It is not the intended purpose of a home inspection, but the inspection might also give you some insight into potential opportunities for repairs and renovations that will not only make your home more pleasant to live in, but may also increase its value. With the federal government's new Home Renovation Tax Credit, you may have financial incentive to undertake some of these projects once you become a homeowner.
Unveiled Jan. 27, 2009 in the federal budget, the HRTC will provide Canadians up to $1,350 in savings for money spent on home renovations through a temporary 15% income tax credit on eligible home renovation expenditures for work performed or goods acquired up to Feb. 1, 2010. The credit can be claimed on eligible expenditures exceeding $1,000 but no more than $10,000.
Renovation costs for projects such as finishing a basement or remodeling a kitchen will be eligible for the credit, along with associated expenses such as building permits, professional services, equipment rentals and incidental expenses. Routine repairs and maintenance will not qualify for the credit. Nor will the cost of purchasing furniture, appliances, audio-visual electronics or construction equipment.
Eligible expenditures include renovating a kitchen, bathroom or basement; new carpet or hardwood floors; building an addition, deck, fence or retaining wall; a new furnace or water heater; painting the interior or exterior of a house; resurfacing a driveway; and laying new sod.
Here are some things to keep in mind when planning a change or renovation:
Think about how changes might appeal to someone buying your home in the future. For more on that, please read “Think about selling it before you buy it”. You can make very personalized changes with paint because it is inexpensive and can easily be changed. However, items like flooring, cabinets and countertops have a longer life - make choices that will also be appealing to others.
Updating the bathrooms and kitchens in an older home can increase its resale value.
Don't underestimate the importance of landscaping. The right planting can improve the appearance and value of your home.
Updating your exterior paint, installing new roofing, resurfacing your walkways and driveway, adding attractive mailboxes and front-yard planting can also increase value. Over time, renovations can practically pay for themselves, especially if they result in savings on utility bills, a higher selling price or years of greater comfort and enjoyment in your home.
Home inspection 101
A home inspection is a visual examination of a house and property, including:
a thorough visual inspection of the structure (inside and out, from foundation to roof)
an examination of all major systems (Heating and Air conditioning)
an objective evaluation of the condition of more than 400 items
a printed report covering all findings and identifying potential concerns
Most appealing upgrades
Kitchen cabinet upgrade
Hardwood floor upgrade
Removing walls to open up space
Finishing the basement
Kitchen appliance upgrade
new bathroom taps and plumbing
new bathroom tiles
Source: AmeriSpec Home Inspection Service
For more information on buying or selling real estate in Burlington, Hamilton, Oakville, or Toronto Ontario, or if you have questions about current market trends, mortgages or interest rate information, please visit the Sean Kavanagh Real Estate Resource Centre at www.seansells.ca, or at www.seankavanagh.ca I'd be happy to answer any questions to accommodate all of your real estate needs. Follow me on TWITTER or FACEBOOK! You can also contact me at 905-220-9198 or at www.realestatechat.ca as I am now a moderator on the Ontario Real Estate chat forum as well as the Burlington, Ontario sub-forum.
Building Lasting Relationships and Exceeding Expectations
Source: AmeriSpec Home Inspection Service and Your First Home Buyers Guide