Real estate buying tips for seniors
With real estate prices as high as they’ve ever been, many seniors are trying to decide what to do with their homes.
There are several good resources available which provide more information for busy baby boomers who might be downsizing or moving into a strata property for the first time.
Among the things the Society recommends for seniors is knowing the strata laws before you buy and considering home swapping to save on property transfer taxes.
For many boomers looking to downsize, strata properties are a popular choice. If you’re considering a strata property, make sure you read and understand the strata minutes and bylaws, particularly on the topics of noise, pets, smoking and parking, which are the most frequent points of concern in many strata communities.
People who’ve owned freehold properties for most of their lives may not be accustomed to some of the expectations of strata living, so it’s important to make sure you’re comfortable with the rules before you make a purchase.
Another little-known tip is a provision in the Property Transfer Tax Act that eliminates the requirement for this tax when a principal residence is transferred between related individuals, including a parent and child. This means parents and children could “swap” homes, or a child could move into and purchase a parent’s home without paying property transfer tax if the parent moves on to supported housing without paying property transfer tax, if specific guidelines, are met.