Land Transfer Tax, Downsizing, Moving With Kids
Boxes on a shelf


Dear David,
What is land transfer tax? – New Buyer

Dear New Buyer,

Land transfer tax is a tax that a buyer pays when buying property in the province of Ontario and is due when your transaction closes. The tax rate will vary according to the value of the property, but you can expect to pay between one and two percent of the value of your home. As of this year, the provincial government is doubling the tax break for eligible first-time buyers, which means if you are a permanent Ontario resident buying your first home, there will be no land transfer tax on the first $368,000 of your purchase (and many first time buyers won’t have to pay provincial land transfer tax at all). If you’re new to the real estate market, ask your Realtor about this benefit and others for which you may qualify.

Dear David,
We are thinking of downsizing. Where do we start? – Retiring Soon

Dear Retiring,

There are many great options in our region, depending on what kind of retirement lifestyle appeals to you. Consider your needs moving forward: do your goals include maintaining specific connections to your family and community? Do you have medical concerns or physical challenges that might impact where you choose to live? What activities do you enjoy? Is home maintenance manageable for you? Your situation is ideal in that it doesn’t sound like you need to make a hasty decision. I would suggest that you make a list of your important criteria. When you feel ready, sit down with your Realtor and discuss what options are available.

Dear David,
How do you suggest helping to prepare our kids for a move? – Concerned Parents

Dear Concerned,

Getting kids on board can be tough sometimes, especially if they feel like they are losing the only home they know (or remember). Creating a memory book with photos or mementos from your home is a comforting, tangible reminder of your good times there. Perhaps ask friends and neighbours to sign it and include their email addresses, so you can to keep in touch after the move. Packing up bedrooms can be especially difficult. To ease the process, give each child a box and ask them to decorate it so it will be easy to locate in your new home. They can fill it with their favourite things, knowing that these important items will be close at hand once you arrive. To make the transition to new rooms seem more like an adventure, get them involved in picking out something to personalize it — like fresh paint or bedding. When adults are making all of the big decisions, sometimes handing over the reigns on the small things can help them buy into the process more easily.