: Managing Your Investment and Seeing a Return
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if the general contractor you ve selected doesn t pay for supplies or services, its creditors have the right to file a lien against your property for the money owed That not only puts you on the hook, cutting into your returns, but also could prevent you from marketing the property as quickly as you had hoped Holdbacks typically represent a tenth of the final cost of services, materials, and labour on a given project, but be sure to consult local authorities for the specific regulations in your province Renovations may be subject to municipal regulations, particularly if you plan to make changes to the basic structure of the building Don t forget to check your plans against local bylaws you don t want to get hit with a stop-work order and fines This could significantly delay or prevent you from completing your renovations Complying with the local building code is also important because not doing so could jeopardize your right to coverage under your home insurance policy should you file a renovation-related claim Several elements of the renovations you plan may be eligible for government funding, especially if you plan to make changes that improve the energy efficiency Restoration of heritage properties can also be eligible for grants, though these typically have exacting requirements concerning the work you plan to do After all, heritage societies will expect a restoration rather than a reinterpretation of the original form!
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Getting your return
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The renovations you complete may include a suite suitable for renting to a tenant, and a tenant will provide an ongoing cash flow But the alternative selling will let you recoup an immediate return from your property and give you the capital needed to move on to your next investment project Selling the home differs little from selling any other property, a topic we cover in 16 Substantial renovations those involving 90 percent or more of the house may be eligible for tax rebates (This typically excludes minor additions such as a porch, sunroom, family room or bedroom, or the construction of more than one room) The Canada Revenue Agency allows you to claim a rebate on GST/HST paid on costs related to the purchase of the land and construction, providing the fair market value of the home after the renovation is $450,000 or less (this amount may change, so be sure to check with the Canada Revenue Agency) Keep in mind that you won t be able to sell the remade home without charging GST/HST, however, as the substantial renovations you ve completed put the property in the same class as a new home Doing renovations to your primary residence is a good way to boost the resale value of your home added value on which you don t have to pay capital gains tax And if the renovation is of a property other than your primary residence that you ve been using for rental income, renovation expenses reduce the taxable capital gains you ll realize when the property sells
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15: Accounting for Gain
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Renovation frustration
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Pat and George had long planned to renovate their older home With the real estate market on the upswing, the time seemed right to sell the property and use the proceeds to buy a larger house with a two-bedroom rental suite in the basement Because Pat and George had a limited budget of $30,000 maximum to pay for the renovations, they found the name of a renovator in the phone book who said he could do the job for $25,000 They didn t ask for references, let alone check the company s standing with the local home builder s association or Better Business Bureau Because they were in a rush to get the job done and the price was right, an initial interview was enough to win their trust that the contractor was the one for them Costs soon rose to $50,000, and Pat and George were concerned, to put it mildly The renovator provided a revised estimate that pegged the final costs at $100,000 plus taxes He said Pat and George should have known that renos always cost two or three times more than originally planned, adding that if he wasn t paid for the work he would file a lien on the property and proceed with legal action Pat and George were shocked Because they hadn t received the initial quote in writing, it was the contractor s word against theirs To cover the added costs, they obtained a bank line of credit When the renovations finished, they quickly put the house up for sale Unfortunately, the work had added just $20,000 to the value of their home because it upgraded the house but didn t reposition the property to take advantage of what buyers were looking for Needless to say, Pat and George weren t able to afford the bigger house with a rental suite they had planned to buy; they had to reduce their expectations and settle for less than what they had hoped
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Take a rental property, for example: When a renovated property sells, renovation costs are tallied with the property s original purchase price and the sum is subtracted from the sale proceeds What s left over is the capital gain, which is taxed at 50 percent For a $150,000 home renovated at a cost of $25,000, the sum is $175,000 But if proceeds from the property s sale total $200,000, you ve realized a capital gain of $25,000 half of which you have to hand over to the government This may sound bad, but if the renovations weren t taken into account you would be paying capital gains on $50,000!
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