Tax relief in 100 days

By MIKE LIGHTBOURN THE incoming Government has promised to try and stimulate the real estate and construction sectors. Within 100 days, it says it will re-introduce a ceiling on the maximum level of real property tax on high end residences. This would hopefully stimulate high-end sales and the second home market. The government says it will also reduce the stamp tax payable on real estate transactions above $250,000 from 12 to 10 per cent. Assuming they go ahead with this, buyers stand to save 2 per cent of their total cash outlay. As you are probably aware, there is no stamp tax payable by first time home buyers on purchases up to $500,000 on successful application to the government. It's no secret the recession has forced homeowners to reduce their prices to more realistic levels over the last couple of years. So if you've been thinking about investing in real estate, this is a good time to start the process. Before you look at homes, shop around to see what rates and terms the banks are offering and ask them to provide a detail of the full costs, as well as the various plans they offer. Pre-qualify for a loan so you'll know what you can afford. This will position you to make an offer, should you find your dream home, and not lose out to another party whose financing is in place. Let your BREA agent guide you. Mike Lightbourn is president of Coldwell Banker Lightbourn Realty


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